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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Fiji (Viti Levu, Koro & Taveuni) October 2002,
We visited the above islands for a two-week holiday of which birdwatching was a large but by no mean sole purpose. Unfortunately unseasonable weather dogged our journey around the islands with only a few days without significant wind and rain. These conditions made birdwatching difficult, sometimes impossible, and probably account for the low species numbers by comparison with other trip reports.
Reports by previous visitors were very useful for identifying sites and additional behavioural or morphological information. Tony Clarke's report from 2000 was particularly useful and both it and others were subject to a cut and paste job to give the list below.
We took a number of field guides, but unsurprisingly we found Dick Watling's "A Guide to the Birds of Fiji & Western Polynesia" by far the most useful. The draw back of this guide is the paucity and inaccuracy of the illustrations. Perhaps the classic case being the Blue-crested Broadbill (Myiagra azureocapilla) whose red/orange bill is a distinctive field mark in most populations, but not in the illustration. The lack of multiple seabird illustrations is also a drawback. We used the Helm Field Guide "Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu & New Caledonia" (Helm 1999) as a supplementary reference.
What Watling's guide lost in illustrations was more than compensated in the text. Both the species description and the chapters were excellent. The latter placed birdwatching in a useful biogeographical and ecological context and provided the background necessary to understanding distributions and consequent conservation concerns. Some typographical and reference errors were annoying, but did nothing to detract from its value in the field.
Birdwatching in Fiji was certainly a more accessible business by comparison with other island environments such New Caledonia or New Zealand. However, the effects of habitat destruction and landscape fragmentation were all too obvious and the current discussions on the harvesting of mahogany plantations indicate the political climate continues to favour commodity resource extraction over value adding or service sector economic development. The political complexion of Fiji does not currently seem conducive to habitat conservation while its economy still under performs relative to underlying capacity. Tourism requires a substantial reorientation if it is to genuinely benefit the bulk of the population and therefore provide an incentive to increased conservation efforts.
The latter point appears particularly important as many of the 'iconic' endemic bird species live on the populous large islands rather than the resort areas frequented by higher paying foreign visitors. There have been some important initiatives such as Abaca and Bouma but the experience needs to be diffused and existing projects given further technical and financial support to grow to the next stage.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of Fiji is the retention by both major ethnic groups of their culture relative to other parts of the developing world. For Fijians this best exemplified in the strength of their language even if it's only the disarming use of the of the greeting "Bula"! Many Fijians can identify common bird species from their local name and a few, particularly farmers, can indicate some likely habitat. Increasing the strength of this knowledge through the schooling system and demonstrating its economic value are critical components identified by Watling (pp60-61) in conserving the islands' biodiversity.
Reinforcing the links between indigenous Fijian culture and physical environment it describes is only half the equation. Indo-Fijians show far less connection (for fairly obvious political and historical reasons) to the physical environment, but are clearly in a powerful economic position to influence it. This is not the least because they form a major component of the teaching resources and the commercial farming activity. The development of projects that demonstrate the practical social and economic benefits of conservation to this population may have spin-offs in other areas of Fijian society.
Itinerary and Sites.
This trip was not solely a birdwatching (twitching or otherwise) trip but an annual holiday in a new country. For this reason we tended to spend longer in places regardless of the birding opportunities and did not get to others (e.g. Kadavu) at all.
On arriving in Suva from Sydney we hired a car and drove anti-clockwise around Viti Levu returning to Suva after a week. From Suva it was a trip on the "SOFI" via the island of Koro, and Savusavu on Vanua Levu to Taveuni. We spent a week on Taveuni before flying back to Suva and then on to Sydney.
Our preference in accommodation was self-contained units in order to make the most of local food and give us flexibility. Fiji is much better equipped for this type of travel than say New Caledonia; suitable self-contained units were available in the F$45-80 price range throughout our time there. Value relative to cost was unfathomable! Some of the most expensive had plumbing failures and indifferent locations while others seemed unusually cheap. In part this reflects the damage to main island tourism as a result of the political instability since the coup in 1988 and the subsequent churning in ownership and clientele. We did not stay in any of the larger resorts or city hotels so it is hard to judge their value.
The details of the sites are well covered in Watling (pp233-241) and we won't duplicate this material. At the end of each site is a list of some of our sightings though not all.
1. Suva Point.
The start of this area is literally walking distance from the city and includes mudflats and mangrove stands. Well worth a few visits on the falling tide but given the length of coast (Suva city to Laucala Bay) and bird dispersal it is probably more efficient to take a car and pull over at will. Don't expect clouds of waders (they are probably mynas!) but rather small interspecific groups and individuals.
Pacific Reef Heron
Pacific Golden Plover
Great Crested Tern
This is an area of forest reserve/park above Tavua on the north coast. There is an easy short walk through the forestry station and village up to a series of small dams and thence on to the fire tower. The drive up from Korovou is scenic and has some useful birding spots on the last five kilometres in the native forest. Nadarivatu gave us our introduction to raucous call of the Masked Shining Parrot at close range. The Tavua Hotel provided a pleasant night in a definitely ageing colonial setting!
3. Saweni Flats.
This was probably the best wader site we encountered and worth a few visits at varying times. Drive south of Lautoka until the signposted turnoff onto a dirt road with tramlines through it. Follow the road to a shop and turnoff to the motel and go straight on until the next right over the tram tracks. The area is surrounded by disused cane fields and Indo-Fijian houses to the east and mangroves to the west. The pond to the right on the road to the crematorium we found to be the most productive on all visits but it may also be worth walking further into the mangroves.
Pacific Reef Heron
Pacific Golden Plover
Lesser sand Plover
Great Crested Tern
Pacific Black Duck
Saweni Flats Field Centre?
This area would make a useful project if the civic leaders of Lautoka could see their way clear to facilitate the establishment of a community maintained wetland. The above mentioned pond seems to be favoured by a broad range of species as a roosting site and it was not uncommon to see five or six species grouped on the small mud banks in the centre. This preference is despite the presence of substantial water borne garbage, drainage pollution, two boundary roads and a row of houses in clear view of the birds and must reflect some superior habitat qualities.
It would be interesting to see if some small sums of foreign aid (USD$45k) could be invested in fencing the first pond, cleaning the rubbish and providing a basic hide and screened walkways. All these are well within the capabilities of the immediate community of materials and education were provided. On the basis of F$10 fee per visit turnover may just be sufficient to cover maintenance and some incremental expansion. The proximity of the Saweni Motel (walking distance) could provide a further incentive for the area to be a locus for both birds and their observers. Such a project would also offer the opportunity to involve the Indo-Fijian population in a conservation activity with potential economic spin-offs (accommodation, food and beverages).
The increased security provided by both fencing the pond and some revegetation of its banks may also increase the species count over time and may also provide the facility for some re-introduction programmes (e.g. Porphyrio porphyrio vitiensis). These types of activities could also attract some donor funding or be the base to establish a Kula type facility for waders and seabirds. While the commercial sides of such ventures have an intrinsic economic and social value the real intention would be the use of such a facility as a point of education for schools in the populous Ba-Nadi corridor. This area also has some of the major tracts of mudflats and mangroves and therefore depositories of both wildlife (particularly fish breeding), sugar cane nutriment runoff and garbage. This is a useful combination for ecological education particularly if combined with injured seabird and wader rehabilitation (similar to Kula) where it is often possible to see up close and personal the effects of poor land management (dietary defects, plastic injuries etc).
The funding of such projects beyond some small-scale initial infrastructure (e.g. fences, hides and paths) is the perennial difficulty of developmental economics. On the education side there may be some interest in the EU and particularly Britain, perhaps especially after the decision to withdraw privileged access to their markets for Fijian sugar after 2007. On the development of a protected reserve area it may be possible to rope in Australian North American and Japanese interest on the grounds that Fiji is/could be a significant staging post for migratory waders.
The Miranda Shorebird Centre in New Zealand's North Island is a useful model of the type of facility and reserve approach that might work in this area.
This is a village in Koroyanitu National Heritage Park and an initiative by the landowners to integrate indigenous Fijian life into the ecotourism trade. It is well worth visiting and offers a few 2-5hour walks in partial forest interspersed with kava, dalo and fruit gardens. The road up is advertised as four wheel drive but apart from some wash aways and a creek crossing it was well within the capabilities of our Toyota Starlet (this was the case with a number of roads which must reflect either an obsession with 4WDs, European birth or both!). If this is not for you then there is a convenient local carrier who picks up from the hotels.
Many-coloured Fruit Dove
Fiji Bush Warbler
5. Nausori Highlands.
This area is heavily degraded, as Watling points out, by forestry and its camp followers. When viewed from the air the landscape exhibits a classical shredded pattern of strips of native forest along watercourses and roads with large clear fell or plantation areas giving a fragmented mosaic where native species are the losers. The shreds of remnant forest would appear to be too small to support long term populations. Many would be sinks for declining populations at the mercy of edge effects such as nest predation and competition. Those species requiring forest cores at least 500m from edges abutting plantation or farmland have probably got a grim long term future without some serious reforestation of large areas.
Hard to fathom are the large areas of slope and ridge above the cane farms, which have been clear felled but now lie covered in grass like some African veldt rather than replanted to forest plantation. One soon learns the complication of land ownership and tenure often explains apparently irrational land use patterns.
We found Nausori a little disappointing in terms of numbers of any particular species but this may have been the weather (high wind) as much as the above. As previous reports have said the two bridges and valleys 8-9km passed the village are particularly productive but require patience and some slow, neck cracking strolls. The bats make an interesting diversion.
Many-coloured Fruit Dove
Masked Shining Parrot
White collared Kingfisher
Wattled Honeyeater Silvereye
6. Sigatoka Sand Dunes and Kula Eco-Park.
Both are worth a visit. Kula is a great place to get up close and personal with species normally viewed through 8x30s and the iguanas. The facility is also interesting to those of us who rehabilitate native birds and the possibilities of developing wildlife based tourist ventures. The estuaries on either side of Korotogo are also good wader areas on a receding tide and there are good sightings to be had of frigate birds along this coast.
7. Colo-I-Suva Forest Park and the Pipeline and Waterfall Tracks.
Both these areas are well described by others but we thoroughly recommend Raintree Lodge as a base for exploration. This excellent facility is billed as backpackers centre but offers some of the best accommodation in Viti Levu and the possibility of seeing Giant Forest Honeyeaters, parrots and others from the comfort of your lodge. We did most of the walks directly from the Lodge and only drove to the Pipeline track. The most productive walks were along the entrance road and the Pipeline track.
Masked Shining Parrot
Blue -crested Flycatcher
Two shipping companies offer overnight transport to Taveuni from Suva and we opted for Consort Shipping's 'Spirit of the Fiji Islands'. The first class cabin was certainly not crowded though the food was ordinary and it was delayed by four hours (apparently a regular occurrence). As Watling indicates the birdwatching is sparse but we did get excellent views of a large number of Red-footed Boobys between Koro and Savusavu and the odd tern. Perhaps the highlight is opportunity to see a different slice of Fijian life amongst the passengers and crew of the ship as they stopped at various ports.
9. Des Voeux Peak and the Waiyevo area.
In hindsight we made an error by staying in Somosomo (Kabas Motel) as the area is readily accessible from the more attractive (particularly in terms of accommodation) Matei. We made a second error by attempting to climb Des Voeux in mid morning by foot! After reaching the forest about half way up we were too sweaty and tired to be interested and of course most of the birds had long since retired for siesta. Hiring a driver and vehicle to the summit before daybreak was, we were reliably informed later, the only way to do it.
10. Matei and the Little Dolphin Treehouse.
We had booked the above in advance and were delighted when we got there. The only room looks out over the ocean and is placed in a pleasant garden with resident Vanikoro Flycatchers, Kulas, Fiji Whiteeyes and land crabs. All shops and restaurants was an easy walk and there was some reasonable wader sightings from the veranda at low tide. Scott and Lalita (the proprietors) were fantastic hosts and pointed us to the Brown Booby colony off the coast. The Treehouse is spotlessly clean and has all you need in a self-contained house including fresh papaya and a sharp knife to cut it with!
Pacific Reef Heron
Pacific Golden Plover
Great Crested Tern
Many Coloured Fruit Dove
Red Shining Parrot
11. Bouma National Heritage Park & Vidawa Rainforest Hike.
The park is half an hour drive (F$40 by taxi F$2 by bus) from Matei along a coast road. The New Zealanders have done a great job in assisting to establish the tracks and a visitor's centre (they were also involved in Abaca) and we spent a pleasant morning climbing the waterfalls. Unfortunately torrential rain set in and prevented the bus from crossing a flooded river so it took some time to return to Matei. The walk up the waterfalls is not overly productive as it winds through secondary growth or edge areas so we left determined to do the all day Vidawa Forest Hike.
The Forest Hike was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip as it not only gave us views of Silktail and Orange Dove but also brought us in close contact with large tracts of old growth forest. We were accompanied by three guides all of whom had a comprehensive knowledge of their ancestor's use of the forest. The guides were also very adept at finding the Orange Dove through combination of call imitation and tracking skills. The trip was extremely good value when you consider that from the F$60 per head F$40 went to the taxi driver. The remaining F$20 covered lunch, drinks and afternoon tea with scones at the visitors centre as well as the guides time an expertise.
The walk is moderate in effort and entails a lot of mud and some creek crossings. There is plenty of time to sit quietly under the canopy and let the Silktails come to you, listen for the telltale click of the Dove or get told off by the Slaty Monarch.
The village has apparently forgone the temptation of easy money from the timber industry and opted to preserve the forest. While the Visitors Centre and the walks provide some income from this community investment, it is a trickle compared to the transport and accommodation services based in Matei which feed of it. Discussions with the guides indicated a strong interest in moving to the next level of providing accommodation in the village and perhaps the forest itself. Gaining a foothold in the transport would also increase revenues but entails more substantial capital outlays.
Despite the weather we had a very enjoyable time in Fiji and would return without hesitation. The birds certainly provide both raison d'etre and a way into Fijian life as most people will ask what you are looking for when you raise your glasses and this can lead anything from a discussion of politics to an invitation to dinner and kava or usually both!
Pacific Reef Heron
Red Shining Parrot
Blue -crested Flycatcher
Giant Forest Honeyeater
The following checklist contains notes and sightings which were cut and pasted from four different trip reports from 1995 to 2002. In the column marked 'Name' we have included the range of field guides in which an illustration can be found. Descriptions of all the species on this list can be found in Watling. Our sightings are the first with a date in the separate column and a selection of subsequent sightings. We are both extremely conservative in terms of sighting so those "that looks like a.." from a distance of 200 metres were not included. The name column reflects the range of titles used for the species.
[B] Birds of the Solomons.
[F] Birds of Fiji
(E) Endemic to Fiji
VL Vitu Levu
|Name||Our Sightings.||Date||Notes & Previous Sightings.|
| Gallus gallus (I)
RED JUNGLE FOWL
[P] [B] [W]
|Heard at the top of the ridge on Vidawa forest walk..||18/10||Extinct on VL.|
|Coturnix ypsilophora (I) BROWN QUAIL [P] [W]|
|Meleagris gallopavo (I) WILD TURKEY|
| Anas superciliosa
PACIFIC BLACK(Gray) DUCK[P] [B] [W]
|Both ponds in Saweni Flats. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10.||7/10||Garden Island resort on T. Saweni Flats /Lautoka area on VL.|
|Dendrocygna arcuata WANDERING WHISTLING DUCK. [P] [B] [W]||Presumed extinct.|
| Puffinus pacificus
WEDGE TAILED SHEARWATER [P][B][W]
|Offshore on Mamanuca cruise.|
|Pterodroma brevipes COLLARED PETREL [P] [B] [W]||Offshore on Mamanuca cruise.> Possibly in t in the channel between Taveuni and Vanua Levu.|
| Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi
FIJI PETREL [W]
|Gua only and extremely rare - 6 records since 1985|
|Pterodroma nigripennis BLACK-WINGED PETREL [B] [P] [W]||Uncommon.|
| Daption capense
CAPE PETREL [P]
|Pterodroma cervicalis WHITE-NAPED (necked)PETREL[P][B]||Uncommon.|
|Pterodroma inexpectata MOTTLED PETREL [P]||Uncommon.|
|Puffinus iherminieri AUDOBONS SHEARWATER [B] [P] [W]||No data.|
|Puffinus tenuirostris SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER [B][P][W]||In Australia during our visit.|
|Pterodroma rostrata TAHITI PETREL[M][W]||Near threatened.|
|Oceanites oceanicus WILSON'S STORM PETREL [B] [P]||May 1994 record only.|
|Nesofregetta fuliginosa POLYNESIAN STORM PETREL [B] [W]||No data.|
| Phaethon lepturus
WHITE-TAILED TROPICBIRD[P][B] [W]
|Rare and localised. Mamanuca cruise and off T.|
|Sula dactylatra MASKED BOOBY [P] [B] [W]||Off Garden Island Resort T in the evening. Also K coast.|
| Sula leucogaster
BROWN BOOBY [P] [B] [W]
|Roosting & possible breeding site on fourth island opposite Little Dolphin Treehouse, Matei T.||17/10||Off Garden Island Resort T in the evening. Also K coast and Suva Point VL.|
| Sula sula
RED-FOOTED BOOBY [P] [B] [W]
|Large numbers flying past wharf at Koro Island and on ferry from there to Savusavu.||13/10||Only on K. Matana Beach K.|
|Fregata minor palmerstoni GREAT FRIGATEBIRD [P] [B]||Mamanuca cruise. Also VL, T (Garden Is. Res.) & K|
| Fregata ariel
LESSER FRIGATEBIRD [P] [B] [W]
|Ellington Wharf near Raki RakiVL. - Saweni Beach VL 7/10. - Matei T 15/10.||5/10||Harbour at Vunisea, K, & Mamanuca cruise. T (Garden Is. Res. & Matei)|
| Ardea novaehollandiae
WHITE-FACED HERON [P] [B] [W]
|Saweni Beach VL. As noted by others this species seems to be expanding its range. - Saweni Beach VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd. 8/10 -Lomawai VL 9/10.||7/10||Previously treated as a vagrant but some birds are now resident in western VL. River crossing on the road to Nausori Highlands, small marsh near Nadi Bay & in the Saweni Flats/Lautoka area.|
| Egretta sacra
PACIFIC (Eastern) REEF HERON (Egret) [P] [B] [W] Belo
|White morph Holiday Inn in Suva VL. - Saweni Flats VL 7/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Korotogo VL 9/10. - Korotogo VL 10/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Suva Point VL 11/10. - Bouma T 15/10. - Matei T 15/10.||5/10||At Vunisea on K & white phase birds on T. VL Common on Suva foreshore & Denauru. Both grey & white morphs.|
| Butorides striatus
MANGROVE (Striated) HERON [P] [B] [W]
|In river at Bouma visitors centre T.||15/10||Widespread. On K in the bay on the east side of the airport. Tidal flats on T.|
| Circus approximans
SWAMP (Pacific) HARRIER [P] [B] [W]
|Vetakoula Back Rd. near Tavua on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Korotogo VL 9/10.||6/10||Recorded from both VL(Nausori High) & K but most common on the VL & T.|
| Accipiter rufitorques (E)
FIJI(Grey) GOSHAWK [F] [W] Reba, Latui, Waituitui, Tuitui
|Sigatoka Sand Dunes on VL. - Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 15/10. - Matei T 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||10/10||On all three of the main islands probably most obvious on K although also common on T (Des Voeux Rd.Vidawa, Taveuni Estate). It did not seem to be so numerous on VL (Nausori Highlands, Siagtoka, Abaca Rd., Coli-I-suva, Nausori).|
| Falco peregrinus
PEREGRINE FALCON [P][B] [W]
| Rallus philippensis
BUFF-BANDED RAIL [P[B] [W]
|On K, and at Taveuni Estate on T.|
| Nesoclopeus poecilopterus
|Last confirmed sighting 1973.|
| Porzana tabuensis
SPOTLESS CRAKE [P] [B] [W]
|No data. VL|
| Porphyrio porphyrio
PURPLE SWAMP HEN [B] [P] [W]
|Wiped out through mongoose predation.|
| Pluvialis fulva
PACIFIC (Lesser) GOLDEN PLOVER [P] [B] [W] Dilio, Dili-dilio
|Suva Point on VL. -Saweni Flats VL 7/10 - Korotogo VL 10/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10.||5/10||Airstrip at Vunisea, K & in the Saweni/ Lautoka and Suva Point area on VL.|
| Charadrius mongolus
LESSER SAND PLOVER [P] [B] [W]
|Saweni flats on VL. - Korotogo VL 10/10.||9/10||Mudflats near Suva Point VL.|
| Charadrius bicinctus
DOUBLE-BANDED PLOVER [B] [W]
| Numenius phaeopus
WHIMBREL [B] [P] [W]
|Two in mud off Suva Point on VL.||11/10|
| Numenius tahitiensis
BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW [B] [W]
| Numenius madagascariensis
FAR-EASTERN CURLEW [B] [W]
| Heteroscelus incanus
WANDERING TATTLER [P] [B] [W]
|Suva Point on VL. - Saweni Flats VL 7/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Korotogo VL 9/10 - Korotogo VL 10/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Suva Point VL 11/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10.||5/10||The Saweni Flats/Lautoka area, and Colo-I-Suvu, Suva Point VL. T near Matei.|
| Limosa lapponica
BAR-TAILED GODWIT [P] [B] [W]
|Suva Point on VL. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10.||5/10||Suva mudflats VL.|
| Heteroscelus brevipes
SIBERIAN (Greytailed) TATTLER [P] [B]
|Saweni wetlands VL.|
| Arenaria interpres
RUDDY TURNSTONE [P][B] [W]
|Saweni flats on VL. - Korotogo VL 10/10. - Suva Point VL 11/10.||9/10||Tidal flats near Lautoka also Saweni Flats & Suva Point on VL.|
| Tringa cinerea
TEREK SANDPIPER [B] [P] [W]
|One record only|
| Calidris acuminata
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER [B] [P] [W]
| Calidris alba
SANDERLING [B] [P]
| Sterna bergii cristata
GREAT CRESTED TERN [P] [B] [W]
|Suva Point on VL. - Saweni Flats VL 7/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Korotogo VL 10/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Suva Point VL 11/10. - Ferry to Savusavu 13/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10.||5/10||On all three islands & cruises. VL Suva Point. T Garden Is. Res. & Matei.|
| Sterna sumatrana
BLACK-NAPED TERN [P][B] [W]
|Offshore from Little Dolphin Treehouse on T.||17/10||Off Garden Is. Res., T & on the Mamanuca cruise.|
| Sterna anaethetus
BRIDLED TERN[P][B] [W]
|On the Mamanuca cruise.|
| Sterna fuscata
SOOTY TERN [P] [B] [W]
| Gygis alba
WHITE TERN [P] [B] [W]
| Anous stolidus
BROWN NODDY [P] [B] [W]
|Not common. On the Mamanuca cruise. seen VL & K.|
| Anous minutus
BLACK NODDY [P][B] [W]
|Not common. On the Mamanuca cruise.|
| Procelsterna cerulea
BLUE NODDY [B][P][W]
| Columba vitiensis
WHITE-THROATED (Metallic) PIGEON [B] [W]
|Nadarivatu Forest above Tavua on VL.||6/10||Common around the Nausori Highlands on VL (Tanoa Inter. Hotel). In the forest to the west of Vunisea on K. T Des Voeux Peak.|
| Streptopelia chinensis (I)
SPOTTED TURTLE DOVE [P][B] [W]
|Suva on VL. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Korotogo VL 10/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||The lowlands on VL & in the Garden Island Resort on T|
| Columbia livia (I)
ROCK DOVE [P] [W]
|Suva on VL. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Bouma T 15/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||Common Suva & Nadi VL.|
| Gallicolumba stairii
SHY (Friendly) GROUND DOVE [W]
|Curious chicken-like shape with fanned or cocked tail. Pinkish legs. Breast dusky-brownish with white at edge on lower breast. An immature found in the forest in the Qeleni Road area on T.|
| Ducula pacifica
PACIFIC (Imperial) PIGEON [B] [W]
|Vidawa Forest Hike T.|
| Ptilinopus porphyraceus
CRIMSON CROWNED FRUIT DOVE [W]
| Ptilinopus perousii
MANY COLOURED FRUIT DOVE [W]
|Abaca Village walk above Lautoka on VL. - Matei T 17/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10.||7/10||A strange parti-coloured looking bird, males not as yellow as the plate in Pratt. Fairly common around the Nausori Highlands & also west of Vunisea, K.|
| Ptilinopus layardi (E)
WHISTLING OR VELVET DOVE [F] [W] Soqeda, Kanedromo
|Greeny-yellow head, green plumage and yellow under tail coverts, loud whistled call rather like some of the calls of the Kadavu Honeyeater, In both areas of forest on K but seemed much more common in the forest to the west. Identify by call.|
| Ptilinopus luteovirens (E)
GOLDEN DOVE [W]
|Female in Nausori Highlands approx. 5km from village and male along Colo-I-suva park road on VL.||8/10 12/10||The plumage has a strange glistening quality and the call really is very like a small dog yapping. Nausori Highlands, Pipeline Rd. and Raintree Lodge VL.|
| Ptilinopus victor (E)
ORANGE DOVE [W]
|Males and females on Vidawa forest hike.||18/10||Primary forest, bird sits still so call is the key. >Bright flame orange dove with a greeny head and yellow wing edgings. Females very similar to female Golden Dove, with yellowish specklings on belly, yellow under tail coverts and tail with some yellow mottlings on the under surface. Bright green above with a paler green head, greenish eye ring and cere, bill tip seems to be dark. Vidawa guide located first bird. Male would appear less numerous than the female. Bouma/Vidawa, Des Voeux Peak, Qeleni Road T. Also Vanua Levu.|
| Ducula latrans (E)
(Peale's Imperial) BARKING PIGEON [F] [W] Soqe
|Nadarivatu walking track above Tavua on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Bouma T 15/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||6/10||Seen in forests where it sits on exposed branches. Seen on all three islands & a common species on all of them. Colo-I-Suvu park.|
| Phigys solitarius (E)
COLLARED LORY [F] [W] Kula
|Abaca village walk above Lautoka on VL. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. -Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 14/10. - Korotogo VL 10/10. - Korotogo VL 9/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||7/10||Common on all three islands. VL Nausori High. & Abaca. T Garden Is. Res, East Coast Forests & Des Voeux.|
| Charmosyna amablis
RED-THROATED LORIKEET (E) [W]
|Very rare and localised.|
| Prosopeia tabuensis (E)
RED SHINING PARROT [W]
|Kabas Motel & Little Dolphin Treehouse on T. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Bouma T 15/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||14/10||T form Maroon coloured underneath, blackish facial feathering, orange eye, blue primaries and blue in tail, a spectacular bird like a King Parrot type. Tail broad and rounded at the tip. Liked the taller trees lower down the mountain, flight slow and with deep flaps.> Fairly common on T De Voex Peak, Vidawa Forest, Taveuni Estate.|
| Prosopeia splendens (E)
CRIMSON SHINING PARROT [W]
|Very common on K, & even seen in the gardens in Vunisea.|
| Prosopeia personata (E)
MASKED (Yellow Breasted Musk) SHINING PARROT [F] [W] Kabote
|Nausori Highland Rd. in Valley 9kms past village on VL. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||8/10||In the Nausori Highlands and fairly common in the Colo-I-Suva VL.|
| Aerodramus spodiopygius assimilis
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFLET [P] [B] [F] [W] Lakaba, Kakaba
|Holiday Inn Suva on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. -Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 14/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||5/10||Numerous on VL & T (East Coast Forest, Taveuni Estate) but much more scarce on the other islands.|
| Cacomantis flabelliformis
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO [P] [B] [W]
| Eudynamys taitensis
LONG-TAILED CUCKOO [P] [B] [W]
| Tyto capensis
GRASS OWL [P] [W]
| Tyto alba
BARN OWL [P][B] [W]
| Todiramphus chloris
WHITE-COLLARED KINGFISHER [P][B][F] [W] Sese, Lesi
|On the road outside Korovau on VL. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 14/10. - Lomawai VL 9/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||Common on both VL T (Vidawa)|
| Hirundo tahitica subfusca
PACIFIC SWALLOW [P] [B] [F] [W] Kakabace
|On the road outside Korovau on VL. - Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 14/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. -Somosomo VillageT 13/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||Not very common with only a few recorded from all three islands. VL Common on small pond at Anchorage Beach Hotel.|
| Gymnorhina tibicen
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE [P] [B]
|Bouma village on T. - Matei T 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||15/10||Just two were seen on T (Bouma, Taveuni Estate)|
| Lalage maculosa pumila (VL) woodi (T)
POLYNESIAN TRILLER [B] [F] [W] Seasea
|Nadarivatu track above Tavua on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. -Des Voeux Pk.Rd.T 14/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||6/10||Common & widespread on all three islands. T (Vidawa Forest, Des Voeux, Garden Is. Res.)|
| Pycnonotus cafer (I)
RED-VENTED BULBUL [B] [W]
|Suva on VL. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||5/10||Abundant on VL & also recorded from the airstrip on Vanua levu.|
| Petroica multicolor
SCARLET ROBIN [P] [B] [F] Dri-qala
|Female on Nadarivatu track above Tavua on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10.||6/10||A male in the Nausori Highlands, VL (Abaca, coli-i-suva); a female on K & a male on T. Des Veoux.|
| Pachycephala pectoralis graeffi (VL) torquata
GOLDEN WHISTLER [P] [B] [F] [W] Kete dromo, Didibesau
|graeffi (VL) near Raintree Lodge. torquata (T) on Vidawa Forest Hike. Neither these or any other seen had complete breast bands and in T no band at all. Call varies substantially between islands and low congruence with calls in Australia or New Caledonia. Doubtful that mtDNA alone would split these satisfactorily. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||11/10 18/10||The Golden Whistler form on Kadavu has a white throat, and a narrow but complete black chest band, not well defined, broken up a bit but still complete. Yellow beneath with a greeny-grey back. The juvenile was entirely orangey, rufous orange above and orangey beneath. The Nausori male had no breast band, all yellow beneath and with yellow at base of bill. Birds on Taveuni had broken black breast bands and a yellow throat. Seen & heard on all three islands. Play back experiments showed no response to the calls of the birds on VL by either the T or K birds. Colo-I-Suvu|
| Clytorhynchus vitiensis (E)
FIJI(Lesser) SHRIKEBILL [W]
|Pipeline Rd. below Coli-I-Suva on VL. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Bouma T 15/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||11/10||Pale tips to tail feathers . Rather Phyllastrephus Brownbul-like, foraging among hanging bunches of dried leaves and keeping to mid-stratum. Rufous brown above, underneath paler but still very brownish but paler grey on throat with under tail coverts fawn, and contrasting with belly and flanks as per Pratt. Long dark rather warbler-like bill. Nausori Highlands VL (Colo-I-suva, waterfall track) T (Lavena Coastal Walk)|
| Clytorhynchus nigrogularis
BLACK-FACED (throated) SHRIKEBILL [B] [F] [W] Kiro
|The male a very striking creature indeed with a strange mournful whistled song. Very heavy black bill compared to Kadavu Honeyeater. Nausori Highlands, Colo-I-Suvu & Pipeline Rd VL, & in the forest on K. Also T.|
| Mayrornis lessoni (E)
SLATY FLYCATCHER (Monarch) [W]
|Park Rd. in Colo-I-Suva on VL. - Bouma T 15/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||12/10||Common in primary/secondary forest where it forages in parties and is easily located by its rasping call. An ashy grey bird reminiscent of Blue-grey Flycatcher in Zambia. Cocks its tail and drops wings, with harsh chattering calls. Bright white eye ring, white lores, clean grey above, underparts greyish white, sides of tail white with broad white tips to tail in fantail- like pattern. Underside of tail appears white with a black central stripe. Soft parts all dark. Fairly common on both K & T. Colo-I-Suvu|
| Mayrornis versicolor
OGEA (Verisicoloured) MONARCH [W]
|Ogealevu & Ogeadriki only.|
| Myiagra vanikorensis (E)
VANIKORO FLYCATCHER (Broadbill) [B] [F] [W] Sia sia
|Nadarivatu track above Tavua on VL. - Saweni Beach VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. -Somosomo VillageT 13/10. - Matei T 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||6/10||Common & widespread on all islands.|
| Myiagra azureocapilla (E) whitneyi (VL)
(T) BLUE-CRESTED FLYCATCHER [F] [W]
|whitneyi (VL)Pipeline Rd. below Coli-I-Suva on. azureapilla (T)Vidawa Forest Hike. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||11/10 18/10||Only in primary forest. Orange bill, and head pattern rather like that of a Blue Magpie. Juvenile was brownish above with pale tips to tail, and white crescents above and below the eye, with an orangey bill. Des Voeux Peak trail, T. VL Colo-I-Suvu, Waterfall track.|
| Lamprolia victoriae (E)
|Vidawa Forest Hike on T.||18/10||Foraging up and down along mossy trunks and branches in smallish stunted native trees. A smallish dumpy generally black bird, with metallic blue spangles on head and coming down onto throat, also centre feathers of tip of tail had metallic blue iridescence. Tail black and quite short with a buffish white area on central tail extending about 1/3 of way down and rounded at the outer end, a quite unique tail pattern. Lower back and rump silky white. Bill, legs and eye dark, chest also blue spangled like a breast band across. Rest of underparts smoky greyish-black. Call a high pitched whistle, quite noisy Essential to get under forest canopy. Vidawa forest walk on T and the Des Voeux Peak trail.|
| Rhipidura personata (E)
|K bird only.|
| Cettia ruficapilla (E)
bodiceps (VL) funchris (T)
FIJI BUSH-WARBLER [W]
|Abaca village walk on VL. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10.||7/10||Common & widespread in forest edge on VL, K & T. More often heard than seen. C.r.bodicaps commonly heard in C.r.Colo-I-suva. funchris heard and fleetingly seen.|
| Trichocichla rufa
|Last record 1973|
| Rhipidura spilodera (E) layardi(VL) rufilatralis(T)
STREAKED FANTAIL [B] [F] [W]
|layardi(VL) Nadarivatu track above Tavua. rufilatralis(T) Vidawa Forest Hike. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||6/10 18/10||Brownish above, pale tips to tail, white eyebrow, rufous wash on flanks dark streaks on underparts and whitish centre of belly. Nausori Highlands VL, otherwise fairly common on the Des Voeux Peak trail, T.|
| Turdus poliocephalus Tempestri
ISLAND THRUSH [B] [F] [W] Siwe
|Vidawa Forest Hike on T.||18/10||Two endemic races. T. p. layardi in the Nausori Highlands, VL where as on T T. p. tempesti was a common bird early morning on the Des Voeux Peak trail.|
| Artamus mentalis (E)
FIJI WOODSWALLOW [F] [B] [P] [W] Vukase, Vuase, Sikorere
|Verata Village on Kings Rd. to Raki Raki on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||Common on VL. Along the road through the forest at Nausori on overhead wires. T Vidawa Forest & Matei.|
| Aplonis tabuensis Vitienis
POLYNESIAN STARLING [B] [W]
|Nausori Highlands on VL. - Bouma T 15/10.||8/10||All three islands but probably most common on K. Nausori VL. T (Estate & Garden Is. Res.|
| Sturnis vulgaris (I)
EUROPEAN STARLING [B][P] [W]
|Only seen on one island. No data.|
| Acridotheres tristis (I)
COMMON MYNA [P] [B] [W]
|Suva. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||5/10||Common on VL, T & at the airstrip on Vanua Levu.|
| Acridotheres fuscus (I)
JUNGLE MYNA [P] [W]
|Suva. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||5/10||Common around Nadi on VL. Mixed flocks with common Myna but seen at higher altitudes.|
| Myzomela jugularis (E)
ORANGE-BREASTED HONEYEATER [F] [W] Delakula
|Nadarivatu village above Tavua on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Matei T 15/10 & 17/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||6/10||Common & widespread on all three islands. This small myzomela was quite common among coconut palms and hibiscus on T, scarlet rump, scarlet nape patch, scarlet throat patch bordered by black, clean broken white wing bars and black upperparts. In open canopy & gardens.|
| Myzomela chermesina
Rotoma Myzomela [W]
| Foulehaio carunculata (E)
WATTLED HONEYEATER [F] [W] Kikau, Sevau, Sovau, Kaisau
|Abaca village above Lautoka on VL. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Sigatoka Dunes VL 10/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||7/10||Common & widespread on all three islands, more confined to the forest on T (western forest and Des Voeux). Nausori VL.|
| Xanthotis provocator (E)
KADAVU HONEYEATER [W]
|K most common in the evenings in the mangroves on the eastern side of the airstrip.|
| Gymnomyza viridis (E) Brunneirostris (VL)
(T) GIANT FOREST HONEYEATER [F] [W] Kikau levu, Sovaulevu
|brunneirostris (VL)Pipeline Rd. below Coli-I-Suva. -viridis (T) Des Voeux Pk. Rd.T 14/10. - Raintree Lodge.VL 12/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||11/10||VL Abaca, Colo-I-suva, waterfall track, Rainbow Lodge & Nausori Highlands (the valley 9km from Nausori village). Small noisy parties on pipeline road. On T the Des Voeux Peak trail and Vidawa but birds quieter than VL.|
| Zosterops explorator (E)
LAYARD'S (Fiji) WHITEYE [W]
|Abaca village above Lautoka on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Vidawa T 18/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||7/10||Common in forests on VL, K & T. Nausori. Noisy foraging parties often with silvereyes.|
| Zosterops lateralis flaviceps
SILVEREYE [P] [B] [F] [W] Qiqi
|Thurston Gardens in Suva on VL. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Pipeline Rd. VL 11/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 12/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Vidawa T 18/10.||5/10||Common & widespread on all islands visited.|
| Amandava amandava (I)
RED ADAVAT[B] [W]
|Nausori airport on VL. - Momo VL 9/10.||5/10||Common on VL, scarce on K & not recorded on T. Grassland habitat.|
| Erythrura cyaneovirens
RED HEADED PARROTFINCH [B] [F] [W] Kulalailai, Midimidi kula, Regu tegu
|Thurston Gardens in Suva on VL. - Abaca walk VL 7/10. - Nausori High Rd.VL 8/10. - Saweni Flats VL 9/10. - East Korotogo VL 10/10. -Somosomo VillageT 14/10. - Colo-I-Suva Pk.VL 20/10.||5/10||A common & widespread species. In Nadi at the airport & even in the grounds of the West's Motor Inn. Small parties forage in grasslands and gardens. Is this the same bird as E.peallii of which smaller numbers seen in Grassland habitat?|
| Erythrura kleinschmidti
|Now extremely rare and localised|
| Padda oryzivora
JAVA SPARROW (I) [W]
|Rare and declining on VL only.|
| Passer domesticus (I)
HOUSE SPARROW [B] [P]
|Single 1973 sighting in Suva.|