Lord Howe Island tips

To: Chris Sanderson <>
Subject: Lord Howe Island tips
From: Patrick Scully <>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 21:57:20 +1000
Hi Chris,
I'm sure that you probably know everything there is is to know about what
birds there are to see on Lord Howe Island and where to see them etc but I
thought a couple of points might be helpful to enjoy your time a bit more.
The first is if you are planning a trip out to Ball's Pyramid CONTACT JACK
 I emphasis this because I missed out on going there last time and if I am
lucky enough to go to LHI again I would be phoning Jack before leaving home
and then when on the island phoning him again. I spent a lot of time and
energy trying to get out to Ball's Pyramid. It is no sure thing to get out
there as although it may be calm at LHI the sea may be to rough. Jack was
friendly with the people staying in the next unit who were staying for
several weeks and  I just  missed catching up with him on our first day on
the island. On the last day, he was visiting gain and when I mentioned
missing out on getting to Ball's Pyramid he said: "If I'd known, you could
have come out on the fishing trip yesterday. It was a bit rough and I tried
out my new camera." I believe I had spoken to someone at his house, but not
Jack and so I would suggest that you try to speak to him personally.
The second point is that in late February it can be quite hot and humid and
when you climb up Malabar Hill to see the Red-tailed Tropicbirds that soar
out over the cliffs, make sure you have plenty of water. Deb and I climbed
up there in the early afternoon and with the humidity (we were there in late
Feb) we sweated profusely and we very parched.
On a lighter note the birding is quite magical because the birds are so
unafraid of humans and you can get up really close. On the way up to Malabar
Hill on the track that goes off the road to Ned's Beach, Common (Brown)
Noddy were nesting very close to the track and were not bothered in the
least by people. Also the White Terns nest in the trees above the main road
and in February the little chicks sit on the branches. It is amazing to see
ladders by the side of the road put there so that if the chicks fall down,
locals will place them back up (It is saddening to think that some locals
want to remove the trees).  The White Terns are a sight to behold with such
a pure white body and coal black eyes and bill. In the book , 100 Birds To
See Before You Die, they are called Angel Tern, and seeing them this
description seems apt.
The track to Mutton Bird Point, starts just near the airport turnoff and
takes about half an hour to walk to the viewing platform. This is where you
see the Masked Booby. I have had it on good authority that it is possible to
scramble out onto the island.
It is a real buzz to watch the kamakazi like Flesh-footed Shearwaters come
in at dusk at Ned's Beach. One almost collided with me.  The Wedge-tailed
Shearwaters come in at late dusk to Windy Point, which is a roughly Parallel
to where the airstrip reaches the sea on the main road. At night they make a
ghostly wailing. It was here in 2010 that Deb and I saw a very large Masked
Owl on a small clay cliff on the LHS in the airport direction about 10 pm.
If you are into a little snorkeling, in our opinion the best place to go is
Old Settlement Beach, which is a little further round past the Public Jetty
in the direction of North Bay.  We swam with Green turtles and out in the
bay a buoy has been kindly placed above the coral. It is easy to paddle out
there. Neither of us are great swimmers. We found the best coffee to be in
the museum cafe, which is the same place that Ian Hutton hangs out at. We
saw Emerald Doves in the bush opposite the cafe, museum.
Best wishes for a happy holiday,
Patrick Scully

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 8:40 PM, Chris Sanderson

> Thanks Patrick, I appreciate the advice!  I'm really excited about going
> now, we've booked for mid-Feb, which sounds like it's great for most things,
> though I may miss Providence Petrels and Little Shearwaters.
> Cheers,
> Chris
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 8:27 PM, Patrick Scully <>wrote:
>> Hi Chris,
>> I've been to Lord Howe Island twice and both times stayed at Waimarie. It
>> has the best view on the island looking out at the spectacular  peaks of Mt
>> Gower and Mt Lidgbird apart from the expensive Capella Lodge. You do not
>> need a car as Jim will give you a ride anywhere you wish to go. Deb and I
>> walked into town and it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. A lot of people hire
>> bikes which is a good way to get to places a bit faster. And the locals will
>> often stop and ask if you want a ride if you are walking. You are in a for
>> an amazing time. The island is a very surreal place. Both times we walked
>> most places. Wherever you end up staying, your hosts will meet you at the
>> airport and drop you off when you fly back.
>> Best wishes,
>> Patrick Scully
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