Solomon islands - the shortish version

Subject: Solomon islands - the shortish version
From: "Nicholas Talbot" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 15:00:07 +1100
Hi all,
I've just returned from two weeks in the Solomon Islands. I have written a longer account of my trip (all the gory details) which I can send to anyone who contacts me at

I found it very difficult to find anyone who does Eco Tours or bird guiding over there so I organised a few trips myself from the resorts I was staying at. With the help of Chris Doughty?s invaluable Birds of the The Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, I managed to have a satisfying birding trip. Without this book, first published in 1999 (including 117 endemics and 60 species illustrated for the first time) I would have had a pretty difficult time. I managed to see 56 species, including 29 I?d never seen before (with a few of these appearing on the Australian list). I will add that the humidity and the lack of facilities like walking trails made the birdwatching pretty hard going.

I found it particularly frustrating to be in Honiara, just a taxi ride away from Mount Austen (a good birding site on Guadalcanal) several times but not being able to go up there due to time constraints (actually I had plenty of time being kept waiting for transfers that didn?t turn up.. it?s just that I didn?t know I was going to have that time available). If I ever go back again I will make sure I have time to get up into the mountains on Guadalcanal and Kulambangra (in the New Georgia Group).

I spent most of the trip at two island resorts, which are primarily for divers, but as a snorkeller, birdwatcher and reptile watcher I had no complaints- Maravagi and Uepi both have interesting rainforest and mangroves close by. I also managed to arrange trips to other nearby islands for about 80 Solomon Islands dollars (just over $A20). Uepi was particularly good, not just because the accommondation and food are the best you'll find in the Solomon, but because they have a bird list (as well as a reptile list) and have a collection of relevant natural history books, including Chris Doughty?s book. I also did a side trip to Lagoon Lodge in Vangunu where the guide, Romulus, has a very good bird list and managed to get me very close to a Blyth?s Hornbill. He also found me my only white-eye for the trip by making a sucking noise on the back of his hand. He also has a plan to prevent his local area from being logged which shows real foresight, given what has happened to a lot of the Marovo Lagoon rainforest. The numbers of Osprey, Brahminy Kite and Solomons Sea Eagle are very impressive (I saw some or all of them each day). On both islands I was able to birdwatch from the veranda of my cabin. On Uepi I saw more than a dozen species from the veranda including Stephans Ground Dove, Cardinal Lory, Melanesian Scrub Fowl, Singing Parrot, White Capped Monarch and Beach Stone Curlew. At Maravagi the Singing Starling, Claret Bibbed Fruit Dove, Chestnut Bellied Monarch, Midget Flower Pecker and Island Imperial Pigeon were all seen from the front steps of the cabin which had to pass for a veranda. The most spectacular birds were the Blyth?s Hornbill (their wing-noise.. sounds like a hang glider going over), Moustached treeswift (slender and 30 centimetres long), Beach Kingfisher (white head and under parts) and Buff headed Coucal (yellowish coloured and has a call that sounds like a cat NA-OW on Uepi.. which seemed to be just OW on Vangunu). My biggest miss was the Black Faced Myzomela... which, despite being common in the Florida Group, managed to elude me on three islands - I never even heard one.

Bird list -
28/1/03 ? Honiara (Guadalcanal island) (Central Province) (S 09 26?00.6 E159 57?07.3)
Indian Myna
Pied Goshawk *
Lesser Frigatebird
Willie Wagtail (has a pink-pink-pink in its call and seems larger than the Australian)
Olive Backed Sunbird
Pacific Golden Plover
Pacific Swallow *
Singing Starling *
29/1/03 ? Maravagi (Mana Island ? Florida Island Group) (Central Province)
(S 08 57?05.1 E 160 03?20.3)
Common Sandpiper
Claret Bibbed fruit Dove *
Yellow faced Myna * (one flew into our cabin at Maravagi)
Great Frigatebird
Brown Booby
Rainbow Lorikeet
Cardinal Lory *
Moustached Treeswift *
Collared Kingfisher
Uniform Swiftlet *
Grey Tailed Tattler (Blue flag on left leg, ring on right)
Metallic Starling
Eastern Reef Egret
White Bellied Cuckoo Shrike
30/1/03 - Island Imperial Pigeon*
Glossy Swiftlet *
Midget Flower Pecker *
Brahminy Kite
Common Cicada Bird (female much more orange in colour than the Australian)
Striated Heron
Common Tern
Pacific Black Duck
Ducorp?s Cockatoo *
Chestnut Bellied Monarch *
31/1/03 - Solomons Sea Eagle *
Beach Kingfisher *
Melanesian Cuckoo Shrike * (during visit to Sandfly Island)
Melanesian Scrub Fowl *
Stephan?s Ground Dove * (during visit to Pigeon Island)
Eclectus Parrot * (during visit to Pigeon Island)
Crested Tern
2/2/03 (Uepi Island ? Marovo Lagoon ? New Georgia Group ? Western province)
(S 08 25?46.5 E 157 56?57.0)
Blyth?s Hornbill *
Beach Stone Curlew
3/2/03 - Nicobar Pigeon *
Variable Goshawk *
Steel Blue Flycatcher *
White Capped Monarch *
Yellow vented Myzomela *
Yellow Eyed Cuckoo Shrike
4/2/03 - Singing Parrot *
Black Naped tern
5/2/03 - Lagoon Lodge ? Vangunu (New Georgia Group) (Western Province)
(S 08 31?29.5 E158 03?49.3)
Red Knobbed Imperial Pigeon *
Buff headed Coucal *
Solomons White Eye *
Rufous Fantail

MSN Instant Messenger now available on Australian mobile phones. Go to

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Solomon islands - the shortish version, Nicholas Talbot <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU