The morning began with a walk along the coastline, with Great Frigatebirds soaring above us. Unlike the plethora of terns and noddies, these gigantic birds seem to simply float - no flapping, no wing movements at all, kites on invisible tethers. We were soon distracted, however, by a couple of Wandering Tattlers on the boulders with the now-familiar accompaniment of Reef Herons.
Back at the house for breakfast, we shunned resting and relaxing in favour of a bike ride around the island. Thirty kilometres might not be much, but combine a serious lack of prior exercise with thirty degrees in the burning sun, and you had a recipe for a real slog. The joyous agony of cycling was broken by an impromptu swim at Black Rock in the northwest corner (getting a closer look at some White-tailed Tropicbirds) and having our first Red-Tailed Tropicbird drift past us only metres away at Avarua. By late afternoon we were utterly spent, with no more birding plans for the day.
Once we had cooled off and cleaned up, it wasn't long before we started to make our plans for the next day's birds…
|A Great Frigatebird|