Trip report, Lord Howe Island

To: <>
Subject: Trip report, Lord Howe Island
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 00:21:20 +1000
Hi all,

Please see below Euan Fothergill's  excellent trip 
report from Lord Howe Island, 2008. Sounds like a great trip (I'm jealous), I 
wish I was there.

Tim Dolby


Trip report, Lord Howe Island, 23/03/2008 - 30/03/2008

Common name     Status

Black duck.      A small group mostly at Ned?s beach, all seem to have some 
degree of hybridisation with mallard

Providence Petrel.      Large numbers have arrived and swirl around Mt Lidgbird 
and Gower in the afternoon. Not breeding yet.

Kermadec Petrel.        A few seen at Ball?s Pyramid of both dark and 
intermediate phases, one intermediate phase seen at Little Island.

Black-winged Petrel.    Three seen at Ned?s beach, one at Mt Eliza.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater.        Common on Ball?s Pyramid and Admiralty Isles 
boat trips, a few seen from shore.

Flesh-footed Shearwater.        Common off Ball?s Pyramid and Admiralty 
Islands. Some found at night inland from Ned?s beach.

Little Shearwater.      About fifty birds seen out from Admiralty Islands

White-bellied Storm Petrel.     Common off Ball?s Pyramid, one seen off 
Admiralty Islands

Red-tailed Tropicbird.  Common around coastline especially cliffs, still 

Masked Booby.   Common off shore, adults still seen at breeding isles, most 
juveniles have fledged

White-faced Heron.      A few birds seen

Swamp Harrier.  One bird seen around Mt Transit, and not seen again.

Nankeen Kestrel.        A few birds seen

Buff Banded Rail.       Common and often very tame

Lord Howe Island Woodhen.       A few birds seen, very tame.

Purple Swamphen.        A few birds seen

Bar-tailed Godwit.      Three birds seen at airport, one in breeding plumage. 
Eight birds seen at North Bay.

Whimbrel.       Five birds seen around airport, one in breeding plumage. Other 
birds as singles in most open areas and a few on tidal rocks.

Wandering /Grey-tailed Tattler. Two birds seen around North Head, one was 
identified as a Wandering.

Ruddy Turnstone.        Common around coastline and at airport, many in 
breeding plumage.

Red-necked Stint.       Two birds at the airport

Pacific Golden Plover.  About fifty birds around airport, many in breeding 
plumage. About a dozen in grasslands behind Old Settlement Beach.

Double-banded Plover.   About twenty birds around airport, more arriving, some 
still in partial breeding plumage.

Masked Plover.  A few small groups.

Sooty Tern.     Still reasonably common, a lot being juveniles.

Common Noddy.   Common around coast and on boat trips.

Black Noddy.    Not at breeding site (Norfolk Is pines at North Bay), but some 
still seen, mainly on Ball?s Pyramid trip and around North head.

Grey Ternlet.   Common around cliffs and on boat trips

White Tern.     Common, in last phase of breeding cycle, only a few birds yet 
to fledge.

Emerald Dove.   Moderately common in and near settled areas, reasonably tame.

Sacred Kingfisher.      Quite Common mainly around coastline

Golden Whistler.        Common

Magpie Lark.    Common

Pied Currawong. Common, some are quite tame

Welcome Swallow.        Common

Lord Howe Silvereye.    Common

Common Blackbird.       Common

Song Thrush.    Only two birds seen around Ned?s Beach road and Lagoon road

Common Starling.        Only one sighting of six birds in pasture inland from 
Hunter Bay.


Like its sister island Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island is not a cheap place to 
visit, flights, food and restaurants are particularly expensive. We stayed at 
the Hideaway Apartments and would happily recommend them as spacious clean and 
well appointed units. It would be worth checking some of the other places that 
offer free bicycles as we had to pay $ 45 for their hire for the week. Bicycles 
are a necessity to get around; a car is not, so long as you are reasonably fit. 
There is a plethora of walking tracks to tramp, many to an interesting view. 
Mt. Gower is by far the most interesting as it transits through the different 
vegetation layers to the magical cloud forest at the top, but it is a very 
strenuous walk up the steep track.
Snorkelling is highly recommended, the water is quite cool, but the reefs offer 
some stunning wildlife, from sharks to turtles to many endemic fish. Ned?s 
beach is the easiest to reach; boat trips will take you to others.

There are as many boat trips as there are walking tracks, and in a week it is 
not possible to do everything. We chose three trips. The most important was to 
Ball?s Pyramid, at $100pp for the afternoon it is not cheap, but it is the best 
place to see the Kermadec Petrel and the White-bellied Storm Petrel, with 
additional good sightings of the Flesh-footed Shearwater and Providence Petrel. 
It is also the trip that seems to turn up the most vagrants. A Tahiti Petrel 
was seen the week before we arrived and a White-necked Petrel the trip after we 
went. Ball?s Pyramid is a wonder to behold in itself. We did a trip out to the 
Admiralty Isles to view the Little Shearwater, and also spotted the Wandering 
Tattlers on this trip. We did the full day trip to North Bay; this included 
guided walks with Ian Hutton. Ian was of invaluable help to us throughout our 
stay, we found him to be approachable and knowledgeable. He is easiest to find 
at the museum, and is to be found on many trips, I would recommend that you 
attend any trip that he is part of.   He provided insightful comments on the 
important challenges of pest and weed control, and of managing water and waste 
on the island.

In addition to the bird species listed above, we had sightings of the Eastern 
Forest bat (frequent at dusk in settled areas), black rat, house mouse, Oceanic 
bottlenose dolphin (in the lagoon, off the east coast and near Ball?s Pyramid), 
rainbow skink (a common, introduced skink) and the Green turtle.

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