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ULTIMATE WEST PAPUA

Sunday 24th June - Friday 20th July 2012

Guy Dutson

Feline and Mountain Owlet-Nightjars (Guy Dutson)

Feline and Mountain Owlet-Nightjars (Guy Dutson)

To see Western Parotias, perhaps the best avian dancer in the world, and Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, perhaps the most gaudily beautiful bird in the world, our group of six were prepared to do what it took. We hiked up mountains and through swamps, endured many nights in very basic campsites, pushed through stinking heat and cold rain, and just kept at it. We were duly rewarded by the entrancing dance of the parotias and the unbelievable colours of displaying Wilson’s Birds of Paradise. New Guinea is replete with amazing birds, and the supporting cast included extravagant displaying Magnificent, King-of-Saxony, Lesser and Red Birds of Paradise, ‘singing’ Brown and Black Sicklebills, astoundingly bright Masked (Flame) Bowerbirds. We also indulged in an impressive variety of verdantly-coloured pigeons, parrots, kingfishers, and two species of super-cute owlet-nightjars, each worthy of favourite ranking. Less resplendent but the rarest sighting of the trip was the soon to-be-split Numfor Leaf Warbler which was seen for perhaps only the second time ever by anyone! Overall, a total of 328 bird species were recorded, of which 20 were only heard by the group and seven seen by just one participant, but despite these numbers, it was a tour of quality rather than quantity.

The group at Lake Habema (Guy Dutson)

The group at Lake Habema (Guy Dutson)