Birding Notes Fiji

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Birding Notes Fiji
From: "Albert Vrielink" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 21:38:45 +0200
Dear Aus-birders,

The following are some bird trip notes about Fiji. After my partner
and I left Australia we went to Fiji for two weeks from 6 July until
19 juli 2007. Our destination was the Garden island of Taveuni and the
island of Nacavu in the Yasawa island group. It was our holiday in the
first place but in between sightseeing, lazing at the beach and
fantastic snorkeling, I sneaked out a few time for some birding. The
bird guide I bought was 'A guide to the birds of Fiji & Western
Polynesia from Dick Watling'.  You can find a list of my sightings at

In Taveuni we stayed at the too expensive Garden Island Resort. Nice
rooms, comfy and the food is average. The place is oke but too
expensive for what you get. If you want to stay in Taveuni try the
more basic hotel /restaurant The Bakery in the town of Wairiki very
close to the junction to Des Voeux Peak. Great food for a fair price.
We didn't try the hotel.

Birds I saw around the Garden Island Resort were seen within walking
distance  (3km). Common species like Fiji Goshawk, Pacific Swallow,
White-collared Kingfisher, Silvereye, Polynesian Thriller,
Orange-breasted Myzomela, Common Mynah, Jungle Mynah, Vanikoro
Broadbill, Australian Magpie and Spotted Dove were seen every day. Red
Shining Parrot, Purple Swamphen, Fiji Woodswallow, Collared Lory,
Banded Rail are not uncommon but I saw them irregular. In front of the
resort above sea I saw Eastern Reef Egret (grey and white morph),
Lesser Frigatebird, Crested Tern, Black-naped Tern and Brown Booby.

One morning (09/07/07) we did the Vidawa Rainforest Hike with a local
guide. He was very knowledgeable and  will tell you lots about the
history of his people, the rainforest and some birds. Good for birders
and non-birders. New species I saw during the hike were Barking
Pigeon, Orange Dove (after a few attempts), White-rumped Swiftlet,
Streaked Fantail, Slaty Monarch, Blue-crested Broadbill, Golden
Whistler (gorgeous bird; shouldn't this be a full specie?), Lesser
Shrikebill and Wattled Honeyeater. At the end of the hike we dipped in
the fantastic Bouma waterfalls.

Birding highlight was the morning (11/07/07) up Des Voeux Peak with
birdguide Boro. This guy is very knowledgeable and is a pro. Ask for
him in Garden Island Resort. He lives in Wairiki. Tip: it is cheaper
to hire him direct instead of via the resort.  We saw the most wanted
Silktail! Lovely little bird. In total we saw three birds that morning
but it can vary between almost zero (Boro doesn't stop until he finds
you one) and 10. Other highlights / new birds were many Orange Doves,
White-throated Pigeon, Island Thrush, Fan-tailed Cuckoo (call only)
Fiji Bush-warbler, Scarlet Robin (subspecie of full specie?), Fiji
White-eye, Fiji Parrotfinch and the Giant Forest Honeyeater.

After Taveuni birding was sort of over. In Nadi we stayed at Stoney
Creek Resort close to the hills 15 minutes northeast of Nadi
International Airport. Great place, fantastic food, very much
recommended as a stopover place. Birdwise nothing new but quite a few
Fijian species can be seen aroudn the resort ( Fiji Woodswallow,
Vanikoro Broadbill, Fiji Parrotfinch, Collared Lory). Next stop was
Oarsman Bay Lodge at Nacavu island, Yasawa. This is beach and snorkel
life deluxe. We loved this place. Only new bird for my Fiji lsit was
Pacific Harrier. From the deck of the Yasawa Flyer I saw several
seabird species I couldn't identify unfortunatley.
Fiji is a fantastic place for a holiday and a little birding! The
Fijian people are among the most friendliest I have ever met.

Thanks to those Aus birders that gave me advise on birding in Fiji! Do
not hesitate to comment or ask any question about the above birding

Albert Vrielink (back in Holland)

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