Bird report - Bumboras Reserve, Norfolk Island [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

To: "" <>
Subject: Bird report - Bumboras Reserve, Norfolk Island [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
From: "Doolan, Craig" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2014 03:54:03 +0000
Bumboras Reserve is one of the reserves managed by the local Norfolk Island 
administration. It is located near the southern tip of the island and has a 
quite reasonable picnic area. It is quite small and can be walked around in 
just a few minutes. The road in has a warning about vehicle accessibility in 
wet weather, but in dry weather it is short, easy and able to be accessed by 
pretty much any hire car you'd get on the island. There are two things this 
reserve has that are in pretty short supply on Norfolk Island - running fresh 
water and safe and easy access to the shoreline.

The road in comes off farmland areas and I saw a pair of California Quail and 
chooks (Red Junglefowl if you wish) on the road verge on the drive in. The 
parking area is quite nice with tall pines surrounding it, including quite a 
bit of recent regrowth. I'd suggest the regrowth area is where they've 
eradicated the olive, as in other areas it form it usual impenetrable thicket. 
The small creek was partly choked with Typha and taro and I saw no waterbirds. 
Anything other than a Purple Swamphen (called tarla birds locally, and much 
hated) would have been a surprise.

The only endemic to be found was the Norfolk Island Gerygone, a few calling 
from among the pines. The endemic subspecies of the Sacred Kingfisher was 
present, a couple of birds calling, and the only other 'kind-of' native was the 
Silvereye. Ferals present included Common Blackbird, Common Starling and 
Crimson Rosella.

The seabirds started before I got near the beach with a lovely White Tern 
feeding a chick in a White Oak (Lagunaria patersonia) just above where I 
parked. More White Terns could be seen flying overhead, as could a few Sooty 
Terns. As I accessed the beach, more of both, plus plenty of Black Noddies 
flying around, as well as smaller numbers of Common Noddies. From the coast 
plenty of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters could be seen and there were plenty of 
burrows in the steep coastal slope. The slope was mostly native, with good 
amounts of Sporobolus virginicus, Wollastonia biflora, Phormium tenax, Cyperus 
lucidus (locally known as Moo-oo) and Achyranthes aspera, which I'd assumed was 
a weed, but apparently not, it was reminiscent of Snake Weed from north 

The beach gave great views back to Kingston as well of Nepean Island. Masked 
Boobies were flying around and nesting on Nepean, with a few a bit closer, 
including one flying right overhead. Several Red-tailed Tropicbirds were flying 
overhead, one quite low so I think it was nesting on the cliff face and a pair 
of Great Frigatebirds circled overhead. It is my understanding that frigatebird 
sightings have increased significantly in recent years - formerly a rare 
occurrence offshore, they are now regularly seen around the island.. I 
disturbed one wader on the rocks but couldn't get a clear look into the sun, 
judging by the size, probably a Ruddy Turnstone. Overall not a bad little site 
and worth a visit on a trip to Norfolk, is only for short while.

I have started a blog on the natural history of Norfolk island at if anyone is interested. It includes a selection 
of photos from the Phillip Island trip I posted a couple of weeks ago, and 
while not strictly limited to birds, they will feature pretty regularly.

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