If you're heading to Xmas Island...

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: If you're heading to Xmas Island...
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 05:42:50 -0800 (PST)
Hi everyone,

If anyone is heading to Christmas Island soon, I have a mission for you!

There is a vagrant raptor present, seen by myself during my last minutes on the 
island. Having passed the security checks to board my flight to Perth I noticed 
a large brown raptor wheeling over the runway, which then proceeded to land in 
the grass. 

From the views I was able to get (and after being denied access to the tarmac), 
the most likely candidate for it's ID is an immature / female Eastern Marsh 
Harrier (Circus spilonotus or C. aeroginosus spilonotus depending on your 
taxonomic preferences). There are no birders on the island at the moment, 
though Eric Sohn Tan is very knowledgeable about the birds there and is a world 
class photographer (see his fotos of the Red Collared Dove that I found there 
recently and the Fairy Pitta from Derby). He is trying to locate this bird, 
though he is busy being the local doctor so does not have a great deal of time 
(and doesn't have binoculars!!).

If anyone is heading there soon, this bird really needs to be found and 
identified. I know that Richard Baxter is going there on the 24th Feb and is 
looking for others to join him. Hopefully this bird will still be there!

If anyone wants to have a look at a distant foto of the bird, see:

Trip report to follow soon.

Mick Roderick

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