Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The WPO: Guadalcanal

We had to make a change of plan. We were supposed to go to an island in the Makira group of islands, but the chief of the village had just died & it wouldn't have been appropriate for us to visit. So we headed for the main island in the Solomon's: Guadalcanal.

Even Worldbirders need
 a rest sometimes!
We are all up at 04.15 am on the 18th April. We are anchored in Honiara Bay, waiting to go ashore in the zodiacs. It is dawn as we land, Pacific Swallows hawk over the beach & a flock of Singing Starlings we in a nearby tree. Once we were all ashore, we jumped in a bus for the slow & rather bumpy trip up the track that leads to Mount Austin. This is one of the old & famous bird collecting locations of the late 18th century on Guadalcanal. It proved to be still good today!

 The track to the famous Mount Austin

Solomon's Sea Eagle

Our local guide Gerry spots a perched Solomon’s Sea Eagle & we all enjoyed good views.

 Ultramarine Kingfisher
 This can be a tricky species to see - but not today!

Just after, a pair of Ultramarine Kingfishers put on a show for us by the side of the track.

Buff-headed Coucal

Then it was time to walk down the steep track, we could see forest on all the surrounding hills with higher altitude specials which were out of reach for us on this trip. However, there was plenty to see. I managed seventeen new birds in a hot & sweaty morning.

Ducorps' Cockatoo

Blyth's Hornbill

Claret breasted Fruit Dove

Soloman's Islands Cuckooshrike
Yellow-eyed Cuckooshrike
Midget Flowerpecker

Forest clearance is an issue here, 
like in many places.

As we climbed back up the track we managed to see two great species; the prehistoric looking White-billed Crow & Pied Goshawk, but alas no photos. What a way to end off a brilliant morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment