Lord Howe Birding

Birds of the islands and waters of the South Pacific.
les
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:28 am

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby les » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:27 pm

'resident birds' says it all from my point of view.A bird that has been displaced from its home by what ever means(weather,forest fires etc)and flowen long distances over large expanses of water would no doubt be grateful of a resting/feeding place,before making out for more suitable habitat in whatever direction.Whatever happens there must be a really high number of failiures before ever even getting within sight of here?The fact that some actually do make it ,I find amazing.
Pete McClelland
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Pete McClelland » Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Well sorry to say this is my last posting from Lord Howe for a while. While it may seem surprising to many of the more environmentally aware followers of this site, the rodent eradication here on Lord Howe has been put on hold while some additional community consultation on the project is undertaken. Unfortunately the level of support is not currently high enough to proceed as planned so while independent consultants try to identify the issues within the community and how to manage them I am heading back to NZ.

I am going to do a brief guide to birding on Lord Howe for Birding NZ shortly, NB this is not aimed to replace what can be learnt from doing some back ground reading esp Ian Hutton's Birds of Lord Howe Island - past and present, which gives a lot more detail than I will but just to pass on what I have found and to hopefully assist new borders to the island to make the most of their visit. - watch this space.

Things are still quite quiet here bird wise, nothing new to report - basically the same numbers of waders, still 5 cattle egrets and the Providence Petrels are definitely a highlight. The banded rails are starting to courtship feed while the locals woodhen pairs have kicked the chicks out of their territories- we had two young birds pass through our section recently which appeared focused on avoiding the residents and the single chick from our resident pair is having to find his own food.

I know of at least three NZ birders that are coming to visit LHI in the next couple of months and hope that they will add their observations to this site.
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Mig
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:13 pm
Location: Northland

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Mig » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:01 am

Truly sorry to hear this:( it sucks because its going to undo everything that has been done so far. Thanks so much for your blogs which i found so interesting that i'm going to LH in a couple of weeks time. I will certainly voice my concerns whilst there.
Pete McClelland
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Pete McClelland » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:03 pm

I’m back on Lord Howe for another stint and the birds are pretty much as I left them. Golden Plover, turnstones and a couple of whimbrel on the runway (apparently its been pretty bad this year from a pilots point of view with lots of migratory waders, but no bird strikes for more than 12 months). Good numbers of Golden Plover, turnstones and BT godwitts at North Beach. The white terns are finishing nesting but still quite a few around roosting in the Norfolk pines, while there are still a relatively small number of late sooty tern chicks still at their coastal colonies, with those that cant fly by this time probably not going to make it. Currawongs are making their presence felt with their early morning calls but in contrast the Golden whistlers are quite quiet. Also seen a few Emerald ground doves, one kingfisher (others heard but not seen) and a nankeen kestrel along with lots of woodhen and banded rail pairs with moderate to large chicks. Went out to Ned’s beach to watch the Flesh footed shearwaters come in – not in the league of the titi islands but still well worth the bike ride. Also watched a much smaller number of Wedge tailed shearwaters come in on the western side of the island by the lagoon. Masked boobies flying along the coast and tropic birds still soaring around the cliffs with brown noodies in the lower areas. Mallards and pukeko in the paddocks and on the golf course which are quite dry at present. I'll give some more details when I have more time to get around.
Pete McClelland
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Pete McClelland » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:20 pm

I've been here for a month now and watching as the birds change with the season. There are still a few late sooty tern chicks left at the colonies but they are dropping off fast while the Providence Petrels have started to arrive around the Southern Mountains. A family of Banded rail that started with five chicks has still got four which are large but still fluffy have our place as part of its territory. It appears that this is a good result as you usually only see one or two chicks with the parents at time of fledging. We also have at least 4 other rail visiting including one pair with 2 larger chicks and a very friendly/ hungry fledgling. This is quiet compared to a friend who has at least 15 rail and 5 woodhen in her back yard. The Red tailed tropic birds have also nearly all fledged but there are still a lot of adults flying around the cliffs. I've been doing some of the Birdlife Australia transect counts https://birdata.birdlife.org.au focusing on the ones frequented by waders - lots of golden Plover (over 200 today) along with turnstone, BT godwits, whimbrel in decreasing numbers. We had 2 Banded dotterel turn up for a couple of days last week and I got a flock of 10 Grey tailed tattler in one count (only a couple of single birds otherwise). Black winged petrel are much more common than during my previous visit with pairs flying over most of the island.
Wandoona
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:11 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Wandoona » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:33 am

I’m arriving Wed . Have been following your posts. Maybe catch up? Are you easy to find Peter?
Pete McClelland
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Pete McClelland » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:25 pm

I'm working at the Board on Bowker Ave - just go to reception and ask for me.
Wandoona
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:11 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Wandoona » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:32 am

Great walk thanks, Pete. First up kestrel, then LH currawong. At Gulch black and brown noddy then boom. White-tailed tropicbird. Not reported for 2 years there. Numerous RT tropic birds. Numerous white, sooty terns on North beach, 2 wandering tattlers and full plumage godwits, golden plovers and whimbrel. Golden whistlers on return. Later, providence petrels, black-winged petrels, grey-faced petrel, white-winged storm petrel, Kermadec petrels at Balls pyramid. Flesh-footed shearwaters and wedge-tailed SWs Lots of grey ternlets and masked boobies. I witnessed the crashing P petrels at the top of Mt Gower. With 90 species in NSW 2 days prior to visit there, a very rapid boost to actual lifers.
Pete McClelland
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Lord Howe Birding

Postby Pete McClelland » Mon May 14, 2018 6:49 pm

I'm now back on Lord Howe after 6 weeks in NZ and there is a noticeable change both in the weather (cooler- a relative term, and wetter) and the bird life. While there are still a few godwitts, turnstones and golden plovers around (along with half a dozen banded dotterel) the bulk of them have headed north. While there may still be the odd Whimbrel or Tattler I haven't seen one yet. The kingfishers have moved out of the forest to the coast and open country including taking up residence on the fence along the runway. The last of Fleshfooted and wedge tailed shearwater chicks are getting prepared to leave with many of the lighter ones washing up on the beaches or not even making it that far. Local naturalist Ian Hutton is assisting on a wider project looking at plastic ingestion by shearwaters necropsying dead birds to see what is in their gut. Fleshfooteds are apparently one of the worst affected by plastic and some young birds are totally full with the stuff so dont stand a chance.

There are still a few tropic birds around the cliffs and I've seen one white tern but the northern part of the island has gone noticeably quiet with regards to seabirds, although the Currawongs still ad their special calls to the ambiance of the place. I haven't got down to the Southern Mountains yet but from I experienced the last winter i was here I'm sure that it is the exact opposite with the Providence petrels in full steam.

The recent rains have filled the wetlands around the place including Mosely swamp - a slightly grandiose name for an ephemeral pond in the middle of a paddock which is frequented by ducks (mainly mallards) and purple galinule (pukeko) with a few migratory waders.
Aside from the banded dotterels I mentioned the only unusual birds I've seen so far are 3 cattle egrets, a reasonably common visitor but hadn't previously seen any this year

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