Sunday, 7 December 2014


I was on Christmas Island from Tuesday 18 until Saturday 22 November 2014, hoping to see a Savannah Nightjar that I had heard calling on my previous visit in 2007.  However, we had no luck with nightjars of any sort.  We did see all the endemics - the Emerald Dove, the Imperial-Pigeon, the Swiftlet, the White-eye and the Island Thrush were all very easy.  The Hawk-Owl required a bit of work, as did the Java Sparrow.  We searched for Java Sparrows amongst the Eurasian Tree Sparrows where the locals feed them in front of a block of flats over the road from the technical school.  On our last day we learnt that they were seen each morning in the vicinity of the nursery, and that's where we finally caught up with them.

The Golden Bosunbirds were as elegant as ever and, as on both my previous trips to Christmas Island, there were cute fluffy chicks sitting patiently on the ground pleading to have their photos taken.

Golden Bosunbird chick

We also saw Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Great and Christmas Frigatebirds (but not Lesser) and Abbott's, Red-footed and Brown Boobies.  There were about fifty Common Noddies at the wharf in Flying Fish Cove.  Here we also saw one Common Sandpiper and one White-winged Black Tern.

It was a major irritation to have to remove Variable Goshawk from my life total because capricious taxonomists have decided once again to lump it with Brown Goshawks.  Don't these ornithologists appreciate the ramifications of their decisions?

We knew that a Red Collared Dove had been seen on the island, and, thanks to local knowledge, managed to tick it at Rocky Point on the first day.

Red-rumped Swallows flew around in front of our accommodation, mixed with Barn Swallows early the next morning before breakfast.

On Friday Peter Barron arrived with another birding group, and it was thanks to them that we saw House Swifts.  We'd been at a cove below the casino trying to add Striated Heron to our list, when some thoughtful member of the other birding group phoned to say that they'd seen House Swifts.  We rushed to our vehicles and managed to get good sightings at LB4.

Of course I would have liked to have seen Savannah Nightjars, but I wasn't complaining as I climbed aboard the plane for the next instalment of my adventure:  Cocos Islands.

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