Cocos Island 11 - 18/3/11

March 11, 2011

We (Me, Bill Moorhead and Karen Blake) headed over to Cocos (Keeling) Islands from the 11th-18th of March, 2011. A cyclone had passed through the islands in November causing an influx of vagrants. We only saw a few of the birds seen by the first trip but we were still very happy. We birded all areas of West Island and heavily birded Home Island and Horsborough Island. Richard Baxters group was there for most of the time we were there and we thank them for there knowledge, company and finding a few of the birds.

WATERCOCK: Minimum of 4 birds seen. All but one were on the west side of the airstrip on West Island around the Met Office. A breeding male bird (in fresh plumage as one would expect at this time of the year) was seen just south of the radar dish. One female bird was seen feeding on the mudflats to the north of the airstrip.

CINNAMON BITTERN: One bird seen briefly by Bill Moorhead at Bechat Besar flying and then landing about half way up on the left (when looking from the chairs).

YELLOW BITTERN: One bird was seen twice at Bechat Besar. Darwin birder Biggles saw one in the afternoon fly across the back of the swamp. We went back the next day at around 5 oclock and had similar views of it flying and feeding the far edge. The quarry bird at tyhe south of the airstrip appears to have left.

ASIAN KOEL: One male bird seen on Home Island. Seen in the mansion grounds and in the large trees near the oval.

JAPANESE SPARROWHAWK: One large female bird seen on Home Island. Seen flying low by Richard Baxter at the jetty and then soaring above our heads at the far south of the island.

EURASIAN TEAL: Single bird seen throughout West Island. First seen at Bechat Besar and later on the north side of the airstrip and at the original Chinese Pond Heron site. This bird is very flightly and appears that it will leave very soon.

LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO: Single bird seen at the Mansion grounds on Home Island. Same bird as reported in November and subsequently since then.

probable CHINESE POND-HERON: Single non-breeding/juvenile bird seen on West Island. From the very southern tip of the island it was seen on the mudflats to the east.

PIN-TAILED SNIPE: A flock of about 20 was seen repeatedly at the northern end of the airstrip on West Island. Single birds seen on Horsborough Island and 3 on Home Island.

WESTERN REEF-EGRET: Numerous birds throughout West Island.

possible WESTERN CATTLE EGRET: 2 seen daily near the airstrip. One appears to be going into breeding plumage going into our winter suggests the ID


Locations visited

Cocos Keeling



Written by

Jack Moorhead

Published To


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