birding-aus New Caledonian trip

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus New Caledonian trip
From: "Eddie Ash" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 17:38:23 +1000
I have just arrived home after a very enjoyable week in New Caledonia.   I was able to purchase the first volume of Francis Hannecart's book Oiseaux de Nlle Caledonie et des Loyautes at a bookshop in Noumea.   It lists most of the birds found on the mainland.   Vol 2 lists those on the islands plus rarities.
I only had a couple of chances to do serious bird-watching, but still managed to see over thirty of their birds. My full bird list is below and was compiled in the area ranging from Noumea to Bourail, including Mt. Koghi (a terrific place to visit).
There was one bird I could not identify.   It was on the floor of the forest on Mt. Koghi and resembled a scrubwren in shape.   It was generally brown in colour, but had a distinct white throat (rather like an origma).   We watched it for quite a while and the bird never left the forest floor, just fed on the graound and around the base of logs etc.   We saw it about 200 yards short of the first slip on the Grande Piste track.   Could it have been the New Caledonian Grass Warbler?  It's behaviour seemed right, but the habitat was not - it was in dense rain forest, not the ferny areas it is supposed to like.
The other birds I saw (in order of sighting) were:-
Whistling eagle-kite
Reef heron
Red billed gull
Great crested gull
White throated pigeon
Notu pigeon
Spotted dove
Rainbow lorikeet
Glossy swiftlet
Sacred kingfisher
Yellow-sided warbler
Grey-eared honeyeater
Yellow robin (not like ours)
New Caledonian whistler
Rufous whistler
Grey fantail
Indian mynah
New Caledonian shrike
New Caledonian starling
Green backed silvereye
House sparrow
White breasted woodswallow
Blue goshawk
Swamp hen
Turkey (roam wild across farmland)
Swamp harrier
White faced heron
Brown goshawk
New Caledonian crow
New Caledonian friar bird
Red-billed waxbill
New Caledonian honeyeater
Chestnut breasted finch
Red headed parrot finch
Green pigeon
I met Francis Hannecart whilst there.   He is happy to help visiting bird watchers, but suggests that people contact him prior to their trip.   That way he may be able to plan his timetable to have some free time when the birdwatchers are there.   I can provide a contact number for him if required.
Cheers Annabel
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