Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The WPO: Rennell Island.

Rennell Island is the southernmost Polynesian island in the Solomon Island Group. It is dawn on 17th April & as I look out of my porthole I see land. This land is Rennell Island in the Solomon Islands. It is the largest raised coral atoll in the world, measuring 86 kms long by 15 kms wide. It is a new country for me with lots of new birds!

We take the zodiacs ashore; it is a wet, but easy landing on the beach.  While waiting for everyone to get ashore & assemble, I see five new birds in as many minutes. Great start!

The track from the beach into the interior.
Photo courtesy of Kat.

Finch's Pygmy Parrot

It is 7.30 am, but already incredibly humid as we toil up the steep path on to the plateau. The whole island is a raised coral atoll, so it is not that easy to land, as the wave’s splash high onto the sheer cliffs.

Photo courtesy of Arthur
Rennell Fantail
Bare-eyed White-eye
Rennell (Fan-tailed) Gerygone
Silver capped Fruit Dove
Rennell White-eye

Yellow-eyed Cuckooshrike

 Moustached Treeswift
Rennell Shrikebill

Birds were plentiful but quite difficult to get good views of, never mind photograph. 14 new birds fell into my notebook. Not a bad haul at all.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Me, Arthur & Maria
Photo courtesy of Arthur.

We returned to the ship at mid-day & set sail north for Guadacanal. Birding was very slow; in fact I saw one bird, a Wedge-tailed Shearwater all afternoon!

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