Saturday, November 7, 2015

Norfolk Island ~ Part Four: Phillip Island

Friday evening the little antique mobile phone that is supplied with the cottage rang (my number is 54211). It was Dave. He is the only person with licensed access to take people to Phillip Island. An island “Trek” as it is called, was on for Saturday morning. Lynn had been a bit under the weather and although she was pretty much over it, doing the trek would not be a good idea. She insisted I go and I did. I am grateful.

Birders who visit Norfolk Island know about the trek, the disembarking of the little boat onto the rocks and the rope assisted climb up the cliff. That was not difficult. Granted we had very calm seas and climbing off the bow onto the rocks was easy and dry. But the hike to the top of the island was quite a hike indeed. All of the literature regarding the trek says, “A reasonable degree of fitness is required.” That is a very vague statement. As would be necessary to reach the top, one is always going up… and up. I am grateful that I evidently do have a reasonable degree of fitness. The views are absolutely amazing. Stupidly, I had left my iPhone at the cottage, so all of my landscape and scenic photos are taken at the 100mm end of my 100-400mm birding lens. It really does not serve in this case. But I am grateful to have the photos and to have been there to take them in the first place.

Phillip Island is a nesting spot for many sea birds. At this time, Black-winged Petrels were around and even a couple of Kermadec Petrels, both of which were life birds for me! There were also lots of Grey Ternlets, Black Noddys, a couple of Common Noddys, Sooty Terns, Red-tailed Tropicbirds and heaps of Masked Boobies. We did not see any White-necked Petrels or Providence Petrels. From what I understand, the Providence only nest there in the winter. It was an amazing morning and I am very grateful that I got to make the trek.
Grey Ternlets 

Masked Booby on egg.
Black-winged Petrel over Masked Boobies
Black Noddy, also called the White-capped Noddy

Kermadec Petrel
Kermadec Petrel
Black-winged Petrel top
Black-winged Petrel underside

Yawning Common Noddy
Frowning Common Noddy
Common Noddy
It’s now early Sunday arvo. After a bit of sea watching with Lynn this morning (she got her lifer Black-winged Petrel through the scope!) I went back down to Slaughter Bay and did a bit of snorkeling. I dearly love to snorkel and I have not done it in ages. I saw wondrous reef fishes… dazzling colors and patterns. It was glorious. I will see about posting this since the internet seems to be working at present. Y’all will know if it works.
Just out after a snorkel. Above my head is Phillip Island. I hiked to its summit yesterday morning. I am grateful!
Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.

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