We're currently sat at the international terminal at Xmas Island airport
kicking our heels so we thought we'd jot a few notes on our week here. We
decided to come in the Dry to get Ju away from the Hobart winter for a few days
and so missed out on the peak migration season.
We stayed in a self contained house which had everything going for it apart
from the location behind the port loading facility but at least it was close to
Smith's Point and had close views of Golden Tropicbirds from the verandah.
We saw everything that we set out to, although the hardest birds to locate
turned out to be the introductions, Waterhen and Java Sparrow. We spent far
more time than is reasonable at the tip on a holiday looking for Waterhen. We
decided that we have been to better classes of tip around the place but as Ju
out, it probably improves in the Wet!
Java Sparrow, much searching only produced two birds outside the dive shop next
to VQ3 Lodge. We did look in all likely habitat without success elsewhere.
White Breasted Waterhen, another one we had to search for extensively and only
had a brief view of one bird in some leguminous weed opposite the entrance to
the Phosphate Hill Cemetery on Quarry Road.
CI Goshawk, some excellent views of juveniles and adults, at the tip and on
several roadsides. We had an extremely close encounter on the Dales walk when a
juv landed in a tree about 2 foot above Ju's head affording some excellent
CI Hawk Owl, we had help from Lisa for this one and caught up with one
spotlighting near the airport. We did check out the golf course without success.
Abbotts Booby, again we saw a few nesting but there weren't huge numbers
and the lookouts recommended were generally
overgrown as the reveg was growing fast.
We saw 3 Great and one Intermediate Egret at the golf course but other than
that no other migrants, not a surprise given the time of year.
Plenty of crabs around for further photo opportunities and lovely coastal
scenery. There is extensive baiting on the island so maybe it will give some of
the birds a chance to recover in time, we hope so. 13 new lifers for us and a
very pleasant week,
Debbie and Julian
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