We saw a Long-tailed cuckoo at 100 Acres on Wednesday (good spotting by Rachel) , and another was reported run over by a car in Kingston. I went looking for parts but it was a number of days later, and found nothing. One is also being heard in the valley below Hemus Road.
Very reassuring was the sight of Pacific robin chicks in more than one site in the Mt Pitt area. We can only hope they survive to contribute to the population numbers.
I had a third-hand report of a Pacific gull, seen flying over the Kingston coastal area sometime this week, and the observer was a visitor so I have little chance of getting details.
Our group on Wednesday was surprised to see a large half-feathered/half downy booby on the hillside opposite Lone Pine at Kingston. There was a strong sou'easterly wind blowing into Kingston and the awkward and rather surprised-looking juvenile was probably picked up and carried across to Norfolk from Nepean Island when he was stretching his wings, exercising for a first flight that was likely planned for a later date. While we watched he managed to waddle to the top of the hill and let the wind take him away again, flying in a large arc in an attempt to get back home. We lost sight of him halfway across the water and can only think positively about the outcome. I've seen reluctant and unplanned first flights before, and the surprise and fear the boobies feel is easily read in their body language, with feet outstretched trying to reach the ground as it moves farther and farther away, and their neck craning downwards watching it recede. I could almost feel sorry for them if they didn't look so funny.
The red-tailed tropicbirds have a distinct blush of pink about them now, as they are dressed in their breeding plumage. It's strong enough colour to be clearly discernible even as they fly by. The colour is beautiful, and I have only ever seen it elsewhere in ethereal paintings by Italian masters.