Norfolk Island.

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Reflex
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Norfolk Island.

Thought I'd share some photographs from my trip to Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island (population 2302) is a pine-studded speck adrift in the South Pacific Ocean, 1600km northeast of Sydney and 1000km northwest of New Zealand or two hours by plane out of Brisbane.

The shopping on Norfolk Island is particularly good due to the absence of Australian Government taxes and duties, Norfolk Island is tax free haven of Australia but that's all due to change as of the 1st July this year and I think it's fair to say the locals are not happy about it. 

 Not the Golden Whistler we are used to seeing. This one only lives on NI and nowhere else.

They also have their own version of a Sacred Kingfisher,  Locals call these "Nuffka".

A male Pacific Robin. Quite common in the reserves but always in the darkest corners of the forest and guess who didn't take his flash?.

White Terns were breeding everywhere while I was there but the White-capped Noddys were well down in numbers and no-one knew why. No nest  they just lay one single egg on a branch. Seems to work but some do fall prey to the dreaded cats and strong winds.

Plenty of small fish for the young birds.

The weather on Norfolk Island is steady all year round. This beautiful mild climate usually sits between 10 to 26 degrees centigrade. A great spot to bring up the young.

Red-tailed Tropicbirds are very common on the island and I couldn't count how many I photographed in the week that I was there. My Australian Birds photographed count is now up to 254.

It's not a big Island. The island measures only 8km by 5km, with vertical cliffs defining much of the coastline. Black-winged Petrel with a backdrop of the view from one of the many viewing points.

Four species and five subspecies of birds endemic to Norfolk Island are now extinct because of habitat clearing for agriculture and the introduction of invasive alien species. Ongoing conservation action is required to save the Norfolk Island Green Parrot from the same fate. 

Woko
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Very interesting, Reflex. What species of pines do they have on Norfolk Island? And what wildlife uses them?

Reflex
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Woko wrote:

Very interesting, Reflex. What species of pines do they have on Norfolk Island? And what wildlife uses them?

  Had to Google the answer for you Woko.

Araucaria heterophylla. As its vernacular name Norfolk Island pine implies, the tree is endemic to NI. The White Terns use them to rear their young. 

Samford Valley Qld.

TheBirdLover
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Sounds like you enjoyed your trip there, Reflex.

Awsome shot of the Golden Whistler! I also like the Sacred Kingfisher photo! 

Thanks for sharing!

M.M.

rawshorty
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Very Nice Reflex, and you got some cracker shots.

Looks like it beats a trip to Canberra :)

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

Reflex
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rawshorty wrote:

Very Nice Reflex, and you got some cracker shots.

Looks like it beats a trip to Canberra :)

Pretty sure you would like it actually. The only bird I dipped on that I really wanted was the Grey Ternlet. I was talking to some locals who said they used to be very commom but numbers have been decimated over the last ten years. In fact I heard that quite often while I was there about a few birds.

In the late afternoon you could see the Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters rafting up out at sea in the hundreds waiting to come in under darkness to their burrows. Present on the island from October to May.

Samford Valley Qld.

Snail
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Reflex wrote:
Woko wrote:

Very interesting, Reflex. What species of pines do they have on Norfolk Island? And what wildlife uses them?

  Had to Google the answer for you Woko.

Araucaria heterophylla. As its vernacular name Norfolk Island pine implies, the tree is endemic to NI. The White Terns use them to rear their young. 

It is the Norfolk Pine that dominates the skyline of many east coast towns including where I live here in Port Macquarie. They can get huge, up to 50 metres, although most are lopped before they reach those heights for safety reasons. A pair of Ospreys have a nest in one right in the middle of town here, and I know of another pair nesting in one at Harrington, about 50km south of here. The Ospreys here use one of the pines adjacent to their nest that has been lopped at the top, as a platform to tear apart and eat their fish. They also attract big mixed flocks of feral Little and Long-billed Corellas, that feed on the seeds from all the cones that fall to the ground. We use the trees as a navigation point when coming back in from a days fishing out at sea. 

Here is an SMH article about the invasion of the Norfolk Island Pine

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/selfpropagated-norfolk-island-pines-prove-tenacious-invaders-20150305-13vziy.html

LM

Snail
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Great set of shots Reflex, by the way. I really love those White terns, so ethereal. Nice snap of the tropicbird too, and I love that fluffy little gannet.

LM

Reflex
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Wow! Micheal Pascoe didn't have much good to say about the Norfolk Pine! I know they have a massive root system.

I had heard that chopping the tops of them (large trees anyway) ulitmately killed them. They did this to some tall trees near the airport on NI and it upset the trees ability to regulate evaporation and caused the trees to drown/rot away.

Samford Valley Qld.

Reflex
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Snail wrote:

Great set of shots Reflex, by the way. I really love those White terns, so ethereal. Nice snap of the tropicbird too, and I love that fluffy little gannet.

 

Thanks Liam. Ethereal is a great description of the White Tern. They can be a hard bird to photograph under some light conditions with the black eye and all white colouring.

That "fluffy little gannet" is actually a fluffy little Masked Booby. Brown Boobies are occasionally seen on the island as well but I didn't see one while I was there.

Samford Valley Qld.

Rick N
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Sounds and looks a magic trip John.

Great images and now on my bucket list.

White Terns are just gorgeous.

Devster
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Nice shots Reflex. I particularly love the White Terns. Looks like you had a good time. You have well and truley pulled ahead of me in the bird count. (sad face)

Snail
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Reflex wrote:

Wow! Micheal Pascoe didn't have much good to say about the Norfolk Pine! I know they have a massive root system.

Not much good to say at all! They might be big, unsightly and a nuisance in some places but surely they must rank very low in terms of environmental invasiveness.   Maybe they have helped in the recovery of Osprey numbers along the east coast by providing nesting sites(?). Is there many NIPs around brisbane/sunshine coast?

LM

Reflex
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Snail wrote:
Reflex wrote:

Wow! Micheal Pascoe didn't have much good to say about the Norfolk Pine! I know they have a massive root system.

Not much good to say at all! They might be big, unsightly and a nuisance in some places but surely they must rank very low in terms of environmental invasiveness.   Maybe they have helped in the recovery of Osprey numbers along the east coast by providing nesting sites(?). Is there many NIPs around brisbane/sunshine coast?

Yes but it looks like they are on the way out...

I'm pretty sure this is not what you were hoping for. Looks like Pascoe was/is right about the Norfolk Pine being an invasive pest.

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/last-stand-for-beach-trees/2718512/

"A line of 25 extended from where the Caloundra Coastguard is now based through to Happy Valley at the entrance to Pumicestone Passage. There are now only four of the eight still standing and they are all in very poor condition".

Samford Valley Qld.

Snail
Snail's picture

Reflex wrote:
Snail wrote:
Reflex wrote:

Wow! Micheal Pascoe didn't have much good to say about the Norfolk Pine! I know they have a massive root system.

Not much good to say at all! They might be big, unsightly and a nuisance in some places but surely they must rank very low in terms of environmental invasiveness.   Maybe they have helped in the recovery of Osprey numbers along the east coast by providing nesting sites(?). Is there many NIPs around brisbane/sunshine coast?

Yes but it looks like they are on the way out...

I'm pretty sure this is not what you were hoping for. Looks like Pascoe was/is right about the Norfolk Pine being an invasive pest.

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/last-stand-for-beach-trees/2718512/

Interesting, I wonder what they will be replaced with. I'm no tree expert, but I can't think of any tall natives that can thrive in the harsh conditions of the beaches and headlands. 

LM

HelloBirdy
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Must have been great to see so many unique birds! Thanks for sharing

Ryu
Canberra
Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

Woko
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Thanks for the information, Reflex & Snail, but, oh, dear, how dumb am I to be unaware that the Norfolk Island pine is the Norfolk Island Pine. But not quite as dumb as the councils, at least in SA, who continue to plant this species not only along beach fronts but also, for example, along the Angas River at Strathalbyn. Michael Pascoe's article explains clearly why this weed needs to be eradicated. Unfortunately, when councils & other authorities plant weeds such as Norfolk Island Pines they do little or nothing to control their spread into areas where they're not wanted.

WhistlingDuck

Great post Reflex with the info about Norfolk island and your photos. Really like your white terns and the sacred kingfisher shots. Thats a beauty of the tropic bird - its build and beak reminds me of caspian terns.

Congratulations on passing the 250 mark!

Reflex
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A magnificent part of the world.

Samford Valley Qld.

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