BIRDING AROUND THE WORLD

Subtitle

PAPUA NEW GUINEA :  28th JULY to 18th AUG 2008 with pre-tour Extension from 15th to 28th JULY

 

PARTICIPANTS:                     Jon Hornbuckle    tour organizer, leader & report-writer         

                                              Mike Catsis

                                              Bob French

                                              Malcolm Oxlade

                                              Lori Szucs

                                              Moira and Graeme Wallace

           

This budget tour was a resounding success, with sightings of 23 species of birds of paradise on the main tour, plus an additional 5 on the extension, along with a fine supporting cast of New Guinea endemics. Highlights included the rarely seen Papuan Whipbird, all three species of Jewel-babbler, Shovel-billed Kingfisher and three species of Paradise-Kingfisher, Meyer’s Goshawk, Southern Crowned Pigeon, Vulturine Parrot and prolonged views of Papuan Harpy-Eagle. The logistics worked fairly well except that we lost one full day at Tabubil, which probably cost us a few good birds such as Carola’s Parotia, thanks to our Air Niugini flight being aborted.

 

ITINERARY

July   28         Arrive Port Moresby, p.m. Pacific Adventists University; Granville Motel

          29         MC and MO arrive, Varirata NP

          30         Varirata NP, Pacific Adventists University 4-6 pm

          31         Varirata NP     

Aug     1           a.m. Port Moresby airport, flight delayed; p.m. fly to Tabubil, Wewak and back to Moresby; Crowne Plaza Hotel   

          2           a.m. fly to Tabubil; p.m. Ok Menga, Dablin Creek; Hotel Cloudlands

          3           a.m. Ok Ma road; p.m. Dablin Creek

          4           a.m. Ok Ma road, Dablin Creek; p.m. drive to Kiunga with stop at Km17; Kiunga

Guest House

          5           boat to Ekame Lodge; Elevala River and Ekame Lodge

         6            Elevala River, p.m. to Kiunga by boat; Kiunga Guest House

         7            a.m. Boystown Road; p.m. Km 17

         8            fly to Mount Hagen, transfer to Kumul Lodge

         9            a.m. Lesser BoP site then Enga Show; p.m. Kumul Lodge

        10           a.m. Max’s Trail; p.m. Kumul Lodge area

        11           Kumul Lodge till 08.00, drive to Warili Lodge, Tari [Lori day trip up Mt Hagen]

        12-16      Tari Gap - Tari Valley

        17           Tari Gap till 08.00, drive to Tari airport, fly to Moresby; BF & LS fly to Aus

        18            A.m. Varirata NP; p.m. fly to Singapore

 

TRIP LOG

Graeme, Moira and I returned to Port Moresby from the pre-tour extension to Huon, Manus and Normanby Island on July 28. Lori and Bob arrived early afternoon from Australia and after checking in at the Granville Motel, went with me to the Pacific Adventist University till dusk. We were pleased to find 7 Spotted Whistling-ducks – a bird that had been  difficult to see this year by all accounts. We all dined on fish and chips at the Granville. Mike and Malcolm arrived from Singapore at 06.00 the following morning, and took 75 mins to get though Immigration. We all set off for Varirata National Park at 09.00, and stopped at the dry eucalypt savanna along the approach road to Varirata, seeing Rainbow Bee-eater, Lemon-bellied and Leaden Flycatchers, Black-shouldered Cucooshrike, female Riflebird and Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise, and our only Brown Falcon of the trip. Our time inside the park gave a good selection of birds such as Marbled Frogmouth, Barred Owlet-nightjar, Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher, Northern Scrub-Robin, Wampoo Fruit-Dove, Black-winged, Spot-winged and Frilled Monarchs, Slaty-chinned Longbill and Dwarf Whistler. On  the way back we stopped at the Kokoda Monument, an interesting memorial to Second World War activities, to look for Grand Munia but only a few Grey-headed Munia were seen, by Lori.   

 

The next morning we visited the Raggiana Bird of Paradise lek at Varirata and saw a few males actively displaying. Our visit coincided with that of Bruce Beehler leading a group of Americans including the Ambassador to PNG! After admiring the fine view down to the sea at Varirata Lookout, we drove to the Boundary Trail to check an eagle nest, according to our local guide, to find it was that of the rare Doria’s Hawk. We were able to have prolonged views of the bird perched high in the canopy.  Other species here included Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler, White-faced Robin, Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot, Yellow-breasted Boatbill and a brief male Eastern Riflebird. We walked down to the picnic area from Varirata Lookout and saw Papuan King-Parrot, Ornate Fruit-Dove and Rusty Pitohui. Over lunch we taped in Yellow-billed Kingfisher, then tried the Treehouse Trail and had a rarely seen Crested Pitohui on the ground, Dwarf Honeyeater and Crinkle-collared Manucode. We left the Park mid-afternoon for Pacific Adventist University. Here good views were had of marshland and savanna species such as Pied Heron, Rufous Night-Heron, Wandering Whistling-Duck, White-browed Crake, Purple Swamphen and Comb-crested Jacana. Land birds included Blue-winged Kookaburra, Black-backed Butcherbird, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Figbird, Grey-headed and Chestnut-breasted Munias, and even an Osprey. 

 

Returning to Varirata the next day, we started at the Boundary Trail hoping for Painted Quail-thrush but failed despite a long tape-duel. We did have the scarce Yellow-legged Flycatcher and a rarely seen White-eared Catbird for some. We spent the rest of the morning in the valley below Gare's Lookout trail where the only new bird was a Wallace’s Fairy-Wren for Mike. After lunch most of us did the Circuit Trail, seeing Black-billed Brush-Turkey, Golden and Black Monarchs, and other birds already seen such as Crested Pitohui. We drove back to Moresby in the dark.

The next morning we were due to fly to Tabubil at 10.50 but the flight was delayed “for technical reasons” which according to a contract engineer who often used this flight meant there was no plane, a not infrequent occurrence with  Air Niugini. We finally left at 3 pm after 6 hours in the departure lounge! After a 2 hour flight we could not land due to cloud cover, no great surprise at this time of day but what was a surprise was that we flew to Wewak on the north coast, refuelled, then back to Moresby, arriving at 8.30 pm, instead of landing at Kiunga, a mere 3 hour drive from Tabubil. We were eventually transferred to Crowne Plaza Hotel and given a good buffet dinner, but it was a wasted day. The following morning a walk along the seafront gave Bridled and Gull-billed Terns and Great Frigatebird, before the 08.30 airport transfer. The new flight was on time, arriving at Tabubil at 12.10. We checked into the comfortable Cloudlands Hotel, and after pie and chips spent a rather wet afternoon at OK Menga, eventually seeing a pair of Salvadori’s Teal with ace local guide Samuel, but no Torrent-lark. We drove up to Dablin Creek for the last 90 mins of daylight. It was quiet but Orange-breasted Fig-Parrot, Mountain Peltops and a female Magnificent BoP were seen. We dined on fish and prawns at the Golf Club.

The next day dawned wet and stayed that way with a few clear spells. We drove to Ok Ma Road in the dark, saw Papuan Boobook in flight but only heard Shovel-billed Kingfisher calling. We spent the morning birding along the road, seeing Red-flanked and Fairy/Little Red Lorikeets, Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrike, White-rumped Robin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Obscure Berrypecker and Black Butcherbird. We went into the forest for Greater Melampitta but only Lori and Moira saw it. While trying another short trail for the Melampitta, Mike spotted a perched Shovel-bill which gave good views for a few mins. Returning to Dablin Creek at 2 pm, most of us saw little except Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike. Lori climbed up the metal walkway and stayed there for some time, seeing Torrent-lark and a flock with fine male Carola’s Parotia, Black Fantail, Tit Berrypecker and a few other goodies. Our return visit to the Golf Club at 5.30 was fruitless as the kitchen had run out of food!

Returning the following morning to Ok Ma Road with Kwiwan, Samuel’s cousin, 3 pairs Shovel-bills called but none flew across the road so could not be spotted. However, a perched Boobook was spot-lit. Another attempt at the Melampitta was unsuccessful but we did see White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Plain and Long-billed Honeyeaters and Lori had Black Thicket-fantail while looking in the forest for the Shovel-bill, which he saw briefly. We returned to Dablin Creek for three hours, mostly at the “fruiting tree”, now with little fruit left on it. Orange-breasted Fig-Parrots and Black Myzomela were feeding but no Carola’s Parotia. Torrent-lark was seen by some and I had a White-rumped Robin feeding its mate. After checking out of Cloudlands and lunching on pizza and fruit, we drove to Km17 near Kiunga, reaching it in 3 hours.  It was quiet at first then livened up to give Beautiful Fruit-dove, Large Fig-parrot, Dusky Lory, Trumpet Manucode, Greater Birds-of-Paradise, Lowland Peltops, Golden Cuckooshrike and best of all, 2 Vulturine Parrots. We checked in and dined at the Kiunga Guesthouse.

 

The next two days were devoted to the Elevala River/ Ekame Lodge trip. After a delayed start due to the driver and Samuel being late, we set-off on the Fly River bound for Ekame Lodge in light rain. After 15 mins we watched a displaying 12-wired BoP then continued to the turn-off on the Elevala. Stopping to pick-up the cook, we were fortunate to observe a flock of the scarce Yellow-eyed Starling flying over. Lori and Mike spotted a pair of Purple-tailed Imperial pigeons flying low over the river. After dropping-off our bags at the lodge, we spent a very productive morning on the river and a forest trail, seeing Hooded Pitta, a superb displaying male King BoP, Hooded Monarch, White-bellied Thicket-Fantail, White-bellied and Variable Pitohuis and after a long tape duel, the rare Little Paradise-Kingfisher. We returned to the lodge for lunch and siesta, then back on the river till dark, seeing Palm Cockatoo, Great-billed Heron, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Little Kingfisher, lots of Blyth’s Hornbills and Manucodes, a brief Hook-billed Kingfisher and finally one of the star birds of the trip, Southern Crowned-Pigeon - 3 roosting in a large trees. After supper we spent another hour on the river, hearing a Forest Bittern calling – a bird I’ve long wanted to see - but the only sighting was a singing Papuan Frogmouth. Back at the lodge, a Starry Owlet-nightjar was heard but not seen. The following morning we took the boat down river to a village to visit a hide set-up at a Flame Bowerbird bower. The only reward for an hour there was an Emperor Fairy-Wren. A watch at a fruiting-tree was equally frustrating as the only Bowerbird was one seen by Malcolm and Moira swiftly dropping out of the tree. Back at the lodge, we did a trail and had good views of Blue Jewel-Babbler, Little Bronze-cuckoo and Black-sided Robin, while back at the lodge we saw Dwarf Koel. After an early lunch we returned to the river and found Common Paradise-Kingfisher and Golden Monarch in muddy forest along a tributary, before proceeding on our journey back to Kiunga, which was rather quiet, the most notable sightings being a perched Dwarf Fruit-Dove and a crocodile.

 

The next day we drove to “Manucode Mound” on Boystown Road, to look for the spectacular Flame Bowerbird in the partly-logged forest. Three Nightjars were flushed from the road, one of which was seen to be a Papuan, but the driver was incapable of stopping in time for perched views. We were joined by a FieldGuides group led by my old friend Phil Gregory. An early male Bowerbird in flight was only seen by a few but later we all saw a distant one perched. Pinon and Zoe Imperial-Pigeons frequently flew past and good birds were Long-billed Cuckoo, Obscure and Pygmy Honeyeaters, Red-throated Myzomela, Yellow-streaked Lory, displaying Glossy-mantled and Trumpet Manucodes and a rare New Guinea Bronzewing for Lori. The afternoon birding was spoilt by rain but we did have good views of Australian Hobby perched on a telegraph pole in town and Greater and Raggiana Birds-of-Paradise displaying at Km 17. 

 

The final morning was disappointing as we tried for nightjars on the first part of Boystown Rd without success, then had to wait for 4 hours before our plane came to take us to Mount Hagen. Birding at the end of the runway gave White-spotted Munia and Palm Cockatoo.  Reaching Mount Hagen at 1 pm, we were met by Paul, owner of Kumul Lodge and after pie and chips in town, drove to Kumul, arriving at 3 pm. The lodge was very nice, with pleasant rooms, a bar and a viewing terrace overlooking possibly the largest bird-table in the world. We spent most of the remaining afternoon watching Brehm’s Tiger-Parrot, Brown Sicklebill, Ribbon –tailed Astrapia, Smoky Honeyeater, Belford’s Melidectes and Island Thrush feeding on fruit on the table, while elsewhere in the grounds, some saw Goldie’s, Orange-billed and Papuan Lorikeets, White-winged Robin and Rufous-naped Whistler. The day ended with a good buffet dinner and a beer or two.

 

After an early breakfast we took an hour’s drive to a Lesser BoP site where 3 adult males gave a good display for a short while. Several attractive Ornate Melidectes were also present along with Mountain Myzomela and New Guinea White-eye. On our walk back to the vehicle, we stopped to look for another speciality of the area – Yellow-breasted Bowerbird and also added Black-headed Whistler. We met up with Paul’s wife Kim and transferred to her vehicle to go to the Enga Show at Wabag. Progress was slow due to the pot-holed road but we arrived at 11.00 in good time for most of the action. This was a spectacular event with 20 – 25 groups of tribespeople dressed and painted in all their traditional finery, periodically performing traditional dances. Prizes were awarded to the best “dressed” and performing groups. Needless to say this was truly a photo-fest. After a picnic lunch the group left for Kumul, stopping to bird on the way but with little reward. However, a fruiting tree in the lodge grounds did give a gorgeous male Crested BoP and Crested Berrypecker, while Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Regent Whistler and Mountain Firetail were seen elsewhere. After supper, we tried to call in Mountain Owlet-Nightjar but there was only a brief response. We decided to try again at 4 am. and this time two responded, one eventually giving superb views. After breakfast at 6ish, we birded the botanical gardens area, seeing Macgregor’s Bowerbird and many Goldie’s Lorikeet, then spent the morning down the road on Max’s Trail. Tape duels with Lesser Melampitta and Spotted Jewel-babbler were unsuccessful but Wattled Ploughbill and Ashy Robin were called in and Malcolm and I had brief views of a Forbe’s Forest-Rail flushed by Max. Black-breasted Boatbill, Black-throated Honeyeater, Papuan Scrub-Wren and a female/ imm male King-of-Saxony BoP were  also seen. After lunch at the lodge we split-up to seek our own birds – I caught up with the gorgeous male Crested BoP, chasing off Crested Berrypeckers from “his” fruiting tree, and Blue-capped Ifrita, while others had Loria’s BoP, Brown-backed Whistler and Black-bellied Cuckooshrike, with a Pygmy Lorikeet for Lori. At dinner-time we met the Provincial Governor and national Minister of Tourism, who had been at the Show. Afterwards we tried again for the Owlet-Nightjar, but without success.

  

After two days without rain, unusual up here, we had another fine morning but rain in the afternoon. Today Lori set off at 03.45 to trek up Mt Hagen, with an older Max, whom he rated highly, to look for highland specialities such as Long-bearded Melidectes and Mountain Robin, seen a few days earlier by Frank Lambert, while we birded around the lodge until 08.00 when we were due to depart for Tari. The only new birds were Painted Tiger-Parrot and Dimorphic Fantail. Lori, who journied to Tari by public bus the next day, had a tough 14 hour trek but saw both Frank’s birds and  other goodies such as Alpine Pipit, Sooty Melidectes, Papuan Thornbill and Black Sitella. We left at 09.00, delayed by our hired van, and reached Mendi at 1 pm. After fish and chips from the kai bar at the petrol station, we continued on the bumpy, windy road to Tari Gap in 4 birdless hours. A rarely seen Spotless Crake was a surprising sight crossing the road just before Warili Lodge. We were welcomed by Steven Wari who was surprised to see us as he thought we would come on the morning flight from Moresby, despite having been told to the contrary. Supper was a bit  sparse as food-stocks were low but the Lodge itself was comfortable with ever-improving facilities such as flush-toilets  and a hot shower.

 

After a French-toast breakfast, we drove up past Ambua Lodge to Benson’s Trail for a 6 hour introduction to the delights of upper Tari. We saw Modest Tiger-Parrot, Papuan Logrunner, Hooded Cuckooshrike and Ifrita, with Black-throated Robin for Graeme only. After lunch at Warili, with Hooded Munia and Yellow-browed Melidectes in the garden, we returned up the hill to Tari Gap and succeeded in getting very close views of Lesser Melampitta, Papuan and Plum-faced Lorikeets and best of all, the rare Meyer’s Goshawk. Lori arrived at 7 pm in time for dinner.

The next four days were spent combing the area for the many tricky species, visiting the Bailey Bridge - Tari Gap area  on several occasions, fruiting trees at Ambua Lodge and gardens below Warili Lodge, and the Tari Valley. Transport was in Steven’s ageing Toyota Landcruiser, just about OK for a group of our size. Highlights in the Benson’s  Trail area were Chestnut Forest-Rail, Bronze Ground-Dove, Spotted Jewel-Babbler, King of Saxony Bird-of-  Paradise, Brown Sicklebill, Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, Blue-capped Ifrita, Blue-grey and Ashy Robins, Lesser Ground-Robin, Black-breasted Boatbill, Macgregor's Bowerbird, Lesser Melampitta, Loria’s Birds of Paradise, Black Pitohui and Red-collared Myzomela. Best of all were good views of 3 ground-loving Papuan Whipbirds, which even Phil Gregory has not seen, and at least 2 Olive Straightbill, a new bird for me, gleaning insects in rolled dead leaves as described in the field-guide!

At the Bailey Bridge we saw White-breasted Fruit-Dove, Black-bellied Cuckooshrike, Black-throated and Garnet Robins, Brown-backed and Mottled Whistlers, while Lori had the difficult Rufescent Imperial-Pigeon. Mountain Nightjar  was seen and heard calling before dawn at the quarry just below the bridge and a Salvadori’s Teal flying over here at dawn was most unexpected.  In the gardens below Warili Lodge and the vicinity of Ambua Lodge, we saw Mountain Kingfisher, Rufous-throated Cuckoo, Great Woodswallow, Orange-crowned Fairy-Wren, Blue-faced Parrotfinch, Short-tailed Paradigalla, Stephanie’s Astrapia, Lawes’ Parotia, Superb BoP and gorgeous male Black Sicklebills and Blue BoPs, while Mike even had a Buff-tailed Sicklebill.

 

An afternoon in the Tari Valley to see Greater Sooty-Owl was successful at our second site, with Papuan Frogmouth and Harrier also seen. Repeated visits to Tari Gap gave Crested and Tit Berrypeckers, Garnet and White-winged Robins, Brown Quail, Plum-faced and Papuan Lorikeets, Macgregor’s Bowerbird for some, and then the ultimate prize for Lori, Malcolm and Steven, 2 New Guinea Harpy-Eagles hunting along the forest edge after dawn. Steven drove down to pick-up Bob, Mike and me, and we were just in time to see one Eagle fly to a new perch before disappearing into the forest for good. The following morning, our last, saw us at the site before dawn. A few deep calls showed the Eagle to be present but the first bird in flight was our only Grass Owl. A different, double-note call started up and continued for a long time before Malcolm spotted a movement and saw the Eagle land in a distant tree. We moved nearer, along the road scoping it but it was not really photographable, so I walked across the boggy grassland to the forest edge with the Eagle looking disdainfully at me. After taking a few shots, I had to return to the road as it was time to leave for the airport. By the time I reached the road, the Eagle had jumped up to an exposed perch on the top of a tree, a beautiful view but too far for good photos. Still, an excellent end to a wonderful location.

 

After collecting our bags from Warili, we continued down to Tari airport where the welcoming committee for the Moresby flight numbered several 100 brightly dressed locals. We reached Moresby on time at 1 pm so Lori was able to catch his flight back to Sydney, despite the tight connection, and Bob later departed for Cairns. The rest of us checked in at the Granville and Malcolm went to PAU, then next morning Graeme, Mike, Malcolm and I revisited Varirata NP in a taxi. Unfortunately, the taxi broke-down after turning off on to the NP approach road and we had to wait for a replacement. We birded the start of the Boundary Trail, trying for Painted Quail-thrush but no response. We did get our best view of a male Riflebird calling atop a high bare tree and watched a White-faced Robin “bathing” on the ground in rain-wet leaves. A flock at the lower end of the Tree-house Trail contained the usual suspects, the only new birds being Green-backed Honeyeater and a Red-bellied Pitta responding to play-back. We left for Moresby at 11.20 and checked in for the afternoon flight to Singapore. It was only at this point that I discovered it was now possible to receive and send texts to UK, contrary to what my provider, Tesco, stated – PNG comes into the 21st century at last! The flight was 2 hours late leaving because a wheel had to be changed – if only that had happened last year when our arrival back in Moresby on the Air Niugini flight from Tabubil was late and its Singapore flight left on  time without waiting for us. A great trip! 

 

 

  LIST OF BIRDS RECORDED

Australasian Grebe  Tachybaptus novaehollandiae : 2 at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU)

 

Little Black Cormorant  Phalacrocorax sulcirostris : Common at PAU, 1 at Kiunga airport.                                

Little Pied Cormorant  Phalacrocorax melanoleucos : 2 at PAU, 10 Elevala River and 3 at Kiunga airport.                                                                                                                                  

Darter  Anhinga melanogaster :  1 at PAU. Kiunga airport.                                                

Great Frigatebird Fregata minor :  3 over the sea at Port Moresby on Aug 2.

Great Egret Ardea alba :  3 on Elevala River and 2 at Kiunga airport.

Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana : 2 along the Elevala River.

Pied Heron Egretta picata : 10 at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) on Jul 30.

 

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia : 2 at the PAU.                                     

 

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta : at least 1 at the PAU.                          

 

Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis : Common in the Port Moresby area.            

 

Striated Heron  Butorides striata :  2 along the Elevala River.

 

Rufous Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus : 3 at PAU on Jul 30 with 10 on Aug 17 (MO), and 2 on the Elevala River.

 

Forest Bittern Zonerodius heliosylus : 1 heard calling at night in a swamp by the Elevala on Aug 5.

Australian Ibis Threskiornis molucca : 2 at the PAU on Aug 17 (MO).

 

Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata : Common at the PAU.            

Salvadori's Teal Anas waigiuensis : 2, possibly 3 on the Ok Menga river and 1 flying over and back near the bailey bridge above Tari on Aug 15.

 

Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa : Common at the PAU.      

 

Osprey Pandion haliaetus : 1 at the PAU on Jul 30.

 

Pacific Baza  Aviceda subcristata : 5 on Aug 6 at Ekame/Fly rivers.                                           

Long-tailed Buzzard Henicopernis longicauda : 2 singles at Tari, up to 3 at Keki, 1 at Ok Ma Road and 2 on the Elevala River.

 

Black Kite Milvus migrans : 1 near Moresby on Jul 30 and common in the Mt Hagen – Kumul area.   

 

Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus : 2 at the PAU, singles at Kiunga and Mt Hagen.

 

Brahminy Kite  Haliastur Indus :  Up to 3 most days.

 

Black-shouldered Kite  Elanus caeruleus : 1 at Mount Hagen on Aug 7 (MO).                

 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster : 2 on the Elevala River.                                 

 

Papuan Harrier (Spotted Marsh Harrier) : Circus spilothorax (spilonotus) Singles at Tari Gap on 13th (LS) and Tari Valley on 14th, with 2 ringtails in Tari Valley on 15th.                         

 

Variable Goshawk Accipiter hiogaster : Singles on 7 dates throughout.        

 

Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus : 1 at Varirata NP on Jul 29.                                                                                

 

Black-mantled Goshawk Accipiter melanochlamys :  Singles at Kumul on Aug 11 (?), perched up on the trail above Ambua Lodge on 14th and a probable on 16th.                                      

Grey-headed Goshawk Accipiter poliocephalus : 1 at Port Moresby on Jul 28.

 

Collared Sparrowhawk  Accipiter cirrocephalus : 1 at Port Moresby on Aug 1 and 2 at the Granville on 17th.                                                                                                                                     

Meyer's Goshawk Accipiter meyerianus : one perched in dead trees beyond Benson’s Trail on Aug 12.

 

Doria's Goshawk Megatriorchis doriae : a pair at the nest on the Boundary Trail, Varirata on Jul 30.                                                                                                                                              

 

New Guinea Eagle Harpyopsis novaeguineae : a pair at Tari Gap on Aug 16, with 1 there calling continuously on 17th and its unseen mate calling briefly.                                                    

 

Australian Kestrel  Falco cenchroides : 1 near Port Moresby on Aug 17 (MO).                                              

 

Australian Hobby Falco longipennis : singles perched at the hill visible from the Granville on Jul 28, perched in Kiunga town on Aug 7 and in Port Moresby on 18th.                                                                               

Brown Falcon  Falco berigora : 1 at Tari on Aug 12.

Black-billed Brush Turkey Talegalla fuscirostris : 1 seen at Varirata NP on Jul 31 and a few heard around Ekame Lodge.

Brown Quail Coturnix australis : 2 at Tari Gap on Aug 13 and 15.

 

Chestnut Forest-Rail Rallina rubra : Singles at Tari Gap on Aug 13 (LS) and Benson’s Trail on 14th (MC) and 15th GW.                                                                                                                      

Forbes' Forest-Rail Rallina forbesi : one on Max’s Trail on Aug 10 (JH,MO)

 

Buff-banded Rail  Gallirallus philippensis : 1 at Kiunga airport.                                                                    

 

Spotless Crake Porzana tabuensis : 1 on the road near Warili Lodge on Aug 11.           

 

White-browed Crake Porzana cinerea : 1 at the PAU on Jul 30.                                                                                  

 

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio : common at the PAU.

 

Dusky Moorhen  Gallinula tenebrosa : 2 at the PAU.                                                   

Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea : 2 at the PAU.

 

Australian Pratincole Stiltia Isabella : 1 at Port Moresby airport on Jul 28 (LS).                                                         

 

Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles : Several at the PAU.

 

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica : 1 at Port Moresby on Aug 2                                                                      

 

Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii : 2 at Port Moresby on Aug 2                                                                                 

 

Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus : 1 at Port Moresby on Aug 2                                                                     

Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia amboinensis : up to 6 daily except at Tari where none was identified.           

 

Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia nigrirostris : 2 at Varirata on Jul 30 and tari on Aug 15 with 4 on 16th. A few others of this or the above sp. were also seen at Tari, Tabubil and Kiunga.   

Great Cuckoo-Dove Reinwardtoena reinwardtii : 3 at Tabubil on Aug 3, 2 at Kiunga on 5th and 1 at Tari on 12th.

Stephan’s Dove Chalocphaps stephani : 1 at Varirata NP on Jul 31 and 2 flying across the Elevala River on Aug 5.

 

New Guinea Bronzewing Henicophaps albifrons : 1 in flight at Boystown Rd (LS).                                         

 

Peaceful Dove Geopelia placida : a few at PAU.                                                                                            

 

Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis : 2 at PAU.                                                                                    

 

Bronze Ground-Dove Gallicolumba beccarii : 1 or 2 on 3 dates at Tari, mainly Benson’s Trail.    

Southern Crowned Pigeon Goura scheepmakeri : 3 along the Elevala River on Aug 5.

Wompoo Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus magnificus : 1 or2 daily at Varirata NP.

Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus perlatus : 4 at Varirata NP on Jul 30 and up to 10 in the Kiunga area.

Ornate Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus ornatus : 2 at Varirata NP on Jul 30 and 1 along the Elevala River on Aug 6.

Superb Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus superbus :  1 along the Elevala River on Aug 6 and 2 on 7th.

Beautiful Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus pulchellus : 2 at Varirata on Jul 31, 1 at Tabubil and at KM 17 near Kiunga, and 3 near Ekame Lodge.

White-breasted Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus rivoli : up to 3 on 3 dates at Tari.

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus iozonus : fairly common around Kiunga.

Dwarf Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus nanus : singles on the Elevala River and at Boystown Road.

Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon Ducula rufigaster : 2 on the Elevala River on Aug 5 were the only record.

 

Rufescent Imperial-Pigeon Ducula chalconota : 3 at the bailey bridge above Tari on Aug 15 (LS).               

Pinon Imperial Pigeon Ducula pinon : fairly common around Kiunga.

Collared Imperial Pigeon Ducula muellerii : numerous along the Fly and Elevala Rivers.

Zoe Imperial Pigeon Ducula zoeae : 3 at Varirata NP on Jul 29, 1 at Tabubil and up to 5 daily around Kiunga.

Torresian Imperial Pigeon Ducula spilorrhoa : 1 at Port Moresby on Aug 1 (LS).

Pauan Mountain-Pigeon Gymnophaps albertisii : common throughout except the Moresby/Varirata area.

Palm Cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus : up to 3 by the Elevala River and 3 at Kiunga airport.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo cacatua galerita : singles at Varirata on Jul 30-31, 3 at Tabubil and common along the Elevala River.

Greater/Yellow-streaked Lory Chalcopsitta scintillata : 4 at Boystown Road and 2 at Km 17, Kiunga.

Dusky Lory Pseudeos fuscata : 6 at Km 17, Kiunga.

 

Rainbow Lorikeet  Trichoglossus haematodus : Common throughout except the higher elevations at Kumul and Tari Gap.

 

Goldie's Lorikeet Psitteuteles goldiei : common at Kumul Lodge.                                  

Black-capped Lory Lorius lory : only 2 noted at Varirata NP, fairly common in the Kiunga/ Tabubil area.

 

Pygmy Lorikeet Charmosyna wilhelminae : singles at Kumul and the bailey bridge, Tari (LS)      

Red-flanked Lorikeet Charmosyna placentis : a few at Tabubil and 10 at Boystown road.

Little Red Lorikeet Charmosyna pulchella : 20 at Ok Ma Road, Tabubil on Aug 3.

Papuan Lorikeet Charmosyna papou : 2 singles at Kumul and up to 6 most days above Tari.

Plum-faced Lorikeet Oreopsittacus arfaki : up to 20 on 3 dates at Tari Gap.

Yellow-billed Lorikeet Neopsittacus musschenbroekii : up to 20 on 3 dates above Tari.

Orange-billed Lorikeet Neopsittacus pullicauda : 6 on Aug 8 at Kumul and 2 on 10th.

Vulturine/ Pesquet’s Parrot Psittatrichas fulgidus : 2 at Km 17 on Aug 4.

Buff-faced Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta pusio : 2 at Varirata NP on Jul 30 and 1 on 31st.

Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta keiensis : one at Tabubil on Aug 3 and 3 Boystown Road.

Red-breasted Pygmy-Parrot Micropsitta bruijnii : 20 at Dablin Creek,Tabubil on Aug 3.

Orange-breasted Fig-Parrot Cyclopsitta gulielmiterti : 8 at Tabubil on Aug 2, up to 4 at Dablin Creek, and fairly common in the Kiunga area.

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma : 3 along the Elevala River and 3 at Boystown Road.

Large Fig-Parrot Psittaculirostris desmarestii : 1 at Km 17, 2 along the Elevala River and 1 at Boystown Road.

Painted Tiger-Parrot Psittacella picta : one at Kumil on Aug 11 (JH & MO).

 

Brehm's Tiger-Parrot Psittacella brehmii : 3-4 daily at Kumul, 2 at Tari Gap on Aug 13.           

 

Modest Tiger-Parrot Psittacella modesta : 1 female near Benson’s Trail on Aug 12.     

Blue-collared Parrot Geoffroyus simplex : a small flock at Dablin Creek, Tabubil on Aug 4.

 

Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi : up to 10 daily at Varirata and in the Kiunga area.                                    

 

Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus : up to 3 daily at Varirata, 2 at Tabubil and up to 20 in the Kiunga area.                  

Papuan King Parrot Alisterus chloropterus : 1-2 at Varirata on Jul 30-31 and Aug 18, 2 at Tabubil, 1 at Kumul and 3 at Tari on 15th.

Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus : commonly heard in the Kiunga area with 2 singles seen, and heard at Varirata, below Kumul and at Tari.

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo Cacomantis castaneiventris : 1 heard at Tabubil on Aug 3 with 1 seen on 4th and heard at Kumul on 9th.  

Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis : one seen at Kumul on Aug 9 and above Tari on 3 dates with others heard.

 

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus : 1 at Varirata on Jul 29.                                    

Rufous-throated Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx ruficollis : one or 2 below Tari Gap on Aug 13-16.

White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx meyerii : singles at Tabubil on Aug 2-4.

 

Little Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus : 1 at Ekame Lodge on Aug 6.                                                               

Long-billed Cuckoo  Rhamphomantis megarhynchus : 2 at Boystown Road, 1 giving stellar views.

White-crowned Koel Caliechthrus leucolophus : heard at Varirata on Jul 29 and Aug 18, 2 seen along the Elevala River on Aug 5.

Dwarf Koel  Microdynamis parva : singles at Ekame Lodge and Km 17.

Australian Koel Eudynamys cyanocephala : 3 along the Elevala River and 1 heard at Km 17.

Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae : 15 along the Elevala River on Aug 5 with 10 on 6th and 1 at Boystown Road

Greater Black Coucal Centropus menbeki : commonly haerd along the Elevala River but never seen.

Lesser Black Coucal Centropus bernsteini : singles at Km 17, Kiunga and Boystown Road, heard along the Elevala River and at Kiunga airport.

Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianus : 1 or 2 daily at Varirata NP.

Greater Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa : one in the Tari Valley on Aug 15.

 

Australasian Grass-Owl Tyto longimembris: 1 at Tari Gap on Aug 17.                                                                           X

Papuan Boobook Ninox theomacha : widely heard calling with 1 seen at Ok Ma Road on Aug 3 and 4.

 

Spangled Owlet-Nightjar Aegotheles tatei : 1 heard at Ekame Lodge on Aug 5.                                                           

 

Mountain Owlet-Nightjar Aegotheles albertisi : heard on all 3 nights at Kumul but only seen on Aug 10.                                                                                                                                          

Barred Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles bennetti : one at its daytime roost near the picnic area at Varirata on July 29 with another seen elsewhere on 30th.

Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus : 2 roosting together at Varirata on Jul 29.

Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis : singles near Ekame Lodge and in the Tari Valley.

Papuan Nightjar Eurostopodus papuensis : 1 on Boystown Road.

Archbold's (Mountain) Nightjar Eurostopodus archboldi : one in the quarry near the bailey bridge below Tari Gap on Aug 15 with 2 there on 16th including some interaction and calling.

Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus : one on the road near Warili Lodge.

 

Glossy Swiftlet Aerodramus esculenta : fairly common throughout excluding the Kiunga area.

 

Mountain Swiftlet Aerodramus hirundinaceus : fairly common at Kumul and Tari Gap.              

 

Uniform Swiftlet Aerodramus vanikorensis : a few at Varirata and common in the Kiunga area.                                  

Papuan Needletail Mearnsia novaeguineae : up to 10 daily in the Kiunga area.

Moustached Treeswift Hemiprocne mystacea : up to 5 daily in the Kiunga area and 4-8 at Tabubil.

 

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis : 1 at Varirata on Jul 29.                                                      

Little Kingfisher Alcedo pusilla : singles at Varirata and on the Elevala River.

Variable (Dwarf) Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus : 1 at Boystown Road (LS).

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Dacelo gaudichaud : 2 singles at Varirata and up to 5 daily in the Kiunga area.

Blue-winged Kookaburra Dacelo leachii : 1-2 at Varirata on Aug 17-18 and 1 at the PAU on Jul 30.

Shovel-billed Kingfisher  Clytoceyx rex : 1 seen and 3 heard at Ok Ma Road on Aug 3 with 1 seen briefly on 4th.

 

Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sanctus :  up to 3 at the PAU and Tabubil area, 10 on the Elevala River, and 1 at Kiunga airport.

Hook-billed Kingfisher Melidora macrorrhina : heard regularly along the Elevala River with 1 seen on Aug 5; also heard at Km 17, Kiunga.

Yellow-billed Kingfisher Syma torotoro : 1 at Varirata on Jul 30 and others heard at Dablin Creek and Boystown Road.

Mountain Kingfisher Syma megarhyncha  : a male seen below Warili Lodge, Tari on Aug 14 and 2 heard there on 16th.

Little Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera hydrocharis : 2 along the Elevala River on Aug 5.

Common Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea : 2 seen along the Elevala River on Aug 6.

Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera danae : singles daily along the Tree-house trail at Varirata.

 

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus : up to 6 daily at Varirata, 10 at Kiunga airport.         

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis : up to 3 daily at Varirata, 2 at Boystown Road and common along the Elevala River.

Blyth’s Hornbill  Aceros plicatus : heard at Varirata, 1 at Tabubil and common in the Kiunga area.

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida : one seen near Ekame Lodge and others heard in the Kiunga area.

Red-bellied (Blue-breasted) Pitta Pitta erythrogaster : one seen at Varirata on Aug 18.

 

Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica :fairly common throughout the lowlands and hills.

 

Australasian Pipit  Anthus novaeseelandiae : up to 3 at Tari Gap and at Mount Hagen airport.                                                                                                                                    

 

Alpine Pipit Anthus gutturalis: 1 above the tree line on Mt Hagen (LS)                                                         LS          

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae : a few at Varirata National Park, 2 at Boystown Road and 20+ at Kiunga airport.

Large-/Stout-billed Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caeruleogrisea : 2 at Dablin Creek, Tabubil, and 3 at Boystown Road.

Barred/Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrike Coracina lineata : one or 2 daily at Varirata National Park.

Boyer's Cuckoo-shrike Coracina boyeri : 2 daily at Varirata National Park, up to 4 daily in the Tabubil/Kiunga area.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina papuensis : 3 or 4 daily at Varirata, 3 along the Elevala River and 2 at Kiunga airport.

 

Hooded Cuckoo-shrike Coracina longicauda : 1 above Tari on Aug 12 and 3 on 14th. Also seen on Mt Hagen by LS.                                                                                                                             

 

Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris : singles at Varirata on Jul 30, Km 17 on Aug 4th and 2 Elevala River on 5th.                                                                                                                                                 

Black-shouldered/Papuan Cuckoo-shrike Coracina morio : 1 at Varirata Jul 29 and 2 at Tabubil on Aug 3 and 4.

Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrike Coracina schisticeps : 2-3 on 3 dates in Tabubil/ Kiunga area.

Papuan Black/New Guinea Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melas (melaena) : up to 4 daily at Varirata National Park and 1 near Ekame Lodge.

Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina montana : 3 at Kumul on Aug 10 and up to 10 most days above Tari.

Golden Cuckoo-shrike Campochaera sloetii : heard at Tabubil, singles at Km 17 on both dates and 3 at Ekame Lodge.

 

White-winged Triller Lalage tricolor : 2 at Ok Ma Road and at Km 17 on Aug 4.                                                          

Varied Triller Lalage leucomela : 1 or 2 daily at Varirata National Park and 1 or 2 along the Elevala River.

Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus : up to 6 daily at Kumul, one on Aug 13 and 10 on 16th at Tari Gap.

 

Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis : singles near Port Moresby on Jul 29 and Tari on Aug 15.                                                                                                                                                  

 

Island Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus poliocephalus : up to 3 on 3 days below Tari Gap.

 

Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis : 2 singles near Kumul and up to 6 daily above Tari.     

 

Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata : 2 naer Port Moresby and Tabubil, up to 4 near Kumul and up to 4 almost daily above Tari.                                                                                       

Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris : 1-2 at Ok Ma Road, Tabubil.

 

Willie-wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys : Common throughout.                   

Friendly Fantail Rhipidura albolimbata : fairly common at Kumul and Tari with a few elsewhere.

Sooty Thicket-Fantail Rhipidura threnothorax : 1 at Varirata on Jul 29 and heard at Tabubil.

 

Black Thicket-Fantail Rhipidura maculipectus : 1 at Ok Ma Road.                                                                

White-bellied Thicket-Fantail Rhipidura leucothorax : one along the Elevala River and heard at Kiunga airport.

Black Fantail Rhipidura atra : 1 at Dablin Creek (LS), 3 below Kumul on Aug 10, 6 on 14th above Tari and 1 or 2 there on 15-16th.

Chestnut-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hyperythra : up to 10 daily in Varirata NP.

Dimorphic Fantail Rhipidura brachyrhyncha : 2 at Kumul on Aug 11 and 2-3 daily Aug 12-15 between Benson's trail and Tari Gap.

Black Monarch Monarcha axillaris : singles at Varirata on Jul 31, Max’s trail, below Kumul, and above Tari on Aug 16.

Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis : 3 at Varirata NP on Jul 30, 1 on 31st and 1 at Ok Ma Rd on Aug 4 (LS).

Black-winged Monarch Monarcha frater : 1 or 2 daily at Varirata National Park.

Spot-winged Monarch Monarcha guttula : up to 5 daily at Varirata NP, 1 at tabubil on Aug 3 and 3 near Ekame Lodge.

Hooded Monarch Monarchamanadensis : one near Ekame Lodge.

Golden Monarch Monarcha chrysomela : one at Varirata NP and 2 near Ekame Lodge.

Frilled Monarch Arses telescopthalamus : up to 8 daily at Varirata NP, and 2 at Tabubil, ekame Lodge and Boystown Rd.

Leaden Flycatcher Myiagra rubecula : a pair on the approach road to Varirata on Jul 29 and a male on Aug 18.

Shining Flycatcher Myiagra alecto : 10 along the Elevala River.

Yellow-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer : heard daily at Varirata NP with 2 seen on Jul 30 and 4 on 31st.

Black-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus nigripectus : 1 or 2 most daysat Kumul and below Tari Gap, with 3 on Aug 16.

Lesser Ground-Robin  Amalocichla incerta : heard almost daily around Benson’s Trail but only 1 seen on Aug 13.

Torrent Flycatcher Monachella muelleriana : 2 at Ok Menga, Tabubil and 5 near the Lesser BoP site.

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster : at least 1 on the approach road to Varirata NP on Jul 29 and 2 on Aug 18, with 1 at Ok Menga on 2nd.

Yellow-legged Flycatcher Microeca griseoceps : singles at Varirata on Jul 31 and Ok Ma Rd on Aug 3

– are we sure the latter wasn’t Olive Flycatcher Microeca flavovirescens : ??

Canary Flycatcher Microeca papuana : 2 singles at Kumul and 2-3 on Aug 13-15 below Tari Gap with 10 on 16th.

White-faced Robin Tregellasia leucops : 1 or 2 daily at Varirata National Park except on Jul 29.

 

Alpine/Mountain Robin Petroica bivittata : 1 just below the tree-line on Mt Hagen (LS).          

Garnet Robin Eugerygone rubra : a male at Tari Gap on Aug 13 and at the bailey bridge on 15th.

Black-sided Robin Poecilodryas hypoleuca : one seen well on Aug 6 near Ekame Lodge.

Black-throated Robin Poecilodryas albonotata : surprisingly scarce this year with only 3 singles seen below Tari Gap.

White-winged Robin Peneothello sigillatus : up to 6 daily at Kumul Lodge, including 2 juvs.

Blue-grey Robin Peneothello cyanus : heard on Max’s trail and Benson’s Trail but only seen once by LS on Aug 15.

White-rumped Robin Peneothello bimaculatus : 1 at Ok Ma Road on Aug 3 and 2 at Dablin Creek on 4th.

Ashy Robin Poecilodryas albispecularis : singles at Max’s trail on Aug 10 and Benson’s Trail on 13th and 16th, a bird more often heard than seen.

Northern Scrub-Robin Drymodes superciliaris : 1 on Jul 29 at Varirata and 2 on 30th; heard at Tabubil on Aug 3.                               

Mottled Whistler  Rhagologus leucostigma : 2 at Benson’s Trail on Aug 16.

Rufous-naped Whistler Pachycephala rufinucha : up to 3 daily at Kumul, a few singles below Tari Gap.

Brown-backed Whistler Pachycephala modesta : 2 below Kumul on Aug 10, 1-2 below Tari Gap on 3 dates.

Grey-headed (Grey) Whistler Pachycephala (simplex) griseiceps : 1-3 daily at Varirata.

Sclater's Whistler Pachycephala soror : 1 at Varirata on Jul 31 was unusual; 2 on Aug 14 and 1 on 16th above Tari.

Regent Whistler Pachycephala schlegelii : up to 4 daily in the Kumul area and on 4 dates below Tari Gap.

Black-headed Whistler Pachycephala monacha : 2 near the Lesser BoP site on Aug 9 and 1 in the Tari valley on 15th and heard at Tari airport.

Goldenface / Dwarf Whistler Pachycare flavogrisea : 1 on Jul 29 and 2 on 31st at Varirata, heard at Dablin Creek. This sp. is no longer classed as a whistler but as a “species of uncertain family placement” like melampittas, ploughbill and ifrita.

Rufous (Little) Shrike-Thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha : up to 4 daily in Varirata, heard at Tabubil, and singles at the Lesser BoP site and along the Elevala River.

Hooded Pitohui Pitohui dichrous : fairly common at Varirata, with 1 at Dablin Creek (LS).

White-bellied Pitohui Pitohui incertus : a party of 5 were seen along the Elevala River and others heard.

Rusty Pitohui Pitohui ferrugineus : 4 on Jul 30 at Varirata and 2 on Aug 18.

Crested Pitohui Pitohui cristatus : heard daily at Varirata and singles seen on the ground near the Tree-house trail on Jul 30 and 31.

Variable Pitohui Pitohui kirhocephalus : 2 near Ekame Lodge, heard at Km 17.

Black Pitohui Pitohui nigrescens : 1 at Benson’s Trail on Aug 15 (MC).

Wattled Ploughbill Eulacestoma nigropectus : a female-type at Max’s Trail below Kumul, with 2 others heard there.

Blue Jewel-Babbler Ptilorrhoa caerulescens : a pair performed very well near Ekame Lodge, also heard at Boystown Road.

Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa castanonotus : 1 or 2 seen daily at Varirata, heard at Dablin Creek, Tabubil.

Spotted Jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa leucosticta : singles at Max’s Trail, Kumul (MC,LS) and the trail above Ambua on Aug 14, with a pair at Benson’s Trail on 16th (G & MW).

Papuan/Northern Logrunner Orthonyx novaeguineae : 2 singles on Aug 12 at Benson’s Trail and heard on 15-16th.

Papuan Whipbird  Androphobus viridis : 3, probably a family party, at Benson’s Trail on Aug 14 but could not be located later.

 

Painted Quail-thrush Cinclosoma ajax : heard daily at Varirata but could not be seen despite much effort – most frustrating!                                                                                                                                                 

Blue-capped Ifrita Ifrita kowaldi :  2 singles at Kumul, up to 6 daily below Tari Gap.

 

Orange-crowned Fairywren Clytomyias insignis : at least 2 at Max’s Trail (LS) and at least 4 near Ambua on Aug 14. Also seen on Mt Hagen by LS.                                                                               

Wallace's Fairywren Sipodotus wallacii : 1 at Varirata on Jul 31 (MC). We were confused for a while because we kept hearing calls as down-loaded from Xeno-canto attributed to this sp. but eventually realised they were Yellow-breasted Boatbill. 

White-shouldered Fairywren Malurus alboscapulatus : 1-2 scattered throughout.

Emperor Fairywren Malurus cyanocephalus : 1 at Ok Ma Rd (LS), 2 males at the Flame Bowerbird hide by the Elevala  River, and heard at Boystown Road, Kiunga.

Rusty Mouse-Warbler Crateroscelis murina : Heard far more often than seen but 1-2 were seen on Jul 29-31 at Varirata National Park.

Mountain Mouse-Warbler Crateroscelis robusta : up to 4 daily at Kumul and on Aug 15-16 below Tari Gap.

Pale-billed Scrub-wren Sericornis spilodera : up to 3 daily at Varirata, and 1 at Ok Ma Rd (LS).

Large Scrub-wren Sericornis nouhuysi : 10 at Kumul Lodge and 1-2 below Tari Gap.

Buff-faced Scrub-wren Sericornis perspicillatus : up to 5 most days at Kumul and below Tari Gap.

Papuan Scrub-wren Sericornis papuensis : 2 daily at Kumul and common below Tari Gap.

 

Papuan Thornbill Acanthiza murina : a flock on Mt Hagen (LS).                    

Grey Gerygone Gerygone cinerea : 2 singles below Tari Gap.

Green-backed Gerygone Gerygone chloronotus : frequently heard in the lowlands but only 1 seen at Varirata National Park.

Fairy Gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa : 2 daily at Varirata National Park.

Yellow-bellied Gerygone Gerygone chrysogaster : singles daily at Varirata near Ekame Lodge on Aug 6.

Large-billed Gerygone Gerygone magnirostris : 2 singles along the Elevala River.

Brown-breasted Gerygone Gerygone ruficollis : common in the Kumul and Tari areas.

Black Sitella  Neositta Miranda : 1 below Tari Gap on 29th (MC) and seen on Mt Hagen by LS.

Obscure Berrypecker Melanocharis arfakiana : one at Ok Ma Road, Tabubil.

 

Black Sunbird Leptocoma sericea : a few in the Kiunga area.

 

Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis : only 2 singles noted, at Kiunga airport and Varirata.       

Black Berrypecker Melanocharis nigra : 2-3 daily at Varirata National Park.

Lemon-breasted (Mid-mountain) Melanocharis longicauda : singles at Dablin Creek, Tabubil, Max’s trail below Kumul on Aug 10 and  below Tari Gap on 12th.

Fan-tailed Berrypecker Melanocharis versteri : 1 at Kumul Lodge on Aug 8, up to 6 on 5 days below Tari Gap.

 

Tit Berrypecker Oreocharis arfaki : 2 at Dablin Creek (LS), and up to 6 on 4 dates below Tari Gap. This and the next species have been classified as the only members of a new family, the PARAMYTHIIDAE Painted berrypeckers.

Crested Berrypecker Paramythia montium : 2 or 3 daily at Kumul and on 3 days at Tari Gap.

Olive-crowned (Papuan) Flowerpecker Dicaeum pectorale : 1 or 2 at Varirata NP, Elevala River and below Tari Gap.

Black-fronted White-eye Zosterops atrifrons : 10-20 daily at Varirata National Park.

Capped (Western Mountain) White-eye Zosterops fuscicapillus : c.10 in the Tari Valley.

New Guinea White-eye Zosterops novaeguineae : 8 at the Lesser BoP site below Kumul and 5 on Max’s Trail, a flock near Ambua Lodge on Aug 15.

Yellow-bellied Longbill Toxorhamphus novaeguineae : only heard at Boystown road, Kiunga and near Ekame Lodge.

Slaty-chinned Longbill Toxorhamphus poliopterus : 1 or 2 on 2 dates at Varirata NP.

Dwarf Honeyeater Oedistoma iliolophus : 1 or 2 daily at Varirata NP, 2 at Dablin Creek and heard at Boystown Rd.

Pygmy Honeyeater Oedistoma pygmaeum : at least 6 at Boystown Rd.

 

Olive Straightbill Timeliopsis fulvigula : at least 2 of this rare species were feeding on a small trail off Benson’s on Aug 13 (MO, JH, BF)                                                                     

 

Red-throated Myzomela Myzomela eques : singles at Boystown Rd and Tari on Aug 14.             

Papuan Black Myzomela Myzomela nigrita : 1 at Tabubil on Aug 4.

Mountain Myzomela Myzomela adolphinae : 10 at the Lesser BoP site below Kumul.

Red-collared Myzomela Myzomela rosenbergii : up to 3 daily below Tari Gap with 20 on Aug 14.

Long-billed Honeyeater Melilestes megarhynchus : 2 at Ok Ma Rd, Tabubil.

Spot-breasted Honeyeater  Meliphaga mimikae : one at Varirata.

Mountain Honeyeater Meliphaga orientalis : a few at Tabubil.

Scrub (White-eared) Honeyeater Meliphaga albonotata : singles at Dablin creek and Ok Menga, Tabubil.

Puff-backed Honeyeater Meliphaga aruensis : a few along the Elevala River.

Mimic Honeyeater Meliphaga analoga : a few in Varirata National Park.

 

Graceful Honeyeater Meliphaga gracilis : at least 1 at Varirata NP on Jul 31.                                                              

Yellow-tinted Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavescens : one at the Granville Hotel, Port Moresby.

Black-throated Honeyeater Lichenostomus subfrenatus : 2 at Max’s trail, Kumul and 1 or 2 on 3 days below Tari Gap.

 

Obscure Honeyeater Lichenostomus obscurus : singles near Ekame Lodge and at Boystown Rd.                                    

Tawny-breasted Honeyeater Xanthotis flaviventer : heard at Varirata NP on Jul 30-31 but only 1 seen on Aug 18, and a few daily in the Tabubil and Kiunga areas.

Green-backed Honeyeater  Glycichaera fallax : 3 at Varirata on Aug 18.

White-throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis : 2 in the eucalyptus savanna on the approach road to Varirata National Park.

Plain Honeyeater Pycnopygius ixoides : 3 at Ok Ma Rd on Aug 4.

Streak-headed Honeyeater Pycnopygius stictocephalus : 2 at Tabubil on Aug 4, heard along the Elevala River and 1 at Boystown Road, Kiunga.

Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides : fairly common at Varirata and a few daily in the Tabubil/ Kiunga areas.

Rufous-backed Honeyeater Ptiloprora guisei : 2 below Kumul and a few above Tari.

Black-backed (Grey-streaked) Honeyeater Ptiloprora perstriata : common at Kumul and below Tari Gap.

 

Sooty Melidectes Melidectes fuscus ; 2 on Mt Hagen (LS).

                                                                                              

Long-bearded Melidectes Melidectes princeps : 1 on Mt Hagen (LS).            

 

Ornate Melidectes Melidectes torquatus : 8 at the Lesser BoP site below Kumul.        

Belford's Melidectes Melidectes belfordi : common at Kumul and above Ambua Lodge.

Yellow-browed Melidectes Melidectes rufocrissalis : up to 6 daily at and below Ambua Lodge.

Smoky Honeyeater Melipotes fumigatus : 2 singles at Dablin Creek, Tabubil, common at and above Ambua Lodge.

Rufous-banded Honeyeater Conopophila albogularis : fairly common at the PAU, Varirata approach road and Port Moresby.

Brown Oriole Oriolus szalayi : one or 2 daily at Varirata, tabubil and Km 17, Kiunga, with 4 at Dablin Creek and 6 at Varirata on Aug 18.

 

Australasian/ Green Figbird Sphecotheres vieilloti/ viridis : up to 10 at the PAU.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach : 1 or 2 in the Kumul area and below Warili Lodge on Aug 13-14.

Mountain/ Pygmy Drongo Chaetorhynchus papuensis : one on Jul 31 at Varirata (LS).

Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus : a few daily at Varirata National Park, up to 10 daily in the Tabubil and Kiunga areas.

Great Woodswallow Artamus maximus : a few at Tabubil, up to 8 on 4 dates above Tari.

 

White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus : a few daily in the Port Moresby – Varirata area and at Tabubil, with 2 at Kiunga airport.                                                                                             

 

Torrent-lark Grallina bruijni : singles at Dablin Creek on Aug 3 (LS) and 4.                                                 

Mountain Peltops Peltops montanus : one at Varirata National Park, 2 below Tari Gap and  at Dablin Creek.

Lowland Peltops Peltops blainvillii : 2 at Km17, Kiunga.

Black-backed Butcherbird Cracticus mentalis : 1 at the PAU and 1 along the road to Varirata NP.

Hooded Butcherbird   Cracticus cassicus : up to 4 daily at Varirata and up to 5 daily in the Tabubil and Kiunga areas.

Black Butcherbird Cracticus quoyi : heard daily at Varirata and Tabubil with 1 seen there on aug 3; one or 2 in the Tari valley.

Lesser Melampitta Melampitta lugubris : heard at Max’s trail, Kumul, and above Tari with a least 1 on 3 days below Tari Gap. Also seen on Mt Hagen by LS.

Greater Melampitta  Melampitta gigantean : one seen on Aug 3 at Ok Ma Road (LS, MW) and heard on 4th.

 

Loria's Bird of Paradise/ Satinbird Cnemophilus loriae : 3 at a feeding tree below Kumul on Aug 10 and 2 at ambua Lodge on 16th. Also seen on Mt Hagen by LS. This and the next species have been classed as a new bird family now, the CNEMOPHILIDAE Satinbirds.

Crested Bird of Paradise/ Satinbird Cnemophilus macgregorii : a male and 2 female-types at Kumul Lodge on Aug 9, a male on 10th and a pair on 11th, with a female-type on Benson’s Trail on 14th.

Glossy-mantled Manucode Manucodia atra : a few along the Elevala River and 1 at Boystown Rd and Km 17.

Crinkle-collared Manucode Manucodia chalybata : 2 at Varirata on Jul 30 and 4 on 31st, and 1 or 2 at Dablin Creek.

Trumpet Manucode Manucodia keraudrenii : singles at Km17 and Boystown Rd, Kiunga and a few along the Elevala River.

Short-tailed Paradigalla Paradigalla brevicauda : at least 2 at Ambua Lodge on Aug 13.

Ribbon-tailed Astrapia Astrapia mayeri : 3 daily at Kumul Lodge and up to 5 daily, including several adult males, between the bailey bridge and Tari Gap.

Princess Stephanie's Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae : 2-3 in the Ambua/Warili Lodge area on Aug 13 and 16.

Carola's Parotia Parotia carolae : a male at Dablin creek, Tabubil on Aug 3 (LS).

Lawes' Parotia Parotia lawesii : 5 at Ambua on Aug 13 and at least 1 on 16th, 2 males below Warili Lodge on 15th.

King of Saxony Bird of Paradise Pteridophora alberti : 3 below Kumul on Aug 10; 2-4 most dates  below Tari Gap.

Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus : heard daily around Tabubil and at Boystown Rd.

Eastern Riflebird Ptiloris intercedens : 2 daily at Varirata NP.

Superb Bird of Paradise Lophorina superba : a female-type at Ambua on Aug 13 and a displaying male below warily on 14th.

Black Sicklebill Epimachus fastuosus : 2 or 3 males below Ambua on Aug 13 and 5 birds on 16th.

Brown Sicklebill Epimachus meyeri : 3 or 4 daily at Kumul Lodge and 1 or 2 most dates below Tari Gap.

 

Buff-tailed/ Black-billed Sicklebill Epimachus albertisi : a male across the valley below Ambua on Aug 13 (MC).

Magnificent Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus magnificus : one or 2 female-types were seen in fruiting trees at Dablin creek, Tabubil on Aug 2-3 and heard at Ok Ma Rd and Kumul.

King Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus regius : a male near Ekame Lodge along the Elevala River on Aug 5.

Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise Seleucidis melanoleuca : a displaying male was seen along the Fly River on Aug 5 and a further 3 birds along the Elevala River on 5-6th.

Greater Bird of Paradise Paradisaea apoda : a few at the lek site at Km17 near Kiunga, where the combination of displaying Greater, Raggiana and hybrids gave a fine spectacle on Aug 7; a few singles were also seen around Tabubil and at Boystown road.

Raggiana Bird of Paradise Paradisaea raggiana : 8 at the lek site near Varirata Lookout and a few others in Varirata National Park; 2 males at the display site at Km17.

Lesser Bird of Paradise Paradisaea  : 4 males and 2 females at the lek below Kumul Lodge on Aug 9.

Blue Bird of Paradise Paradisaea rudolphi : 1 or 2 males gave excellent views below Warili Lodge on Aug 14-15, with a female-type at Ambua.

White-eared Catbird Ailurodeus buccoides : 1 at Varirata on Jul 31, and heard at Ok Ma Rd and Boystown Rd.

Sanford's/Archbold’s Bowerbird Archboldia sanfordi/papuensis : 1 at Tari Gap on 13th and 2 on 15th.

Macgregor's Bowerbird Amblyornis macgregoriae : up to 3 daily at Kumul; 2 female-types on Benson’s Trail on Aug 13.

Flame Bowerbird  Sericulus aureus : 2 males at Boystown Road and 1 at a fruiting tree at the Elevala River village (MO).

 

Yellow-breasted Bowerbird Chlamydera lauterbachi : 1 below Kumul on Aug 9.            

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird Chlamydera cerviniventris : a few below Varirata and 5 at the PAU.

Grey Crow Corvus tristis : only 1 at Tabubil and up to 20 in the Kiunga area.

Torresian Crow Corvus orru : fairly common in the Port Moresby – Varirata area.

Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica : Common throughout the lowlands.

Singing Starling Aplonis cantoroides : 2-3 at the Pacific Adventist University and 4 at Port Moresby airport.

Yellow-eyed Starling Aplonis mystacea : a flock of c.30 along the Elevala River on Aug 5.

Yellow-faced Myna Mino dumonti : fairly common in the lowland and up to 4 daily at Varirata.

Golden Myna Mino anais : a few at Boystown Road, 4 along the Elevala River and 20 at Km 17 on Aug 7.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus : common around Port Moresby.

Blue-faced Parrot-Finch Erythrura trichroa : 3 near Benson’s Trail on Aug 13 and 16.

Mountain Firetail Oreostruthus fuliginosus : up to 6 daily at Kumul.

White-spotted Munia  Lonchura leucosticta : 2o+ in grassland at Kiunga airport.

Hooded Munia (Mannikin) Lonchura spectabilis : up to 10 most days near and below Warili Lodge, Tari.

Grey-headed Munia (Mannikin) Lonchura caniceps : a few near the Kokoda Monument (LS), numerous at the PAU on Jul 30.

Chestnut-breasted Munia (Mannikin) Lonchura castaneothorax : 2 at the PAU on Jul 30.

.

ANIMALS –see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_in_Papua_New_Guinea                                                                                                                                       

Agile Wallaby Macropus agilis : 1 at Varirata.                                                                                              

Lesser Forest Wallaby Dorcopsulus vanheurni : 1 above Tari on Aug 16 (MC).  ??         

Speckled Dasyure Neophascogale lorentzii : 2 at Kumul                                

Subalpine Woolly Rat  Mallomys istapantap    Kumul or Tari    ??                 

Bismarck Flying-Fox Pteropus neohibernicus : common along the Fly River and a few along the Elevala.                       

New Guinea Crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae 2 on the Elevala River on Aug 5.                   

Mangrove Monitor Lizard  Varanus indicus : 1 on the Elevala River on Aug 6.               

 

                                                                                                                                                                   

Pre-tour Extension from 15th to 28th JULY

 

Participants:                       Jon Hornbuckle            Organiser                    

                                          David Hoddinott           (Huon only)

                                          Moira and Graeme Wallace

 

Itinerary

July 15             Arrive Port Moresby 05.30, visit Brown River and Aloa Petrol Station area.

July 16             Varirata NP

July 17             Fly PX100 Port Moresby 06.00 – Lae 06.45; NCA flight Lae 07.00 to Wasu 08.00

July 17 – 20     Birding Wasu/Satop, Huon Peninsula 

-               

July 21            Fly Wasu 08.10 to Lae 09.00; PX226 Lae 11.40 – Lorengau, Manus Is. 12.40

July 25            Fly PX227 Manus 12.25 – Port Moresby 13.45; PX158 Port Moresby 15.15 – Gurney, Alotua  16.05 and back to Moresby due to heavy rain.

July 26            PX158 Port Moresby 06.30 – Gurney, Alotua  07.30. Boat East Cape – Normanby Is.

July 27            Early birding, boat back to East Cape, vehicle to Alotua.

July 28            Fly PX955 Gurney, Alotua  07.20 – Port Moresby 08.20. Collected Lori and Bob from airport. Late afternoon at PAU.     

 

LOGISTICS

Huon:  the only cost-effective way of getting here is to take the daily Air Nuigini 0600 flight from POM to Lae and connect with North Coast Aviation’s flight to Wasu on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, departure 0700 am, returning same days - fare Lae-Wasu  PGK330.00. Be sure to contact NCA beforehand so they don’t go without you: Mike Tse at [email protected] This saves having to stay overnight in Lae, a rather dangerous city some 40 km from the airport, or at the expensive hotel near the airport. Take some food and if you can afford him, take Daniel Wakra [email protected] with you to avoid potential problems with the locals. Hitch a lift to the mission at Gatop and ask to be put up there. The German pastor may have left but I imagine that his successor will still be hospitable, although whether transport to Satop and above will be provided must be less certain. There is a guest-house in Wasu but if you stay there, daily transport would have to be arranged to get above Satop, which might be difficult. If there is more than 1 or 2 of you, best to pre-book the flight back to Lae as the flights, in small planes, can be full. 3 days should be enough to see most of the good birds here.

Manus:  there are 3 flights a week from POM and one decent hotel, Harbourside Inn at Lorengau, not so expensive if there’s more than 1 of you. The hotel’s bus meets arriving flights, usually driven by the helpful Richard, who knows where the birding sites are.

 

The key contact for seeing the Pitta is Aaron Joseph – best to write to his wife beforehand to say when you want him, Mrs Susan Joseph, c/o David Pomaket, RL & VJ Knight, PO Box 108, Lorengau
Manus, PNG. You can stay economically at their house at Rossun village. Aaron's friend Timothy, or Temote, owned the land on which we saw the pitta, on the airport side of Lorengau.  He came with us and has a phone contact - Lorengau 4709016 - where someone can apparently give him a message if phoned in the evening.

Look out for dark-rumped swiftlets of different size, the smaller Uniform Swiflets are commonest on coast and the larger ones in the hills which could possibly be the rare Mayr's, although this has yet to be resolved.

 

To see Manus/Admiralty Rufous Fantail R. semirubra it is necessary to charter a boat to Tong Island outside the coral reef near Lorengau. This is only possible if the sea is not rough and the locals not at war with each other. If impossible, it is worth visiting the nearby Kandriu Island (also known as Hawaii, though nothing like it!) for small island species.

D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago: fly to Gurney Airport, Alatoa and take a vehicle to North Cape. Contact Mombi, the local guide at Sewa Bay, Normanby Is, through the very helpful David Mitchell who works with Conservation International in Alotau [email protected]. There are dinghies every day across to Sewa Bay, about an hour’s journey in good conditions. It is then 2+ hours walk to the Goldie’s site at 300m asl with Curl-crested Manucodes on the way. You can stay at the site by sleeping on the floor of a local house, as we did, or at the basic Saugeri Guest House where you come ashore.

Tour groups tend to go to Sebutuia Bay on West Fergusson Is as there is a more easily seen population of Goldie's of  about 10 birds at sea level only 20 minutes easy walk from the beach. However, this requires a journey of about 4 hours by dinghy from East Cape to Esa'Ala women's guest house on the north side of Normandy Island to see the Manucode, and then a 90 minute-2 hour boat ride to Fergusson Island where the Goldie's are. The sea can be rough at this time of year due to the SE Trade Winds – BirdQuest had to abort the trip for this reason this year.

Warili Lodge: the budget alternative to the grossly over-priced Ambua Lodge near Tari, accommodation and transport have improved markedly over the past 2 years – the food has always been good. The major problem is getting a confirmed booking – at present this is only possible by writing to Steven Wari, the owner, P O Box 159, TARI, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. He does have a mobile phone 00675 6978018 but getting though seems impossible from outside the country. However, Steven invariably meets the incoming flights from Moresby in the hope of finding clients, so you are likely to see him even if pre-booking has not been confirmed.

 

            ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I’m very grateful for the help and information given by David Bishop, Richard Fairbank, Alan Lewis, David Mitchell, Daniel Wakra and Graeme Wallace.

 

      DAILY ACCOUNT by Graeme Wallace

15 July  (Day 1)

We flew in to Singapore from Edinburgh arriving on the evening of the 14th where we met up with JH and boarded the Air Niugini flight which arrived in Port Moresby (POM) on time at 05.30. Despite having obtained our visas in the UK to  avoid queuing at POM the immigration and customs process was a nightmare taking over 1.5 hours to complete. We were met by Daniel Wakra, the local operator/guide and headed to the Hideaway Hotel where we found DH and around 08.00 on a clear, sunny morning drove out of POM on the Hiritano Highway to Hsiu. The first stop produced some nice birds: Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Greater-streaked Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove and  Rufous Night-Heron. Around 09.40, having crossed the bridge over the Brown River, we stopped by and entered a  remnant forest patch which yielded Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Yellow-billed and Forest Kingfishers, Common Paradise-Kingfisher, Golden Monarch and a pair of Emperor Fairy-Wren. A brief stop beyond Kuriva at 11.00 added Golden Mynah, White-shouldered Fairy-Wren and Golden-headed Cisticola. After a further hour or so we arrived at the Aloa Petrol Station where the key bird Silver-eared Honeyeater showed well along with Rufous-banded and Yellow-tinted Honeyeaters, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and our only Australian Ibis of the trip. Around 14.30 we began to drive slowly back to POM and various stops along the way added Greater Red-flanked Lorikeet, Black Coucal, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Shining Flycatcher, Orange-breasted Fig-Parrot, Frilled Monarch and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra. Returning to the hotel we had dinner and crashed-out in our small and somewhat noisy room.

16 July  (Day 2)

Up at 04.45 and departed 05.30 for Varirata NP with DW. Arrived at 6.30 and birded around the car park area until it became light enough to walk into the adjacent Koiari Tree-house Trail where the resident and spectacular Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher soon showed, quickly followed by skulking Northern Scrub-Robin and great views of Chestnut-backed Jewel-Babbler. Returning to the car park we scanned the trees around the open area and saw Zoe Imperial-Pigeon and the uncommon Coroneted Fruit-Dove. Met up with Augustus, the park ranger/guide who soon took us to daytime roosts of Marbled Frogmouth and Barred Owlet-Nightjar which was great - we probably also disturbed a roosting Barking Owl which flew off without anyone getting a good view. Back at the clearing Boyer's Cuckoo-Shrike, Black Myzomela and Green-backed Gerygone were seen but a calling Painted Quail-thrush could not be located.

At 09.40 we began walking the Circuit Trail, seeing Dwarf Whistler and Sooty Thicket-Fantail. Walked to the 1100 metre mark and then returned the same way encountering a large mixed flock near the river crossing, which included Wallace’s Fairy Wren, Pale-billed Scrub Wren, Chestnut-bellied Fantail, Black, Frilled, Spot-winged and Black-faced Monarchs, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Spotted Honeyeater and White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo.

Returned to the car and left the park around 13.00, heading back to POM to change money. The car had a flat tyre and DW took ages to come back and collect us, but then on to the supermarket to buy basic provisions for the next few days at the Huon Peninsula. Returning to the hotel we dumped all the unnecessary gear to meet the 15kg baggage weight restriction for the small plane that would take us to Wasu tomorrow. Went down for dinner and await the arrival of Birdquest led by MvB, returning from Huon, from whom we hoped to get some useful information. In the event they did not appear so we would have to make our own arrangements with the reputedly unfriendly villagers. After some debate we decided to take DW as intermediary, costly but it was to prove well worth it.

17 July  (Day 3)

As the hotel bus was full we had to wait for it to return from the airport but with something of a scramble we just made  it on to the plane which took off on schedule at 06.00 and landed at Lae about 45 min later. We then transferred to the small plane operated by North Coast Aviation, with GW riding as navigator, and had an excellent if somewhat low level 45 min flight over the hill ranges landing in Wasu at 08.15. We then hung around the grass strip on the edge of the village in the company of many interested locals including 2 of the local crazy guys while DW tried to find some transport. This he did and around 10.30 a flatbed truck agreed to take us up to Gatop Village where we literally placed ourselves in the hands of the local pastor at the Lutheran Ulup Mission (at 860m). Pastor Gerhardt kindly agreed to let us stay and to our surprise offered some basic dormitory accommodation which we accepted gratefully as a big improvement on the floor we had been expecting. MW was allocated a room in the pastor’s house. The pastor also agreed to provide us with transport which was a huge relief.

As we settled in, awaiting the end of the showers, we began to hear of the problems experienced by Birdquest with the villagers at Satop who despite pleas, entreaties and written letters had been denied access to the villager’s lands, making it difficult for them to see some of the key endemics. In the early afternoon we walked down the road seeing Mountain Peltops, Ornate Fruit-Dove (eastern race) and Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove (northern race), White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Pygmy Honeyeater and an immature/female Emperor BOP and Riflebird. The rain began in earnest and soon was pouring down in torrents as we sheltered under the eaves of a building at the side of the road along with  school children and villagers who giggled a lot at our presence. The rain would not let up so we endured a miserable walk back to the Mission. The ladies produced dinner using our supplies plus local rice and vegetables. We  talked a lot about how to handle things tomorrow but it was really DW’s play and he seemed to want to target the local dissenters, have a strong talk with them and then pay them to act as guides. Early a-bed at 08.30.

18 July  (Day 4)

MW was up first to explain to the ladies how to make porridge, which she did well, and breakfast of porridge, raisins and tea was taken around 05.40. With some trepidation we set off in the truck at 06.00 for the ridge above Satop, concerned partly over the murky weather on the ridge but more about the reception we would receive from the villagers  and whether having come all this way access would be denied. We drove up to Satop (at 1350m) where villagers met us and with DW doing a lot of talking all seemed friendly enough with lots of smiling and nodding. Then another man appeared on the fringes with an expression that was certainly not friendly and for a while he listened somewhat stone-faced to the discussions, seemingly unmoved. However, suddenly he became engaged, smiles and handshakes followed and he joined us in the truck as we were off to the ridge above the village.

As we drove higher we all noticed a black blob sitting high in a tree on the ridge which, when scoped, proved to be a male Wahnes’ Parotia, our first bird and surely one of the key endemics of the Huon. A female Wahnes’ Parotia was also noted in the tree and further on male and female Huon Astrapia were well seen together with the stunning Spangled Honeyeater  and 4 Pesquet’s Parrots, and it was not yet 07.30! As the vehicle climbed slowly up the road to the top of the ridge, Blue-grey Robin was seen and Ashy Robin heard and at 09.00 the truck reached the viewpoint at 1900 metres. We admired the view of the forest and its little villages dotted around and then began to walk back down the road. We hadn’t gone too far when we encountered a flock including Yellowish-streaked, Rufous-backed and  Black-throated Honeyeaters together with the much wanted Spotted Berrypecker and Mottled Whistler. Spotted Berrypecker seemed fairly common with 10+ birds seen and we even found an active nest in a roadside tree.

Continuing down the road we encountered Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Tit Berrypecker and following a quick lunch on the road at 13.15 added Brown Falcon, Mountain Kingfisher, Mid-mountain Berrypecker, Brown-breasted Gerygone and Brown-backed Whistler. With some difficultly we finally saw another of the Huon endemics, the vocal but elusive Cinnamon-browed Melidectes. Around 15.30 the truck picked us up and we made our way down to Satop, somewhat painfully for those sitting over the wheel arches of the vehicle as it bumped along the rough road. The day’s only disappointment was a stop at the beer shop where we found the beer was “finished”. Dropped off by the now friendly Satop villagers and headed back to the Mission. As it was still bright and sunny we continued further down the valley but activity was low so we soon returned to the mission to relax with a cup of coffee at the end of a very successful day.

19 July  (Day 5)

Following a slightly thicker porridge and raisin breakfast we headed back up to Satop, picked up the guides, drove up the valley and then walked a rough trail down to a hide that had been built adjacent to the display court of a Wahnes’ Parotia. Superb Bird of Paradise was briefly see on the walk in but on a chilly morning our uncomfortable 90 min wait in the cramped hide gave only brief views of the Parotia - we also heard an invisible Lesser Melampitta calling close to  the hide. We climbed back out the valley to the road and walked a little way before taking another trail that led upward into dense closed forest. Regent Whistler and Huon Astrapia were seen on the way and once on the trail Grey-streaked Honeyeater, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Yellow-billed Lorikeet were found as was a perched Long-tailed Buzzard which soon flew off. Thanks to DH, GW finally saw Orange-crowned Fairy-wren - seen by MW in Irian Jaya 16 years earlier.  Walked the road which was somewhat quiet so at 11.45 descended once more to the Parotia hide where the bird showed briefly on the ground but did not display.

We ate lunch on the road and while the others wandered off in search of new species we walked back down to the trail where we had seen the first Parotia the previous day. No sign of the bird but good fly-by views of Pesquet's Parrot. Left JH by the trail, camera poised and walked back up the road to give the Parotia one more try. Down at the hide we were rewarded with stunning views of the bird on the ground clearing its display court of leaf litter, with iridescent breast-shield, orange nose bump and swirling plumes clearly visible without bins. The bird appeared to be gearing itself up to display but, possibly lacking the stimulus of a female audience, suddenly gave up and disappeared. Back on the road we began to walk down hoping that the vehicle would soon arrive; caught up with DH and stopped for a while but no sign of the vehicle meant we had to start walking again – eventually to Satop where the  waiting vehicle almost drove off without us! Later discovered that JH had walked all the way back to the Mission.

20 July  (Day 6)

A latish start due to some sleepy, slow risers and a change of direction today as we walked downhill to the start of the trail leading to the Emperor Bird-of-Paradise display tree. In the semi-dark we began the walk in to the display tree, the trail proving narrow and slippery, but soon arrived and could hear the birds calling loudly. As the light improved we had great views of several male Emperor BoPs displaying in a large tree 70 metres away and indeed from time to time they would fly in and display above us. The birds put on a great show augmented by Magnificent Riflebird calling loudly and offering occasional glimpses as it sped from perch to perch. Very content with the Emperor  we stumbled down another trail to a small hide overlooking the display court of Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise. Another cramped hide meant that White-eared Catbird was only seen by some along with Papuan Drongo and Dwarf Whistler, but although we could hear the Magnificent BoP calling there was no sign of it coming to the display court. Around 09.00 we emerged to walk the trail, seeing Hooded Pitohui and Crinkle-collared Manucode feeding in a huge tree and further along the trail 4-5White-rumped Robin put on a surprisingly good show.

Leaving DH in the forest the others headed down the trail to an open area, where we took a short break before returning the hide. The bird seemed closer, calling just above our heads but nothing could be seen until for just a couple of seconds it blazed in, iridescent green, burnished gold and mahogany brown, perched on the display pole and just as quickly shot back into cover. Meantime DH had a big flock of mainly monarchs and fantails plus a Long-billed Honeyeater.

As heavy rain had begun, we walked back to the edge of the trail leading from the forest, took some shelter as best we could and ate lunch. The rain persisted and grew heavier so around 13.00 we descended the by now treacherous trail – JH slipping into the river - finally reaching the house by the road where we again sheltered under the eaves. Paid the guide half of what he asked for and began to walk up the road to the village. Fortune favoured us as a vehicle stopped to pick up which saved our legs but left us soaked through by the time we arrived at the Mission. The rain continued unabated the entire afternoon and was still pouring as we went to bed.

21 July  (Day 7)

Awake at 04.30 to discover that fortunately the weather had cleared, packed and said our farewells to the kindly folk at the Mission and drove slowly down to Wasu flushing Scrubfowl from the roadside as we went. Arriving at Wasu at 07.15, we were advised that the plane would arrive any time up to 09.00. A pair of Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon flew by and JH & DH made the short walk to the beach seeing an Osprey, before speedily returning as the plane arrive at 08.00. Departing 8 minutes later we arrived back in Lae at 08.40 to find our Manus flight delayed by one hour until 11.40. Bade farewell to DW and DH whose birding skills and company had been great, and arrived on a hot sunny day  at Momote Airport on Los Negros Island, Manus.

The vehicle and helpful driver from the Harbourside Inn were there to meet us together with local guide Aaron Joseph with whom JH planned to stay in Rossun Village. Departed the airport and went to the hotel, checked in and were subject to all sorts of strange looks and sidelong whispers from Aaron “Come stay with me –its better”;  “The hotel is no good”; “You stick with me, I show you everything”. However when pressed to talk about how, when and at what cost we would be looking for the pitta AJ was utterly evasive and unhelpful. In the end we had no option but to go to Rossun where we would discuss matters. Arriving at the village, there then followed a betel nut induced charade of evasion, red herrings and time-wasting before finally the price was named: 60 kina per guide per day and 150 kina land fees for each site visited (£1=4.78 kina). The guide price was okay but the land fees ridiculous as the Boobook was one site then there were 1st,2nd and 3rd sites for the pitta which could result in a huge cost for just 3 people. AJ was not prepared to deviate or make allowances for small groups so after 2 hours we finally agreed that they would be able to find all the key birds at no more than 2 sites , achievable in 1 day at a maximum price of 420 kina.

This agreed, by late afternoon they produced the first bird at 6 pm with great daytime views of a calling Manus Hawk-Owl. Departed Rossun leaving JH in his 50 kina accommodation (mattress on floor) after declining a large meal of chicken, fish, taro, greens and rice from AJ’s sensible wife Susan. A very odd afternoon.

22 July  (Day 8)

Departed 05.15 for Rossun village where we picked up JH and AJ plus a bunch of schoolchildren who we dropped off at the highway. We drove 4-5kms to AJ’s friend’s (brother in law?) Temote’s land and walked into the forest at 06.15 After about 45 minutes we stopped and AJ started whooping loudly, imitating the double note call of the pitta. This he did for the next hour with only one feeble, distant response. We continued further until about 08.15 when we stopped, having seen Meek’s Pygmy-Parrot briefly and Admiralty Pied Monarch, adding Island Imperial Pigeon and Golden Whistler as we waited. With nothing happening, around 10.00 we walked further finally descending into a sago swamp. Still nothing and the 2 guides left us saying they were going to look quietly for the bird. After 30 minutes Temote returned saying they had seen the bird and we should follow, firstly over a very dodgy bridge that none of us fancied but we made it and walked on to where AJ was waiting. Regrettably there was no sign of the bird so, hot, sticky and somewhat cheesed off we walked out the forest emerging at 12.15. Hitched a ride on a navy vehicle which kindly dropped us at the Harbourside Hotel. Had lunch and snoozed, eventually going out around 4.00 to check on flight availability (but the Air Niugini computer system was down). Bumped into kindly couple Grace and Ken, ancient Aussie prospector and his generously proportioned Papuan wife who allowed JH to use their e-mail. Remainder of the day dwindled away, JH returning to Rossun courtesy of Harbourside’s vehicle.

23 July  (Day 9)

Similar routine as yesterday except that the vehicle picked up JH and AJ at Rossun then returned to collect us, before driving to Temote’s house in Pokun village. A calling Boobook was spotted at the edge of the forest and gave good views in torchlight. Walked in pretty quickly, AJ whooping loudly, to the area where we had stopped yesterday. AJ lectured us on standing still and not making any silly mistakes like yesterday when, according to him, our minimal  movement had scared off the bird – no comment! More whooping elicited a distant response, then it was heard closer at which point AJ hared off down the track hooting even more loudly but the bird came no closer. We walked a little further and began the whooping again when suddenly the bird appeared above us vibrant red, blue and black calling loudly. AJ told us to sit down and the bird would hang around. “The door is locked he cannot get out!” Over the next hour or so we had great views of the bird perched in the trees and were able to take some photos. We then ambled slowly out the forest seeing Variable Dwarf Kingfisher, Meek’s Pygmy-Parrot, Golden Whistler, Pied Monarch, Shining  Flycatcher and Northern Fantail. We paid Temote, who is a really nice guy, 250kina and soon reached the road where the hotel vehicle was waiting.

Late afternoon we headed out to Rossun village to find AJ off his head on betel and a waste of space, although we did glimpse Nicobar Pigeon in the rubber plantation along with Black-headed White-eye. Paid Anton 300 kina including a small tip which he accepted with bad grace and in many ways we were happy to depart his dubious company. Back at the hotel, JH went round to Grace & Ken’s who kindly agreed to allow us the use of their boat the following morning. We had JH for company now, having given up village living for the relative comforts and cold beer of the hotel.

24 July  (Day 10)

Long lie for us and casual breakfast, JH returning at 09.45 from his morning walk and hitch to Rossun and back. Met Grace & Ken at the jetty and the small boat was soon whizzing across the bay to Kandriu Island (renamed Hawaii by US troops during the war). On arrival met by the local head man Jack Daniels who immediately showed us Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove sitting low in a tree by his house. Spent the next couple of hours walking round the island with an ever increasing gaggle of kids, seeing Island Imperial-Pigeon, McKinlay’s Cuckoo-Dove, Island Monarch, Bismarck Black Myzomela, Melanesian Scrubfowl and Beach Kingfisher among others. Returned to the main island late morning and idled the afternoon away, latterly on Ken & Grace’s super slow e-mail. During dinner the hotel band started up and as we headed off to bed we were surprised to see that our boatman of the morning was the pretty good  lead guitarist who on request played a couple of local tunes with a very relaxed and pleasing Pacific island feel to them.

25 July  (Day 11)

Another late start and casual preparation finally ended in a bit of a scramble for us as the transport to the airport left a  little earlier than expected. JH walked to the waterfall on the way to Rossun and saw a good selection of the island’s birds. The bus to the airport toured the main street picking up missing passengers but we eventually reached the airport in the company of a big crowd but no check-in staff. Staff eventually turned up around 11.00 and we proceeded through the painful manual check-in process culminating in hand-written boarding cards. Flight was delayed and eventually left at 12.50 arriving in POM at 14.15. Grabbed the bags, changed some money and checked in for the 15.15 flight to Alotau, scoffing a meat pie and coke in the process. Flight delayed, finally departing 16.10 and arrived over Alotau in the far east of PNG at 16.50 by which time the weather had closed in and after two aborted landings we returned to POM. To their credit Air Niugini put us in the Gateway Hotel and paid for dinner with the flight rescheduled for 06.30 the next day. GW telephoned the Napatana Lodge to explain what was happening but despite some confusions and contradictions on boat departures to Normanby Is, from the East Cape, the arrangements appeared to be in hand.

26 July  (Day 12)

Up at 04.30, breakfasted and drove the short distance to the airport where the flight departed in on time at 06.30 in overcast conditions and landed at Gurney Airport in Alotau at 07.20. The van from the Napatana Lodge was there and a 15 minute drive had us at the hotel where we met David Mitchell (Aussie researcher of  Goldie’s BOP) and Mombi the guide from Normanby Island. Quickly dumped our surplus gear and drove down to the PMV stop in town, where a welcome coffee and donut passed the time until a PMV/lorry arrived. Settled ourselves on the hard benches of the PMV surrounded by many smiling faces, some of the smiles betel nut induced, and began the tortuous 2.5 hour journey for 70km to the East Cape where we arrived around 12.00. Managed to find what appeared to be a perilously small dinghy, 15ft maybe, with small covered area in the centre and wooden slat benches behind. Bought some noodles, tea, coffee and biscuits. Noisy Varied Honeyeaters were active in trees by the landing stage before we departed at 12.30 with a few other passengers (30 kina each) in flat seas with little swell. Encountered a few Brown Booby as we set off and further out a few Brown Noddy in amongst the much more numerous Black Noddy chasing shoals of flying fish. Entered Sewa Bay 1.45 pm, dropped off some passengers and finally landed at Sadowai around 14.30. No time to hang around so we immediately began the walk with Mombi to the village of Welawa at an elevation of 250m as we needed to get there before dark to see the Goldies BoP which allegedly hung around trees at the village in the late afternoon. A fairly stiff walk then followed with brief views of Curl-crested Manucode, endemic to the islands here, before we arrived around 17.00 at Welawa, a village of 3-4 basic huts surrounded by vegetable gardens. Plenty of Eclectus and Eastern Black-capped Lories but no BoPs - finally we did hear some although seeing them proved virtually impossible due to the horrible overgrown rocky terrain and the fact that the birds were in high dense canopy. It was a real struggle and none of us had a decent view before dusk brought activities to an end. 

We passed the rest of the evening in real “village” style with a dinner of sweet potato, corned beef,pumpkin, greens and noodles with lots of tea. Interesting chat about belief systems and secret valleys with special trees before we retired to our floor for the night.

27 July  (Day 13)

We slept better than anticipated even although it became quite chilly in the night, and arose at 05.30 having foregone the opportunity to look for the owls calling an hour earlier. We packed our gear and as dawn broke wandered to the edge of the forest where the Goldie’s were calling. Same scenario as the previous evening, stumbling around uncomfortably inside the forest proved useless and we eventually came out to the edge where 3 or 4 Goldies including  full males seen well. Blyth’s Hornbill, Channel-billed Cuckoo and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo were also added. Fried sweet potato and tea for breakfast, during which JH saw a Cinnamon Ground Dove fly through the clearing. We left at 07.15 and during the descent saw the highly localised Curl-crested Manucode showed well and lower down a small flock included Spot-winged and Black-faced Monarchs, Large-billed Gerygone and Grey Whistler.

Concerned by the rising wind and somewhat behind schedule we pressed on, arriving at Sadowai around 10.00, immediately noting the choppy water in the sheltered bay. Captain Raymond was waiting and told us that the proposed trip to Duchess Island for Nicobar Pigeon and Louisade White-eye was off as we would need all our time and fuel to get back to East Cape. Donning our waterproofs we set off and once clear of Sewa Bay the water in the channel was running fast with 3 foot swells, not much when you are standing on the shore but pretty impressive in a boat only 3foot above the water in the open sea. With seas regularly breaking over the bow the captain hugged the shore of Normanby before finally heading across the channel to East Cape at a slow steady pace as imperceptibly we  gradually drew nearer to land eventually and thankfully arriving on the beach just over 2 hours later. Many fewer birds on the crossing although the palish grey mantle and wings of a party of 5 terns that flew across the bows were very suggestive of Grey-backed Tern rather than Bridled Tern.

Back on land we eventually found the ancient Land Cruiser that would take us back to Alotua where we settled into the comfortable surroundings of Napatana Lodge (320 kina inc dinner and breakfast). Birding the grounds produced Sacred Kingfisher, Helmeted Friarbird, Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Chestnut-breasted Munia and Fawn-breasted Bowerbird. Had a couple of beers with JH who had elected to stay in the cheaper Saugeri Guesthouse close by and had added Grand Munia to the list. Ate dinner, later spoilt by the arrogant, bloody minded and unhelpful attitude of Greta, the expat British manger whose role that evening seemed to be to get pissed with the locals and to hell with the passing guests.

28 July  (Day 14)

Checked out and picked up JH from his hotel, arriving at the airport in good time for the flight. Just as well we did as the flight in a small Dash 8 proved to be overbooked and several very irritated people were told they would have to wait for a later flight. Arriving back in POM we checked into the Granville where lack of electricity in our standard room meant a free upgrade to an “Executive” room. Didn’t make much odds if you dislike cockroaches – they occur in both!! Spent an hour at the Datec internet place, recently upgraded to broadband, a first for JH in PNG, then back to the Granville while JH went to the airport to pick up the first two of the other 4 participants for the main tour.

 

                                                                                               Huon        Manus      Alotau       Moresby

                                                                                               17-21July  21-25July  26-28July  15,16Jul

Australasian Grebe                    Tachybaptus novaehollandiae                                                          X

Brown Booby                           Sula leucogaster                                                           X           X             

Little Black Cormorant                Phalacrocorax sulcirostris                                                                 X

Little Pied Cormorant                 Phalacrocorax melanoleucos                                                           X

Darter                                Anhinga melanogaster                                                                                   X

Great Frigatebird                     Fregata minor                                                                X           X            X

Lesser Frigatebird                    Fregata ariel                                                                              X             

Great Egret                           Ardea alba                                                                                                    X

Pied Heron                            Egretta picata                                                                                              X

Intermediate Egret                    Egretta intermedia                                                                                 X

White-faced Heron                     Egretta novaehollandiae                           X                                        

Little Egret                          Egretta garzetta                                                                   X                         X

Pacific Reef-Heron                    Egretta sacra                                                              X           X             

Cattle Egret                          Bubulcus ibis                                                                     X                         X

Rufous Night-Heron                    Nycticorax caledonicus                                                                      X

Australian Ibis                       Threskiornis molucca                                                                                X

Spotted Whistling-Duck                Dendrocygna guttata                                                                        X

Wandering Whistling-Duck              Dendrocygna arcuata                                                                  X

Pacific Black Duck                    Anas superciliosa                                                       X                         X

Osprey                                Pandion haliaetus                                                 X                                        

Pacific Baza                          Aviceda subcristata                                                                                    X

Long-tailed Honey-buzzard             Henicopernis longicauda                   X                                        

Black Kite                            Milvus migrans                                                     X                                        

Whistling Kite                        Haliastur sphenurus                                                                                   X

Brahminy Kite                         Haliastur indus                                                               X                         X

Variable Goshawk                      Accipiter hiogaster                                      X            X                         X

Brown Goshawk                         Accipiter fasciatus                                                                                 

Grey-headed Goshawk                   Accipiter poliocephalus                                                                 X

Gurney's Eagle                        Aquila gurneyi                                                 X                                        

Oriental Hobby                        Falco severus                                                  X                                        

Australian Hobby                      Falco longipennis                                                                                  X

Black-billed Brush-turkey             Talegalla fuscirostris                                                                        X

Melanesian Scrubfowl                    Megapodius erimita                                            X                          

New Guinea Scrubfowl                  Megapodius affinis/decollatus                                       X             

Orange-footed Scrubfowl               Megapodius reinwardt                         X                                       X

Rufous-tailed Bush-hen                Amaurornis moluccanus                                                  X             

Purple Swamphen              Porphyrio porphyrio                                                                                    X

Dusky Moorhen                         Gallinula tenebrosa                                                                               X

Comb-crested Jacana                   Irediparra gallinacea                                                                       X

Australian Pratincole                 Stiltia isabella                                                                                        X

Masked Lapwing                        Vanellus miles                                                                                      X

Pacific Golden-Plover                 Pluvialis fulva                                                           X                          

Common Sandpiper                      Actitis hypoleucos                                                 X                          

Gull-billed Tern                      Sterna nilotica                                                                                             

Great Crested Tern                   Sterna bergii                                                                             X             

Common Tern                           Sterna hirundo                                                            X                          

Bridled Tern                          Sterna anaethetus                                                                        X             

Sooty Tern                            Sterna fuscata                                                                                X             

Grey-backed Tern               Sterna lunata                                                                                  [X]           

Black Noddy                           Anous minutus                                                                             X             

Brown Noddy                           Anous stolidus                                                                            X             

Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove            Macropygia amboinensis                 X            X                         X

Mackinlay's Cuckoo-Dove               Macropygia mackinlayi                                     X                          

Great Cuckoo-Dove                     Reinwardtoena reinwardtii                      X                                        

Stephan's Dove                        Chalcophaps stephani                                               X                         X

Peaceful Dove                         Geopelia placida                                                                                     X

Nicobar Pigeon                        Caloenas nicobarica                                                   X                          

Cinnamon Ground-Dove                  Gallicolumba rufigula                                                    X             

Pheasant Pigeon                       Otidiphaps nobilis                                                                                 H

Southern Crowned-Pigeon               Goura scheepmakeri                                                                   

Wompoo Fruit-Dove                     Ptilinopus magnificus                                                         H            X

Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove               Ptilinopus perlatus                                    X                                        

Ornate Fruit-Dove                     Ptilinopus ornatus                                         X                                        

Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove             Ptilinopus aurantiifrons                                                   X            X

Superb Fruit-Dove                     Ptilinopus superbus                                                   X           X             

Coroneted Fruit-Dove                  Ptilinopus coronulatus                                                                      X

White-breasted Fruit-Dove             Ptilinopus rivoli                                       X                                        

Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove             Ptilinopus solomonensis                                                   X             

Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove             Ptilinopus iozonus                                                            X            X

Purple-tailed Imperial-Pigeon         Ducula rufigaster                                 X                                        

Island/ Grey Imperial-Pigeon                Ducula pistrinaria                                         X                          

Pinon Imperial-Pigeon                 Ducula pinon                                                                                      X

Zoe Imperial-Pigeon                   Ducula zoeae                                                                                      X

Torresian Imperial-Pigeon             Ducula spilorrhoa                                  X                                       X

Papuan Mountain-Pigeon                Gymnophaps albertisii                        X                                       X

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo              Cacatua galerita                                    X                         X            X

Yellow-streaked Lory                  Chalcopsitta scintillata                                                                       X

Dusky Lory                            Pseudeos fuscata                                              X                                        

Rainbow Lorikeet                      Trichoglossus haematodus                        X            X           X            X

Eastern Black-capped/Purple-bellied Lory   Lorius hypoinochrous                                    X             

Black-capped Lory                     Lorius lory                                                                                              X

Red-flanked Lorikeet                  Charmosyna placentis                                                                       X

Fairy/Little Red Lorikeet                        Charmosyna pulchella                   X                                        

Papuan Lorikeet                       Charmosyna papou                                      X                                        

Pesquet's Parrot                      Psittrichas fulgidus                                         X                                        

Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot            Micropsitta keiensis                          H                                       H

Meek's Pygmy-Parrot       Micropsitta meeki                                                                X                          

Orange-breasted Fig-Parrot            Clycopsitta gulielmitertii                      X                                        

Brehm's Tiger-Parrot                  Psittacella brehmii                                      X                                        

Red-cheeked Parrot                    Geoffroyus geoffroyi                                                             X            X

Eclectus Parrot                       Eclectus roratus                                                X            X           X            X

Brush Cuckoo                          Cacomantis variolosus                                  H            X           H            X

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo              Cacomantis castaneiventris              X            X                          

White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo             Chrysococcyx meyeri                       X                                       X

Greater Black Coucal                  Centropus menbeki                                  X                                       X

Papuan Boobook                       Ninox theomacha                                                                   H             

Manus Hawk-Owl           Ninox meeki                                                                           X                          

Barred Owlet-Nightjar                 Aegotheles bennettii                                                                          X

Marbled Frogmouth                     Podargus ocellatus                                                                            X

Papuan Frogmouth                      Podargus papuensis                                                           H             

Glossy Swiftlet                       Aerodramus esculenta                                    X                                       X

White-rumped Swiftlet   Collocalia spodiopygiusi                                                         X                              

[Mayr's Swiftlet    Collocalia orientalis]                                                                         [X]                        

Mountain Swiftlet                     Aerodramus hirundinaceus                         X                                        

Uniform Swiftlet                      Aerodramus vanikorensis                             X            [X]                       X

Moustached Treeswift                  Hemiprocne mystacea                                          X                         X

Common Kingfisher                     Alcedo atthis                                                                         H             

Azure Kingfisher                      Alcedo azurea                                                                                         X

Little Kingfisher                     Alcedo pusilla                                                    H                                        

Variable Kingfisher                   Ceyx lepidus                                                 H            X                          

Blue-winged Kookaburra    Dacelo leachii                                                                                             X

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra             Dacelo gaudichaud                             X                                       X

Forest Kingfisher                     Todirhamphus macleayii                                                                       X

Beach Kingfisher                      Todirhamphus saurophaga                                      X                          

Sacred Kingfisher                     Todirhamphus sanctus                                              X                         X

Yellow-billed Kingfisher              Syma torotoro                                                                       H            X

Mountain Kingfisher                   Syma megarhyncha                                  X                                        

Common Paradise-Kingfisher            Tanysiptera galatea                                                                 X

Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher      Tanysiptera danae                                                                X

Blue-tailed Bee-eater                 Merops philippinus                                     X                                        

Rainbow Bee-eater                     Merops ornatus                                           X            X                         X

Dollarbird                            Eurystomus orientalis                                          X            X                         X

Blyth's Hornbill                      Aceros plicatus                                                  X                         X             

Red-bellied Pitta                     Pitta erythrogaster                                           H                                        

Superb Pitta                            Pitta superba                                                                   X                          

Australasian Bushlark                 Mirafra javanica                                         X                                        

Pacific Swallow                       Hirundo tahitica                                               X            X           X            X

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike             Coracina novaehollandiae                                                          X

Boyer's Cuckoo-shrike                 Coracina boyeri                                                                                 X

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike           Coracina papuensis                            X                         X            X

Manus Cuckoo-shrike   Coracina ingens                                                                    X                          

Hooded Cuckoo-shrike                  Coracina longicauda                             X                                        

Cicadabird                            Coracina tenuirostris                                                       X                         X

Black-shouldered/Papuan Cuckoo-shrike  Coracina incerta/morio         X                                        

Grey-headed Cuckoo-shrike             Coracina schisticeps                                                    X            X

New Guinea/Black Cuckoo-shrike    Coracina melaena/melas                X                                       X

Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike           Coracina montana                               X                                        

Golden-headed Cisticola               Cisticola exilis                                                                                  X

Island Leaf-Warbler                   Phylloscopus poliocephalus                     X                                        

Tawny Grassbird                       Megalurus timoriensis                                                                          H

Pied Bushchat                         Saxicola caprata                                             X                         X             

Northern Fantail                      Rhipidura rufiventris                                                     X           X            X

Willie-wagtail                        Rhipidura leucophrys                                                                   X            X

Friendly Fantail                      Rhipidura albolimbata                                     X                                        

Chestnut-bellied Fantail              Rhipidura hyperythra                                                                         X

Sooty Thicket-Fantail                 Rhipidura threnothorax                                                                       X

Black Thicket-Fantail                 Rhipidura maculipectus                                                                      X

Black Fantail                         Rhipidura atra                                                     X                                        

Dimorphic Fantail                     Rhipidura brachyrhyncha                            X                                        

Black Monarch                         Monarcha axillaris                                          X                                        

Island Monarch                        Monarcha cinerascens fulveiventris                         X                          

Admiralty Pied/ Manus Monarch  Monarcha infelix                                                   X                          

Black-winged Monarch                  Monarcha frater                                      X                                        

Black-faced Monarch                   Monarcha melanopsis                                                                      X

Spot-winged Monarch                   Monarcha guttulus                                  X                         X            X

Golden Monarch                        Monarcha chrysomela                                                           X            X

Frilled Monarch                       Arses telescophthalmus                                X                                       X

Shining Flycatcher                    Myiagra alecto                                                             X           H            X

Black-breasted Boatbill         Machaerirhynchus nigripectus                     X                                        

Yellow-breasted Boatbill              Machaerirhynchus flaviventer                                                        X

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher              Microeca flavigaster                                                                       X

Olive Flycatcher                                   Microeca flavovirescens                                           X

Canary Flycatcher                     Microeca papuana                                       X                                        

White-rumped Robin                    Peneothello bimaculatus                        X                                        

Blue-grey Robin                       Peneothello cyanus                                       X                                        

Northern Scrub-Robin                  Drymodes superciliaris                                                                    X

Mottled Whistler                      Rhagologus leucostigma                               X                                        

Dwarf Whistler                        Pachycare flavogrisea                                    X                                       X

Brown-backed Whistler                 Pachycephala modesta                         X                                        

Grey-headed Whistler                  Pachycephala griseiceps                        X                         X            X

Golden Whistler                       Pachycephala pectoralis sexuvaria                          X                          

Regent Whistler                       Pachycephala schlegelii                               X                                        

Rufous/Little Shrike-Thrush          Colluricincla megarhyncha                                              X             

Hooded Pitohui                        Pitohui dichrous                                             X                                       X

Painted Quail-thrush                  Cinclosoma ajax                                                                                  H

Spotted Jewel-babbler                 Ptilorrhoa leucosticta                               H                                        

Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler         Ptilorrhoa castanonota                                                            X

Blue-capped Ifrita                    Ifrita kowaldi                                                    X                                        

Orange-crowned Fairywren              Clytomyias insignis                            X                                        

Wallace's Fairywren                   Sipodotus wallacii                                                                                X

White-shouldered Fairywren            Malurus alboscapulatus                    X                         X            X

Emperor Fairywren                     Malurus cyanocephalus                                                                     X

Rusty Mouse-Warbler                   Crateroscelis murina                               X                                       H

Mountain Mouse-Warbler                Crateroscelis robusta                          H                                        

Large Scrubwren                       Sericornis nouhuysi                                     X                                        

Buff-faced Scrubwren                  Sericornis perspicillatus                          X                                        

Papuan Scrubwren                      Sericornis papuensis                                X                                        

Green-backed Gerygone                 Gerygone chloronotus                         H                                       X

Fairy Gerygone                        Gerygone palpebrosa                                   X                                       X

Yellow-bellied Gerygone               Gerygone chrysogaster                                                                  X

Large-billed Gerygone                 Gerygone magnirostris                                                      X             

Brown-breasted Gerygone               Gerygone ruficollis                              X                                        

Black Sunbird                         Leptocoma sericea                                                                     X            X

Olive-backed Sunbird                  Cinnyris jugularis                                                    X           X            X

Black Berrypecker                     Melanocharis nigra                                      X                                        

Mid-mountain Berrypecker      Melanocharis longicauda                           X                                        

Fan-tailed Berrypecker                Melanocharis versteri                               X                                        

Spotted Berrypecker                   Melanocharis crassirostris                        X                                        

Yellow-bellied Longbill               Toxorhamphus novaeguineae                                                         X

Slaty-chinned Longbill                Toxorhamphus poliopterus                                                               

Dwarf Honeyeater                      Toxorhamphus iliolophus                                                                   

Pygmy Honeyeater                      Toxorhamphus pygmaeum                    X                                        

Tit Berrypecker                       Oreocharis arfaki                                             X                                        

Crested Berrypecker                   Paramythia montium                                                                          

Papuan Flowerpecker               Dicaeum pectorale                                     X                         H            X

Black-fronted White-eye               Zosterops atrifrons                                                                           X

Black-headed White-eye   Zosterops hypoxantha                                                     X                          

Long-billed Honeyeater                Melilestes megarhynchus                     X                                       X

Silver-eared Honeyeater Lichmera alboauricularis :                                                          X      

Black Myzomela                        Myzomela nigrita                                          X                                        

Mountain Myzomela             Myzomela adolphinae                                    X                                        

Bismarck Black/ Ebony Myzomela Myzomela pammelaena                       X                          

Red-collared Myzomela                 Myzomela rosenbergii                          X                                        

Forest Honeyeater                     Meliphaga montana                                    ?                                        

Forest White-eared Honeyeater Meliphaga montana :                              X                                        

Mimic Honeyeater                      Meliphaga analoga                                                                             X

Black-throated Honeyeater             Lichenostomus subfrenatus               X                                        

Varied Honeyeater                     Lichenostomus versicolor                                                    X             

Yellow-tinted Honeyeater              Lichenostomus flavescens                                                            X

Tawny-breasted Honeyeater             Xanthotis flaviventer                         X                                       X

Spotted Honeyeater                      Xanthotis polygramma :                                                                  X

Marbled Honeyeater                       Pycnopygius cinereus :                       X                                        

New Guinea (Helmeted) Friarbird  Philemon (buceroides)novaeguineae               X                         X           X

Manus/ White-naped Friarbird   Philemon albitorques                                     X                          

Yellowish-streaked Honeyeater       Ptiloprora meekiania                         X

Rufous-backed Honeyeater              Ptiloprora guisei                                 X                                        

Cinnamon-browed Melidectes            Melidectes ochromelas                  X                                        

Spangled Honeyeater                   Melipotes ater                                          X                                        

Brown-backed Honeyeater               Ramsayornis modestus                                               X             

Brown Oriole                          Oriolus szalayi                                                   X                         X            X

Green Figbird                         Sphecotheres viridis                                                                                 X

Papuan Drongo                         Chaetorhynchus papuensis                                                                X

Spangled Drongo                       Dicrurus bracteatus                                    X                                        

Great Woodswallow                     Artamus maximus                                    X                                        

White-breasted Woodswallow            Artamus leucorynchus                                               X            X

Black-backed Butcherbird              Cracticus mentalis                                                                          X

Hooded Butcherbird                    Cracticus cassicus                                     X                         X            H

Crinkle-collared Manucode         Manucodia chalybata                              X                                        

Curl-crested Manucode                 Manucodia comrii                                                              X             

Huon Astrapia                         Astrapia rothschildi                                         X                                        

Wahnes' Parotia                       Parotia wahnesi                                             X                                        

Eastern Riflebird                  Ptiloris intercedens                                            X                                       H

Superb Bird-of-paradise               Lophorina superba                                 X                                        

Magnificent Bird-of-paradise          Cicinnurus magnificus                        X                                        

Raggiana Bird-of-paradise             Paradisaea raggiana                                                                    X

Goldie's Bird-of-paradise             Paradisaea decora                                                             X             

Emperor Bird-of-paradise              Paradisaea guilielmi                             X                                        

Lesser Melampitta                     Melampitta lugubris                                    H                                        

White-eared Catbird                   Ailuroedus buccoides                                X                                        

Huon Bowerbird          Amblyornis (macgregoriae) germanus                  X                                        

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird               Chlamydera cerviniventris                                            X            X

Grey Crow                             Corvus tristis                                                       X                                        

Torresian Crow                        Corvus orru                                                      X                         X            X

Metallic Starling                     Aplonis metallica                                              X                                       X

Singing Starling                      Aplonis cantoroides                                                      X           X            X

Yellow-faced Myna                     Mino dumontii                                              X                                       X

Golden Myna                           Mino anais                                                                                                 X

House Sparrow                         Passer domesticus                                                                                X

Grand Munia  Lonchura grandis : 2 with Chestnut-breasted Munias at Alotau on Jul 27 (JH).

Grey-headed Munias.Lonchura grandis                                                                               X             

Grey-headed Munia                     Lonchura caniceps                                                                            X

Chestnut-breasted Munia               Lonchura castaneothorax                                               X             

Number of species seen per site                                                                    110         45          50          123

Admiralty Flying Fox Pteropus admiralitatum                                       X

Lazy Snake                                                                                           X         

 

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