Niue Birding Notes

Birds of the islands and waters of the South Pacific.
Tim Barnard
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: Okere Falls

Niue Birding Notes

Postby Tim Barnard » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:25 am

Hi
Spent an enjoyable week on Niue at the start of June. I'm slowly uploading data into eBird but here are a few notes for interest. No surviving endemics but a couple of endemic sub-species of Polynesian Triller and Polynesian Starling. We had planned to do a pelagic but a combination of huge swells, gusty winds and small boats put paid to that.

White-tailed Tropicbird – very common on the ocean and particularly in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area (50).

Great Frigatebird – 7 confirmed birds but probably more. Interestingly all the frigates appeared later in the week after a rain storm – Uluvehi (5), Makefu (1) Ana’ana Point (1).

Lesser Frigatebird – surprisingly the more common of the two. Approximately 14 birds at various locations and dates – Uluvehi (7), Anapala Chasm (3), Makefu (3), Ana’ana Point (1) – admittedly they could be the same birds circling around the island.

Eastern Reef Heron – singletons of the dark phase on several occasions at Makefu, Opaahi, Avatele, Uluvehi. One white phase at Makefu ocean track.

Feral Chicken – abundant. Some of the ‘wildest’ chickens I’ve seen anywhere. Occasionally in the forest, well away from habitation.

Buff-banded Rail – quite secretive compared to Samoa. Four singletons Tapeu-Porritt Road and Alofi-Liku Road. Most reliable bird was at the southern end of the golf course early morning.

Pacific Golden Plover – quite good numbers and seemingly loyal to specific locations on the island. A mixture of plumages - Avatele (2), Tuapa (2), Liku (5), Hanan International Airport (28), Toi (2).

Wandering Tattler – one seen on several occasions at Makefu.

White Tern – common both over the island and on the ocean. Largest count 80 at a boil up off Uluvehi.

Brown Noddy – common inshore and occasionally over the forest.

Brown Booby – five seen flying across the Bay off Avatele, then seen as singles on floating buoys in the bay.

Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove – Very common everywhere.

Pacific Imperial Pigeon – Occasional in suitable habitat – quite difficult to approach.

Polynesian Triller – Very common.

Polynesian Starling – Very common.

Barn Owl – one bird in the early evening flying across Tapeu Porritt Road near Tamakautoga.

White-rumped Swiflet – very common all over the island.

Cheers

Tim
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Polynesian Triller
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Polynesian Starling
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Lesser Frigatebird
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