Archive for April, 2014

Birding the Pacific

April 15, 2014

15 April 2014: Suva, Fiji

95% humidity and spectacular geography

30°, 95% humidity and spectacular geography

New buildings gradually rising.

New buildings gradually rising.

This is the Suva I remember from the 1980s.

This is the Suva I remember from the 1980s.

Here I am, in the Holiday Inn, Suva. Feeling apprehensive, but excited too. I am off on a Heritage Expedition, “Birding the Pacific”, no doubt with a whole lot of men (and women?) with very long lenses, to island and atoll hop from Fiji, through the islands of Vanuatu, to the Solomons, over a period of just over two weeks.  I am looking forward to warm evenings, like the one I’ve just had, drinking the excellent draft Fijian beer and eating Salad Nicoise, Fiji-style. I hope to find water still so clear and turquoise that I can forget my climate guilt and rejoice in the beauty of the planet. Hopefully we will see birds a little more exotic than the hundreds of Asian Mynahs that are found around here. Last night the full moon hung in a velvet black sky, studded with stars (and possibly mosquitos – there is a rise in rates of Dengue Fever in Fiji that is a bit of a worry). I watched the same moon set over the Maungatua as I left Dunedin a few days ago, at a truly ungodly time of the morning. In the northern hemisphere the moon is currently in eclipse: according to CNN, a “portent of doom”.  Humans are the funniest things. Let the doom begin.

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