Lord Howe Island Birdwatching. Lord Howe Island is home to 14 species of seabirds, which breed there in the hundreds and swoop and dive over the two bulbous peaks, Mt. Gower and Mt. Lidgbird. A good viewing spot that's also easier to climb are the Malabar cliffs, on the northeast corner of the island. Here from September to May, you'll see red-tailed tropic birds performing their courting rituals. This is also the time that shearwaters (also known as mutton birds) return to the island daily at dusk, making for an extraordinary avian spectacle. One of the rarest birds, the Providence petrel, returns to the island to nest in winter (June to August), while sooty terns are also a regular sight at Ned's Beach and the Northern Hills between September and January. The island also hosts more than 130 species of permanent and migratory birds, such as the flightless Lord Howe Island woodhen. Author and naturalist Ian Hutton (www.ianhuttontours.com) conducts nature tours and seabird cruises. A four-hour birdwatching cruise around Balls Pyramid costs from A$100. Another reliable bird-watching tour company is Lord Howe Island Tours (www.lordhoweislandtours.net). Lord Howe Island, NSW, 2898.