Monday, 21 December 2015

Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia - 21st November (Day 11)

After a sleepless night due to the humidity (mainly generated by six blokes in one room!) and the torrential rain we were up at 04:15 and went through the routine of getting ready for a day in the field with six blokes in one room and with one bathroom. We were out just after 05:00, picked up Vili and headed up to the Monasavu Dam area located towards the centre of the island  of Viti Levu to the north-west of Suva at 900m. The road was paved for the first few kilometres but was largely unpaved and as we sped along in the dark we were thankful we had hired Toyota Rav 4’s with a higher ground clearance. We arrived at our destination, after a brief stop for a singing Fan-tailed Cuckoo, at around 07:30 and very quickly our main target started calling, Long-legged Warbler, we went into the forest and viewed an area of dense scrub. Vili played a recording and the bird responded well moving in quickly, a few of us had a brief glimpse of the bird before it disappeared, it then spent the next hour or so circling us and we had no further views although the bird was fairly vocal. And then the rain set in and we retired to the car. AD ventured out into the rain and continued to bird seeing a fly over Golden Dove and going back in for the warbler he had further brief views. We decided to head back to try and get a view of the warbler but the rain got heavier and although I had a glimpse of the bird we stood and got soaked to the skin with little success. Villi drove us around the dam area showing some of the stake outs for various species for tomorrow morning while the rain lashed down. We then spent a while photographing moths around the dam guard station, the lights here had attracted thousands of moths including at least seven species of hawk-moth (there are 13 on the list for Fiji), some familiar such as Convolvulus Hawk and Silver-striped Hawk while others were stunning and less familiar. We decided to cut our losses and headed back down the hill to Manuel’s House, after tipping him 50 Fijian Dollars we birded around his grounds seeing Giant Honeyeater, Fiji Shrikebill, Fiji Parrotfinch and, new birds,  Golden Dove, Black-faced Shrikebill and Pink-billed Parrotfinch. We had just dried out and the threat of more rain sent us dashing for the car and heading back to our hotel.

AB staring into the bushes for Long-legged Warbler - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Convolvulus Hawk-moth - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Silver-striped Hawk-moth- Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Unknown Hawk-moth but possibly a variant of Silver-striped 
Hawk-moth - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Yam hawk-moth Theretra nessus - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

White-brow Hawk-moth Gnathothlibus erotus eras - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Psilogramma jordana  (a Hawk-moth) - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Daphnis placida torenia (a Hawk-moth) - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Unknown Emerald-moth - Monasavu Dam, Viti Levu, Fiji

Black-faced Shrikebill - Manuel's House on Road to Monasuva Dam, Viti Levu

Giant Honeyeater of race brunneirostris - Manuel's House on Road to Monasuva Dam, Viti Levu

Lesser Shrikebill - Manuel's House on Road to Monasuva Dam, Viti Levu

Golden Dove - Manuel's House on Road to Monasuva Dam, Viti Levu

Links to other days of the trip