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Pacific Islands - Fiji (1 Viewer)

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Anyone off to Fiji soon, or been within the last year or so?

Anyone got recent gen on accessibility of Long-legged Warbler site and/or directions?

Anyone know anything about seeing endemics on less visited islands in Fiji eg Cardinal Honeyeater on Rotuma (from Lonely Planet!!)?

Any other advice ? (hoping to go in May 09 for a month or so)

Cheers,

Larry
 

Chlidonias

Well-known member
I'm just answering this now so I can find it again later when I have more time to reply (if that makes sense)
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
The best advice is to give Dick Watling a call when you get there - he's in the yellow pages and was quite ameniable when we phoned. Unfortunately there was a coup on so couldn't get up in them there hills!!
 

Chlidonias

Well-known member
I think things may still be a bit touchy now after the most recent trouble (not that it usually affect tourists at all). There's been some large-scale flooding fairly recently too, so you may not be able to get into the centre anyway if the roads are still out.
 

Chlidonias

Well-known member
The Rotuma myzomela (honeyeater) is apparently common all over the island because there is no competition from other similar birds. There are also a few other Fijian birds there with endemic subspecies, and also an endemic gecko. There are only two flights a week to Rotuma (and a return flight would probably cost somewhere between NZ$600 and NZ$1000 because the island's a fair way from Fiji itself). You could either fly there, search for the honeyeater like mad and catch the same flight back to Fiji; or fly there and stay for a few days until the next plane out. The problem with the former is that it would be very easy to have spent a LOT of money flying there for nothing if you can't find the bird in time, and I have no idea how long the plane sits at the airport before heading back (I would assume about an hour or two). The problem with the latter is that the locals don't really like tourists turning up unannounced, but as far as I know they don't have phones or internet on Rotuma so I don't know how you'd arrange it in advance.

The Ogea monarch is found on two islands in the Southern Lau group east of Fiji. The only way there is by boat (Lonely Planet has details of the cargo ships that go there, fortnightly I think). It would probably be about a week or more to get there and back.

At Colo-i-Suva, Lonely Planet recommends caution due to aggression towards tourists from locals. I never met anything like this and I was wandering round by myself quite a bit, but a work colleague who went to Fiji last year was told that there had been a recent machete attack on a tourist family in the park so a bit of caution might be in order! Obviously most of the locals would never dream of doing something like this but there are bad eggs everywhere.

I sent you a PM as well
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
I'm sure you know that Taveuni is the only island without Mongooses, so is generally better for birds. We went to Fiji in Feb 2003, to meet our daughter on her round the world tour. We spent a few days on nananu-i-ra (a small backpackers island off the NW coast of Viti Levu) then flew to Taveuni for a week (so I could see Silktail and daughter could dive the rainbow reef) We both achieved these aims. I hired a 4WD for 3 days intending to drive up to the transmitter. It wouldn't make it so I eventually stopped and started walking - far too hot! Fortunately the telecomms workers drove up and I hitched a lift with them all the way to the summit! (There is a locked gate soon above the treeline). This made it a lovely walk all downhill back to the car (which by now had turned into a furnace!!). Apart from seeing Silktail, and a few others I hadn't seen elsewhere, there were not huge numbers of birds - maybe because of a recent Hurricane destroying all the island's fruit and probably much of the flowers too.
We drove down the east coast as far as you can go and I walked up into the forest to the second waterfall. Again hard work. But on the drive back north I saw 2 Banded Rails cross the road in front of the car - no sign of them as we drew up to the spot they crossed.
I recorded nearly 50 species in the fortnight. But at least we can now say we've been to a tropical paradise!!

Jon
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Could someone estimate how far it is in km up to the gate at the Silktail site, in case we end up walking /hitching?
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Hey mate, 5 or 6 if I remember rightly. There's a faint little track off to the right that disappears into the forest. All the goodies were seen in here and along the road here too. If you stay at any of the motels around they'll be able to sort out a lift up - just haggle 'em down. Our driver took bloody ages to get up there. Walk down was ok but fraught with comedy slips if it rains (which it does alot up there!). Reach the bottom and you can hail a cab or bus from the main road where there's a little shop that sold lovely lemonade ice lollies, just what the doc ordered!!
 

Chlidonias

Well-known member
an alternative to Des Voeux Peak (reached from the west coast of Taveuni) is the Vidawa forest hike on the east coast. The villages in the area have got together to protect the whole area, including both forest and reef, for eco-tourism. On the guided walk at Vidawa it is easy to see silktails and orange doves. I didn't see island thrushes though, which apparently are dead easy on Des Voeux.
 

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