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The ideal getaway

Chandra Fisi'iahi
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fiji is known for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters, which is normally used to sell Fiji to the thousands of tourists who visit our shores every year.

Hence, the reason many are stunned to discover that we have some beautiful forest environments, a super example of which is Colo-i-Suva forest park.

Colo-i-Suva (pronounced tholo-ee-soo-va) is a 2.5-sq/km oasis of lush rainforest, teeming with tropical plants and vivid and melodic bird life.

In the midst of God's beautiful creation lies the Colo-i-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort, a peaceful retreat away from the busy life.

Imagine yourself beside a lake filled with water lilies, a little drizzle, reading your favourite book, inhaling clean air and listening to the enchanting music made by the forest.

The ecotourism resort is a 20-minute drive from the Capital City and Nausori International Airport, located opposite a police community post and next to the Colo-i-Suva forest park.

The property has 22 rooms consisting of seven bure, three studios and 12 budget rooms, a swimming pool and lakeside restaurant open from 7am until 9pm (last orders 8.30pm).

The lake is a natural lake and the property has quite a history with locals who worked the quarry before a natural spring was hit which formed the present day lake.

A small conference room is also very popular for meetings, it has a side open overlooking the lake, and the poolside offers a delightful venue for functions. If you do not like the sun, sandy beaches and bikinis, the Colo-i-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort is the place for you.

Birdwatching around the Colo-i-Suva area and the Colo-i-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort

* Fiji goshawk (latui, reba,

tuitui) — Accipiter rufitorques.

Endemic to Fiji except for the Lau Group. It makes its home anywhere from dense forest to urban areas. It rarely soars, and is more likely to be seen using a flap and glide flight, or a low twisting flight to capture prey.

It is identifiable by its blue-grey plumage with a brownish pink area below and around the neck. A small hawk with long tail, long legs and rounded wingtips. Young are speckled brown and white. Male is much smaller than female.

* Swamp (Pacific) harrier — (manulevu, taiseni, takubu) Circus approximans

The swamp or Pacific harrier is a large slim-bodied raptor (bird of prey), with long slender legs and a long tail, rounded at the tip. It is mainly dark brown above and the white rump is prominent. It has an owl-like face mask. The wings are long and broad, with five "fingers" on the wing tips in flight. Females are larger with rufous underparts, while the smaller male is lighter underneath.

The legs and eyes are yellow. This species has a slow sailing flight on up-swept wings, flying low over water. It is also known as the marsh harrier.

* Barking imperial pigeon (soqe, tabadamu, ruve) Ducula latrans

Remote rainforest dweller. A massive imperial fruit-pigeon with a deep dog-like bark. Many-coloured fruit dove (kuluvotu, kiluvotu) Ptilinopus perousil.

The many-coloured fruit dove is a species of bird in the Columbidae family. It occurs on islands in the south-west Pacific Ocean where it is found in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

* White-rumped Swiftlet (kakalaba, kakaba, kakavbace) Aerodramus spodiopygius.

The white-rumped swiftlet is a species of swift in the Apodidae family. It is found in American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

* Collared Lory (kula, drisi)

Phigys solitaries

Endemic to Fiji. Short chubby parrot, has a patterned array of colour — red, green and deep purple with a yellow bill. Feeds on flowering trees including coconut and african tulip. These beautiful birds can be found in flocks of 6-50 members in all parts of Fiji except Southern Lau.

* Golden dove (bunako, ko)

Chrysoenas luteovirens

Endemic to Fiji. One of Fiji's most amazing birds. Found in the high canopy of the forest in Viti Levu, Ovalau, Gau and some Yasawa islands. Often found hanging upside own to reach fruit, they forage for small fruits and berries and the odd caterpillar. They have the strangest of calls like the yap of a young dog, and also utter a low hoarse growl.

* Masked shining parrot (kaka, ka) Prosopeia personata

Endemic to Fiji. Viti Levu's own parrot. Slim green parrot with a black mask on its face and a bright yellow breast. Feeds on fruits in the forest canopy and also likes bananas. Lives from mangrove to wet mountain forest and is very noisy and sociable.

* White collared kingfisher (sese, secala, lele, lesi) Todirhamphus chloris

May be found anywhere from urban centres to mangroves. They forage for grasshoppers, crickets, small lizards and crabs, and sometimes small fish.

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