Lord Howe Island

To: "'Peter Madvig'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Lord Howe Island
From: "Mark and Mandy Young" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 17:56:30 +1100
G'day Peter,

Thanks for the great write up on Lord Howe. My wife and I were only just
discussing the other day about taking a trip there in September or October
this year, so this is very timely. Thank you.

Mark Young

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Peter Madvig
Sent: Friday, 27 February 2009 3:06 PM
To: birding-aus
Subject: Lord Howe Island

Hi birders,

Returned from a family trip to Lord Howe a couple of weeks ago. I have
hesitated in writing anything about this lovely trip, as it seemed rather
flippant at the time......we went over there on Saturday 7th, and only heard
about the awful fires on the Monday!!

However, I now think I should pen a few words.
This was our first "summer trip", as we'd visited in July 2000. My hopes of
now seeing the summer birds was amply fulfilled. Gorgeous White Terns, some
still with chicks on their vertical branches around the settlement and
flying about the pines; Sooty Terns, including lots of equally handsome
juveniles,at roosts on Ned's Beach (our favourite), Blinky Beach off the
eastern end of the airstrip, and North Bay, as well as up Mt. Eliza - where
you only go so far so as not to unduly disturb nesting birds (but, high
enough to enjoy wonderful views south over the Lagoon towards Mts Lidgbird
and Gower). First experienced at Ned's Beach were stunning Black-winged
Petrels flying in pairs in sweeping arcs over cliffs and beaches and water
and ME, calling out!

Up to Malabar lookout and along the cliff face, with wonderful views of
soaring Red-tailed Tropicbirds, seen close up at Old Gulch and later off
Blinky Beach, as well as beautifully framed from Clear Place Point, towards
Balls Pyramid mystically beckoning in the distance, as they performed their
aerial courtship manoeuvres. Indifferent Masked Booby passed by very close. 

A magical seabird cruise one afternoon (the first permitted by weather and
wave conditions for nearly two weeks - phew) with Ian Hutton and Jack Shick,
took us clockwise around the Island, past the Admiralty Islets and close
below the towering cliffs of Lidgbird and Gower, and out to Ball's Pyramid.
Just awesome!!! We were treated to dainty White-bellied Storm Petrel;
Kermadec Petrel in variable phases, and lots of Grey Ternlet. A call went
up: White-necked Petrel, but I just couldn't get a good enough view of it.
Wedge-tailed and Fleshy-footed Shearwater came readily round the boat, and
the latter were amazing to watch later at dusk off Ned's Beach, as they came
flying in past you to their burrows and roosts, flopping down under the
palms and setting off a mournful, wailing greeting from their young!

You don't need to climb Mt. Gower to see Lord Howe Woodhen, the most
noteworthy of the land birds. Two talks by Ian Hutton at the Museum, and one
by postmaster Phillipps (mainly aviation), emphasised the superb "back from
the brink" conservation efforts taken to preserve this species.

There is a wonderful plant life on the island and splendid fish and turtles
on the corral reefs, but that's another story. Travelling round on bicycles
and just walking allows you to enjoy superb views while getting in some

Feel free to contact me for any information required, off list.
Peter Madvig

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