Hailed by many as the world’s most spectacular bird, and a species that until recently was exceedingly difficult to find in its natural habitat, the Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise is a creature that quite simply has to be seen to be believed! Endemic to Indonesia, and found only in the forests of Waigeo and Batanta Islands off West Papua, it is endowed with possibly the most remarkable tail feathers and plumage of any bird, so clearly evident in this brilliant image of a displaying male by Dubi Shapiro.
This is just one of many astounding species we will be targeting on our two new tours to the endemic-rich islands of Indonesia and the Southwest Pacific: namely, our Remote West Papuan Islands Cruise and Buru Extension, and our Southwest Pacific Islands tour. Both of these ground-breaking tours have been carefully crafted by THE foremost birding expert of the region – David Bishop, whom Rockjumper is honored to be partnering with for these and other trips. David was in fact the first modern-day birder to thoroughly explore Indonesia, and his book on the birds of Wallacea (which he co-authored with Brian Coates), A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea (Sulawesi, the Moluccas, and Lesser Sundas), is a direct result of his many years’ experience in this fascinating archipelago. David is also famous for rediscovering the (Wallace’s) Standardwing in 1983, and has undertaken numerous expeditions to previously unexplored regions throughout New Guinea and the Pacific, and is in fact one of the few birders ever to have visited some of the islands that our Remote West Papuan Islands Cruise will explore. In short, he is the perfect leader for these destinations, and will be joined by Rockjumper’s senior tour leader and veteran birder, David Hoddinott, on both these tours, guaranteeing you first-rate, ground-breaking birding experiences!
Our Remote West Papuan Islands Cruise takes in the Raja Ampat Islands plus the very seldom-explored island of Kofiau, where we will seek out some of our planet’s rarest and least-known species, including such extraordinary gems as Red Bird-of-paradise, Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher and Kofiau Monarch. Thereafter we cross Weber’s Line and head into the south Moluccas. Here we explore little-birded waters on our comfortable live-aboard, in addition to visiting several endemic-rich islands including Obi, Seram and Boano before ending in Ambon, for many incredibly exciting endemics. These include Carunculated Fruit Dove, Obi Woodcock, Lazuli Kingfisher, Seram Cockatoo, Boano Monarch and Long-crested Myna, to mention but a handful!
Our Buru Extension explores a beautifully forested island hosting 16 avian endemics and numerous near-endemics such as Buru Green Pigeon, Spectacled Imperial Pigeon, superb Buru Racket-tail, Moluccan King Parrot, Buru Boobook, Black-tipped Monarch and Tawny-backed Fantail, among many others – and if we are very lucky we may even find Moluccan Masked Owl or the reputedly nocturnal Black-lored Parrot!
Unique is perhaps an overly used term, but in reference to our Southwest Pacific Islands tour it is absolutely appropriate. This will be a comprehensive birding itinerary to such islands and island groups as Western Samoa (Uplou and Savaii), Fiji (Taveuni, Viti Levu and Kadavu), Vanuatu (Efate and Espiritu Santo), and New Caledonia (including Lifou). Each island exhibits its own distinctive ensemble of spectacular and rarely-seen endemics, including some of our planet’s least known species. On this trip we will be treated to a wonderful assortment of imperial pigeons, fruit doves, parrots and lorikeets, kingfishers, the fabulous and monotypic Kagu, hosts of flycatchers, monarchs, fantails, whistlers, honeyeaters and white-eyes, almost all of which occur nowhere else. Besides Kagu, key targets include the incredible Orange, Golden, Tanna Fruit and Cloven-feathered Doves, Flat-billed Kingfisher, Silktail and the giant Crow Honeyeater. Furthermore, the islands of the Southwest Pacific have a lazy, relaxed charm about them, and, birds aside, we can also anticipate a fascinating collage of landscapes and culture, great food and some lovely accommodation.
Please contact our friendly tour consultant, Crystal Brook, at the Rockjumper office for more details on these and other tours throughout Indonesia and the rest of the world.