Glen is always a pleasure to travel with and his professional yet friendly manner was appreciated by the whole group. He knows his birds extremely well and works hard to get everyone in the group onto the birds. He has a great memory for names and always remembers and greets by name, local guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc that he has met on previous trips. The trip went very smoothly, due to his excellent handling of logistics.
Our new extension to the Huon Peninsula takes in some of the remotest birding available, in an already distant part of the world. Due to its geographical location, there is little in the way of ammenities or comfort on this tour. However, this is more than made up for by resplendant, cool montane forests that host some rarely seen, endemic Bird-of-paradise that include Huon Astrapia, Wahne’s Parotia and the regal Emperor Bird-of-paradise. Throw in the attractive and localised Spangled Honeyeater, Huon Catbird, Macgregors Bowerbird (soon to be split as Huon Bowerbird), Mottled Berryhunter or Whistler (now in its own monotypic family, endemic to New Guinea), Pesquet’s (Vulturine) Parrot, Tit and Fan-tailed Berrypecker (two different families endemic to New Guinea!), gaudy Papuan Lorikeet, Papuan Sitella, Blue-capped Ifrit (endemic to New Guinea), Superb Bird-of-paradise and Papuan Eagle, and this short extension is sure to satisfy listers of both rare and remote species and families alike.
Emperor Bird-of-paradise, Huon Astrapia, Wahne’s Parotia, Spangled Honeyeater, Huon Catbird, Macgregors Bowerbird (soon to be elevated to Huon Bowerbird), Pesquet’s Parrot, Papuan & Orange-billed Lorikeet, Dusky Lory, Red-breasted & Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Tit, Streaked, Mid-mountain and Fan-tailed Berrypecker, Sclater’s, Brown-backed and Regent Whistler, Canary & Lemon-bellied Flyrobin, Mountain & Hook-billed Kingfisher, Blue-capped Ifrit, Great Cuckoo-Dove, Ornate Fruit Dove, Rufescent Imperial Pigeon, Papuan Sitella, Red-collared & Mountain Red-headed Myzomela, Red-capped Flowerpecker, Black Monarch, Black-breasted Boatbill, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Rufous-backed Honeyeater, Buff-faced Scrubwren, Brown-breasted Gerygone, Mottled Berryhunter (or Whistler, now in its own monotypic family), Great Woodswallow, Brown Falcon, Black-mantled Goshawk, Papuan Eagle, Blue-grey Robin, Spotted Jewel-babbler, White-shouldered and Orange-crowned Fairywren, Cinnamon-browed Melidectes, Growling Riflebird, Superb Bird-of paradise.
primarily high montane forest
hot and humid in the lowlands, with expectant rain showers. Cool to cold in the mornings and evenings at higher altitude
Day 1: Port Moresby to Lae
Our tour departs Port Moresby international today on a short flight to the town of Lae. Depending on today’s flight schedule, we may arrive in Lae with a little light left to bird, the airport itself being a decent spot to find both Papuan Harrier and Horsfield’s Bush Lark. We will overnight in Lae, before our charter flight to Wasu in the morning.
Day 2: Lae to Wasu and the Huon Peninsuala
This morning on our Papua New Guinea bird safari, we will take a chartered flight to the little town of Wasu on the north coast of the Huon Peninsula. Named after the French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec, our short flight of 30 to 40 minutes will allow fabulous views of the wild and scenic Huon Peninsula coastline before we land on the grassy airstrip near Wasu. On arrival, we will climb head over to our accommodation located at a small local school. After arranging our gear, we will head out and bird our surrounds.
Days 3 & 4: Huon Peninsuala
Our two full days on the Huon Peninsula will be dedicated to finding a numbers of species restricted to this tiny geographical area and include three Bird-of paradise species, a Catbird, Bowerbird and a Honeyeater. We should have little trouble in finding the Emperor Bird-of-paradise, a species that displays in good numbers at known lek sites. The delightful Huon Astrapia is rather quieter, and we have better chances of finding them as they frequent favoured fruiting trees. Wahne’s Parotia is a completely different prospect, spending its time displaying on the ground rather than in the canopy.
A tricky customer, we shall likely have to dedicate much time to finding this species. The large Spangled Honeyeater is fortunately fairly common and most likely to be found in fruiting trees. The recently split Huon Catbird is prone to skulking about, but with some effort and little luck on our Papua New Guinea bird safari, we may have good views. The local sub-species of Macgregors Bowerbird is due to be split as Huon Bowerbird in the near future, so we shall put in some time to find this unprepossessing species. While the Huon Melidectes is also endemic to these ranges, they occur at altitudes that we are unable to attain – so sightings of this species are most improbable.
The Huon Peninsula is dominated by three high mountain ranges, separated from the central spine of New Guinea. These coral limestone peaks reach a maximum altitude of over 4000masl and include the Finisterre, Saruwaged and Rawlinson Ranges. The mountains are covered in montane and subalpine forest up to an altitude of roughly 3000m before changing to alpine grassland above. The majority of our time will be spent birding the near virgin montane forests between altitudes of 1700 to 2000 metres.
Our prime targets to one side, these forests are also home to cornucopia of desirable species including the odd Pesquet’s Parrot, gaudy Papuan & Orange-billed Lorikeet, Dusky Lory, Red-breasted and Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Tit Berrypecker, Sclater’s, Brown-backed and Regent Whistler, Canary & Lemon-bellied Flyrobin, Mountain Kingfisher, Blue-capped Ifrit, Great Cuckoo-Dove, Ornate Fruit Dove and Rufescent Imperial Pigeon, Papuan Sitella, Red-collared & Mountain Red-headed Myzomela, Red-capped Flowerpecker, Black Monarch and Black-breasted Boatbill. A handful of drabber, but equally sought after species are also to be found, and include Streaked, Mid-mountain and Fan-tailed Berrypecker, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Rufous-backed Honeyeater, Buff-faced Scrubwren, Brown-breasted Gerygone and Mottled Berryhunter or Whistler (now in its own monotypic family).
Overhead we are liable to find flocks of Great Woodswallow, Brown Falcon, Black-mantled Goshawk and even a decent chance of the mighty Papuan Eagle. While searching for the tricky Wahne’s Parotia, we may find the retiring Blue-grey Robin, the very shy Spotted Jewel-babbler, White-shouldered and Orange-crowned Fairywren, Cinnamon-browed Melidectes and the rather drab Island Leaf Warbler. Hook-billed Kingfisher and Growling Riflebirds make up two likely ‘heard only’ species, for both are both are particularly shy while we have decent chance of finding Superb Bird-of paradise.
Day 5: Wasu to Lae
We have another morning in the mountains to search for any species we may be missing, or require better views of before heading back to Wasu for our onwards flight to Lae. Arriving back to civilisation will allow for much appreciated hot showers and a celebratory meal to toast the tour.
Day 6: Lae to Port Moresby and depart
This morning on our Papua New Guinea bird safari, we take a scheduled flight back to Port Moresby where the tour will conclude. For some this will be the end of their Papuan adventure, while for others there will be a little rest time before beginning our full Papua New Guinea – Birding in Paradise tour.
What our clients say about tours to Papua New Guinea
- SL, PNG II 2015
Adam Walleyn acted as a very experienced and skilful leader. He had an intimate knowledge of the birds and great skills in finding and showing them. His communication was extremely clear, to the point and flavoured with a good sense of humour. In the few difficult situations that arose due to flights, civil unrest, etc, he showed extremely good skills in handling these with a perfect balance between group decisions and executive decisions. A role model for a tour leader.BA, Papua New Guinea
The birds were magnificent, and when you combine this with the awesome guide combo of Adam Walleyn and the ‘Big G’ (Gareth Robbins), it made for a once in a lifetime trip. Thanks again Rockjumper for delivering a first-class birding experience.DH & RD, Papua New Guinea
Adam is very energetic and helpful. He is an excellent birder and having spent 6 months living in PNG, he also had a good knowledge of other wildlife, as well as the culture. I really enjoyed his company.SL, PNG II 2015