Message from Mike Carter

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Message from Mike Carter
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 03:05:45 +1100
Mike's message bounced earlier - here it is:

      Seven birders, Shaun Austin, Warwick Pickwell, Ian Harpley, Wilma =
Emerton, Roger Lang, Jan Hoopmann and myself, stayed on Australia's =
Indian Ocean Christmas Island from 11 to 18 November 2001. We saw all =
the islands endemics and specialities except the Owl and Nightjar. We =
had an Owl calling 6 m away at the Golf Course but the spotlight =
wouldn't pierce the foliage. Among the rarer birds sighted were:

  Nankeen Night Heron. One immature (photographed), showing sufficient =
adult plumage on wings and tail to confirm identity, on the Hugh's Dale =
stream on 14th.  Rare here.
  # White-breasted Waterhen. Seen at four locations; one along the coast =
road beyond the golf course, one in a water course at the entrance to =
the 'Casino' (several times), one on the roadside near the Refuse Tip =
and 2 adults with 3 fluffy black young (photographed) at the Dryers. =
This confirms their breeding status. BARC submission required.

  Pin-tailed Snipe. One at the Golf Course early on the 16th. After =
flushing it four times we surrounded the bird in long grass where =
machinery was parked. We studied it for an hour eventually approaching =
to within 7 m, recording a detailed description and obtaining =
photographs. BARC submission required.

  Oriental Plover. One on the Airport on 15th.

  Oriental Pratincole. One at the Sports Ground on 14th and at the =
airport on 15th.

 ! Brown-backed Needletail. 2 near the Refuse Tip on the evening of 14th =
and again over the road to the Airport on 15th.  Misled by MacKinnon & =
Phillipps' A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java & Bali, =
we originally thought they were White-throated Needletails, a very rare =
vagrant in this region. However, their very rounded, almost semicircular =
disc-like tails confirmed their identity. A new bird for Christmas =
Island and Australia. See separate notes for BARC submission.

# Grey Wagtail. 4 together at the Plantation (orchard) along Murray Road =
on 12th and 14th and 1 on the road to the Blow Holes on 18th. BARC =
submission required.

  Barn Swallow. Between 8 and 12 each day hawking for flies at a very =
low level at the Refuse Tip. Up to another 4 occasionally over the =
Noodle House in the Settlement. About 6 came in from high up to briefly =
join the feeding birds at the Tip early on 14th.

 # Asian House Martin.  One with the 6 migrating Barn Swallows at the =
Tip on the morning of 14th. BARC submission required.


Green Junglefowl. About 20 seen on the airstrip on West Island in the =
Cocos group during our brief stopover enroute from Perth via Learmonth =
to Christmas Island.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza   Vic    3930
03 9787 7136

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