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
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
http://naturalnorfolk.com/wp/ 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.
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit: