Feb 19, 2010

Fiji Bird Watching

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Fiji Bird Watching

Feb 6, 2010

FIJI PETREL! Awesome shot!

Pelagic Birds of Jörg

FIJI PETREL! Awesome shot!

Pelagic Birds of Jörg - Fiji Bird Watching - Everything to do with birdwatching & birding in Fiji - Fiji Bird Watching - Everything to do with birdwatching & birding in Fiji

Feb 3, 2010

Best Trip Ever! - TripAdvisor

This place is awesome!

But before I rant about a the good stuff, a little about the bad. Matava is an eco resort, which means you give up a few luxuries, like AC or even fans so it gets a little hot even at night. Also you may see the occasional mouse or monstrous insect, or hear them in the walls every now and then. However all of this is more than compensated for by: a wonderful staff, beautiful location, great meals and lots to do. Now I rant!

The dive team at Matava is fantastic. They are consummate professionals who worry more about your safety than you do. My girlfriend and I are novice Open Water Divers and the staff really took care of us. We had a dive master swimming along side of us no more than a meter away for most of our dives. They are also really great people I genuinely liked as well. Also the dive boat is huge and has power to spare so it goes anywhere and the dives themselves are wonderful, and teaming with sea life.

We went on some great hikes, kayaked, snorkeled and stayed over night in a village (not to be missed), all of which was great. I did not fish while I was there but I heard it was great from the guests who did, and enjoyed eating their nightly catch.

The staff at the resort is amazingly friendly, including the owners who really go out of their way to give you the trip you want, they tried to arrange some surf for me but the swell and wind did not cooperate. If you want to do something, just ask, they will sort you out.

I really enjoyed the meals at Matava as well, its always fresh local fish and ingredients with daily themes like, Thai, Jamaican, Japanese, etc, nights. The meals are communal which I loved because you get to chat with other guests, owners, dive instructors, guides, etc.

In general I would highly recommend Matava to adventure seeking people who want to do stuff and interact with other people. This is not a sit back and sip umbrella drinks all day type of resort (although you can do that too it you really want). This is more of a wake up early, do amazing things all day, then go to sleep exhausted right after dinner sort of resort and if that is what you are looking for you are going to love Matava, especially divers and sport fishermen. It you are looking for luxury accommodation, and dont dive or fish, you probably wont love this report as much as I did.

Best Trip Ever! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Feb 1, 2010

BBC - Earth News - 'Lost seabird' returns to ocean

Editor, Earth News

Fiji petrel (Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi )
Up to eight Fiji petrels were seen over an 11-day period

One of the world's rarest and most elusive birds has finally been seen flying in its natural habitat.
The Fiji petrel, a seabird that once "went missing" for 130 years, has been sighted flying at sea, near the island of Gau in the Pacific Ocean.
The culmination of a meticulously planned bird hunt, Birdlife International researchers sighted the birds 25 nautical miles south of Gau.
Up to eight individuals were seen and photographed over 11 days.
The 30cm tall dark-brown Fiji petrel (Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi) is one of the most elusive of all birds.

To see such a little-known bird at such close range was magical
Expedition member Mr Tony Pym
Originally, the species was known from just a single immature specimen, collected in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji.
But then the bird "went missing" with no further confirmed sightings of it for almost 130 years.
Then in 1984, an adult was caught and photographed on Gau, then released.
Since then, there have been a handful of reports of "grounded" birds that had crashed onto village roofs on the island. Most were immature birds, of which a few died.
Due to the extremely limited number of sightings, the bird is also inferred to be one of the rarest of all bird species.
It is one of 192 bird species which are list as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Stinky lure
But while there have been ten unconfirmed reports of the bird at sea, with the latest a possible Fiji Petrel sighted around 400km north of Bougainville Island, until now there has been no confirmed sightings.
That was until in May, when scientists and volunteers working with Birdlife International and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, a partner conservation organisation based in Fiji, set out to find the bird in its natural habitat.
The search for the elusive petrel is described in a paper in the latest Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club.
The researchers lured the bird with a specially made food, made from finely cut fish offal mixed with very dense fish oil.
Fiji petrel (H.Shirihai)
The Fiji petrel once "went missing" for 130 years
These were then frozen into 10kg blocks, which persist for over an hour in the water, creating a pungent oil slick which attracts petrels from some miles away.
On the second day of the expedition, the first Fiji Petrel appeared, approaching the chum slick from downwind, slowly zigzagging over the slick, and suddenly changing direction to drop onto a floating morsel.
In all, the expedition team believe they saw eight individuals over eleven days of observations.
"Finding this bird and capturing such images was a fantastic and exhilarating experience," says ornithologist Hadoram Shirihai, who lead the search team.
In 2008, Mr Shirihai also rediscovered the Critically Endangered Beck's Petrel (Pseudobulweria becki) a bird that was also only known from two sightings in the Pacific made in the 1920s.
"To see such a little-known bird at such close range was magical," added fellow expedition member Mr Tony Pym, describing his joy at seeing the Fiji petrel flying over the waves.
More surveys in 2010 are now planned to to locate the breeding area of the Fiji Petrel, says Dick Watling of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.
"Once we know the location, we can assess what needs to be done to turn around the fortunes of this species," he says.

BBC - Earth News - 'Lost seabird' returns to ocean