Collared Kingfisher

The collared kingfisher is one of our favorite birds to play peek-a-boo with here in Tonga. They’re a frequent friend, usually hanging out alone in large trees along the shores of small islands around Vava’u. They’re silent until disturbed, at which point the belt out a surprisingly loud screeching sound.

We found this fellow while hiking around Umuna, the island just north of Kenutu. We also saw owls, a Fiji shrikebill, the usual assortment of sea birds when we reached the exposed shore, and I was even dive bombed by two Tongan whistlers when I must have unsuspectingly strolled too close to their nest. Wild times!

We also found the freshwater cave on the island with the help of Annie and Matt, a Kiwi couple in the process of building their retirement dream home—a two story cement structure with fantastic views of the lagoon, an outdoor beach bar, a path leading to a yoga room, a viewing platform on the exposed shore, and all the birding an adventurous couple could hope for.