Trip Report, Castaway Island, Fiji

To: <>
Subject: Trip Report, Castaway Island, Fiji
From: "Frank Hemmings" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 10:16:57 +1000
Hi All,

Just returned from four days at Castaway Island in the Mamnuca chain, Fiji. 
Species in bold are lifers.  I had a copy of "Birds of the Fiji Bush", and also 
Pratt et al's "Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific".

At Nadi Airport on 7/9 I walked out into the carpark and saw Red-vented bulbul, 
Common Mynah, Jungle Maynah (a few), Red-faced Parrot Finch (tame and 
conspicuous, not like Blue-faced PF in Australia), and Wattled Honeyeater.  I'm 
glad I did, because this was the only place I saw the last three species.  Also 
added Polynesian Triller to my trip list when walking aorund the same area 
whilst waiting for the plane on return yesterday.

On Catsaway Island itself, I saw the following:

Brown Booby
Lesser Frigatebird
Eastern Reef Egret (all dark morphs)
Fiji Goshawk
White-throated Pigeon
Spotted Turtle-dove
Collared Kingfisher (Sacred Kingfisher according to taxonomy used in Pratt et 
Pacific Swallow
Red-vented Bulbul
Vanikoro Broadbill (Vanikoro Flycatcher in Pratt et al., appropriate since this 
is a Myiagra flycatcher)
Slaty Flycatcher
Orange-breasted Honeyeater
Common Mynah
Fiji Woodswallow (Pratt et al. treat this as a race of White-breasted 

Given that Castaway was a small island, but that it was reasonably densely 
vegtated overall, I wasn't quite sure how many species or which to expect.  
"Birds of the Fiji Bush" inidicated a number of species which were common and 
either widespread throughout Fiji or were foudn in the Mamnucas generally, but 
were absent from Castaway, such as Collared Lory, Red-faced Parrot Finch and 
Wattled Honeyeater.  Conversely, Slaty Flycatchers were stated to be absent 
from the Mamnucas but were present on Castaway.

On the return journey I caught a launch back to Denarau harbour on Viti Levu, 
then back to the airport at Nadi.  On the approach to Denarau Harbour I scanned 
mudflats and saw lots of Pacific Golden Ploversa single Bar-tailed Godwit, a 
Tattler (prob a Wandering Tattler), and nearby was a wader which was either a 
Bristle-thighed Curlew or Whimbrel (again couldn't tell which).  The most 
amazing site of all didn't quite register as significant at first - a 
White-faced Heron flew over the path of the boat in the channel.  Turns out 
that there has only ever been one confirmed report of a White-faced Heron in 
Fiji! Cheers.


Frank Hemmings
John T. Waterhouse Herbarium
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of New South Wales

Tel +61 2 9385 3274
Fax +61 2 9385 1558

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