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A Report from

Tahiti and Moorea, Society Islands, Polynesia, 8th to 13th Novenber 2002,


Neil Osborne and Gillian Webster


8/11 Arrived Papeete in the early morning, from New Zealand, and transferred to a fairly grotty place in downtown Papeete. Day around Papeete.

9/11 Caught the ferry to the island of Moorea, 16km northwest of Tahiti and transferred to a rustic farmhouse at Haapiti in the island's interior, which we shared with some French families from Tahiti- it being a bank holiday weekend.

10/11 Explored the environs of the farmhouse on foot, including a spectacular mountainside.

11/11 Moorea- transferred to a bungalow on the coast.

12/11 Moorea.

13/11 Caught the ferry back to Tahiti,hired a small jeep and drove a very rough track through the Papeno'o Valley . Late pm caught flight to Easter Island.


Manu - Les Oiseaux de Polynesie.   A pretty basic booklet, in French, but with English and Latin names.

Site Guide
Where to watch birds in Australasia and Oceania : Wheatley.  A small section, but useful nonetheless.

Lonely Planet


This was a bit last minute, as we had been expecting to go to Fiji as our Pacific stopover. However, despite this we had a great few days in Polynesia- especially on Moorea, which is a beautiful volcanic island with spectacular scenery and gin clear seas with a coral reef around the island.

Tahiti was a little disappointing- but that may be unfair,as after a day in the uninspiring Papeete, we headed straight for Moorea. We did have a chance to see some of Tahiti on our last day when we drove through the spectacular, mountainous interior of the island, through the Papeno'o Valley on the roughest track I have ever driven- it took us eight hours to drive 30 km., but we did get Tahiti Kingfisher and Tahiti Reed Warbler as a reward!

Please contact me at for further information.


White-tailed Tropicbird
Red footed Booby
Tahiti Petrel
Tahiti Kingfisher
Tahiti Reed Warbler

Systematic List           E = endemic to the Society Islands

Tahiti Petrel  Pterodroma rostrata    
Good views of one from the ferry to Moorea on 9/11.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater  Puffinus pacificus    
One from the ferry crossing to Moorea on 9/11.

White-tailed Tropicbird  Phaethon lepturus    
Up to 6 birds around the valley below the farmhouse at Haapiti on Moorea on 9th and 10/11,  4+ near the west coast on 11th and 12th and 2 in the Papeno'o valley, Tahiti on 13th.   Superb.

Red-footed Booby  Sula sula    
10+ from the ferry to Moorea on 9/11 and c20 from the return ferry on 13/11.

Brown Booby  Sula leocogaster
One on 9/11, 1 on 10th and 1 on 13th.

Eastern Reef-egret  Egretta sacra
One on Moorea on 10/11, 1 there on 11th, with 3 there on 12th.

Pacific Black Duck  Anas superciliosa
5 on Moorea on 12/11 and 6+ on Tahiti on 13th.

Swamp Harrier  Circus approximans
Two Moorea on 9/11, 1 there on 12th.

Pacific Golden Plover  Pluvialis fulva
Two Moorea, 12/11.

Wandering Tattler  Heteroscelus incanus
Two on Moorea on 10th and 11th and 5 there on 12th.

Greater Crested Tern  Thalasseus bergii
Three from the ferry crossing to Moorea on 9/11.

Brown Noddy  Anous stolidus
20+ from the ferry crossing to Moorea on 9/11, 1 Moorea 10/11, 20+ there on 11th and 12th and 10+ from the ferry back to Tahiti on 13th.

Black Noddy  Anous minutus
c10 from the ferry crossing to Moorea on 9/11.

White Tern  Gygis alba    
Two over Papeete, 8/11, 10+ from the ferry crossing to Moorea on 9th, 2 on Moorea on 10th, 11th and 12th and 2 from the ferry crossing back to Tahiti on 13th.

Grey-green Fruit-dove  Ptilinopus purpuratus       E
6+ Moorea, 9/11, 2-3 there 10/11 and 6+ Tahiti, 13/11.

Peaceful Dove  Geopelia placida
Common around Papeete.
Introduced from Australia.

Tahiti Kingfisher  Halcyon venerate       E
One in the Papeno'o Valley, Tahiti, 13/11.

Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica
6+ on Tahiti on 13/11.
Very dark below.

Red-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus cafer
Common around Papeete.

Tahiti Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus caffer       E
One seen briefy in thick bamboo in the Papeno'o Valley, Tahiti, 13/11.
 Heard singing- a melodious, repetitive song, with ''churr'' notes interspersed.

Silvereye  Zosterops lateralis
Noted on both Tahiti and Moorea.

Common Waxbill  Estralida astralid    
Noted on Moorea.

Red-browed Finch  Neochmia temporalis
Noted on Tahiti on 8/11 and 13/11.

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin  Lonchura castaneothorax
6 on Moorea on 12/11.

Common Myna  Acridotheres tristis
Noted in Papeete.

25 species, 3 endemics.


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