Saturday, 16 May 2015

The WPO: Kolombangara Island.

Kolobangara Island

The active volcano!

It is 20th & it is dark! I am on the gantry waiting for a zodiac to take me to Ringgi on Kolombangara Island. Everything goes to plan & we climb up on a flatbed truck to take us to the Imbu Rano Lodge. 

David & Arthur.
Did I mention it was raining?

One of the brief moments when it wasn't raining!

The veranda at the lodge.
There are some Pale Mountain Pigeons 
here somewhere!
Yellow-eyed Cuckooshrike

This area is mid- altitude forest on the edge of a vast caldera – pretty impressive scenery! The only problem is, it is pouring with rain! And it rains & rains throughout the entire morning. In fact it is a real deluge & costs us many new birds. This place is a red hot location & even though we do well under the worst of conditions we miss a lot of stuff! I didn't take my camera out because of the bad conditions.
Best birds were: Roviana Rail (heard); Red-knobbed Imperial Pigeon; Island Imperial Pigeon; 85+ Pale Mountain Pigeon; Meek's Lorikeet; Duchess Lorikeet; Crimson-rumped myzomelia; Northern Melanesian Cuckooshrike; Rufous Fantail (a future split)?; White-capped Monarch; Solomon Islands White-eye & Long-tailed Mynah.

 Terrible light but.......
Heinroth's Shearwater
 Until a few years ago this species 
was virtually unknown.

 One of the big seabird stars of this trip.

We set sail & a few terns are seen including huge numbers of both Brown & Black Noddies and large numbers of Common Terns. The undoubted highlight were four Heinroth’s Shearwaters, which is a virtually unknown species

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