Our island, Vanua Levu, is home to a large number of birds, including the rare silktail which is found in the eastern end of the island!
We offer a flexible 2 day programme which can be done whenever you want – price only covers the birdwatching.
Programme for two days
The excursions are to areas noted for particular birds, and we’ll also walk around the extensive land of Daku Resort itself. As well as many more common Fijian birds such as the reef heron, the kingfisher, the shrikebill and the honey eater, we will set out to see the orange dove and the silktail, both of which are to be found on our island. In fact, the orange dove has been spotted on the estate of Daku Resort itself. A reasonable degree of fitness is required if you are to access all the sites; the two areas where the silktail and the orange dove are found are steep and difficult. We set out early on most days.
Of course you’ll be bringing your own binoculars, but if you’re looking for advice on these, have a look at When Outdoors for some of the latest easy-to-carry small binoculars.
The descriptions of the locations are written by one of our first birdwatcher visitors, Andrew McCutcheon. Many thanks to him for his meticulous observations.
Trip to see the orange dove.
We drive about 40 minutes to a private estate where the orange dove is frequently spotted – along with its less colurful female mate.
Vusuratu to see Silktail.
Approx 2 hours drive each way, half on dirt roads. We leave Daku early to be there at the best time for the birds. Once there, the terrain is steep and overgrown.
Andrew: This was our opportunity to see two iconic species, the Silktail and Orange Dove and we were not disappointed as both these species were frequently and easily seen (but not so easy to photograph). The Silktail is a truly impressive little bird being deep velvet black with blue spangling on the head and upper body parts, and having a conspicuous silky white rump. We saw at least three individuals in this patch of forest leading us to believe that there must be a reasonably large population of these birds on the peninsula to which the Vanua Levu subspecies of the Silktail is restricted.
The Orange Dove with its vivid orange plumage in the male bird is equally impressive. The call is a very distinctive and mechanical tock repeated at various rates of frequency. In complete contrast the female is a green bird, but despite her effective camouflage was more frequently seen than the male bird.
Lots of other bird species were seen here in a multiple species foraging group the presence of which is signaled by the Slaty Monarch and Streaked Fantail. Looking more closely into the group other species appeared including the Lesser Shrikebill, Golden Whistler (a very colourful and handsome bird) and of course the Silktail. Lower down close to ground level the Fiji Bush Warbler, more often heard than seen also appeared. Other notable birds seen in this area included Barking Pigeon, Fiji Woodswallow and our only sightings of the Red Shining Parrot.
Optional early walk behind Daku (you can do this by yourself).
There is a good dirt road all the way; its very steep up – and very steep down.
Andrew: We all went for an early morning walk before breakfast along the forest tracks in Daku Estate. Although the bird calls were not overly plentiful, the species we did find were interesting. We heard the Scarlet Robin calling in the same place as before and were determined to see it this time. Despite it constantly calling we found the bird to be a ventriloquist, and for this reason good at avoiding detection. After scrambling down the steep slope below the track we finally saw it, a lone immature male calling desperately for a mate. Compared to the Australian Scarlet Robin this is a much smaller bird at 10 cm in length (as opposed to 13 cm for the Aust. Robin), but makes up for its small size with plenty of bright red on the breast which seems to extend further down on the Fiji bird.
The other significant sighting was an immature White-throated Pigeon in the same area as the Scarlet Robin.
In addition to these two species we saw a range of birds frequently seen in the area including Fiji Goshawk, Streaked Fantail, Vanikoro Broadbill, Wattled Honeyeater, Orange-breasted Myzomela and Fiji Parrotfinch.
DepartureDaku Resort, Fiji
IncludedAccommodationAll Workshop FeesDining & MealsLectures & ExcursionsTransfers from Savusavu Airport
Not IncludedAlcoholic BeveragesEquipment & SuppliesFlights/TravelNon-Course ActivitiesTravel Insurance