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REMOTE PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Saturday 7th July - Friday 3rd August 2018

Mark Van Beirs

Superb Pitta (Josh Bergmark)

Superb Pitta (Josh Bergmark)

Our unique Remote Papua New Guinea itinerary offered once again a rich variety of terrific birding experiences in some of the least visited corners of this amazing country. This year, the logistics went unusually smooth, but copious amounts of rain sabotaged our birding endeavours on several occasions. Off the eastern tip of PNG, we travelled to the island of Fergusson in the D’Entrecasteaux Islands by live aboard boat getting excellent views of displaying Goldie’s Birds-of-paradise and of Curl-crested Manucode in the lowland rainforests. We also found the rarely seen Louisiade White-eye and an adorable chick Orange-footed Scrubfowl. We reached the forested highlands of the Huon Peninsula after an exciting charter flight and an awful drive and were rewarded by magnificent looks at gorgeous Wahnes’s Parotias, splendid Huon Astrapias, shy Emperor Birds-of-paradise and gaudy Pesquet’s Parrots. The much-wanted, but modestly-attired Mottled Berryhunter showed brilliantly in its montane forest habitat. The newly built Keki Lodge in the Adelbert Mountains offered truly cracking views of a smashing male Fire-maned Bowerbird, while Marbled Frogmouth and Obscure Berrypecker added to the fun. The central mountains of New Ireland produced goodies like New Ireland Boobook, the attractive Paradise Drongo and the undescribed Bismarck Flyrobin, while our boat trip on a very nice live aboard took us to the extraordinary seabird island of Tench where we admired wonderful Nicobar Pigeons, displaying Great Frigatebirds, Red-footed Boobies, endearing White Terns and the rare Atoll Starling. For the first time ever, we managed to visit the far-flung island of Mussau where we added the cute Mussau Fantail and the fine-looking Mussau Monarch to the ever-growing Birdquest lifelist! The final leg of our month-long voyage took us to the island of Manus where the truly magnificent Superb Pitta gave tremendous looks, resulting in it being voted Bird of the Trip. The excellent views of Manus Boobook and of the cute Manus Fantail on its distant islet were also much appreciated.

Wahnes's Parotia (tour participant Ilka Rauch)

Wahnes's Parotia (tour participant Ilka Rauch)