BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

Papua New Guinea: 21st June to 11th July 2009

 I organised and led another tour to PNG with 5 participants, in tandem with Ashley Banwell’s World Birders www.worldbirders.com group of 5 plus Ashley. The tour went very well, with surprisingly few hitches, and accumulated a very impressive list, although some of the skulkers such as Painted Quail-Thrush were only seen by a few people. The main highlight was the fine selection of birds-of-paradise, some in full display including Brown and Black Sicklebills, Blue and 12-wired BoPs, all rarely seen displaying. Add to that 3 Owlet-Nightjars, including Spangled, an amazing 13 species of kingfisher and 20 raptors including New Guinea and Gurney’s Eagles, Doria’s Hawk and Meyer’s Goshawk, and other spectacular birds like Southern Crowned-Pigeon and Pheasant Pigeon, and you can see that this tour will be hard to match.

Participants

Ruth Games

Kingsley Parker

Kurt Pohlman

Low Bing Wen (Albert)

Norman Williams

 

Tour log

We assembled early afternoon at the Granville Motel, Port Moresby, and proceeded to Pacific Adventist’s University (PAU), with a stop for pie and chips on the way. We saw a good selection of lowland birds including 2 primeval Papuan Frogmouths, dainty Comb-crested Jacanas, numerous Green Figbirds, Black-backed Butcherbird and some local rarities, notably Plumed Whistling-Duck, Royal Spoonbill, Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove and Dusky Myzomela.

 

The next morning saw us on the flight to Tari where we were welcomed by a vast crowd of colourful Huli’s, more specifically Steven Wari, the owner of Warili Lodge. We transferred to the Lodge where, to my relief, there were enough beds for us all. After lunch we drove up to Tari Gap, on a much-improved road. The rain cleared as we walked slowly down the hill and we were treated to a fine show of birds, including Papuan and Plum-faced Lorikeets feeding on roadside fruits, White-winged Robin, Blue-capped Ifrita, Black-throated Honeyeater, a party of the “difficult” Grey Gerygone, and our first birds-of-paradise - Ribbon-tailed Astrapia and Brown Sicklebill. The rain started again so we returned to the lodge and enjoyed an excellent meal of watercress soup, chicken curry and banana fritters.

 

We took an early breakfast and drove back up the hill, stopping at the quarry for Archbold’s Nightjar, without success, then on to Tari Gap for New Guinea Eagle. Unfortunately, it was not to be seen or heard where  resident last year, so after a walk down the road, seeing Regent and Sclater’s Whistlers, we proceeded to Benson’s Trail. The star bird of the morning was a displaying King-of-Saxony BoP and Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike was also near here. After lunch at the lodge we birded the vicinity of Ambua Lodge, seeing Orange and Yellow-billed Lorikeets, Great Woodswallows, Rufous-throated Bronze-Cuckoo and best of all, 3 rare Olive Straightbills. After a chicken dinner, most went owling with Ashley but only heard the Papuan Boobook. The following morning was spent below the lodge, firstly looking for Black Sicklebill – and we very fortunate to witness its full display, albeit at a distance. Then we saw a displaying Superb BoP, a rare Meyer’s Goshawk perched on a distant ridge, a King Parrot, a flock of Hooded Munia and a Blue BoP for some. We moved down to the Tari Valley and found a roosting Sooty Owl, with a supporting cast of male and female Eastern Marsh Harriers, Black-headed Whistler, a flock of Capped White-eyes and a rarely seen Lewin’s Rail that had been captured by a local hunter. We bought the rail from him and released it in suitable habitat. After lunch at the lodge, we checked a fruiting tree and saw Short-tailed Paradigalla, with Blue-grey Robin nearby. Back at Tari Gap, we had brilliant views of a male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia preening and displaying his long streamers, on an exposed perch, and a Black-mantled Goshawk was seen in flight while walking down the road.

We returned to the Bailey Bridge area before dawn the next day and were eventually rewarded with two Archbold’s Nightjars including one calling in flight, a rare experience. Then we drove down to below the lodge to look for Blue BoP and were very fortunate to find a male in full display which included hanging upside down with feathers fluffed out. Marbled Honeyeater was also seen here. We returned to the fruiting tree near Ambua and watched MacGregor’s Bowerbird and Madarasz’s Tiger-Parrot feeding. Then to Benson’s Trail to collect Kings, who had stayed there and been able to see Logrunner, Lesser Ground-Robin, Loria’s BoP and Hooded Cuckoo-shrike in consolation for missing the Blue display. After lunch we tried another trail, seeing a party of Varied Sitella and a male Garnet Robin before moving to Steven’s Trail opposite the lodge. Unfortunately the rain started in earnest when we reached the far part of that trail, so we were wet and muddied, with no birds of note. Later, we looked successfully for Stephanie’s Astrapia and saw a male Wattled Ploughbill fly past.

Our last full day at Tari started at the Bailey Bridge again where we found a nightjar perched, before going on to Benson’s Trail. Logrunners seemed to be calling everywhere this time and 2 or 3 were seen well, along with a brief Lesser Ground-Robin, but Spotted Jewel-babbler was unresponsive. Back at the eagle site it was quiet apart from at least 20 Red-collared Myzomelas, and lower down there was no evidence of the Ploughbill. Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike and Short-tailed Paradigalla were at the Waterfall Trail and a Little Eagle soared above us, but Mountain Kingfisher, Papuan Treecreeper and Buff-tailed Sicklebill were only heard. After lunch we tried Peter’s gardens, usually a good site for male Lawes’ Parotia, the one BoP missing, but only saw Blue BoP, Hooded Cuckoo-shrike and 3 species of cuckoo-dove. Another attempt at Papuan Boobook gave a flight view, not the hoped-for perched bird.      

The next day was to be mainly a travel day, overland to Kumul Lodge near Mt Hagen in a 25-seater bus. First stop was the Bailey Bridge where we were surprised to hear a Shovel-billed Kingfisher calling, but it would not grace us with a view. Beyond Tari Gap, we had the beautiful sight of a ghostly Grass Owl flying in the early morning mist. After an 8 hour journey with a few stops, we reached Kumul Lodge where bird-guide Max was almost the only person present. We eagerly scanned the giant feeder table but Brehm’s Tiger-Parrot, Brown Sicklebill and Island Thrush were the only birds of note. The staff eventually arrived and cooked a good buffet dinner but unfortunately a portly couple already in residence piled their plates so full of food that some of us had to wait until Lyn cooked extra helpings. After dinner we tried for Mountain Owlet-Nightjar but only had a couple of brief flight views.

Early the following morning we tried again for the Owlet-Nightjar but only heard it. We headed for the much lower Kama at 05.15; the road was so bad in places that it took us till 06 30 to reach the Lesser BoP lek site. Here we watched a wonderful display of 4 male Lesser BoPs, aided by visits from up to 4 drab females. The colourful Ornate Melidectes was also present. On the journey back to the lodge we stopped for Torrent Flycatcher, Mimic and Mountain Honeyeaters, Mountain Myzomela, Yellow-breasted Bowerbird and New Guinea White-eye. In the afternoon a male Brown Sicklebill and a Sanford’s Bowerbird visited the feeder table, and Ashley found an obliging Lesser Melampitta. Another Mountain Owlet-Nightjar foray after dinner was unsuccessful but at 05.00 the next morning 5 of the group had fine views of a perched bird. Daylight at the lodge was spent looking for Crested BoP; no success but Goldie’s Lorikeet was a consolation. Then we departed with Max for a morning on his trail at Pigites. Here we saw Mottled Whistler, furtive Orange-crowned Fairywrens, a Modest Tiger-Parrot and a Spotted Jewel-babbler for Kings. The main prize went to an amazing male Wattled Ploughbill, which sat  in the open for a good 15 minutes allowing unbeatable views. Afternoon around the lodge was disappointing, although Ruth had flight views of a Mountain Owlet-nightjar and Iain caught up with Lesser Melampitta. Some of the group returned to Max’s trail but only Albert saw the calling Spotted Jewel-babbler.

We left Kumul the next morning for Mount Hagen airport where check-in was rather protracted as it involved a lot of hand-writing, including the boarding passes – the computer age has yet to reach most of PNG. An Oriental Hobby was seen in flight. We arrived at Kiunga late morning, spotting 3 Australian Pratincoles on the runway, and met the famous Samuel Kepuknai who was to be our guide for the next week. After lunch we visited Km 17 for 3 hours until rain stopped play. This was a good introduction to lowland birding, with Frilled and Golden Monarchs, Boyer’s and Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrikes, Rufous-backed Fantail and Yellow-bellied Longbill for a few, and displaying Greater and Raggiana BoPs. The fish and chip and apple pie supper was most welcome. Then began our biggest adventure, the 4 day boat trip on the Fly and Elevala Rivers to Ekame lodge. Progress was slow with all 12 of us plus Samuel in one boat but good birds were to be seen: Long-tailed Buzzard, Grey-headed Goshawk, Dwarf Fruit-Dove, Dusky and Yellow-streaked Lories, Large Fig-Parrot, Greater Black Coucal, Papuan Needletail, Golden Cuckoo-shrike, Lowland Peltops, Golden Myna and Glossy-mantled Manucode. We reached the lodge at noon and I was surprised to find it had moved site! Samuel said the old one was in disrepair so he had built another a few 100m away (known as Kwatu lodge) but would be rebuilding a better one at the original site. After lunch we took a trail from further along the river – a slow start but the birds started to come, with Common and Little Paradise-Kingfishers, White-bellied Pitohui, Spot-winged Monarch and a female King BoP. At 5pm we took to the boat to search for Southern Crowned-Pigeon, eventually seeing 2 pairs roosting in trees. After supper, we looked for Spangled Owlet-Nightjar, discovered here last year, but all was quiet, except for a noisy Red-necked Crake. 

At 06.30 we were back in the boat, soon stopping to watch a male 12-wired BoP displaying on a pole-like tree. He was joined by a female and climbed up and down the pole before mating at the top, an amazing performance. We continued downstream to a village where we walked to hides overlooking Flame Bowerbird bowers. All we saw was Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove and Emperor Fairywren, so returned to the river and stopped at a muddy trail. Here we had another highlight, a tiny male King BoP – a jewel of a bird. After lunch at the lodge, we spent the afternoon on a dry trail behind the lodge, seeing Blue Jewel-babbler, Magnificent Riflebird, Variable and Rusty Pitohuis, Rufous Babbler, Hooded Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill, with an obliging Rufous-bellied Kookaburra at the lodge. After supper, we resumed the night-bird quest and were soon experiencing unbelievable views of a pair of Marbled Frogmouth. Two Spangled/Starry Owlet-Nightjars were calling but it took a long time before we finally nailed one, and what a view that was, out in the open! I had deliberately left my camera behind to improve our chances of seeing the bird, but with Ashley’s camera clicking continuously, I had to run back to the lodge to collect mine. Fortunately, the beauty was still there when I returned but it flew off after I had taken 3 shots. We jubilantly returned to the lodge, knowing we were only the second group to have ever seen this bird. 

 

The next morning we set off at dawn, hearing a bird call near the lodge that was almost certainly a Wallace’s Owlet-Nightjar, to return to the village to look for Flame Bowerbird. We staked out a fruiting tree and saw at least 5 or 6 female-types but no male. Then we trawled for Hook-billed Kingfisher and eventually saw one with difficulty, spotted brilliantly by Iain. Returning to the lodge, we stopped to admire a pair of Palm Cockatoos, one of which entered a nest-hole. We took a trail inland from the lodge to look for Painted Quail-Thrush, but only Wilfreid saw one. However, we did all have good views of an impressive Vulturine (or Pesquet’s) Parrot and some saw a shy White-eared Catbird and a Black Berrypecker. After lunch we returned to the flooded forest, ie the lower-lying forest that is flooded in the main rainy season, to try for Little Paradise-Kingfisher again – this time nearly everyone saw it, along with Hooded Pitta, and some saw White-bellied Thicket-Fantail. After supper we again went night-birding, the highlight being a Papuan Hawk-Owl calling nearby but it soon moved on to call from much further away – another lost tick. Other distant birds, including a Spangled Owlet-Nightjar, were heard but not seen and then the rain came…. ..

 

The rain continued until 7 am. We walked back along the Quail-Thrush trail until 10.30, seeing Black-sided Robin at last and a Black-billed Brush-Turkey walking along the trail in front of us. Bill and Janice had stayed at the lodge and trumped us with a male Flame Bowerbird flying over the lodge. We manned the boat for the final journey back to Kiunga, very satisfied with what we had seen up river. It was a quiet journey and after a quick wash and change at the hotel, we were back on the road to Km 17. Here it was slow at first but we eventually saw Beautiful Fruit-Dove, Lesser Black Coucal and Black Thicket-Fantail, with a perched Purple-tailed Imperial-Pigeon for Ruth. Shower, beer and dinner were very welcome!

 

Another rainy morning saw us on the Boystown Road in the dark, and as hoped we saw a couple of nightjars, only in flight unfortunately, but at least one was clearly a Papuan. The wait at Manucode mound was uneventful but we did see Double-eyed Fig-Parrots perched, Meyer’s Friarbird, Plain and Streak-headed Honeyeaters, but no male Flame Bowerbirds. We left at 9 am and were back at Kiunga by 10, after a few stops but no new birds. Then we checked out and drove to Tabubil, with stops for lunch, raptor-watching at c.Km 100 and a single Little Ringed Plover at Km 120. After checking in at Cloudlands Hotel, we drove out to Dablin Creek but were soon forced to retreat by the continuous heavy rain. It was sad to see that all the trees up to the end of the track had been chopped down by the locals to make land for growing vegetables.

 

The following morning we drove to Ok Menga, stopping on the way for Large-tailed Nightjar, with an invisible Shovel-billed Kingfisher calling. Could not find Salvadori's Teal but Crinckle-collared Manucode was seen. Then back to Dablin Creek where we had a very pleasant surprise sighting of a huge New Guinea Eagle flapping slowly in front of us!  A pair of Torrent Larks was another bonus, Carola’s Parotia was only heard but we did see White-eared Cuckoo, White-rumped Robin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher and Rusty Mouse-Warbler. Albert did his own thing and found Obscure Berrypecker and Long-billed Honeyeater. After meat pie and chips in town, we went down to the Ok Ma river bridge and walked across as traffic could not use it because the road had been washed away. Samuel had located a Hilux to take us to the birding site so in the pouring rain we were soon heading up the Ok Ma road, one of the worse in PNG, more like a river bed, but the 12kms or so of bumping about soon passed and we were at the site.  The rain eased and we began to pick up a few birds, notably a male Magnificent Riflebird, a female Magnificent BoP, Dwarf Honeyeater, Golden and Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrikes, and a Red-bellied Pitta briefly hopped past. Shovel-billed Kingfishers were heard calling at dusk, but would not come near, and there was no sign of Greater Melampitta, unfortunately. This was intended as a dummy run for a morning trip, when we would have a much better chance of seeing the elusive Shovel-bill, but a spring broke on the vehicle so the driver said he could not take us but would try to find a replacement vehicle. We dined and drank well at the golf club.

 

We were back crossing the bridge early the next morning but there was no driver or vehicle so we had to return to our bus back over the bridge. We drove to Km125 to try for the kingfisher there, but it called from too far away. We continued to Ok Menga, Teal-free again, but soon had a lucky break when a pair flew downstream, giving good flight views,  to the relief of all. We hurried back to Dablin Creek for our last 3 hours here before returning to Moresby. Carola’s Parotias showed at last, even a male briefly, and a Red-necked Crake  dashed across the path, a rare sight in PNG. A female Magnificent BoP showed well, Blue-collared Parrots flew high overhead and a Variable Goshawk displayed acrobatically, while Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Rusty Whistler, Pale-billed Scrub-Wren, Spotted Honeyeater and Northern Fantail were seen by some. We returned to the hotel at 11.20 to check-out, only to be told Air Niugini wanted us at the airport immediately to check-in. This turned out to be an unnecessary panic as the aircraft arrived on time at 12.50 but did not land, apparently because it came in too high so had to try again, finally landing at 13.30! We reached Moresby on the late side at 15.50, so I only just had time for a quick look at email at Datec (the nearest internet place) after checking in at the Granville Motel.

 

The next two days were spent at Varirata National Park, with one diversion to the Sogeri Plateau to look unsuccessfully for Grand Munia. Some tricky skulkers tested perseverence but some were rewarded with  sightings of Painted Quail-Thrush, Northern Scrub-Robin, Pheasant Pigeon and Chestnut-backed Jewel-Babbler. We had good views of Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher, displaying Raggiana BoPs, a roosting Barred Owlet-Nightjar, and stunning Dwarf Whistler and male Eastern Riflebird. Other notable birds were Chestnut-bellied Fantail, Papuan Drongo, White-faced Robin, Black-faced and Black-winged Monarchs, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, and a pair of Black Berrypecker feeding a juv. The grand finale on leaving the Park was a Doria’s Hawk perched in a roadside tree, a rare species whose nesting-tree we had checked several times without seeing a bird,. After this it was downhill for me – we stopped at the airport on the way back to the hotel, to check flights, and I ran into a plate glass door before it opened. The resultant profuse nose-bleed took a long time to heal.

 

The following morning Ashley, Kurt, Norman and I flew to Buka and Bougainville in the North Solomons, still part of PNG – see North Solomons trip report in the Oceania section.  Kings and Albert went home via Australia, and the others stayed on for another two days. They paid another visit to Varirata and PAU, seeing 10 Spotted Whistling-Ducks and Pheasant Pigeon, then had a productive day with Daniel Wakra in the Brown River area. Highlights here were Green Pygmy-Goose, Grey Teal, Common Scrubfowl, Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot, Chestnut-breasted and Shining Bronze-Cuckoos, Tree Martin, Grey Shrike-Thrush, Golden-headed Cisticola, Silver-eared and Yellow-tinted Honeyeaters and Streak-headed Mannikin. A fitting end to a great trip.

 

BIRD LIST 

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius): One heard calling near Ekame Lodge and footprints seen.

 Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae): a few at Pacific Adventist’s University (PAU).

 Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris): several at PAU and a few along Elevala river.

 Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos): small numbers at PAU.

 Darter (Anhinga melanogaster novaehollandiae): one on the lake at PAU.

 Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana): one on the Elevala River (WS).

 Great Egret (Ardea alba): a few along the rivers around Ekame Lodge.

 Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia): a few at PAU and on the Fly River.

 Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis): several around Port Moresby and Brown River.

 Pied Heron (Egretta picata): 15 at PAU.

 Striated Heron (Butorides striata): a few near to Ekame Lodge.

 Rufous Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus): 2 immatures roosting in the trees at PAU.

 Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca): 10 at PAU.

 Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia): 4 flying over PAU.

 Spotted Whistling-Duck: 10 at PAU on Jul 11 and 6 at Brown River - this species is becoming more difficult at PAU.

 Plumed Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni): one with Wandering Whistling-Ducks on the edge of the main lake at PAU, rarely seen in PNG.

 Wandering Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata): 20+ at PAU.

 Salvadori's Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) a pair flying downstream over the dam at Ok Menga.

 

Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa): common at  PAU.

 

Grey Teal (Anas gracilis): 10 at Brown River.

 

Green Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus pulchellus): 50+ on a small lake to the north of Brown River.

 

Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata): one at PAU and up to 3 daily in the Kiunga area.

 

Long-tailed Honey-Buzzard (Henicopernis longicauda):  1 or 2 most days in the Kiunga/Tabubil area and Varirata NP.

 

Black Kite (Milvus migrans): several in the Mount Hagen/ Kumul Lodge area and 1 at PAU.

 

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus): 2 pairs nesting near each other at PAU.

 

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur Indus): singles in the Tari Valley, a few in the Mount Hagen/ Kumul Lodge and Kiunga/Tabubil areas, and singles at PAU and Varirata.

 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster): 1 or 2 near Ekame Lodge and 1 at Tabubil.

 

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): 1 flew over PAU on Jul 11.

 

Eastern Marsh Harrier (Circus spilonotus): a fine male at Tari Gap and singles of both sex in the Tari Valley.

 

Variable Goshawk (Accipiter hiogaster): 1 or 2 near Kumul Lodge, the Kiunga/Tabubil areas and Varirata. 

 

Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus): singles at Tari (WS) and PAU.

 

Black-mantled Goshawk (Accipiter melanochlamys): flight views above Tari Valley and near Kumul Lodge.

 

Grey-headed Goshawk (Accipiter poliocephalus): singles at PAU and Ekame Lodge.

 

Meyer's Goshawk (Accipiter meyerianus): one perched on a ridge below Warili Lodge.

 

Doria's Hawk (Megatriorchis doriae): one perched by the Varirata approach road.

 

New Guinea Eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguineae): one in flight at Dablin Creek. 

 

Gurney’s Eagle (Aquila gurneyi): an eagle flew over the picnic area at Varirata appeared to be this species.

 

Little Eagle (Aquila morphnoides): good views of a moulting bird soaring above us on the Waterfall Trail at Tari. This form weiskei may be split from the Australian form.

 

Brown Falcon (Falco berigora): singles at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Oriental Hobby (Falco severus): one at Kagamuga airport, Mt. Hagen.

 

Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis): one at Port Moresby on Jun 21 (RG).

 

Black-billed Brush-Turkey (Talegalla fuscirostris): One on the trail in front of us near to Ekame Lodge – very vocal here, also heard at Varirata.

 

Common Scrubfowl (Megapodius freycinet): 1 near Brown River.

 

Brown Quail  (Coturnix ypsilophora): 3 on the road at Tari Gap.

 

Forbes’ Rail (Rallina forbesi): one heard below Tari Gap (NW).

 

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio): common at  PAU.

 

Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa): fairly common at PAU.

 

Lewin’s Rail (Rallus pectoralis): one had been captured by villagers at Tari; after photos we released it in a quiet spot nearby. A PNG first for JH.

 

Red-necked Crake (Rallina tricolor): heard at Ekame Lodge and 1 seen crossing the Dablin Creek track.

 

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea): a few at PAU.

 

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles): several at PAU.

 

Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella): 3 at Kiunga airport.

 

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius): one of the resident race at Km 122 near Tabubil.

 

Slender-billed/Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia amboinensis): small numbers throughout.

 

Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia nigrirostris): a few singles at Tari and Tabubil.

 

Great Cuckoo-Dove (Reinwardtoena reinwardtii): a few singles at Tari and Tabubil.

 

Stephan's Dove (Chalcophaps stephani): 4 flight views in the Ekame Lodge area.

 

Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida): a few at PAU.

 

Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis): good views at  PAU.

 

Cinnamon Ground-Dove (Gallicolumba rufigula): one heard purring behind Ekame Lodge.

 

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis): seen on two days at Varirata.

 

Southern Crowned-Pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri): 2 pairs perched by the Elevala River and 1 bird flushed by RG, a few others heard calling.

 

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus): mostly heard but a few seen in the Kiunga area.

 

Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus): several seen in the Kiunga area and at Varirata.

 

Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus aurantiifrons): 3 at PAU in a fruiting tree.

 

Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus): 3 seen on our last walk back to Ekame Lodge before leaving, and 1 at Km17.

 

Superb Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus superbus): a few around Ekame Lodge.

 

White-breasted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rivoli): 1 at Tari (WS).

 

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus iozonus): a few along the Boystown Road and 2 at Ekame.

 

Dwarf Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus nanus): 2 seen at Ekame Lodge, with others heard.

 

Purple-tailed Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula rufigaster): 4 singles in the Kiunga area and 1 at Varirata.

 

Pinon Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula pinon): a few in the Kiunga area.

 

Collared Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula mullerii): common along the Fly and Elevala Rivers.

 

Zoe Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula zoeae): a few in the Kiunga area and 2 at Varirata.

 

Torresian Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa): 2 at PAU.

 

Papuan Mountain-Pigeon (Gymnophaps albertisii): fairly common at Tari, Kiunga area and Dablin Creek.

 

Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus): up to 5 daily along the Elevala River.

 

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita): common in the Kiunga area.

 

Yellow-/Greater Streaked Lory (Chalcopsitta sintillata): small numbers in flight on the way to Ekame and 2 at Boystown Road.

 

Dusky Lory (Pseudeos fuscata): a few near Ekame Lodge.

 

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus): common at PAU, Tabubil and the Tari Valley.

 

Goldie's Lorikeet (Psitteuteles goldiei) 30-40 seen early morning at Kumul lodge.

 

Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory): several daily in the Kiunga area and at Varirata, with 2 at Dablin Creek.

 

Red-flanked Lorikeet (Charmosyna placentas): a few at Boystown Road.

 

Papuan Lorikeet (Charmosyna papou): several daily at Tari and Kumul.

 

Plum-faced Lorikeet (Oreopsittacus arfaki): several daily at Tari and Kumul.

 

Orange-billed Lorikeet (Neopsittacus pullicauda): a few at Tari Gap.

 

Yellow-billed Lorikeet (Neopsittacus musschenbroekii): common at Tari.

 

Pesquet's Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus): 2 singles and a pair near at Ekame Lodge.

 

Red-breasted Pygmy-Parrot (Micropsitta bruijnii): one flew over at Dablin Creek.

 

Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot (Micropsitta pusio): 2 near Brown River.

 

Orange-breasted Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta gulielmitertii): 8-10 daily around Ekame Lodge, Boystown Road and Tabubil. 

 

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma): 2 along the Elevala River and at Boystown Road.

 

Large Fig-Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii): 3-7 on 3 dates along the Elevala River.

 

Brehm's Tiger-Parrot (Psittacella brehmii): 3 or 4 almost permanently around the birdtable at Kumul Lodge and one seen on Max’s Trail.

 

Modest Tiger-Parrot (Psittacella modesta): one at Max’s Trail below Kumul Lodge.

 

Madarasz’s Tiger-Parrot (Psittacella madaraszi): 2 sightings near Ambua Lodge, Tari.

 

Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi): common at  PAU and in the Kiunga area.

 

Blue-collared Parrot (Geoffroyus simplex): 4 in flight over Dablin Creek

 

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus): common in the Kiunga area and 1 at Varirata.

 

Papuan King-Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus): a few in the Tari Valley.

 

Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus):singles at Ekame Lodge and in the Tabubil area, heard elsewhere.

 

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis castaneiventris): singles at Dablin Creek (NW) and Brown River.

 

Rufous-throated Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx ruficollis): one near Ambua Lodge, Tari.

 

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus): 1 at Brown River.

 

White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx meyeri): heard above Tari but only 1 seen at Dablin Creek.

 

Australian Koel (Eudynamys cyanocephalus): 2 or 3 seen most days in the Kiunga/Tabubil area; heard at Hagen and Varirata.

 

White-crowned Koel (Caliechthrus leucolophus): heard daily at Dablin Creek.

 

Dwarf Koel (Microdynamis parva): heard at Ekame Lodge.

 

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae): up to 3 on 3 days along the Elevela River.

 

Greater Black Coucal (Centropus menbeki): heard daily around Ekame Lodge but only seen once.

 

Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus): a few at PAU and 1 at Varirata.

 

Lesser Black Coucal (Centropus bernsteini): heard around Kiunga but only 1 seen at Km17.

 

Greater Sooty-Owl (Tyto tenebricosa): one roosting in a protected tree in a Tari Valley garden.

 

Australasian Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris): beautiful dawn views of 1 flying towards us out of the mist at Tari Gap.

 

Papuan Hawk-Owl (Uroglaux dimorpha): one heard close-by at Ekame Lodge was unresponsive to play-back.

 

Papuan Boobook (Ninox theomacha): one seen at Tari and heard at Ekame and Tabubil.

 

Spangled/Starry Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles tatei): one watched for 15 mins in the spotlight at Ekame Lodge on the second night of trying, with 2 heard but not seen on the third night. Bird of the trip for some and a tick for everyone!!

 

Mountain Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles albertisi): close spotlight views at Kumul Lodge on one of several attempts.

 

Barred Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles bennettii): one at its day-roost at Varirata.

 

Wallace’s Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles wallacii): one heard at Ekame Lodge.

 

Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus): brilliant spotlight views of 2 at Ekame Lodge.

 

Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis): 2 roosting at PAU, heard at Ekame.

 

Papuan Nightjar (Eurostopodus papuensis): 2 all dark nightjars seen on Boystown Road, Kiunga were thought to be this species.

 

Archbold's Nightjar (Eurostopodus archboldi): close views of 2 birds on the Bailey Bridge at Tari, heard calling at dawn just before roosting.

 

Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus): singles at Tari and Kiunga.

 

Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta): common at Tari and Kumul, with a few at Varirata.

 

Mountain Swiftlet (Aerodramus hirundinaceus): several at Tari Gap.

 

Uniform Swiftlet (Aerodramus vanikorensis): common in the Kiunga/Tabubil area.

 

Papuan Needletail (Mearnsia novaeguineae): a few daily in the Kiunga area and 1 at Dablin Creek.

 

Moustached Treeswift (Hemiprocne mystacea): 5 on the way to Ekame Lodge, a few on Boystown Road and Tabubil.

 

Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea): 2-3 on the Elevala River on 2 days.

 

Little Kingfisher (Alcedo pusilla): one near Ekame Lodge.

 

Variable Kingfisher (Ceyx lepidus): singles inside the forest near Ekame Lodge and at Varirata.

 

Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii): nice views of 2 on the Varirata approach road.

 

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud): one or 2 daily around Ekame Lodge, several others heard in the Kiunga area.

 

Shovel-billed Kookaburra (Clytoceyx rex): 2 heard calling inside the forest at dusk along the Ok Ma road but would not come out, also heard at dawn at Tabubil and the Bailey Bridge at Tari.

 

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus): regularly seen at PAU, Tari and along the Elevala river.

 

Hook-billed Kingfisher (Melidora macrorrhina): commonly heard around Kiunga with good scope views for all  at the village before Ekame.

 

Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro): 2 singles around Ekame Lodge and heard at Tabubil and Varirata.

 

Mountain Kingfisher (Syma megarhyncha): sadly, only heard at 2 sites at Tari.

 

Little Paradise-Kingfisher (Tanysiptera hydrocharis): wonderful views near Ekame Lodge.

 

Common Paradise-Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea): prolonged close views of 2 near Ekame Lodge.

 

Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher (Tanysiptera danae): 4 seen well at Varirata.

 

Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia): one near Ekame Lodge (NW).

 

Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) a few scattered throughout.

 

Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis): fairly common around Kiunga, especially along the Elevala River, and 1 at Varirata. 

 

Blyth's Hornbill (Aceros plicatus): fairly common around Kiunga.

 

Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida): fine views of one at Ekame Lodge, with several others heard near there.

 

Red-bellied Pitta (Pitta erythrogaster): one hopped past on the Ok Ma road, with others heard around Ekame Lodge.

 

Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica): one on the drive from Tari to Kumul Lodge.

 

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica): common in the lowlands up to 1600m.

 

Tree Martin (Hirundo nigricans): few near Port Morseby.

 

Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae): one at Hagen airport.

 

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae): common at PAU and along Varirata approach road.

 

Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina caeruleogrisea): singles Tari Valley and Dablin Creek.

 

Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina lineata): 2 singles at Varirata.

 

Boyer's Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina boyeri): 1-2 at Km 17, Kiunga and a few at Varirata.

 

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis): 2 below Varirata and Kumul Lodge.

 

Hooded Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina longicauda): at least 2 singles at Tari.

 

Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina schisticeps): singles at Km 17, 2 at Boystown Road, 4 at OK Ma Road and few at Dablin Creek.

 

New Guinea (Black) Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina melas): a pair at Varirata.

 

Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina montana): a few above Ambua, Tari and heard at Kumul.

 

Black-shouldered (Papuan) Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina morio): 2 at Ekame Lodge and heard at Dablin Creek and Ok Ma Road.

 

Golden Cuckoo-shrike (Campochaera sloetii): a few small flocks in the Kiunga/Tabubil area.

 

Cicadabird (Coracina tenuirostris): seen on two occasions at Tari.

 

White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor): one below Varirata.

 

Varied Triller (Lalage leucomela): singles at Km 17, Ekame Lodge, Dablin Creey, Ok Ma Road and Varirata.

 

Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus): 2 at Tari Gap and several at Kumul Lodge.

 

Island Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus poliocephalus): a few at Tari and below Kumul.

 

Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis): 1 near Brown River.

 

Tawny Grassbird (Megalurus timoriensis): a few daily at Tari.

 

Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata): daily at Tari and near Kumul and Tabubil.

 

Northern Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris): one at Dablin Creek.

 

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys): common throughout.

 

Friendly Fantail (Rhipidura albolimbata): common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Chestnut-bellied Fantail (Rhipidura hyperythra): several at Varirata.

 

White-bellied Thicket-Fantail (Rhipidura leucothorax): this skulker was seen near Ekame Lodge

 

Black Thicket-Fantail (Rhipidura maculipectus): one seen briefly at Km 17 and heard at Boystown Road. 

 

Sooty Thicket-Fantail (Rhipidura threnothorax): heard at Dablin Creek.

 

Black Fantail (Rhipidura atra): a few seen at Tari, Boystown Road and Dablin Creek. 

 

Dimorphic Fantail (Rhipidura brachyrhyncha): small numbers at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Rufous-backed Fantail (Rhipidura rufidorsa): singles at Ekame Lodge and Km 17.

 

Black Monarch (Monarcha axillaries): 3 around Ambua, Tari.

 

Black-faced Monarch (Monarcha melanopsis): 2 singles at Varirita.

 

Black-winged Monarch (Monarcha frater): one at Dablin Creek (LBW) and 2 singles at Varirata.

 

Spot-winged Monarch (Monarcha guttulus): singles at Ekame Lodge and Varirata.

 

Hooded Monarch (Monarcha manadensis): 2 singles near Ekame Lodge.

 

Golden Monarch (Monarcha chrysomela): 2 at Km 17 and singles at Ekame and Varirata.

 

Frilled Monarch (Arses telescophthalmus): a constituent of most bird parties in the Kiunga area, Ok Ma Road and Varirata.

 

Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto): a common river edge bird on the Elevala.

 

Black-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus nigripectus): a few at Tari and 1 at Kumul.

 

Yellow-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer): singles near to Ekame Lodge and at Varirata.

 

Lesser Ground-Robin (Amalocichla incerta): very vocal on Benson’s Trail, Tari and eventually seen; heard near Kumul.

 

Torrent Flycatcher (Monachella muelleriana): 2-4 below Kumul and several at Ok Menga.

 

Yellow-legged Flycatcher (Microeca griseoceps): one in a bird flock at Dablin Creek.

 

Canary Flycatcher (Microeca papuana): a few at Tari, Kumul, with singles at Dablin Creek and Varirata.

 

Garnet Robin (Eugerygone rubra): 2 above Ambua, Tari and heard below Kumul.

 

White-faced Robin (Tregellasia leucops): only 1 at Varirata.

 

Black-sided Robin (Poecilodryas hypoleuca): stunning views of 1 on our last morning at Ekame Lodge.

 

Black-throated Robin (Poecilodryas albonotata): only a couple at Tari on 2 days.

 

White-winged Robin (Peneothello sigillata): a few at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

White-rumped Robin (Peneothello bimaculata): singles at Dablin Creek and Ok Ma Road.

 

Blue-grey Robin (Peneothello cyanus): daily at Tari, and 1 at Kumul for Wilfred.

 

Ashy Robin (Heteromyias albispecularis): commonly heard at Tari, but only 1 seen briefly on Benson’s trail.

 

Northern Scrub-Robin (Drymodes superciliaris): one seen at Varirata.

 

Dwarf Whistler (Pachycare flavogriseum): 3-4 of this stunning species at Varirata.

 

Rufous-naped Whistler (Aleadryas rufinucha): common at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Mottled Whistler (Ragologus leucostigma): a pair along Max’s Trail, below Kumul and 1 at Varirata.

 

Brown-backed Whistler (Pachycephala modesta): small numbers at Tari.

 

Grey-headed Whistler (Pachycephala griseiceps): singles Boystown Road and Varirata.

 

Sclater's Whistler (Pachycephala soror): a few daily at Tari and Kumul.

 

Regent Whistler (Pachycephala schlegelii): a few daily at Tari and Kumul.

 

Rusty Whistler (Pachycephala hyperythra): heard at Dablin Creek but only seen by Albert and Kings.

 

Black-headed Whistler (Pachycephala monacha): a few in the Tari Valley and 2 at Dablin Creek.

 

Rufous/Little Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha): a few at Tari and 1 or 2 at Ekame Lodge, Dablin Creek and Varirata.

 

Grey Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla harmonica): one near Brown River.

 

Hooded Pitohui (Pitohui dichrous): a few at Varirata.

 

White-bellied Pitohui (Pitohui incertus): parties near Ekame Lodge.

 

Rusty Pitohui (Pitohui ferrugineus): singles near Ekame Lodge and 4 at Varirata.

 

Crested Pitohui (Pitohui cristatus): one heard at Varirata, seen briefly by some.

 

Variable Pitohui (Pitohui kirhocephalus): a few at Ekame Lodge.

 

Black Pitohui (Pitohui nigrescens): one above Ambua.

 

Wattled Ploughbill (Eulacestoma nigropectus): several heard and a male seen in flight at Tari; prolonged views along Max’s trail near Kumul was one of the trip highlights.

 

New Guinea Babbler (Pomatostomus isidorei): a few near Ekame Lodge.

 

Northern Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii): at least 3 along Bensons Trail, Tari.

 

Painted Quail-Thrush (Cinclosoma ajax): heard at Ekame but only seen by Wilfried; a pair and another male seen by a few at Varirata.

 

Blue Jewel-Babbler (Ptilorrhoa caerulescens): one behind Ekame Lodge and heard elsewhere in the Kiunga area.

 

Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa castanonota): one at Varirata and heard at Ok Ma Road.

 

Spotted Jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa leucosticta): heard at Tari and Max’s Trail, Kumul but only seen at the latter by Albert and Kings. 

 

Blue-capped Ifrita (Ifrita kowaldi): several at Tari.

 

White-shouldered Fairywren (Malurus alboscapulatus): a few Tari Valley, and below Kumul and Varirata.

 

Orange-crowned Fairywren (Clytomyias insignis): 2-3 seen in an elusive flock along Max’s Trail.

 

Emperor Fairywren (Malurus cyanocephalus): 2 near Ekame and heard on Boystown Road.

 

Rusty Mouse-Warbler (Crateroscelis murina): heard daily in the lowlands but only singles seen near Ekame and Dablin Creek.

 

Mountain Mouse-Warbler (Crateroscelis robusta): a few at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Buff-faced Scrubwren (Sericornis perspicillatus): fairly common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Papuan Scrubwren (Sericornis papuensis): common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Large Scrubwren (Sericornis nouhuysi): a few at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Pale-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis spilodera): singles at Varirata, and Dablin Creek for Albert.

 

Grey Gerygone (Gerygone cinerea): a few at Tari on our first day.

 

Green-backed Gerygone (Gerygone chloronota): a few around Ekame Lodge and Varirata but difficult to see.

 

Fairy Gerygone (Gerygone palpebrosa): 1-2 at Varirata and 1 at Tari for Ruth.

 

Yellow-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone chrysogaster): singles at Ekame Lodge and Varirata.

 

Large-billed Gerygone (Gerygone magnirostris): singles Ekame Lodge.

 

Brown-breasted Gerygone (Gerygone): common at Tari  and Kumul.

 

Black Sittella (Neositta miranda): 3 glimpsed by some on Bensons Trail, Tari.

 

Papuan/ Varied Sittella (Neositta [chrysoptera] papuensis): a small flock at Tari.

 

Papuan Treecreeper (Cormobates placens): heard only on 2 days at Tari.

 

Black Sunbird (Leptocoma sericea): common in the Kiunga/Tabubil area.

 

Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis): a few at PAU, Kiunga and near Varirata.

 

Obscure Berrypecker (Melanocharis arfakiana): heard at Dablin Creek but only seen by Albert.

 

Black Berrypecker (Melanocharis nigra): 3 singles near Ekame and a pair with food at Varirata.

 

Mid-mountain (Lemon-breasted) Berrypecker (Melanocharis longicauda): several at Tari.

 

Fan-tailed Berrypecker (Melanocharis versteri): a few at Tari and Kumul Lodge.

 

Yellow-bellied Longbill (Toxorhamphus novaeguineae): daily in the Kiunga area.

 

Dwarf Honeyeater (Toxorhamphus iliolophus): singles near Ekame and at Varirata.

 

Pygmy Honeyeater (Toxorhamphus pygmaeum): 2 at Ok Ma Road.

 

Tit Berrypecker (Oreocharis arfaki): several at Tari and Kumul.

 

Crested Berrypecker (Paramythia montium): good views of a pair feeding a fledgling at Kumul Lodge but none at Tari!

 

Olive-crowned Flowerpecker (Dicaeum pectorale): fairly common throughout.

 

Black-fronted White-eye (Zosterops minor): a few at Varirata.

 

Capped (Western Mountain) White-eye (Zosterops fuscicapillus): a few flocks in the Tari Valley.

 

New Guinea White-eye (Zosterops novaeguineae): several below Kumul.

 

Olive Straightbill (Timeliopsis fulvigula): 3 of this scarce species feeding in roadside trees above Ambua, Tari.

 

Long-billed Honeyeater (Melilestes megarhynchus): 2 singles at Dablin Creek.

 

Green-backed Honeyeater (Glycichaera fallax) : 2 singles at Dablin Creek.

 

Dusky Myzomela (Myzomela obscura): 2 at PAU.

 

Mountain Myzomela (Myzomela adolphinae): singles below Kumul, at Dablin Creek and at Varirata.

 

Red-collared Myzomela (Myzomela rosenbergii): common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Scrub Honeyeater (Meliphaga albonotata): a few around Ekame and 1 at Varirata.

 

Mountain Meliphaga (Meliphaga orientalis): a few below Kumul and around Tabubil.

 

Puff-backed Honeyeater (Meliphaga aruensis): singles at Km 17 and Ekame Lodge.

 

Mimic Honeyeater (Meliphaga analoga): a few below Kumul Lodge.

 

Graceful Honeyeater (Meliphaga gracilis): one at Ekame Lodge.

 

Black-throated Honeyeater (Lichenostomus subfrenatus): common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Yellow-tinted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavescens): two at the Gateway Hotel and 6 in the grounds of the parliament buildings, Port Moresby.

 

Tawny-breasted Honeyeater (Xanthotis flaviventer): common in the Kiunga/Tabubil area.

 

Spotted Honeyeater (Xanthotis polygrammu): singles Dablin Creek and Varirata.

 

White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis) : one in the eucalyptus savanna on the approach road to Varirata.

 

Plain Honeyeater (Pycnopygius ixoides): a few at Boystown Road.

 

Silver-eared Honeyeater (Lichmera alboauricularis): 2 at Aroa Filling Station, near Port Moresby.

 

Marbled Honeyeater (Pycnopygius cinereus): 2 in the Tari Valley and below Kumul.

 

Streak-headed Honeyeater (Pycnopygius sticocephalus): a few at Boystown Road and 1 at Varirata.

 

Meyer's Friarbird (Philemon meyeri): 2 at Boystown Road.

 

Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides): common in the lowlands.

 

Grey-sided Honeyeater (Ptilorora perstriata): common around Tari and Kumul.

 

Rufous-backed Honeyeater (Ptiloprora guisei): fairly common below Ambua, Tari.

 

Belford's Melidectes (Melidectes belfordi): abundant  at Tari and Kumul.

 

Yellow-browed Melidectes (Melidectes rufocrissalis): common below Ambua, Tari.

 

Ornate Melidectes (Melidectes torquatus): a few below Kumul and 2 at Dablin Creek.

 

Smoky Honeyeater (Melipotes fumigatus): common at Tari and Kumul.

 

Rufous-banded Honeyeater (Conopophila albogularis): common at PAU.

 

Brown Oriole (Oriolus szalayi): fairly common in the lowlands.

 

Green Figbird (Sphecotheres viridis): common at PAU.

 

Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach): single males in the gardens below Warili Lodge, Tari Valley and near Kumul Lodge.

 

Papuan Drongo (Chaetorhynchus papuensis): 1-2 at Varirata.

 

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus): fairly common in the lowlands, with a few at Varirata.

 

Torrent-Lark (Grallina bruijni): 4 at Dablin Creek, with 1 at Ok Menga (JH).

 

Great Woodswallow (Artamus maximus): small numbers at Tari and Tabubil.

 

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus): several at Port Moresby, PAU, Kiunga and Tabubil.

 

Mountain Peltops (Peltops montanus): a few at Tari and Tabubil.

 

Lowland Peltops (Peltops blainvillii): singles at Ekame Lodge and Boystown Road.

 

Black-backed Butcherbird (Cracticus mentalis): only seen at  PAU.

 

Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus): fairly common at PAU, Varirata and the Kiunga/Tabubil area.

 

Black Butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi): 1-2 in the Tari Valley and heard at Tabubil and Varirata.

 

Loria's Satinbird/Bird-of-Paradise (Cnemophilus loriae): 2 females at Ambua, with a male near Benson’s Trail for KP, Tari.

 

Glossy-mantled Manucode (Manucodia ater): a few near Ekame Lodge and heard at Km 17.

 

Trumpet Manucode (Manucodia keraudrenii): a few near Ekame Lodge and heard at Km 17.

 

Crinkle-collared Manucode (Manucodia chalybatus) 1-2 Ok Ma road and Dablin Creek, and heard near Ekame Lodge.

 Short-tailed Paradigalla (Paradigalla brevicauda): at least 2 in a fruiting tree near Ambua.

 

Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (Astrapia mayeri): daily in the Tari Gap area including stunning males, and a few females with a sub-adult male on the bird table at Kumul Lodge.

 

Princess Stephanie's Astrapia (Astrapia stephaniae): a few above Ambua, Tari.

 

Carola's Parotia (Parotia carolae): 4, including a brief male, eventually seen at Dablin Creek.

 

Lawes' Parotia (Parotia lawesii): difficult this year with only 1 female seen at  Tari.

 

King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise (Pteridophora alberti): several seen well at Tari, with one female-type near Kumul Lodge.

 

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus): single males at Ekame and Ok Ma Road, many others heard.

 

Eastern/ Growling Riflebird (Ptiloris [magnificus] intercedens): a male seen well at Varirata.

 

Superb Bird-of-Paradise (Lophorina superba): several males below Warili Lodge, including including 1

displaying for 20 mins.

 

Black Sicklebill (Epimachus fastuosus): a few on 3 days at Tari including a rarely seen displaying male.

 

Brown Sicklebill (Epimachus meyeri): several at Tari including a displaying male, and 3+ at the bird table at Kumul Lodge.

 

Buff-tailed/Black-billed Sicklebill (Epimachus albertisi): one responded to play-back on the Waterfall Trail, Tari but could not be seen.

 

Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus): after a female-type in a fruiting tree near Kumul Lodge, 2 were at Dablin Creek and 1 at Ok Ma Road; also heard at Varirata.

 

King Bird-of-Paradise (Cicinnurus regius): a male and a female near Ekame Lodge.

 

Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus): an adult male displayed to a female near Ekame Lodge, and a young male also seen.

 

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea minor): 4 males displayed to females below Kumul Lodge, brilliant views.

 

Greater Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea apoda): a few displaying at Kiunga, Km 17 and a couple at Ekame Lodge.

 

Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana): several displaying at Varirata and Km 17, and a few sightings around Kiunga.

 

Blue Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi): superb views of a male displaying, including hanging upside down, and 2 feeding in a fruiting tree at Tari, with others heard.

 

Lesser Melampitta (Melampitta lugubris): 2 singles at Kumul Lodge and several heard at Tari but only 1 seen by Iain.

 

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides): 2 seen briefly at Ekame Lodge.

 

Sanford's Bowerbird (Archboldia sanfordi): a female put in a few appearances at the feeder at Kumul Lodge.

 

Macgregor's Bowerbird (Amblyornis macgregoriae): a few on 3 days at Tari.

 

Flame Bowerbird (Sericulus aureus): 5+ female-types feeding in a fruiting tree near Ekame and a male in flight over the lodge (WS).

 

Yellow-breasted Bowerbird (Chlamydera lauterbachi): at least one below Kumul.

 

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird (Chlamydera cerviniventris): common at PAU and a few along the Varirata approach road. 

 

Grey Crow (Corvus tristis): this vocal forest crow was seen daily at Ekame Lodge and along the Elevala River, Ok Ma Road and at Varirata.

 

Torresian Crow (Corvus orru): several at Port Moresby, PAU and Kiunga.

 

Metallic Starling (Aplonis metallica) good numbers at Ekame Lodge

 Singing Starling (Aplonis cantoroides): few around PAU and Port Morseby airport.

 Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii): common in the lowlands including Varirata and Tabubil.

 Golden Myna (Mino anais): several around Ekame Lodge.

 House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): only seen in Port Morseby

 Mountain Firetail (Oreostruthus fuliginosus): 2 above Tari on 2 days and a few daily at Kumul Lodge.

 Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa): a few on 2 days at Tari and singles at Kumul Lodge and Dablin Creek.

 

Hooded Munia (Lonchura spectabilis): several daily in the Tari Valley.

 Grey-headed Munia (Lonchura caniceps): flocks at  PAU and Sogeri Plateau.

 Chestnut-breasted Munia (Lonchura castaneothorax): 2 at PAU.

 Streak-headed Munia (Lonchura tristissima leucosticta): 15 at Brown River.

 

 

MAMMALS – identification very difficult, even with photos!

Common Bush Wallaby (Thylogale brunii): Two sightings of a small kangaroo, possibly this species, at Kumul Lodge.

Raffray’s Bandicoot (Peroryctes raffrayanus): a fairly large animal in the woodland below Kumul Lodge was thought to be this giant bandicoot specie.

Woolly rat sp. (Mallomys sp.): 1 or 2 large blackish rats that ate leftover fruit on the bird feeder at Kumul Lodge after dark were thought to be Woolly rats or Black-tailed Giant Rat (Uromys anak) - said to be the only giant rat of New Guinea’s high elevations that lacks substantial areas of white on its tail, but does not "look right".
Another dark mammal seen in the forest below Tari Gap was unidentified.

Feathertail Possum (Distoechurus pennatus): a pygmy-possum with a well-marked black and white face at the Kumul feeder at night was thought to be this species but it appeared to have a smooth tail.

Black-tailed Antechinus (Antechinus melanurus): This marsupial mouse was on a wall just below the roof at Kumul Lodge.

Great Flying-fox (Pteropus neohibernicus): Large fruit-bats along the Elevala River are thought to be this sp.

  REPTILES

New Guinea Crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae: 2 of this endemic freshwater crocodile on the Elevala River.

 Tropical House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus: several at hotels, eg Cloudlands in Tabubil.

 

 

 

 

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