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.
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
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
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
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
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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