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.
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
coral reef snorkeling
Day 1: Port Moresby to New Britain
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 600km (375 miles) long, but only 80km (50 miles) at its widest. The fertile, exploited volcanic soils of the eastern portion of the island present a striking contrast to the western half, where Western influences began mostly during and after the Second World War. Today we will take a connecting flight to the city of Hoskins in West New Britain and begin our exploration of the wide variety of habitats on the island.
From Hoskins, it is an hour’s drive to our hotel in Kimbe Bay. This is primarily a dive resort, but is conveniently located for exploring the most accessible birding sites of the region. If time permits, we may commence our birding around the lodge gardens where possibilities include Sacred, Collared and Common Kingfishers, New Britain Friarbird, Shining Flycatcher, Black and Olive-backed Sunbirds, Red-banded Flowerpecker and Variable Goshawk.
Days 2 to 4: New Britain and surrounding islands
Over the next three days of our Papua New Guinea birding tour, we will bird several forest sites and reserves from our Kimbe Bay base. All of New Britain’s lowland endemics can be found at these sites along with more widespread but no less desirable and eye-catching species.
We will spend time in forested habitats searching for such specialities as Black Honey Buzzard, the scarce White-mantled Kingfisher, spectacular Black-capped Paradise Kingfisher, huge Violaceous and distinctive White-necked Coucals, rare and elusive Bismarck Kingfisher, Black-tailed Monarch, active Ashy and Black-bellied Myzomelas, the attractive Red-banded Flowerpecker, Velvet Flycatcher, seldom-recorded and recently-split Grey-capped Cicadabird, Long-tailed Myna, White-rumped Swiftlet, Bismarck Crow and Buff-bellied Mannikin. Other more widespread species we hope to encounter include Pacific Baza, Moustached Treeswift, Shining Bronze, Chanel-billed and Brush Cuckoos, Rainbow Bee-eater, magnificent Blyth’s Hornbill, White-bellied and Barred Cuckooshrikes, Northern Fantail and Varied Triller. We will be sure to spend some time searching for Melanesian Megapode at their breeding colonies amongst the warm, sandy, coastal forest at Garu Forest Reserve.
Chances also exist to see the very rare Slaty-mantled Goshawk and New Britain Sparrowhawk and nocturnal excursions may produce New Britain Boobook and if we are extremely fortunate, the recently-rediscovered Golden Masked Owl, which was seen on two separate nights on one of our 2015 Papua New Guinea birding tours.
Columbids and Psittacids are well represented on the island and include the more widespread Bar-tailed and Slender-billed Cuckoo-Doves, Stephan’s Emerald Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, minuscule Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Eclectus Parrot and Red-flanked Lorikeet. Of the endemics, we will be looking for Red-knobbed, Black, Yellowish and Finsch’s Imperial Pigeons, elusive Pied Cuckoo-Dove, Knob-billed Fruit Dove, Blue-eyed Cockatoo, gaudy Purple-bellied Lory, scarce Song Parrot, Red-chinned Lorikeet and Bismarck Hanging Parrot.
One of the days we will embark on a half day boat trip into Kimbe Bay, our objective being to visit some of the smaller islets for the island endemics and specialities. These include MacKinlay’s Cuckoo-Dove, Island Imperial Pigeon, Beach Kingfisher, Island Monarch, Mangrove Golden Whistler, Sclater’s Myzomela and the beautifully adorned Nicobar Pigeon, while White-bellied Sea Eagle and Eastern Osprey may be spotted soaring overhead.
During our journey to and from the islands, we may also encounter both Greater and Lesser Frigatebirds, Black and Brown Noddies and a variety of terns, including Greater and Lesser Crested, Black-naped and Roseate. Exposed mudflats near our accommodation could yield Grey-tailed Tattler, Greater Sand Plover or Pacific Reef Heron.
After what promises to be a very productive and exciting morning’s birding, we then have the added opportunity to don masks, snorkels and flippers and partake in some excellent snorkelling off Restorf Island. The crystal clear ocean here is a deep turquoise blue and teems with the most elaborately coloured fish one could ever imagine! We will head back to shore around mid-day for lunch. The afternoon will be spent back at one of the forest localities in search of any species we may not yet have seen.
Day 5: New Britain to Port Moresby
After breakfast, we will depart our lodge and drive back to Hoskins for our return flight to Port Moresby.
What our clients say about tours to Papua New Guinea
- SL, PNG II 2015
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.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