New Britain is the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago and supports many seldom seen endemics for which we will be searching. Situated between the Bismarck and Solomon Seas, this narrow mountainous island is over six hundred kilometers long, but only eighty kilometers at its widest. The rich, exploited volcanic soils of the eastern portion of the island present a striking contrast to the western portion, where Western influences began mostly in the Second World War.
We begin our exploration of the area by embarking on an afternoon boat trip into Kimbe Bay and the open ocean, stopping off at some small islands in search of species such as Spot-breasted Cuckoo-Dove, Floury Imperial Pigeon, Beach Kingfisher, Island Monarch, Golden Whistler, (Bismarck) Black and Scarlet-bibbed (Sclater’s) Myzomelas and the beautiful Nicobar Pigeon. Over the next two days, we will then bird various sites around West New Britain including Pokili Wildlife Management Area, Garu Ridge and the Kulu River. These are key areas for many of the birds that are either endemic to New Britain or the Bismarck Archipelago. A healthy proportion of these birds are sought-after species with extremely limited ranges. We will also visit a vast colony of Melanesian Megapodes that number thousands of individuals, and we should see good numbers of these awkward birds as they flush from the ground and clamber in the trees around us.
This short yet exciting extension to our Papua New Guinea birding adventures offers several rare and endemic bird species to be found nowhere else on our planet.
Blue-eyed Cockatoo, Nicobar Pigeon, Black Honey Buzzard, New Britain Sparrowhawk, Melanesian Megapode, Knob-billed Fruit Dove, Finsch's Imperial Pigeon, Song Parrot, Violaceous & White-necked Coucal, New Britain Boobook, Black-capped Paradise Kingfisher, Beach & White-mantled Kingfisher, Sclater's Myzomela, White-backed Woodswallow, Black-tailed Monarch, Long-tailed Myna, Red-banded Flowerpecker & Buff-bellied Mannikin
lowland rainforest, grasslands, islets
hot and humid with tropical showers
10 with 2 Rockjumper leaders / 8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
moderate, can be challenging at times
coral reef snorkeling
We thought the birding went very well. Both Dusan and Stephan were great guides - very knowledgeable, very dedicated, quite determined to get everyone onto pretty much everything, and they combined very well. And, they both tried very hard to help all the participants who needed it, whether it was locating a bird, getting up a steep section or getting in or out of the boats. They did an admirable job.
We are home having had an amazing trip to PNG....we were very impressed with Adam Walleyn and Gareth Robbins and would rate them very highly as tour leaders. Very Best Wishes from very satisfied customers.
Glen Valentine was excellent, seeing and hearing most of the target birds, despite a very chatty, enthusiastic group that must have been very challenging at times.
Birding in PNG was a little more challenging that expected, ..... the birds are as shy as anything I've experienced and the bird densities were extremely low. Of course that is not the fault of Rockjumper or the guides. The tour was excellent overall. The main guide, Stephan Lorentz, was really top class. His knowledge of the birds and calls and the fine id details was exceptional and his field skills were awesome, outdoing the local guides at times. And he is extremely personable and friendly. The local guides were also excellent and provided an exceptionally high level of field skill and support, and great enthusiasm in getting pax onto the more challenging birds. And physical support also, including even helping some of the pax on slippery slopes and cutting stairs on river landings at times!! The landed arrangements were generally slick and the accommodation of good quality. Some delays in getting collected at Kiunga airport were I think down to some communication issues with the local agent (Samuel) regarding the rerouting of our flights from Mt Hagen. And the offloading of three of our bags from the plane at Kiunga and delay in getting them back to us in Port Moresby was an Air Niugini issue. Overall it was an exceptional and really memorable tour with superb birds and birding, much or most of which would not have been possible without the Rockjumper team, slick tour planning and arrangements, Stephan and the local guides.
Dušan Brinkhuizen was especially sweet and encouraging when I was having trouble with pain or with getting onto birds. I would be happy to travel with Dušan again.
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