Cocos (Keeling) and Xmas Island - birders paradise!

Australia's Indian Ocean islands (Cocos Keeling and Christmas Island) are not only holiday places, but they see a number vagrant birds showing up every year.

It takes an 4 hours flight from Perth to get there and when landing on Cocos one is greeted by a breath taking magnificent tropical island which is - like Lord Howe - an experience of its own from the moment you arrive. I hope my photos will show why I have enjoyed my time on these islands.

We did find rare birds like a Narcissus Flycatcher, a von Schrenck's Bittern or a Crow-Billed Drongo (a bird which was first time ever seen in Australia) but we also saw all endemic birds of these islands like the Abbot's and Red-Footed Boobies as well.

The most spectacular shots are probably the Great Frigate Birds coming in for a drink but I also like the gentle von Schrenck's Bittern very much. The migration of the red crabs had just started (which kept us away from some of the roads, which had been closed. I was also really impressed by the Coconut Crabs (Robber Crabs), which can grow as big as 50 cm! Christmas Island holds today the largest remaining population of these biggest land living crustaceans on the planet.

On top of that I have enjoyed the time accompanied by a great bunch of like-minded people on this tour organised by Richard Baxter through his Birding Tours Australia. Richard is a really nice guy and an extremely capable birding guide.

Enjoy and if you like, feel free to provide comments via the Contact page!