Maureen Mott, Jim Standing, Fran Standing, Jillian
Tour leaders: Philip Maher, Patricia Maher
Taxonomy follows Christidis and Boles (1994)
Chicken Gallus gallus: many seen, mainly near
areas of habitation. Some birders believe these birds are Red Jungle Fowl but
there seems too much variation in the population for this to be the case. Some
males did resemble the ancestral Red Jungle Fowl but it is obvious that much
Phaethon rubricauda: moderately common around coast, nesting in cavities,
e.g., Greta Beach. One fully grown young on the road near Settlement was rescued
by Jim and taken to the National Park headquarters. We were told that most that
fall from nests do not survive, even those fully grown.
Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus race fulvus (Golden Bosunbird):
this delightful bird was quite common and seen everyday. Pairs were seen doing
spectacular tail chases above the rainforest canopy and elsewhere, no nests
seen. Approximately eight of the white phase seen in various locations.
Booby Papasula abbotti: c20 in trees nesting and flying along road
SW of Poon Saan on March 14, a small number seen flying and nesting in trees
in the vicinity of LH4 lookout on March 16. Fairly localised, not seen elsewhere.
Red Footed Booby
Sula sula: Common all around the island; nesting in rainforest, e.g.,
behind golf course.
Sula leucogastera: Moderately common around coast, some probably nesting
at Margaret Knoll.
Fregata minor: Common, seen throughout the island. Many dipping into
a small pool of rainwater near The Dales turnoff; also at the casino pool -
Fregata minor: Uncommon, few seen at various locations, e.g., casino,
golf course, The Dales area.
Fregata andrewsi: Common, seen at many localities, also seen dipping
into a pool of rainwater with Great Frigatebirds near The Dales turnoff. Nesting
colony in rainforest behind golf course.
Egretta novaehollandise: two only, seen at golf course.
Heron Egretta sacra: Two or three dark phase birds Flying Fish Cove.
Two dark phase birds at Dolly Beach
Nycticorax caledonicus: One bird at springs on track to Greta Beach.
Ardea picata: One bird seen feeding at pool near fountain in the casino
Goshawk Accipter fasciatus natalis: This distinctive race is awaiting
elevation to full species status. One pair seen with nesting material about
one kilometre west of LB4 Lookout. Less barring and paler on breast than Brown
goshawk, fairly square tail. One beautiful, immature bird seen near Grants
Well, incredibly tame.
Falco cenchroides: moderately common, seen at various locations. About
10 seen near airport.
Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus: This species proved quite difficult
to locate (possibly because they had finished breeding and it was becoming drier)
and not seen until the 4th day. An adult pair with a large juvenile was eventually
located feeding around steel grinders at a mine pit site at the road junction,
about one kilometre SW of N.P.H.Q. A lovely chestnut colour around vent area.
A downy juvenile (different bird) was seen in the same area on the previous
Gallinago stenura: Possibly heard this species calling near the airport
Actitis hypoleucos Two at Flying Fish Cove.
Anous stolidus Moderately common, seen in various locations - Dolly Beach,
near golf course. About 10 pairs nesting at Greta Bay and about 30 seen at Fly
Chalcophaps indica: Moderately common in rainforest
Imperial Pigeon Ducula whartoni: Common, in all areas of rainforest.
Their distinctive call is synonymous with this habitat.
Hawk-Owl Ninox natalis: This delightful owl is now rightfully elevated
to full species status, [J.A Norman, et al (1998), Emu 98 (3):197-208] Excellent
view of one bird at golf course at night, two or three others calling nearby,
smaller than Boobook and more chestnut; a particularly small head. Also one
calling near the airport at night.
Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta: Common throughout the island; white in outer tail feathers.
alba: Two adult males which appeared to be of the race leucopsis
seen in a defunct quarry beside the airport runway. The birds were calling to
each other. Their plumage blended in with the black and white stones in the
quarry. These birds were possibly on migration because when I returned 20 minutes
later they were not to be found (much to my groups annoyance) despite
an extensive search. This appears to be the first record of White Wagtail for
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Passer montanus: Moderately common around Settlement area.
Java Sparrow Lonchara
oryzivora: Moderately common around areas of habitation, about 50 seen in
various locations around Settlement and golf course.
Barn Swallow Hirundo
rustica: Maximum of 14 sitting on power line near conveyor belt, smaller
numbers at rubbish tip and airport
Asian House Martin Delichon
dasypus: Maximum of 15 seen on the 17th March at the airport, not seen prior
to this. Only seen in flight but believed to be this species. Very white rump,
grey breast band (difficult to see), dirty white belly, white throat and chin
contrasting with dark cap.
Christmas Island White-eye
Zosterops natalis: Very common in all forested areas.
Island Thrush Turdus
poliocephalus: Common, seen in most rainforest areas, e.g., The Dales area
and road to Greta Beach.
Brown Shrike Lanius cristata: This species was shy and secretive and only one brief view was had. It was seen in a thicket opposite the golf course where it had been located by R Farnes, and others, in early January 1997.
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