Saturday, April 10, 2010


6 April: NEW CALEDONIA: Owing to our bonus trip up to Mt. Koghi the day
before, we were eager to tick the remaining endemic species of this very
large island. Wake up call was at 3 am and we were landing by 4:30 am. It
was a 45 minute ride by bus to the entrance of Parc Provincial de la Riviere
Bleue. There, we met with the ranger for another 40 minute ride to a washed
out bridge, walked across the bridge, and another 20 minute ride to reach
the primary forest. Finally, our guide played the tape of Kagu, a night
heron sized bird that walks on the forest floor. This great rarity appeared
from deep inside the forest! This was to be only one of the prize birds of
the day, however. After a lot of effort, we all saw the enigmatic and
declining Crow Honeyeater!! Other highlights of the day included: Whistling
and Brahminy Kites; Rainbow Lorikeet, New Caledonian Parakeet, Glossy
Swiftlet, Sacred Kingfisher, Melanesian and New Caledonian Cuckoo-shrikes;
Green-backed White-eye, Silver-eye, New Caledonian Crow (with a tool!) and
Red-throated Parrot-finch. Very reluctantly, we boarded our bus to leave the
park. A shout for a stop was made to see the final endemic "tick"— the New
Caledonian Goshawk, perched on a small tree! We had recorded every single
one of the endemic birds of New Caledonian— which has never before happened
on this tour! Although not everyone saw every species most of us saw the
bulk of them. I only missed one species. What a most rewarding and
adventurous day we had.
Debi Shearwater, at sea in the Western Pacific

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