Norfolk Island trip report

Subject: Norfolk Island trip report
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 13:52:09 +1000
Hi all,
I have just returned from 11 days on Norfolk Island with Brent Stevenson.
Arrived 24th April 
departed 6th of May 2001 (Brent arrived two days earlier and leaves on the
9th) The weather was generally sunny. The first 5 days or so were hampered
by strong winds but the remaining days were thankfully calm.
This was generally a pretty hard-core birding trip. We visited the national
park on 8 days for a total of 32 hours (in part searching unsuccessfully for
the White-breasted White-eye); spent about 30 hours seawatching from various
points around the island; went spotlighting in the park for owls and visited
a WT Shearwater colony at Anson Pt after dark, chartered a fishing boat out
to the shelf for a day; got out to Phillip Island for 1 1/2 days and visited
most other sites on NI during our stay.  Many thanks to those that have
posted previous trip reports to the list as we referred to them often. As
excellent site descriptions already exist in the birding-aus archive rather
than repeat this info I've simply provided an annotated species list. As
there are few trip reports for April and May I hope others find this info
useful.  I'll post the full details of our trip to the shelf as a separate

Bird list:

Feral Chicken Common in many places on NI. 95% look like domestic breeds so
one would be pushing it to call them Red Junglefowl. Having said that they
are clearly feral. At least 10 hens had young and some were seen in the
middle of the national park.

Californian Quail  Seen on 10+ occasions (Kingston, Mt Pitt, Anson Pt near
100acres etc).

Domestic Goose  A flock of 30+ at Kingston Common. Seemed as wild as the
chickens and probably should be considered feral

Pacific Black Duck 3 at Chapel Swamp 28/4

Mallard 20+ at Kingston Common, Chapel Swamp and Windmill Dam, small numbers

Black-winged Petrel None over land on NI but seen in numbers (max 50)  200+m
from shore whenever seawatching. 27 at sea 3/5. 10+ over land in day and
large chicks on Phillip Is 4-5/5

Mottled Petrel 3 near shelf all flying north on 3/5

White-necked Petrel 1 seawatched from Rocky Pt 29/4, 1 at sea near shelf
3/5, 4 adults and 3 chicks ashore after dark on Phillip Is 4/5

Gould's Petrel 2 at sea near Phillip Is 3/5

Tahiti Petrel 1 at sea near shelf 3/5

Providence Petrel 1 seawatched off Music Valley 27/4, 2 at sea near Phillip
Is 3/5, 20-30 ashore after dark on Phillip Is 4/5

Kermadec Petrel 1 seawatched off Music Valley 27/4, 3 at dusk flying over
Phillip Is 4/5

White-bellied Storm-Petrel 1 at sea near shelf 3/5 (1st live record for

Little Shearwater None over land on NI but seen in numbers (max 10)  100+m
from shore when seawatching. 351 at sea 3/5. 10+ after dark on Phillip Is

Flesh-footed Shearwater 1 seawatched off Music Valley 26/4

Wedge-tailed Shearwater Common at sea, 20+ ashore after dark at Anson Pt
26/4, 10+ ashore after dark on Phillip Is 4/5. Large fluffy chicks at both

Sooty Shearwater 2 at sea near shelf 3/5

Masked Booby Common at sea, small numbers on land at Bird Rock and Cook's
Monument. Many on Phillip inc 10+ large fluffy chicks

Brown Booby 1 seawatched off Music Valley 28/4, 1 juv at Cook's Monument on

Red-tailed Tropic Bird Common at sea. Small numbers around cliffs on NI inc
10+ chicks. Many on Phillip Is inc eggs to near fledged chicks (50+nests)

Greater Frigatebird 1 juv female at Cook's Monument on 2/5, 1 adult female
over Phillip Is 5/5

White-faced Heron Small numbers across NI, 1 adult and 3 near fledged young
on Phillip Is 5/5

Nankeen Kestrel Small numbers across NI (10+), 2+ adults and 1 juv on
Phillip Is 4-5/5

Purple Swamphen Small numbers at Kingston Common and Chapel Swamp

Lesser Golden Plover 3 at the airport on 1/5, 1 in near full breeding

Double-banded Dotterel 15 in Slaughter Bay throughout our stay

Common Greenshank 1 at Chapel Swamp on 28/4

Ruddy Turnstone Several groups seen around NI max 4 at Rocky Pt on 29/4

Wandering Tattler 1-3 on most rocky pts around NI

Bar-tailed Godwit 9 flying over Kingston on 29/4

White Tern Common on NI inc well inland, just one over Phillip Is being
chased by a Sooty Tern

Grey Ternlet Seen in small numbers while seawatching of NI, several near the
shelf on 3/5, 30+ on Phillip Is inc 10+ recently fledged young

Common Noddy 3-4 at Cook's Monument on 2/5, 5 or so elsewhere on NI, 10 on
Phillip Is 4-5/5

Black Noddy Very common on both NI and Phillip Is

Sooty Tern 1 at Pt Hunter 23/5 (Brent Stevenson) and 6+adults and 10+juvs on
Phillip Is  4-5/5

Rock Dove Small numbers on both NI and Phillip Is

Emerald Dove  1-2 most days on NI (Mt Bates, Mt Pitt, near 100 acres, Music
Valley, etc)

Crimson Rosella  Common in the National park, small numbers across NI

Red-crowned Parakeet 1 at McLaughlins Lane 26/4, 1 at the aviaries in the
Bot Gardens 30/4 several in the national park on 1/5 (seen and heard) and
2/5 (heard only)

NI Boobook (Morepoke) 1 spotlit near intersection of Red Bluff Tck and Bird
Rock Tck and 3+heard on 25/4. The original pure female is gone and 1 pure NZ
remains so this was almost certainly a hybrid

Sacred Kingfisher Small numbers (1-5 per day) on NI, 4+ on Phillip Is 4-5/5

Welcome Swallow Small numbers (5-20 per day) on NI, 20+ on Phillip Is 4-5/5

Blackbird Common on both NI and Phillip Is

Song Thrush Small numbers (1-4 most days) on NI, 1 on Phillip Is 5/5

Scarlet Robin Small numbers (1-6 per day) on NI but only in the national

Golden Whistler Small numbers (3-10 per day) on NI but only in the national

Grey Fantail Small numbers (4-10 per day) on NI but only in the national

Grey NI Gerygone Small numbers (5-10 per day) in all vegetated areas on NI

Silvereye Common in all areas on NI, 20+ on Phillip 4-5/5

Slender-billed White-eye Common in the national park(10-40 per day) but not
seen elsewhere

Goldfinch 20+ near Mt Pitt, several others in farmland on NI

Greenfinch 20+ on Phillip Is 4-5/5

Chaffinch 1 adult male on Phillip Is 4-5/5 (1st record for Norfolk?)

House Sparrow Common on both NI and Phillip

Common Starling Common on both NI and Phillip

Total species for the trip 55

Rohan (and Brent)

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