Saturday, April 17, 2010


13 April: KOLOMBANGARA ISLAND is a classic volcanic cone which is 30 km
across and rises to 1770 m. Most of the lowland forest was felled below 400
m by 1990. We made an afternoon Zodiac landing at the site of a Seventh Day
Adventist College. Two walks were on offer: one climbing a steep, muddy hill
and one around the campus of the college through a small secondary forest. I
opted for the second walk and was not disappointed. Here I caught up with
several of the archipelago endemics which I had previously missed: Pied
Goshawk, Buff-headed Coucal, White-capped Monarch, Mackinlay's Cuckoo-dove,
Red-knobbed Imperial Pigeon, Singing Parrot, Moustached Treeswift,
Melanesian Cuckoo-shrike and Singing Starling. A pair of Duchess Lorikeets,
endemic to this island were a quick fly-by. Finally, both groups met to
search for the Rovianna Rail. After trying many areas, including the village
itself (despite the numerous feral cats about!), and after extending our
time on shore, we had to give up the search to get underway, again. However,
on our return to the ship, Adam Riley of Rockjumper Bird Tours, called out,
"There it is!" I looked down a mowed patch in the midst of a tapioca garden
and saw the rail, dashing across the open area! Only one other person saw
it. Our leader, Chris, tried to tape it out into view again without any
success. We returned to our ship and got underway, once again.
Debi Shearwater, birding in the New Georgia Islands of the Solomon Islands

No comments: