Norfolk Island Trip Report
Janet and I spent a week on Norfolk Island from 5/3 to 12/3/2010. We had a
package which included airfares from Melbourne, accomodation and a hire car
for the week, for $1350pp.
The weather was fine and warm which was great for us but not for the
locals, as there hasn?t been significant rain for about 8 months.
I was lucky to get on to Philip Island on the last day before leaving.
Access is only permitted via a tour with Charter Marine, in the company of
an approved guide who was very knowledgeable. The tour is very weather
dependant, and the company is occupied on fishing trips on some days, so it
was touch and go, with trip confirmation only at 6.30am on the day. The
trip costs $145pp and leaves from Kingston at 7.30am, returning about 1pm.
This was the highlight of my week and I recommend it as a ?must do? for all
birders. Bookings should be made at least immediately on arrival, if not
before, with regular follow-up to maximise the chance of getting there. The
revegetation of the island is progressing well, but it is a slow process.
NI is a relaxing place for a holiday. It is very tourism oriented. The ½
day Island orientation tour was worthwhile and is included in most
packages. The other 2 organised tourist activities that we tried were
certainly ?not for us?. There are lots of places to eat out and we found 2
high quality restaurants that we particularly enjoyed, Dino?s and Hilli.
Birding in the National Park is good, with many tracks and lots of hills
through the beautiful pine dominated forest. There are many stunning views
of the rugged coastline around the island. Sea-watching from Cook?s
Monument and Rocky Point was particularly good. Bird Rock was also good but
with a long steep return walk.
This is a good time to visit, unless you particularly want to see Little
Shearwater and Providence Petrels, which arrive in winter. I only saw the
chicks of the White-necked Petrels on Philip Island; however the adults
were at the nest on the previous week. So perhaps a week earlier should be
A week was ample time to see all target species and to thoroughly cover the
Island, which is only 8km by 5km. We did 300km in the week.
Thanks to the authors of all previous reports on Birding-aus. These
provided ample data for trip planning.
For those who enjoy birding with a local guide, Margaret Christian is
available to assist.
7 species of butterfly were seen including the endemic Swallowtail. The
endemic Norfolk Island Gecko was also seen on Philip Island.
Details of all birds seen are listed below, with capitals being my target
species and subspecies.
NORFOLK ISLAND BIRDS 5/3 TO 12/3/2010
CALIFORNIA QUAIL: Recorded daily
Red Junglefowl: Recorded daily
Mallard-Pacific Black Duck hybrids: At Kingston and Millpond daily. No
Feral Goose: At Kingston and Millpond daily (Tickable in NZ but not Aus)
Red-tailed Tropicbird: Recorded daily. Close views on Philip Island.
Rock Dove: Recorded daily.
Emerald Dove: Recorded daily.
Wedge-tailed Shearwater: Common offshore on each visit to Rocky Point.
?On-ground? views after dark at Puppy Point.
Kermadec Petrel: 1 adult and 1 chick seen on Philip Island
WHITE-NECKED PETREL: 3 chicks and 1 egg on Philip Island. (Adults were in
attendance the previous week)
Black-winged Petrel: Recorded daily around the coast. Close views on
Great Frigatebird: Recorded daily. (Up to 10 birds at Cook?s Monument but
MASKED BOOBY: Recorded daily. Close views on Philip Island
White-faced Heron: Recorded daily.
Nankeen Kestrel: Seen at QE Lookout above Kingston and at Point Anson.
Purple Swamphen: Several seen on Island ½ day tour - not seen again.
Black-winged Stilt: 1 recorded daily on Chapel dam. Light shading patches
on head indicated it was just reaching maturity. White band across
shoulders ruled out hybrid Black/Pied Stilt
Pacific Golden Plover: 50+ birds at Kingston Common, many at Airport runway
and other paddocks.
Double-banded Plover: 1 bird seen once at Airport runway.
Whimbrel: Single birds seen: - opposite Simon?s Water; below QE Lookout;
and at Fishermans Lane.
Wandering Tattler: Close views of 1 bird at Point Hunter, 3 birds once at
Ruddy Turnstone: Recorded daily at Kingston. Once at Moo-oo Rock
Common Noddy: Recorded daily at Rocky Point, Cook?s Monument. Close views
on Philip Island.
Black Noddy: Recorded daily. Close views on Philip Island.
White Tern: Recorded daily.
Grey Ternlet: Recorded daily. Close views on Philip Island.
Sooty Tern: Recorded daily. Close views on Philip Island.
Crimson Rosella: Recorded daily.
TASMAN PARAKEET: 1 bird briefly seen and others heard half way up Old
Mountain Track on 7/3/10. These birds heard but not seen on 8/3/10
Good views of 2 birds feeding from pine cones at McLachlan?s Lane, at
6.30am on 9/3/10.
4 birds then 2 others seen flying over at Palm Glen at 11am on 9/3/10
Morepork: Not considered a target due to hybrid status. At upper junction
of Old Mountain Track and Mt Pitt Rd late on 9/3/10, 3 + birds responded to
my calls, 1 very close but not visible.
SACRED KINGFISHER ?vagans?: Recorded daily.
NORFOLK ISLAND GERYGONE: Recorded daily.
GOLDEN WHISTLER ?xanthoprocta?: Recorded daily in NP. Easily called in by
pishing and whistling.
Masked Woodswallow: 1 bird seen high in a pine tree when I first arrived at
the airport (I was birding while others waited in the transfer bus). Not
GREY FANTAIL ?pelzelni?: Recorded daily.
PACIFIC ROBIN: Recorded 4 times at different locations in the NP: - Bird
Rock Track, Old Mountain Track, Mt Bates Track and Marsh?s track (off Red
Silvereye: Recorded daily.
SLENDER-BILLED WHITE-EYE: Recorded most days in the NP. Also seen along
Rocky Point Rd.
Welcome Swallow: Recorded daily.
Common Blackbird: Recorded daily.
Song Thrush: Recorded daily.
Common Starling: Recorded daily.
House Sparrow: Recorded daily.
Common Greenfinch: Seen once near toilet block at Cook?s Monument.
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