BIRDING IN MELANESIA: 3 May – 1 July 1999Participants: Neil Bostock, Keith Turner, Barry Wright, Jon Hornbuckle
Melanesia - the Bismarck Archipelago (in PNG) and the Solomon Islands (Fig.s 1 & 2) - holds a remarkably high number of restricted range and globally threatened birds. Indeed the Solomon Islands EBA (Endemic Bird Area) with 79 restricted range species has more than any other and the New Britain and New Ireland EBA is ranked 6thet al 1998). The Solomons, a relatively small land mass, has 41 threatened / near-threatened species, most of which are endemics. Hence this rarely birded region is of prime interest and importance - in recent years only Dave Gibbs and Guy Dutson have made prolonged trips here. (Stattersfield
Although much forest remains, very little is protected and it has been disappearing at an alarming rate, primarily due to logging and population expansion. The situation has improved recently in the Solomons as the current government, with Australian aid assistance, is trying to curtail much of the logging sanctioned by the previous corrupt administration, but the political situation is highly volatile.
Neil Bostock, Keith Turner, Barry Wright and I visited the region to find as many of the birds as possible in the time available. It was a tough trip, involving much trekking up and down mountains and inter-island travel by small plane or boat, but we were rewarded by seeing most of the specialities, including several species rarely seen before. We survived two serious problems - a robbery and a capsized boat - and one frustration, namely inability to venture into the mountains of Guadalcanal due to ethnic violence. The only other birders seen during the entire trip were two Americans at Gizo!
We saw 114 of the 136 restricted range species possible, ie excluding Bougainville and Santa Cruz species, the main omissions being 8 on New Britain and 7 on Guadalcanal - see appendix A.Sightings included Black-headed and Black-faced Pittas, Solomons Sea-Eagle and Heinroth’s Shearwater. I had 125 ticks, plus 7 in two mornings in and around Varirata NP near Port Moresby.
We all flew to Port Moresby from Australia and back there on a Pacific airpass - $220 a leg, ie same cost to/ from Sydney (JH) or Cairns (others) despite the large difference in distance. I had flown to Sydney with Singapore Airlines at a very good rate (£532) and was highly satisfied with them – they even allowed me to change my flight back to a Brisbane departure instead of Sydney as ticketed, for no charge. There are flights to Port Moresby from several Oz cities and Singapore but the only access to Honiara is from Brisbane, Port Moresby or Port Vila (Vanuatu).
In Melanesia we flew with Air Niugini, Airlink, Islands Nation Air in PNG (£415 excluding Mussau) and Solomon Airlines (£276), booked through WildWings. The Solomon flights were discounted for being on an airpass bought outside the country – we were able to change dates without problem, although some dates were unavailable as flights were full. The PNG flights were not on an airpass as it was not worthwhile; the tickets could have been bought at the airports (as indeed they werefor Mussau). All flights were OK except one (Silur – Rabaul) cancelled due to bad weather, and rarely late by more than 30 mins or so. Most were fairly full but rescheduling a week or more ahead was usually possible.
In the Solomons Honiara is the hub, with few flights between other islands. The only exceptions are the outer islands of Santa Cruz, via Makira, and the Shortlands, via Gizo, both of which we thought of going to after the Guadalcanal trek fell through but could not arrange due to unavailability of suitable dates. Reconfirm flights in Honiara or at the Solair office inside the domestic terminal, where there is also a bank for changing cash and traveller’s cheques – cash from credit cards is available in town.
We hired taxis, trucks and boats, used PMVs (public minibuses) and hitched. Costs were quite reasonable, the only major expenses being the dive boats to Tench and Ranongga/ Vella Lavella. The only real problem was “Melanesia time” – pre-arranged early morning departures could be anything up to an hour late! We did not use the inter-island ferries as, although cheap, they are infrequent and long – the only one worth considering really is Honiara – Auki (Malaita), as this runs most days.
We stayed in a variety of hotels, lodges etc, village houses and buildings, and camped. Except for the Hoskins Hotel, the only acceptable place there except for the even more expensive Walindi Resort, costs were reasonable with a maximum of £6 per person per night, and quality was generally good. We can particularly recommend the Anglican Church Resthouse (irrespective of religious beliefs), our safe haven in Honiara - $10 a night with cooking facilities and fridge. The Granville Hotel, Port Moresby, was close to the airport, secure and quite reasonable at £20 a double.
Expenses were less than anticipated, particularly as we only paid custom fees, for land-access, on two occasions. We expected to have to pay this frequently but it was only requested on Makira (equivalent to £7 total) and Taron, New Ireland where we paid £21, half the asking price, to go up Mt Agil.
Food was mostly unexciting and often rather basic, eg tinned fish, rice, noodles, taro and biscuits, but rarely in short supply. Coconut crab on Rennell was very tasty (but should be refused if possible as the population is in serious decline due to over-harvesting) and there were some good restaurants in the bigger towns.
The people were generally very friendly and helpful throughout and many spoke good English. We did encounter 3 serious problems:-
Most of our belongings were taken from a locked building on Mussau, where we had been told there was not a security problem but later learnt that the St Matthias Islands (a stronghold of Seventh Day Adventists) are totally lawless – the police station having been burnt down some 10 years ago, the prisoners released and policemen departed and not replaced. Some items were recovered but not the majority.
A small boat capsized as we came in to land on Isabel, due to the only incompetent boatman we encountered. Although we all survived without serious injury, valuables were lost or damaged, with no possibility of replacement.
Serious ethnic violence was in progress on Guadalcanal so that we could not go into the mountains there and the Mount Austen area of Honiara was potentially dangerous – we were stopped by armed vigilantes one evening but were not detained. There was still a State of Emergency in force when we left the Solomons.
There were no field-guides available at the time of our visit except Hadden’s on the North Solomons, although one covering the whole of the Solomons by Doughty, Day and Plant is to be published later in the year. Beehler and Pratt’s New Guinea guide does not include the Bismarcks and is of little use as few mainland species occur here. The only real help is Coates’ excellent but large 2 volume opus. Guy Dutson is preparing a field-guide for the whole of Melanesia but this is unlikely to be available for some time. As for sites, Wheatley (1998) is useful as is Buckingham et al‘s Cambridge report and there are a few trip reports, but details are fairly sparse. Stattersfield et al.’s EBA book is helpful, especially for elevational ranges.
The most difficult identification problem is the smaller accipiters, namely how do you tell Imitator from Pied, and New Britain Sparrowhawk brachyurus and Slaty-backed from Variable, especially immatures and sub-adults? Although we tried to convince ourselves we had seen eg brachyurus, we were not able to confirm anything other than Pied and Variable. Otherwise, the problems are not irresolvable provided some homework has been done especially on rails, pigeons, myzomelas and munias.
We had the usual birding frustrations, eg both Manus and Russet Hawk-Owls only called occasionally, and hardly responded to tape, whilst known roost sites of Fearful Owl were unoccupied. The probable way to see the critical Yellow-legged Pigeon was only discovered (by KT) on our last morning at Hauta, too late for JH and BW to benefit.
The weather was very hot and humid throughout, the only respite being when we were high in the mountains. Heavy showers were not infrequent but prolonged rain was rarely encountered. The main rainy season is November – March/ April. Two significant earthquakes were experienced, when the road shook like a jelly. We had few health problems, tropical ulcers being the only major concern. We took Larium throughout, with no ill-effects, but saw surprisingly few mosquitoes, the only real nuisance being tiny biting ants at a few localities. However, both Barry and I contracted malaria, which started in late Sept / early Oct. This was the benign Vivax form – Larium is said to be good at preventing the dangerous Falciparum but perhaps a different prophylactic should be taken for Vivax.
Visas for PNG were obtained in London – I posted my application to the PNG High Commission, who claimed to have never received it, hence my passport was lost. I took the new one to the London office and received it back the same day with visa, costing £7. Contrary to all advice, they can be obtained on arrival at Port Moresby airport, for a similar price, although it takes a little longer to get through immigration this way. Visas are not required for a month in the Solomons. Australian visas are electronic, ie invisible, and issued freely if you go personally to their High Commission. Agents charge between £7 and £15 for the service.
Both currencies were dropping like a stone during our time there, ie by more than 20% in the 4 weeks in each country, so it paid to minimise exchange at any one time. Banks would change cash or traveller’s cheques – we took US$$ but I think sterling, and certainly Oz$$ would have been OK. Hotel exchange rates were diabolical. Cash from credit cards was easily arranged at banks in the Solomons but more time-consuming in PNG. Foreign currency is rarely acceptable anywhere.
Beehler, B.M., Pratt, T.K. & Zimmerman, D.A. 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton Univ. Press.
Buckingham, D.L., Dutson, G. & Newman, J.L. Report of the Cambridge Solomons Rainforest Project 1990.
Coates, B.J. 1985 & 1990. The birds of Papua New Guinea Vols 1 and 2. Dove Publications.
Collar, N.J., Crosby, M.J. & Stattersfield, A.J. 1994. Birds to watch 2. BirdLife International.
Doughty, C., Day, N. & Plant, A. 1999. Birds of the Solomons, Vanuatu & New Caledonia. Christopher Helm.*
Finch, B.W. 1990. The Aplonis starlings of the Solomon Islands. Muruk 1: 3-17
Gibbs, D. 1996. Notes on Solomon Island birds. Bull. B.O.C. 116: 18-25
Gibbs, D. 1996. An annotated check-list of the birds of the Solomon Islands. Unpublished.
Hadden, D. 1981 Birds of the North Solomons. Wau Ecology Institute, PNG.
Stattersfield, A.J. et al. 1998. Endemic Bird Areas of the world. BirdLife International.
Wheatley, N. 1998. Where to watch birds in Australasia & Oceania. Christopher Helm.
*published after our trip, useful for Solomons, with reasonable plates but poor maps, brief text and many errors.
Lonely Planet guides are useful but not essential.
Simon Cook Birding in Papua New Guinea: May 1984 – includes West New Britain
Phil Gregory Solomon Islands: December 1996. Sicklebill Safaris Report No. 1
Tony Palliser Papua New Guinea: July – December 1987 – includes West New Britain & New Ireland
Gerry Richards Solomon Islands: 29 June – 21 July 1996
Noah Lurang, New Ireland Culture & Tourist Bureau, PO Box 419, Kavieng, New Ireland, PNG tel 00675 9842441, fax 984 2254
Martin Kanai, Peter ToRot Conference Centre, PO Box 49, Kavieng 631, New Ireland, tel 984 2055, fax 984 2144
David Loh, New Britain Lodge, PO Box 863, Rabaul, East New Britain Province, PNG, tel 675 922247 or 982 1335, fax 923292 or 9829264
Max Benjamin, Walindi Resort, W New Britain: [email protected], tel 983 5441, fax 5638
Adam Jonathan, Manus Shipping Authority, PO Box 473, Lorengau, Manus Province, PNG
Mark Hafe, c/o William Mauhange, Bauala, Santa Isabel
Anglican Church Resthouse, Honiara, tel 26602
Ken Ferris, Gold Ridge Mine, Guadalcanal, tel 25807
Isaiah Taro, Magistrates Office, Kirakira, Makira, Solomon Islands, tel 50106
Peter Hamdleby, Solomons Sight and Sounds, PO Box 1227, Honiara, tel 22230, fax 22231
Dirk Seiling, Solomon Charters, PO Box Gizo, tel/fax 00677 60321 [email protected]
Many thanks to Guy Dutson for much excellent advice in the pre-trip preparations. Chris Eastwood, Dave Gibbs, Phil Gregory and Tony Palliser were also very helpful, Chris especially by saving the day with loan of binoculars. Alan Greensmith and Dave Pitman advised on birding around Hoskins. Ian Collier at WildWings was a tower of strength in dealing with the many changes in flight itinerary. On the islands many people were friendly and helpful, most notably David Loh, Noah Lurang, Martin Kanai, Adam Jonathan, Roger James, Mark Hafe and Moray Iles. Barry Wright drew most of the site maps, made a number of valuable comments and additions to the first draft, and along with NB and KT was excellent company throughout.
May 2 Arrive Hoskins, New Britain at 16.30 from Port Moresby with PG. Hoskins Hotel.
3 05.30 - 14.00 Lavege Track. Hoskins Hotel.
4 05.30 - 18.00 Kulu River, Kimbe. Hoskins Hotel.
5 05.30 - 12.00 Lavege Track. Farewell to PG; NB, KT & BW arrive p.m. Hoskins Hotel.
6 06.30 - 15.00 Hoskins – Kimbe – Bialla – Gigipuna by PMV; bird around Gigipuna. Night in Boy’s House.
7 06.20 - 15.30 trek up Mt Bumosi to 700m. Camp.
8 A.m. trek to 1250m and camp; p.m. bird to 1350m.
9 06.00 - 10.30 bird to 1350m; 11.00 - 18.15 trek back to Gigipuna. Night in Boy’s House.
10 04.10 - 12.00, 15.00-18.30 bird around Gigipuna. Night in Boy’s House.
11 05.00 - 08.00 bird around Gigipuna. 09.00-17.00 PMVs to Bialla, Kimbe and Hoskins.
12 05.40 - 11.50 Lavege Track; Kimbe p.m., rained off; evening owling. Hoskins Hotel.
13 05.45 - 13.00 Lavege Track; p.m. rain; evening owling. Hoskins Hotel.
14 05.40 – 17.50 Kulu River, then International School grounds, Kimbe. Hoskins Hotel.
15 08.15 - 08.50 flight to Rabaul, PMV to lodge; 13.30-17.30 boat trip to Watom Island. New Britain Lodge, Rabaul.
16 06.30 - 15.40 Sikut Forest; heavy rain p.m. New Britain Lodge
17 10.30 – 11.00 flight to Silur, New Ireland, truck to Taron; trek and truck up Mt Agil. Camp at 480m.
18 05.30 – 07.00 bird campsite; trek to 680m and camp; p.m. JH netting, others cutting trail to 900m.
19 06.00 - 08.00 bird campsite; trek to 1200m and back to camp at 17.30, rain p.m.
20 06.00 - 10.30 JH netting, others to 900m. 11.20-18.00 back to Taron. Hot night camping.
21 06.00 - 10.30 waiting for transport, truck to Silur but no 12.25 flight, heavy rain; 15.30 – 19.30 lift in Peter, the district administrator’s truck to Namatani. Night at Peter’s house
22 08.30 – 15.30 bus to Kavieng. Night at Peter Torot Conference Centre.
23 06.00 – 16.30 boat trip to Taskul, New Hanover with stops at 2 isles. Peter Torot Conference Centre.
24 PG joins us from Port Moresby, 12.00 – 13.30 flight to Eloaua St Matthias Islands; heavy rain turning to showers when birded airstrip till dusk. Night in school, Eloaua.
25 06.00 – 12.00 birding and netting on Eloaua; 13.00 boat to Palakau, Mussau Island, bird-walk later. Night in newly built hospital.
26 07.30 – 12.00 logging trails in hills to 180m; p.m. birding and netting Palakau; robbed in evening. Hospital.
27 Netting and moping all day. Hospital.
28 Boat to Eloaua after considerable delay; bird walk; 13.30 – 14.00 flight to Kavieng. Peter Torot Conference Centre.
29 11.00 – 18.30 boat trip to Djaul. (CE arrives from Moresby). Peter Torot Conference Centre.
30 [CE and PG to Tench.] 13.40 – 14.30 flight to Manus, lift to Lorengau then Waterfall Trail and Rossun; 17.00 – 18.00 try for Pitta above Rossun. Night at Adam Jonathan’s house, Rossun.
31 05.30 – 09.30 above Rossun; PMV to Lorengau; boat trip to Tong Island; 19.00 – 22.00 owling on Rossun road. Adam Jonathan’s house.
June 1 05.45 – 10.00 above Rossun. Lift with Adam to Lorengau; chill out at John Akau’s Guesthouse till late p.m. when owl near Waterfall Trail. Night at John Akau’s Guesthouse.
2 09.30 to airport; 11.15 – 11.45 flight to Kavieng, New Ireland. (CE & PG to Moresby). PeterTorot Conference Centre.
3 06.00 – 17.30 boat trip to Tench Island. Peter Torot Conference Centre.
4 09.45 – 12.20 truck to Limbin turn to Lelet plateau; Limbin Forest at 800m till 16.00, back to Kavieng, arriving 19.15. Peter Torot Conference Centre.
5 13.20 - 15.45 flight to Port Moresby. Granville Hotel. Chinese Restaurant with CE.
June 6 08.45 – 12.05 Port Moresby to Honiara, Guadalcanal, taxi to Anglican Church Resthouse; 15.00 – 18.30 taxi to/ from Mount Austen. Night at Anglican Church Resthouse.
7 06.00 – 11.00 Mount Austen; p.m. SIDC for Makira permit. Anglican Church Resthouse.
8 07.30 – 09.00 flight to Tinggoa, Rennell; 11.00 – 13.00 truck to Lake Te’Nggano, boat to Kia Koe Lodge, afternoon birding by lodge. Night at Kia Koe Lodge.
9 07.30 – 11.00 boat across lake, bird along road, then back to Kia Koe Lodge.
10 Netting; 11.30 – 12.30 boat on Lake Te’Nggano, then across to road; 13.00 – 14.30 wait for truck, reach Tinggoa at 16.30, bird till 17.45. Night at Resthouse.
11 06.00 – 08.00 Tinggoa area; 09.00 – 10.15 flight to Honiara; 15.00 – 19.00 taxi to Lungga River then Mount Austen. Anglican Church Resthouse.
12 05.45 – 06.25 awaiting taxi, Mount Austen till 11.00. 13.30 flight left at 14.15, arriving Kirakira, Makira at 15.15; truck to Tagore Community Resthouse; 16.30 – 18.00 birding above Tagore.
13 06.45 – 12.15 hills above Tagore to 300m; afternoon rain, then back up hill 16.00 – 18.00.
14 08.00 – 10.30 awaiting truck to the river; 11.30 – 17.30 trek to Hauta (475m). Night at John’s house.
15 & 16 06.15 – 18.30 above Hauta to 780m. John’s house.
17 05.45 – 10.30 above Hauta; 12.00 – 18.30 trek back to Tagore Community Resthouse; barbeque at night.
18 06.00 to Kirakira airport; flight 30 mins late: 08.45 – 09.35 to Honiara, taxi to Anglican Church Resthouse. 12.30 back to airport for 14.00 flight, departing 14.45 – 15.45 to Fera, Santa Isabel; boat to Buala, trek to Tirotongna 16.30 – 17.45. Night at Mark Hafe’s house.
19 - 21 Bird around Tirotongna with Mark; 21st a.m. lost to rain. Mark’s house.
22 06.00 – 12.00 above Tirotongna; walk down to Buala; 16.15 – 17.15 boat toGarana River, capsized when landing; walked back part way before getting another boat, reaching Baula at 21.30. Night in Resthouse.
23 Walk along coast in rain; 13.30 – 14.30 awaiting boat to Fera airport, 14.50 Honiara flight left at 16.00, taxi to Anglican Church Resthouse.
24 05.45 to airport, 07.00 flight left at 07.45 to Gizo via Kagan, Choiseul, arriving 09.30; boat to town, hitch in truck to Electricity Generating Station, roadside birding beyond there. 15.45 – 16.25 boat to Iriri, Kulambangra. 17.00 – 19.00 Kukudu by dugout and foot. Night in Iriri village school.
25 07.40 – 14.20 trek to Camp Professor, 1000m. Camp in porters’ shelter.
26 07.00 – 08.30 trek to summit, 1640m and bird around there; 10.30 farewell to Keith (who had to leave early); 15.15 – 16.30 down to Camp Prof.
27 Bird campsite till 08.00; 08.30 – 15.40 trek back to Iriri. 16.30 – 19.00 Kukudu. Iriri school.
28 Coastal Iriri then catamaran public speedboat to Gizo via Kukudu 08.05 – 09.10; chill out in town & at Divers Lodge. 15.00 – 15.30 taxi to Pailong Ge, returning to Gizo town at 18.30. Koburutavia Divers Lodge, with good buffet.
29 Full day boat trip: 06.25 – 08.00 to Koriovuku, Ranongga; 09.30 – 10.30 to Sanboro, Vella Lavella; forest till 14.00 when boat to another area, walk till 16.30; return to Gizo at 18.00. Koburutavia Divers Lodge.
30 08.45 boat to Nusatupe airport; 09.40 – 11.10 fly to Honiara, on time, taxi to Anglican Church Resthouse and town; 14.30 back to airport, 16.25 – 17.00 to Auki, Malaita, minibus to town. Golden Dragon Motel.
July 1 06.00 – 06.45 awaiting truck, 06.45 – 08.00 Mt Alsa’an, 450-550m till truck returns, 14.00 – 14.45 to Golden Dragon, Auki. 15.45 to airport, 16.40 Honiara flight rescheduled to two trips with us on 2nd at 18.00; taxi to Anglican Church Resthouse. JH returns to airport at 23.30 for early morning flight to Brisbane and home, NB and BW leaving on 3rd for Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
SITES / ISLANDS
We did not plan to go to Bougainville, politically part of PNG but geographically in the Solomons, because it was still considered unsafe.
New Britain (18 restricted range species + 17 shared with New Ireland & 9 with the Solomons)
This island has more endemics and specialities than any other PNG island but some are very difficult to see – we missed 7. Birders have usually concentrated on the western part, flying to Hoskins and birding the nearby Lavege Track (Fig 3). All the lowland species have been claimed along here, except New Britain Sparrowhawk, but we failed to find Slaty-backed Sparrowhawk, the Rail, Bronzewing and Golden Owl. Transport can sometimes be hired from Hoskins Hotel, as done initially with Phil Gregory, but the bus broke down and we had to hire a PMV, at a similar price (£25) but unreliable starting time.
The other lowland area is the Kulu River, a left turn off the Kimbe to Walindi road opposite a small cemetery. I saw Black Honey-buzzard, Bismarck and New Britain Kingfishers and Lesser Shining Flycatcher here. It is possible to walk into the foothills from here but easier to drive to the logging tracks off the Bialla road, where the White-eye and Rusty Thicketbird have been seen. For the higher elevation species it is necessary to trek. We followed Guy Dutson’s trail to Mt Bamusi, taking PMVs to Bialla then Gigipuna. We stayed in Gigipuna, taking our own food, and recruited porters and a guide - George, the only one who knew the route up Mt Bamusi (Fig. 4). We saw the Fantail and White-eye on the way up and on the second day camped at 1100m, finding the Melidectes at 1300m, but no Goshawk or Zoothera (BW had Meyer’s Gos). Guy saw the Zoothera on Mt Otu near Hoskins. The remnant forest around Gigipuna village was rewarding, with Green-fronted Hanging-Parrot, Black-headed Paradise-Kingfisher (common), Bismarck Woodswallow and the undescribed Microeca flycatcher.
The alternative is to fly to Tokua airport, Rabaul, eg direct from Moresby, or take the public ferry (catamaran) there from Bialla. Although there appears to be no forest nearby, there is good lowland forest 1-2 hours away, Sikut Forest, which is likely to hold most of the specialities. It is easy to bird along the road here, with little traffic, but we did not find any decent trails into the forest. We went there by hiring the New Britain Lodge pick-up – the driver knew the area. However, the forest is being clear-felled and so may not be viable in the future. The mountains can be reached by going to Wild Dog, an inactive mine site, some 4 hours on roads requiring a 4-wheel drive / high clearance vehicle. We intended to do this in the Lodge pick-up, after seeking permission from John McWhirter (tel 982 8227), but were unable to return to Rabaul because of flight failure at Silur. The Rail and Rusty Thicketbird are said to be common here, and PG saw the rare Yellow-legged Pigeon.
While at Rabaul it is worthwhile hiring a boat for a half-day trip to Watom Is to see Sclater’s/ Scarlet-bibbed Myzomela and good coral reef.
Another bird to look out for is any Lonchura, as none is known from these islands but one was seen in flight on Eloaua by NB.
The key to success here is to find Adam Jonathan, who should be written to beforehand. There are 2 or 3 flights a week from Madang and Kavieng to the off-shore island of Momote, from where you hitch or taxi to Lorengau, the main town on Manus. Adam lives at Rossun, some 7km above Lorengau, and is well known, so it should be easy to hitch or taxi to his house. Try Babes, manager of the largest supermarket,Papindo if in difficulty – she was very helpful to us. The forest above Rossun holds all the specialities except the Tyto and Fantail. Morgan, a local known to Adam, can call up the Pitta, but ensure you are sitting inside the forest with good visibility before he starts in earnest - a pair responded from a high perch (20m). Adam will put you up in his large house and his wife cook your food for you. The Boobook is common along the road to Lorengau, but we could not see it as it rarely called when we were there. The Tyto is unknown.
It is also worth checking the grassland edge between the plantation and the top in late afternoon or early morning for rails, as there is an undescribed species here.
To see the 5 montane endemics is much more difficult. The only quick way of getting in range of most is to drive to Gold Mine Ridge and walk the trail to 1000+m. Permission for birders to do this is easily obtained from Ken Ferris of Ross Mining in normal times but the whole area was off-limits during our stay due to ethnic violence. The Honeyeater has been seen here (D Milton in litt.) but the only known site for the Kingfisher and Thrush is the trek from Ando to Mt Mbutohaina (1565m), undertaken independently by Gibbs and Dutson, one of the toughest they have ever done (and they are no sluggards), requiring at least a week. We did intend to do this of course but were foiled by the ethnic unrest.
This is the easiest of the main islands as all the endemics can be seen in a few hours near the airport. Unfortunately, there are only 2 flights a week so you have to stay at least 3 days. We followed Gerry Richards in heading along the island to Lake Te’Nggano, two hours drive in a chartered truck, and staying at the relaxing Kia Koe Lodge (£4 a night), a sensible strategy with time to kill. We saw all the endemics and Island Thrush – an unusual form here being at sea-level - around the lodge, particularly by taking the short trail at the back. On returning to Tinggoa airport, we also saw all the endemics in the hour or so before the flight, by taking the track from the end of the airstrip, away from the Lake. There is a sea-bird breeding colony on an island at the far end of Lake Te’Nggano, a couple of hours boat journey, the star attraction being Red-footed Booby.
This, the most important island in the country for birds, was formerly known as San Cristobal. It is vital to get above 500m, which can be done by trekking to the village of Hauta. This is in a conservation area, requiring permission to visit – do not go without permission as you will be turned away. We tried to get permission through the Solomon Islands Development Corporation in Honiara, without success – they are only interested in expensive ecotours. We flew to Kirakira and took the truck west to Tagore Community Resthouse where, fortunately, Roger James, working for Conservation International, was in residence. He contacted John, the village headman for us, who did give us permission but said that we should have gone through Peter Hamdleby of Solomons Sight and Sounds in Honiara, or Isaiah Taro in Kirakira. He does not want individuals to come. Roger said there was another way into the hill forest, via a village east of Kirakira, which he could have helped us with, although this was not so straightforward. If all else fails, you can bird up to 300m above Tagore, as we did on the day awaiting permission, and see some of the specialities.
We were able to get a truck to take us for the first 5-6km towards Hauta, after a considerable delay, to where our porters were waiting, and arrange for it to pick us up 4 days later. There are two routes up: the shortest involves 11 or so river crossings, some of which are quite deep, while the longer route involves trekking up and down several 100m but only 4 or 5 river crossings. It is essentially a half day’s walk up 500m, with some of the river crossings the only real trial. We stayed at John’s house and had a young guide to show us the trail from 475m to 780m (Fig 7). Birding was good, with more species seen here than anywhere else in the Solomons. Three species were difficult – Yellow-legged Pigeon, Dusky Fantail and the Zoothera thrush. The best way of seeing the pigeon appears to be by watching for post-roosting flights from a view-point during the first hour of daylight. The other two can be seen by luck and quiet, careful observation. Allow at least 3 days to catch up with these species.
The other side-trip to make is to off-shore Ugi Island, where the Chestnut-bellied Monarch may be splittable. We did not go on our spare day, a Sunday, as Roger said it would be difficult to find a boat that day, and we wanted to get to grips with some of the endemics, but in retrospect we should have tried then.
Apart from the mountains of Guadalcanal, this was the only location in the Solomons where we missed key birds, namely Fearful Owl and Woodford’s Rail. It was also the only place where we found a local knowledgable bird enthusiast, Mark Hafe. Flights to off-shore Fera run 3 times a week from Guadalcanal; then a small boat takes you across the bay to Buala. We soon engaged porters to carry our bags up toTirotongna (470m), an hour’s continuous walk. Here we located Mark Hafe and stayed at his house. He had found a Pitta’s nest with a pullus but it was empty when he took us to see it, and we only had a brief view of the adult. We had better views later but it was not an easy bird to see. Mark also knew roost sites for the two owls and succeeded in showing us the Hawk-Owl but not the large Fearful Owl. We spent hours raptor- watching, for the Eagle and Imitator Sparrowhawk, but only KT had a flight view of the former. We also failed to locate Marbled Frogmouth, worth trying for as it calls with a whistle, unlike the Australian form.
The last afternoon was allocated to seeing Woodford’s Rail at the Garana River, where GD and Mark had seen it (and stayed at the incomplete Rural training Centre). Firstly we had to obtain permission to visit the site, which entailed seeing the First Secretary at the provincial Government offices in Buala – he was none too enthusiastic, as the pitch had been queered by 3 American specimen-collectors, who apparently had permission to shoot birds from the national authorities but not the locals. However, our assurance of being simple bird-watchers and not “researchers” was eventually accepted.
Flights go at least daily to Gizo, which, with nearby Munda, is the diving centre of the Solomons and the only place other than Honiara where we saw tourists. It proved straightforward to clean up here, with our timing and itinerary working out well. The first port of call was Gizo Electricity Generating Station, on the road to Pailong Ge, where roadside birding gave the endemic White-eye and White-capped Monarch. Then we hired Dirk’s boat (Solomon Charters) to Iriri on Kulambangra, where we were allocated the village school for accommodation. A late afternoon visit to Kukudu, across the small bay by dugout canoe, gave Solomons Eagle at last, at the fruit bat roost near the quay, and Roviana Rail on the airstrip (Fig. 8).
The next morning we trekked to Camp Professor at 960m, finding the Myzomela, Kulambangra Monarch and Solomon Is. White-eye on the way. After sleeping in the porters’ shelter, we quickly climbed to the summit, at 1640m, seeing Kulambangra White-eye and Leaf-Warbler, Island Thrush and Scarlet Robin in the beautiful moss forest. We spent most of the last day trekking back to Iriri from Camp Prof., finally spotting Pale Mountain-Pigeon below the view-point at 400m. Paid another late afternoon visit to Kukudu for good views of the rail, but no eagle this time.
This was the only place in the Solomons where we paid an access fee, but only £7 in total. Porterage was £4 a day per porter (we used 3).
We took the morning catamaran public speedboat from Iriri to Gizo for £2 each. An afternoon taxi trip to Pailong Ge to look for the Eagle was unsuccessful – displaying Beach Kingfishers and frigatebird passage were some consolation. There was a nasty incident on the way back when a drunken youth knifed the bonnet of the taxi, causing considerable damage. The final day here was spent on a full day trip to Ranongga and Vella Lavella in Dirk’s well-equipped boat, in the charge of an excellent local. Two Heinroth’s Shearwaters provided the first excitement but were eclipsed by close studies of Solomon Eagle, perched and in flight, by the track just beyond Koriovuku village on Ranongga. The smart endemic White-eye was also located here. Travelling on to Sanboro, Vella Lavella, we spent hours in the forest, soon finding Banded White-eye and later White-winged Fantail and Solomons Cuckoo-shrike, but failing to see the all black-winged form of Kulambangra Monarch. A further stop on the island for this was unsuccessful but another eagle was soaring over the boat when we returned to the shore.
The two other island groups holding endemics in the Solomons are the Shortlands, for Bougainville Crow and Monarch, and Santa Cruz with 3 white-eyes and a monarch. There are 2 flights a week from Gizo to the Shortlands, and from Kirakira to Nendo, Santa Cruz. Two of the white-eyes can be seen at Lata on Nendo, along with Red-bellied Fruit-Dove, Rusty-winged Starling, Polynesian Triller and Black-faced Shrikebill if lucky, all birds found on Vanuatu. The monarch and other white-eye occur on Vanikolo, which is almost impossible to reach, along with Vanikoro Flycatcher which is also found on Fiji. A day trip by boat to Tinakula, weather permitting, could be worthwhile as it holds Polynesian Starling and Santa Cruz Ground-Dove was last seen here.
In addition, the large island of Choiseul, with a similar avifauna to Isabel, has the distinction of White-eyed Starling apparently being relatively common.
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF BIRDS
Taxonomy and names based on current practice in the PNG Bird Society, which follows Beehler et al and Coates, with significant differences in Birds of the World: a Checklist by JF Clements (1991) in parenthesis; an asterisk indicates a recent change. Notable records by only one or two observers are initialled in parenthesis.
Threatened species (in bold): C critical, E endangered, V vulnerable, DD data deficient, NT near- threatened
Tahiti Petrel Pseudobulweria rostrata 1 on both legs of the Tench trip, nearer to Kavieng. The possiblity of it being the similar “unknown” Beck’s Petrel P. becki cannot be dismissed
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus 1 Mussau - Eloaua, 2 Kavieng - Djaul
E Heinroth's Shearwater Puffinus heinrothi 1 Kavieng - Djaul
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus 5+ Tench Is
Great Frigatebird Fregata minor 15 Eloaua, 20 Tench Is
Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel 8 Taron, NI, 2 Watom Is and Eloaua, a few Manus
Masked Booby Sula dactylatra 1 Kavieng - Tench Is
Red-footed Booby Sula sula Common Tench Is, breeding high in trees
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster 2 Kavieng - Djaul, a few Tench Is, 1 Manus Tong
Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1 Kulu River, NB
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa 5 Hoskins, 1 Kulu River, NB
Pacific Reef-Egret Egretta sacra 1-3 widespread on coasts
Striated Heron Butorides striatus 1 Kavieng, NI
Rufous Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus 2 Hoskins airport, 1 Mt Bumosi, NB
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis 1 near Kimbe, towards Kulu River, NB
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Widespread with a max of 4 Kavieng - New Hanover
Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata Widespread with up to 4 most days in the lowlands of NB & NI
NT New Britain Buzzard (Black Honey-buzzard) Henicopernis infuscatus 1 Lavege Track 3.5, 1 adult & 1 brown imm. Kulu River 4.5, a pair & a separate imm. Sikut Forest, NB (JH)
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Widespread, with a max of 10 at Gigipuna
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Widespread singles, even 1 at Tench Is, with a pair at the nest at Gigipuna
Grey (Variable) Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandia (hiogaster) Widespread with a max of 5 Lavege Track
Meyer's Goshawk Accipiter meyerianus Singles at 1350m Mt Bumosi, NB on 8.5 (BW) & Rossun, Manus 31.5 (JH)
Sparrowhawk sp. Accipiter brachyurus/ luteoschistaceus 1 dark grey-backed accipiter flew briefly beneath us at 400m on Mt Agil, NI (JH, KT). The only candidate known from here is brachyurus New Britain Sparrowhawk, although it appeared more like luteoschistaceus Slaty-mantled – no sign of a brachyurus rufous collar.
Oriental Hobby Falco severus Singles Lavege Track and near Kimbe, NB
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 1 dark bird above Silur airport, NI
Common (Melanesian) Scrubfowl Megapodius freycinet (eremita) 5-6 Lavege Track & Kulu River, NB; heard Sikut Forest, NB, Mussau and Tench Is
(Rufous-tailed) Bush-hen Amaurornis olivaceous (moluccanus) 2 Mt Agil, 1 Kavieng, NI
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 2 Eloaua, 1 Mussau
Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos 2 Hoskins airport
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes 6 Namatani, 1 New Hanover
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 4 Eloaua
Beach Thick-knee Esacus magnirostris (Burhinus giganteus) 2 on islet between Kavieng and New Hanover
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 3-4 Silur - Namatani, NI & Eloaua
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus 1 Eloaua
Australian Pratincole Stiltia isabella 1 Kavieng airport on 5.6 (possibly only the second record for the region!)
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii A few Kavieng - New Hanover, Kavieng - Djaul, Manus - Tong
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana 10 Kavieng - New Hanover
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus 2 Kavieng - New Hanover, 15 Kavieng - Djaul
Little Tern Sterna albifrons 2 Kavieng - New Hanover
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus 50+ Kavieng - New Hanover, Kavieng - Djaul & Tench
Black Noddy Anous minutus 20 Manus - Tong, common Tench Is
Common White Tern Gygis alba Abundant Tench Is
Brown (Slender-billed) Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia amboinensis Widespread and common NB & NI
Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia nigrirostris 1 Lavege Track, NB & Limbin Forest, NI
Mackinlay's Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia mackinlayi 5 Watom Is, fairly common Mussau, 2 Djaul
Pied Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena browni 1 at river at base of Mt Bumosi, NB (BW); 2 at c.300m Mt Agil, Limbin Forest, Djaul & Djaul - Kavieng, NI
Stephan's Ground-Dove Chalcophaps stephani Common Mussau, a few singles NB & NI
NT Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica 10 Tench Is [38 flew off to roost on 30.5 (CE, PG)]
White-bibbed Ground-Dove Gallicolumba jobiensis 1 Lavege Track, NB on 5.5 (PG, JH)
Bronze Ground-Dove Gallicolumba beccarii 2 of distinctive form eichhorni (1 trapped) Mussau
Superb Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus superbus Singles Lavege Track, Kulu River & Sikut Forest, NB
White-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus rivoli 1 Kulu River, 5 Mt Bumosi, NB and 2 Mt Agil, NI
Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus solomonensis 10 Watom Is. NB, common Mussau
Red-knobbed (Knob-billed) Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus insolitus Widespread and fairly common NB & NI including Mussau
Pacific Imperial-Pigeon Ducula pacifica 5 Tench Is
Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeon Ducula rubricera Fairly common NB, NI & Manus
Grey (Island) Imperial-Pigeon Ducula pistrinaria 5 Lavege Track, NB; few New Hanover & Djaul; common Manus, Watom Is, Mussau and Tench
NT Finsch's Imperial-Pigeon Ducula finschii 1-3 Lavege Track, Kulu River & Gigipuna NB, Mt Agil NI & New Hanover
NT Black (Bismarck) Imperial-Pigeon Ducula melanchroa 30+ Mt Agil &a few Limbin Forest, NI, 5+ Mt Bumosi, NB
*Yellowish (Torresian) Imperial-Pigeon Ducula (spilorrhoa) suffilavescens Up to 10 Lavege Track & Kulu River, NB; 2 Mt Agil, NI
Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta pusio Heard Lavege Track & Kulu River, NB
Meek's Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta meeki 2 Eloaua, heard Mussau, St Matthias Is; a few Manus
[Green (Finsch's) Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta finschii Probables: 2 Namatani - Kavieng, NI - all poor flight views]
Red-breasted Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta bruijnii 20 Mt Agil, NI
Song (Singing) Parrot Geoffroyus heteroclitus Only a few seen on NB, but many heard on Mt Bumosi; 1+ New Hanover; 2 Limbin Forest, NI
Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus Widespread & common NB, fewer on NI & Manus
NT Bismarcks (Green-fronted) Hanging Parrot Loriculus tener Up to 4 near Gigipuna, NB
Blue-eyed Cockatoo Cacatua ophthalmica Widespread & common NB
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus Widespread & fairly common except St Matthias Is.
Eastern Black-capped (Purple-bellied) Lory Lorius hypoinochrous Widespread & common NB & NI
NT White-naped Lory Lorius albinuchus 2 on 19.5, 3 on 20.5 Mt Agil & 3 Limbin Forest, NI
Red-chinned Lorikeet Charmosyna rubrigularis 2+ Mt Bumosi, NB; 1-2 Mt Agil, common at Limbin Forest, NI but hard to see clearly anywhere
Red-flanked Lorikeet Charmosyna placentis Widespread and common in lowlands, NB &M
Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus Commonly heard NB, NI & Manus
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus 2-4 Gigipuna, singles Kulu River and Tench Is
Australian Koel Eudynamys cyanocephala Heard Lavege Track & Kulu River, NB
Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae Singles Kulu River & Mt Bumosi, NB & heard on Mt Agil, NI
Violaceus Coucal Centropus violaceus 2-4 at sites in West NB
White-necked (Pied) Coucal Centropus ateralbus 2-6 widespread except St Matthias Is.
Manus Boobook (Hawk-Owl) Ninox meeki 10 heard Waterfall Trail - Rossun, Manus
Bismarck Boobook (Hawk-Owl) Ninox variegata 1 pair 480m camp & another at 680m, Mt Agil, NI
New Britain Boobook (Russet Hawk-Owl) Ninox odiosa 1 flushed by earthquake Sikut Forest (NB) & another mobbed by friarbirds and sunbirds shortly after the 'quake (JH); 2 heard Gigipuna
Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus 1 seen & 2 heard Gigipuna. A nightjar seen briefly in flight Limbin - Kavieng, NI was presumably this sp.
Moustached Treeswift Hemiprocne mystacea Up to 6 at sites in NB & NI
Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta Widespread and common, NB & NI
White-rumped Swiftlet Collocalia spodiopygius Widespread and fairly common in lowlands throughout
Uniform Swiftlet Collocalia vanikorensis Widespread and fairly common, NB, NI & New Hanover.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1-4 most days on the coast but rare inland
Bismarcks Kingfisher Alcedo websteri Singles Kulu River & Gigipuna, NB
Variable Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus Singles Kulu River, NB, Mt Agil, NI and Rossun, Manus; 3 Mt Bumosi, NB - with black bill on NB & NI, red an Manus
White-mantled (New Britain) Kingfisher Todirhamphus albonotata A pair Km 37 trail, Lavege Track & Kulu River, 1 heard Sikut Forest, NB
Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris Common Eloaua and Manus
Beach Kingfisher Todirhamphus saurophaga 1-2 Kavieng - New Hanover, Djaul, Eloaua &Tench
Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sancta Widespread and fairly common, NB & NI
*Black-headed Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera (sylvia) nigriceps Singles Lavege Track, Kulu River & Gigipuna, NB with others heard
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus Widespread and fairly common, NB & NI. [300 roosted in a few trees at the Granville Hotel, Port Moresby on 5.6.99.]
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 2 Lavege Track, 1 Kulu River & Sikut Forest, NB
Blyth's Hornbill Aceros plicatus Up to 40 roosting Gigipuna & several elsewhere in W NB, common Sikut Forest, NB; fairly common Mt Agil, NI
V Superb (Black-headed) Pitta Pitta superba A pair above Rossun, Manus
*Ashy (Red-throated) Myzomela Myzomela (eques) cineracea 2-3 daily NB with 6 Kulu River
Red Myzomela Myzomela cruentata 10 Mt Bumosi, common Limbin Forest, NB; a few Mt Agil, NI
New Ireland Myzomela Myzomela pulchella 5 Limbin Forest, NI; 1 or 2 probables Mt Agil
Scarlet-bibbed (Sclater’s) Myzomela Myzomela sclateri Common Watom Is, NB
Bismarck Black (Ebony) Myzomela Myzomela pammelaena Common St Matthias Is and Tong Is.
New Britain Red-headed (Black-bellied) Myzomela Myzomela erythromelas Up to 4 daily NB
Manus (White-naped) Friarbird Philemon albitorques Common throughout Manus
New Britain Friarbird Philemon cockerelli Common throughout NB
New Ireland Friarbird Philemon eichhorni 1 at 1150m Mt Agil, NI
New Britain Honeyeater (Bismarck Melidectes) Melidectes whitemanensis 1 taped in Mt Bumosi, NB at 1300m and another heard
*Bismarck Flycatcher Microeca sp. nov. 3 together Gigipuna, 1 at 680m Mt Agil
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis 5+ Gigipuna, NB, fairly common Mt Agil, NI; a few Mussau and Manus
Mangrove Golden (Black-tailed) Whistler Pachycephala melanura 1-2 Watom Is
Willie-wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys Widespread and fairly common outside forest
Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris Widespread and fairly common in forest
Bismarck Rufous Fantail Rhipidura dahli 7+ Mt Bumosi, NB and 2 Mt Agil, NI
DD Mussau Rufous (Matthias) Fantail Rhipidura matthiae 4 Mussau, St Matthias
V Manus Rufous Fantail Rhipidura semirubra 4 Tong Is., Manus
Island Monarch Monarcha cinerascens 4 Watom Is., common Eloaua & Mussau, 10 Tench Is.
NT Admiralty Pied (Manus) Monarch Monarcha infelix 1 above Rossun, Manus
DD Mussau Pied (White-breasted) Monarch Monarcha menckei Several Eloaua and Mussau, St Matthias
Djaul Pied Monarch Monarcha ateralba 2 Djaul
Bismarck Pied (Black-tailed) Monarch Monarcha verticalis 2 Lavege Track & Kulu River, NB; 3 Mt Agil, NI
Golden Monarch Monarcha chrysomela Fairly common throughout NI including New Hanover & Djaul
Shining Flycatcher Myiagra alecto Widespread in small numbers NB, NI & Manus
Lesser Shining (Dull) Flycatcher Myiagra hebetior 1 Kulu River, NB; 2 Mussau
New Ireland (Ribbon-tailed) Drongo Dicrurus megarhynchus 10+ Mt Agil, 1-2 Silur & Limbin Forest, NI
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus Fairly common throughout NB
*Island (Torresian) Crow Corvus insularis Widespread & common
White-backed (Bismarck) Wood-swallow Artamus insignis 1-2 Lavege Track, up to 9 Gigipuna, 3 Bikut Forest, NB; 1-4 Mt Agil, 1 Limbin Forest, NI
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina papuensis Fairly common throughout
Common Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris 1-2 throughout, with distinctive form matthiae common on Mussau
Varied Triller Lalage leucomela Fairly common throughout.
*Mussau (Varied) Triller Lalage (leucomela) conjuncta 20+ in hills of Mussau
*Matthias (Russet-tailed) Thrush Zoothera (heinei) eichhorni 4+ Eloaua and Mussau, St Matthias
Singing Starling Aplonis cantoroides Locally common in or near settlements, eg Hoskins & Kavieng
Atoll Starling Aplonis feadensis 15 Tench Is
Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica Common throughout
Long-tailed (Yellow-faced) Myna Mino (dumontii) kreffti Fairly common throughout NB & NI
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Widespread in small numbers
Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata 6 Rabaul, NB
Black-headed White-eye Zosterops hypoxanthus 10 Gigipuna, 2 Watom Is, NB; 30+ Mt Agil, NI; 1 New Hanover; 15+ Manus
Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis 5 Silur and Namatini, 1 Taron, NI; 2 New Hanover
Clamorous Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus A few Rabaul airport, NB
Island Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus poliocephalus 2 Mt Agil, NI
Rufous-faced Thicket-warbler (Rusty Thicketbird) Megalurulus rubiginosus 1 heard Km37 trail, Lavege Track; a bird seen briefly (NB) and taped calling (JH) at 1350m Mt Bumosi may have been this sp. or the “unknown” Megalurulus grosvenori
Blue-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura trichroa 6-8 Eloaua and Mussau
Hooded Mannikin (Munia) Lonchura spectabilis 15 Rabaul airport, NB
Hunstein’s Mannikin (Mottled Munia) Lonchura hunsteini 15+ Kavieng and Namatani road, 60km SE of Kavieng, NI; 2 Lonchura sp. at Namatani were this or forbesi
New Ireland Mannikin (Munia) Lonchura forbesi 5+ Silur airport, NI
New Hanover (Mottled) Mannikin (Munia) Lonchura (hunsteini) nigerrima Flocks of 17 and 30 New Hanover
Buff-bellied Mannikin (Bismarck Munia) Lonchura melaena 2 Hoskins airport, 4 Kulu River, 3 Gigipuna, NB
Bismarck (Red-banded) Flowerpecker Dicaem eximium Fairly common throughout NB & NI, 2 New Hanover
Black Sunbird Nectarinia aspasia Fairly common throughout NB & NI
Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis Several throughout NB & NI, common Manus & Mussau
Taxonomy and names based on Birds of the World: a Checklist by JF Clements (1991+ updates). Notable records by only one or two observers are initialled in parenthesis.
Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae 2 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus 2 Gizo - Kulambangra
E Heinroth's Shearwater Puffinus heinrothi 2 Gizo - Renongga
Great Frigatebird Fregata minor A few Rennell and Gizo area
Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel Common Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell); 60+ Gizo & a few elsewhere
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster 1 Gizo - Kulambangra
Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos Common Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1-2 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa 2 Iriri (Kulambangra) and near Garana River (Isabel)
Pacific Reef-Egret Egretta sacra 2 Isabel; singles Gizo and Iriri (Kulambangra)
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia 1 Tagore (Makira) on 18.6 (a vagrant)
Great Egret Casmerodius albus 2 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Striated Heron Butorides striatus 2 singles Gizo and 1 Malaita
Rufous Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus Singles Makira, Tiratongna (Isabel) and Ranongga
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis 1 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Australian Ibis Threskiornis molucca 10-25 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Widespread with up to 4 most days
Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata 2 Tiratonga (Isabel)
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Up to 3 daily at most localities
V Solomon Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi Singles Tiratongna (Isabel) (KT), Kukudu (Kulambangra, 2 KT), Gizo (KT) & Ranongga; 1, probably 2 Vella Lavella
Swamp Harrier Circus approximans 1 Honiara airport
Variable Goshawk Accipiter hiogaster Singles Tirotongna (Isabel) and Vella Lavella
Brown Goshawk Accipter fasciatus 2 Rennell
Pied Goshawk Accipiter albogularis 1 Mt Austen (Guadalcanal) 6.6, 2+ Makira, 1 Kulambangra and Ranongga
Imitator Sparrowhawk Accipiter imitator 2+ Isabel (including 1 on nest) – Pied Gos does not occur here, apparently
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 1 chasing a Yellow-bibbed Lory Mt Austen on 12.6 (JH)
Melanesian Scrubfowl Megapodius eremita 2+ Kulambangra, 3 Ranongga, 2 Vella Lavella & 1 heard Tagore (Makira)
rail new sp. Gallirallus sp. nov. 1-3 Mt Austen
Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis 1+ Mt Austen, 2-5 lowlands of Makira
NT Roviana Rail Gallirallus rovianae 3-4 Kukudu, Kulambangra
Rufous-tailed Bush-hen Amaurornis moluccanus 2 Malaita, 1 heard both nights at Camp Prof, Kulambangra
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio 2 Lake Te’Nggano (Rennell)
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 3 Fera (Isabel), 1 Malaita airport
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes 1 Kulambangra (NB)
Beach Thick-knee Burhinus giganteus 2 Vella Lavella, & Kukudu, Kulambangra (KT)
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 3 Fera airport
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii Up to 20 in waters around Gizo, 2 off Isabel
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana 6 Ranongga, 10 Vella Lavella
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus 3 Vella Lavella
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus 10+ Gizo - Kulambangra & Vella Lavella
Black Noddy Anous minutus 1 Gizo - Kulambangra
Metallic Pigeon Columba vitiensis 1 Mt Austen, 2+ Hauta (Makira) & Kulambangra
C Yellow-legged Pigeon Columba pallidiceps 1-2 Hauta (Makira) on 2 days (NB, KT)
Mackinlay's Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia mackinlayi A few Rennell, 1+ Kulambangra
Crested Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena crassirostris 1 below & 2 above Hauta (Makira)
Stephan's Ground-Dove Chalcophaps stephani 2 singles Mt Austen
NT Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica 1 Kulambangra (KT)
Bronze Ground-Dove Gallicolumba beccarii 2 singles Hauta (Makira)
Superb Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus superbus 1 Tirotongna (Isabel)
Silver-capped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus richarsii Common Rennell
Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus solomonensis Common Hauta, few Tagore (Makira), 2 Kulambangra
Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus viridis Common Mt Austen
NT White-headed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus eugeniae Up to 4 daily below Hauta (Makira)
Pacific Imperial-Pigeon Ducula pacifica 3 Rennell
Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeon Ducula rubricera Widespread in small numbers
E Chestnut-bellied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula brenchleyi Common above Hauta (Makira)
Pale Mountain-Pigeon Gymnophaps solomonensis 1 flock of 12 Kulambangra
Finsch's Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta finschii 2-6 Makira, a few Tirotongna (Isabel); heard Vella Lavella and Malaita
Singing Parrot Geoffroyus heteroclitus 10 Rennell, a few Hauta (Makira) & Malaita
Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus 1 Mt Austen & Hauta (Makira), a few Malaita
Ducorp's Cockatoo Cacatua ducorpsii 1-5 Mt Austen, 10 Isabel, 5 Gizo & Malaita
Cardinal Lory Chalcopsitta cardinalis Up to 4 Mt Austen, fairly common Isabel, common Kulambangra, a few Malaita
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus Widespread and common except Rennell
Yellow-bibbed Lory Lorius chlorocercus 8+ Mt Austen, 4 Rennell, fairly common Hauta (Makira), a few Malaita
Meek's Lorikeet Charmosyna meeki 4 Tirotongna (Isabel), a few Kulambangra
NT Duchess Lorikeet Charmosyna margarethae 6 above Hauta (Makira), 2 Kulambangra 25.6
Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus Commonly heard, especially at Hauta (Makira) & Kulambangra
[Fan-tailed Cuckoo Chrysococcyx flabelliformis Calls believed to be this sp. Were heard at Mt Austen, Makira and Gizo]
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus A few Rennell, 2 singles Tirotongna (Isabel), 1 Malaita
Australian Koel Eudynamys cyanocephala 1 heard Mt Austen & Tirotongna (Isabel)
Buff-headed Coucal Centropus milo 1-2 Mt Austen, Gizo & Kulambangra
Solomons Hawk-Owl Ninox jacquinoti 1 Tirotongna (Isabel); 2 heard Mt Austen
V Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis 1 heard one night Tirotongna (Isabel)
Moustached Treeswift Hemiprocne mystacea 10 Mt Austen; 2 Rennell, Hauta (Makira), Kulambangra and Malaita
Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta Widespread and common
Uniform Swiftlet Collocalia vanikorensis Widespread and common except Makira & Kulambangra
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Singles at shore of most islands
Variable Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus Singles Tirotongna (Isabel) & Hauta (Makira); heard Kulambangra & Vella Lavella
Ultramarine Kingfisher Todirhamphus leucopygius 2 Mt Austen, singles Makira, Isabel and Vella Lavella
Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris 2 singles Rennell
Beach Kingfisher Todirhamphus saurophaga 2 Kulambangra, 5 Pailongge (Gizo), I Gizo airport
Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sancta 1-2 widespread
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 2 Mt Austen and Tagore (Isabel)
Blyth's Hornbill Aceros plicatus 1 and 5 Mt Austen, few Isabel & Kulambangra
V Black-faced Pitta Pitta anerythra 1 at 3 sites Tirotongna (Isabel)
Fan-tailed Gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis Common Rennell
Cardinal Myzomela Myzomela cardinalis Common Rennell
Scarlet-naped Myzomela Myzomela lafargei Only 3 or 4 brief sightings of singles near Tirotongna
Yellow-vented Myzomela Myzomela eichhorni Common Kulambangra, Gizo & Vella Lavella
Red-bellied Myzomela Myzomela malaitae 2 males at 450m Malaita, & 2 females (BW)
Black-headed Myzomela Myzomela melanocephala Common Mt Austen
Sooty Myzomela Myzomela tristrami Common Makira
San Cristobal Melidectes Melidectes sclateri Fairly common Makira
Scarlet Robin Petroica multicolor 1 Kulambangra; 2 Hauta (Makira) (NB)
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis Common Makira, 2 Isabel, fairly common Kulambangra; 2 of the distinctive form feminina Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell & a few heard Vella Lavella
Willie-wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys Widespread in lowlands in small numbers
White-winged Fantail Rhipidura cockerelli 2 Tirotongna (Isabel) & Kulambangra, 1 Vella Lavella
Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa Common Hauta (Makira)
NT Dusky Fantail Rhipidura tenebrosa A pair above Hauta (Makira), and a single (KT)
Rennell Fantail Rhipidura rennelliana 2 daily Rennell
Rufous Fantail Rhipidua rufifrons 2 Mt Austen, fairly common Hauta (Makira), up to 5 Kulambangra
NT Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini 1 Kia Koe Lodge, 2 Tinggoa (Rennell)
Chestnut-bellied Monarch Monarcha castaneiventris 2+ Mt Austen, common Isabel, 10 Makira, 1 Malaita
White-capped Monarch Monarcha richardsii 2 nest building Gizo, common Kulambangra, 2 Ranongga; heard Vella Lavella
Black-and-white Monarch Monarcha barbatus 3 Mt Austen, 2 Tirotongna (Isabel) & of the distinctive form malaitae at 450m on Malaita
NT Kulambangra Monarch Monarcha browni 3 Kulambangra on 25.6 and 1 on 27.6
White-collared Monarch Monarcha viduus Common Makira
Steel-blue Flycatcher Myiagra ferrocyanea 4 Mt Austen & Kulambangra, 2 Tirotongna (Isabel), Ranongga, Vella Lavella & Malaita
NT Ochre-headed Flycatcher Myiagra cervinicauda 6 above Hauta (Makira)
Solomon Islands (Spangled) Drongo Dicrurus (bracteatus) solomonensis [Doughty et al 1999] 4 above Hauta (Makira)
NT White-billed Crow Corvus woodfordi 1-2 Mt Austen, common Isabel
Melanesian Cuckooshrike Coracina caledonica 1 at c.700m Kulambangra
Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrike Coracina lineata 2-4 widespread except Makira
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina papuensis Up to 6 widespread except Rennell & Makira
Common Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris 1-2 widespread except Rennell; the Makira race salomonis is very distinctive
Solomon Cuckoo-shrike Coracina holopolia 4 Mt Austen, 1 Vella Lavella
Long-tailed Triller Lalage leucopyga Fairly common Makira
NT San Cristobal Thrush Zoothera margaretae 5 individuals seen above Hauta, Makira at various times by different observers, often fleetingly
Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus 1-3 Rennell and Kulambangra
Singing Starling Aplonis cantoroides Widespread and locally common, absent from Rennell
NT Rennell Starling Aplonis insularis 6+ near Lake Te’Nggano & Tinggoa (Rennell) with others heard
Brown-winged Starling Aplonis grandis Fairly common Mt Austen, a few Isabel, 1 Kulambangra, 2 Ranongga
Malaita Starling Aplonis (grandis) malaitae [Finch 1990] 7+ at 400-500m Mt Alsa’an, Malaita
San Cristobal Starling Aplonis dichroa 3 above Tagore, 20 Hauta (Makira)
Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica Widespread and common
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis Common Honiara, Gizo and Malaita
Yellow-faced Myna Mino dumontii kreffti Fairly common Mt Austen, Isabel, Kulambangra & Malaita; heard Vella Lavella
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Widespread in small numbers
NT Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus 2-4 daily Rennell
Banded White-eye Zosterops vellalavella 6 Vella Lavella
Ganongga White-eye Zosterops splendidus 10 Ranongga
V Splendid White-eye Zosterops luteirostris 5 Gizo
Solomon Islands White-Eye Zosterops kulambangrae 5-10 Kulambangra
Kulambangra White-eye Zosterops murphyi Common above 500m Kulambangra
Yellow-throated White-eye Zosterops metcalfii Common Isabel
Grey-throated White-eye Zosterops rendovae Common Hauta (Makira)
Malaita White-eye Zosterops stresemanni Common Malaita
Bare-eyed White-eye Woodfordia superciliosa Common Rennell
NT Shade Warbler Cettia parens 1-3 Makira and others heard
Island Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus poliocephalus 6+ Kulambangra
NT San Cristobal Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus makirensis Fairly common Hauta, Makira
V Kulambangra Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus amoenus 3 pairs at 1400 – 1600m Kulambangra
Midget Flowerpecker Dicaeum aeneum Common Isabel, a few Mt Austen and 10 Malaita
Mottled Flowerpecker Dicaeum tristrami Several Makira
Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis Widespread & fairly common except Makira & Isabel
SPECIALITIES NOT SEEN
New Britain Goshawk Accipiter princeps 760+m NB, although claimed down to sea level by D Bishop
New Britain Sparrowhawk Accipiter brachyurus Possibly montane, eg Pamio on
S coast of W New Britain, specimens taken on Mt Agil, NI by B Beehler
Slaty-mantled Sparrowhawk Accipiter luteoschistaceus Kimbe, NB?
Woodford's Rail Nesoclopeus woodfordi Garana River, Isabel
New Britain Bronzewing Henicophaps foersteri Lavege Track, NB (Km40 trail, 8/98, claimed by D Pitman)
Santa Cruz Ground-Dove Gallicolumba sanctaecrucis Tinakula, Santa Cruz, if not extinct, and Santo in Vanuatu
New Britain Rail Gallirallus insignis Lavege Track, Mt Bamusi & Wild Dog Mine, NB, possibly commoner in mts
Manus Masked-Owl Tyto manusi Completely unknown
Bismarck Masked-Owl Tyto aurantia Lavege Track, NB (Km40, 8/98 per D Pitman’s local guide, only recent record)
Manus Hawk-Owl Ninox meeki Rossun, Manus
Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis Tirotongna, Isabel
Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus Tirotongna, Isabel – subsequently split as a new species
Moustached Kingfisher Actenoides bougainvillei 900+m Guadalcanal
Guadalcanal Honeyeater Guadalcanaria inexpectata 950+m Guadalcanal
Mountain Whistler Pachycephala implicata 700+m Guadalcanal
Malaita Fantail Rhipidura malaitae 900+m Malaita
Brown Fantail Rhipidura drownei 700+m Guadalcanal
Vanikoro Monarch Mayrornis schistaceus Vanikolo, Santa Cruz
Bougainville Monarch Monarcha erythrostictus Shortlands
Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis Vanikolo, Santa Cruz
Bougainville Crow Corvus meeki Shortlands
New Britain Thrush Zoothera talaseae 580+m New Britain
Guadalcanal (San Cristobal) Thrush Zoothera (margaretae) turipavae 1000+m Guadalcanal
White-eyed Starling Aplonis brunneicapilla Choiseul, recent record from Rendova
Louisiades White-eye Zosterops griseotinctus Nissan Is, New Ireland
Santa Cruz White-eye Zosterops santaecrucis Nendo, Santa Cruz
new species White-eye Zosterops sp nov Vanikolo, Santa Cruz
Sanford's White-eye Woodfordia lacertosa Nendo, Santa Cruz
Bismarck Thicketbird Megalurulus grosvenori Unkown, supposedly 1050+m New Britain
Guadalcanal Thicketbird Megalurulus whitneyi 700+m Guadalcanal (and on Santo, Vanuatu)
Rusty Thicketbird Megalurulus rubiginosus Widespread but elusive, scarce in lowland, several heard daily at Dog Mine, NB by GD
Rusty-winged Starling Aplonis zelandicus Nendo, Santa Cruz
Polynesian Starling Aplonis tabuensis Tinakula, Santa Cruz
Common Dophin Delphinus delphis 1 Vella Lavella
Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris 20+ Taron, Namatani and Djaul, NI
Melon-headed Whale Peponocephala electra 6+ Djaul
Grey Cuscus Phalanger orientalis 1 Manus and 1 caught Gizo
Cuscus sp. Phalanger sp. 2 Mussau
The following list includes all species basically confined to Melanesia, some of which are also found on a few other nearby islands. Where a species is listed under a single island with an asterisk, it may occur on other islands but is most readily found on this island. Birds in square brackets are not widely accepted as full species.
Black Honey-buzzard Henicopernis infuscatus
Slaty-mantled Sparrowhawk Accipiter luteoschistaceus
New Britain Bronzewing Henicophaps foersteri
Blue-eyed Cockatoo Cacatua opthalmica
Bismarck Masked Owl Tyto aurantia
Russet Hawk-Owl Ninox odiosa
New Britain Kingfisher Todirhamphus albonotatus
[Black-headed (Buff-breasted) Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera (sylvia) nigriceps]
Ashy (Red-throated) Myzomela Myzomela (eques) cineracea
Black-bellied Myzomela Myzomela erythromelas
New Britain Friarbird Philemon cockerelli
Bismarck Melidectes Melidectes whitemanensis
New Britain Thrush Zoothera talaseae
Bismarck Thicketbird Megalurulus grosvenori
Rusty Thicketbird Megalurulus rubiginosus
Bismarck Munia Lonchura melaena
White-naped Lory Lorius albinuchus
Bismarck Hawk-Owl Ninox variegata
New Ireland Myzomela Myzomela pulchella
New Ireland Friarbird Philemon eichhorni
[Djaul (Pied) Monarch Monarcha (verticalis) ateralba] Djaul
Ribbon-tailed Drongo Dicrurus megarhynchus
Atoll Starling Aplonis feadensis* Tench and Nissan
Mottled Munia Lonchura hunsteini
[New Hanover Munia Lonchura (hunsteini) nigerrima] New Hanover
New Ireland Munia Lonchura forbesi
Matthias Fantail Rhipidura matthiae Mussau
White-breasted Monarch Monarcha menckei
[Mussau (Varied) Triller Lalage (leucomela) conjuncta] Mussau
[Matthias (Olive-tailed/ Russet-tailed) Thrush Zoothera (unulata/ heinei) eichhorni]
[Mussau (Dull) Flycatcher Myiagra (hebetior)sp. nov.] Mussau
Pied Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena browni
Knob-billed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus insolitus
Finsch's Imperial-Pigeon Ducula finschii
Bismarck Imperial-Pigeon Ducula melanchroa
[Yellow-tinted (Torresian) Imperial-Pigeon Ducula (spilorrhoa) subflavescens] – and Manus
Green-fronted Hanging-Parrot Loriculus tener
Violaceus Coucal Centropus violaceus
Pied Coucal Centropus ateralbus
Bismarck Kingfisher Alcedo websteri
Bismarck Flycatcher Microeca sp. nov.
Bismarck Fantail Rhipidura dahli
Black-tailed Monarch Monarcha verticalis
Dull Flycatcher Myiagra hebetior – and St Matthias
Bismarck Woodswallow Artamus insignis
Black-headed White-eye Zosterops hypoxanthus and Manus
Red-banded Flowerpecker Dicaem eximium
Meek's Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta meeki and St Matthias
Manus Masked Owl Tyto manusi
Manus Hawk-Owl Ninox meeki
Black-headed Pitta Pitta superba
Ebony Myzomela Myzomela pammelaena* and St Matthias
White-naped Friarbird Philemon albitorques
Manus Fantail Rhipidura semirubra
Manus Monarch Monarcha infelix
Buff-headed Coucal Centropus milo* – and New Georgia
Ultramarine Kingfisher Todirhamphus leucopygius**
Moustached Kingfisher Actenoides bougainvillei**
Black-headed Myzomela Myzomela melanocephala
Guadalcanal Honeyeater Guadalcanaria inexpectata
Mountain Whistler Pachycephala implicata**
Brown Fantail Rhipidura drownei**
Guadalcanal Thrush Zoothera (magaretae) turipavae
Guadalcanal Thicketbird Megalurulus whitneyi and Vanuatu
White-eyed Starling Aplonis brunneicapilla and Choiseul
Silver-capped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus richarsii*
Rennell Fantail Rhipidura rennelliana
Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini
Rennell Starling Aplonis insularis
Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus
Bare-eyed White-eye Woodfordia superciliosa
San Cristobal Moorhen Gallinula silvestris – extinct?
Yellow-legged Pigeon Columba pallidiceps* and New Britain
Crested Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena crassirostris*
Thick-billed Ground-Dove Gallicolumba salamonis – extinct?
White-headed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus eugeniae
Chestnut-bellied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula brenchleyi*
Sooty Myzomela Myzomela tristrami
Mottled Flowerpecker Dicaeum tristrami
San Cristobal Melidectes Melidectes sclateri
Dusky Fantail Rhipidura tenebrosa
White-collared Monarch Monarcha viduus
Ochre-headed Flycatcher Myiagra cervinicauda
Solomon Islands (Spangled) Drongo Dicrurus (bracteatus) solomonensis and Guadalcanal
San Cristobal Thrush Zoothera margaretae
San Cristobal Starling Aplonis dichroa
Grey-throated White-eye Zosterops rendovae* and Guadalcanal
Shade Warbler Cettia parens
San Cristobal Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus makirensis
Imitator Sparrowhawk Accipiter imitator
Woodford's Rail Nesoclopeus woodfordi
Fearful Owl Nesasio solomonensis
Black-faced Pitta Pitta anerythra
Scarlet-naped Myzomela Myzomela lafargei
White-billed Crow Corvus woodfordi* and Guadalcanal
Yellow-throated White-eye Zosterops metcalfii
Pale Mountain-Pigeon Gymnophaps solomonensis*
Yellow-vented Myzomela Myzomela eichhorni
White-capped Monarch Monarcha richardsii
Kulambangra Monarch Monarcha browni
Banded White-eye Zosterops vellalavella Vella Lavella
Ganongga White-eye Zosterops splendidus Ranongga
Splendid White-eye Zosterops luteirostris Gizo
Solomon Islands White-Eye Zosterops kulambangrae
Kulambangra White-eye Zosterops murphyi Kulambangra
Kulambangra Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus amoenus Kulambangra
Red-bellied Myzomela Myzomela malaitae
Malaita Fantail Rhipidura malaitae
[Malaita Starling Aplonis (grandis) malaitae]
Malaita White-eye Zosterops stresemanni
Shortlands (shared with Bougainville) - 2
Bougainville Crow Corvus meeki
Bougainville Monarch Monarcha erythrostictus
Vanikoro Monarch Mayrornis schistaceus Vanikolo
Santa Cruz White-eye Zosterops santaecrucis Nendo
Vanikolo White-eye Zosterops sp. nov. Vanikolo
Sanford's White-eye Woodfordia lacertosa Nendo
Solomon Sea Eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi mainly New Georgia
Pied Goshawk Accipiter albogularis
Yellow-bibbed Lory Lorius chlorocercus
Meek's Lorikeet Charmosyna meeki
Duchess Lorikeet Charmosyna margarethae
Ducorp's Cockatoo Cacatua ducorpsii
Solomons Hawk-Owl Ninox jacquinoti
White-winged Fantail Rhipidura cockerelli
Chestnut-bellied Monarch Monarcha castaneiventris
Black-and-white Monarch Monarcha barbatus
Steel-blue Flycatcher Myiagra ferrocyanea
Solomons Cuckoo-shrike Coracina holopolia
Brown-winged Starling Aplonis grandis
Midget Flowerpecker Dicaeum aeneum
Melanesian Scrubfowl Megapodius eremita
Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus solomonensis and Manus & Geelvink Bay islands
Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeon Ducula rubricera
Mackinlay’s Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia mackinlayi and Karkar Is.
Cardinal Lory Chalcopsitta cardinalis Isabel, Makira and Nissan
Finsch's Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta finschii
Singing Parrot Geoffroyus heteroclitus
[Long-tailed (Yellow-faced) Myna Mino (dumontii) kreffti]
Bismarcks & Karkar Island - 2
Red-chinned Lorikeet Charmosyna rubrigularis
Scarlet-bibbed Myzomela Myzomela sclateri* small islands like Watom Is.
Bronze Ground-Dove Gallicolumba beccarii eichhorni 1 Mussau, St Matthias
Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta desiderata 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Uniform Swiftlet Collocalia v. vanikorensis 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris matthiae 3 Eloaua, St Matthias
Fan-tailed Gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis citrina 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Ashy Myzomela Myzomela cineracea 1 Lavege Track, NB
Cardinal Myzomela Myzomela cardinalis sanfordi 2 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Ebony Myzomela Myzomela pammelaena hades 5 Eloaua, St Matthias
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis sexuvaria 1 Mussau, St Matthias
P. p. citreogaster 4 Mt Agil, NI
Rennell Fantail Rhipidura rennelliana 4 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Matthias Fantail Rhipidura matthiae 1 Mussau, St Matthias
Rennell Shrikebill Clytorhynchus hamlini 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Island Monarch Monarcha cinerascens perpallidus 7 Eloaua, St Matthias
White-breasted Monarch Monarcha menckei 4 Eloaua, 2 Mussau, St Matthias
White-collared Monarch Monarcha viduus 1 Hauta, Makira
Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus kulambangrae 1 Kulambangra
T. p. rennellianus 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Rennell Starling Aplonis insularis 2 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Black-headed White-eye Zosterops hypoxanthus ultima 1 Mt Agil, NI
Rennell White-eye Zosterops rennellianus 1 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Bare-eyed White-eye Woodfordia superciliosa 15 Kia Koe Lodge, Rennell
Shade Warbler Cettia parens 1 Hauta, Makira
Blue-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura trichoa eichhorni 3 Eloaua, 7 Mussau, St Matthias
New Hanover Munia Lonchura nigerrima 5 New Hanover
Black Sunbird Nectarinia aspasia crinna 2 Mt Agil, NI
77 birds of 26 taxa, 24 species