Weekend in Samoa

Subject: Weekend in Samoa
From: Charles Hunter <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 18:39:43 +1000 (EST)

Hi all,

Weekend in Samoa? Yes literally. Leaving Sydney 6.00 pm on Saturday 28th May arriving 4.00am on Saturday 28th (the day my friends wedding, you cross the date line) at a place called Maninoa which is south on the island of Upolo (45 mins from the capital Apia).

During the wedding celebrations on Saturday, Sunday and on Monday morning before flying home I managed to do some birding. The following were observed:

Land birds:

Blue-crowned lorikeet (Vini australis): 3 seen

White-rumped swiflet (Collocalia spodiopygius spodiopygius): several observed flying around lagoon.

Wattled honeyeater (Foulehaio carunculata): 3 seen

Cardinal honeyeater (Myzomela cardinalis): serveral seen

Samoan starling (Aplonis atrfusca): endemic, 1 seen

Flat-billed kingfisher (Halcyon recurvirostris): several seen

Samoan fantail (Rhipidura nebulosa): endemic, several seen

Polynesian triller (Lalage maculosa): several seen

Buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis): 40+ seen, many on or along road sides. Locals referred to these birds as ?road runners?.

Shore birds seen:

Wandering tattler (Heteroscelus icana): 1 seen

Pacific reef heron (Egretta sacra).Several grey morphs seen. Referred to by us as Eastern reef egret which I have previously seen both white and grey morphs on Heron island.

Non-natives seen:

Jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus): 3 seen

Common myna (Acridotheres tristis): several seen

Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer): 40+ of these birds seen which are apparently causing chaos for the native birds. They are more common than Indian Myna?s in Sydney!

I heard but did not see any of the regions pigeons or doves such as the unique looking Tooth-billed pigeon which is unfortunately in danger of extension. I didn?t make it into the mountain rainforest to look for these and other birds such as Samoan triller and Samoan white-eye.

 Other birds where seen but not identifiable.

I left to fly back home at 10.30am Monday 30th May arriving home at 6.00pm on Tuesday 31st May.

Samoa was a tropical paradise. Kind and friendly people. Pristine beaches. I will be back again once Virgin Blue starts flying from Australia from next year.

Going out to watch the rugby test against Samoa tomorrow now has a little more meaning!


Charles Hunter

Kings Cross, Sydney

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