Fiji birding

We left from Suva and were soon steaming out past the reef towards Gau/Ngau Island. Our aim was to spot the rare and elusive Fiji petrel. As I was still getting my sealegs, I didn’t venture out on the Zodiacs. Instead, I experienced a swim in the deep ocean, off the side of the Spirit of Enderby. It did not pay to think much about what was down there, as you dived into the vast blueness of the Pacific – water temperature a balmy 28 deg C apparently. 

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Lenses up – spot the bird! (This time an elegant Tahiti petrel)

After 3 hours bobbing around on a slick made of strong smelling fish oil, the Zodiacs returned, full of elated birders – the Fiji petrel had flown conveniently past them and many had captured great photos. The first rare bird had been seen and dinner was joyful that evening.

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The next morning we were escorted into a wonderful hidden harbour, by the people of Ongea Levu.

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As soon as we stepped ashore into the village, the birdsong was obvious. A quiet walk down paths in the bush revealed many birds, including the Ogea/Ongea buff-bellied monarch, which we had come to find.

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(Photo courtesy of Heritage Expeditions)

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(Photo courtesy of Heritage Expeditions)

Serious bird business.

Other creatures were spotted too.

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And then it was time for kava and dancing with the villagers.

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What a precious day – thank you Ongea!

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