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ULTIMATE PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Sunday 9th July - Monday 31st July 2017

CHRIS KEHOE

Raggiana Bird of Paradise (tour participant Martin Partridge).

Raggiana Bird of Paradise (tour participant Martin Partridge).

For birders, the Island of New Guinea is virtually synonymous with Birds-of-paradise and our recent tour to Papua New Guinea provided us with views of 20 species of these remarkable birds. This included fabulous displaying Raggiana and Greater Birds-of-paradise, the exquisite King Bird-of-paradise, exceptional views of several Queen Carola’s Parotias, Blue Bird-of-paradise at two sites, Brown and Black Sicklebills, displaying Twelve-wired Birds-of-paradise and fantastical King of Saxony Birds-of-paradise, the latter taking the honour of Bird of the Trip. There were very many other highlights of course, not least the stunning Southern Crowned Pigeons, nine species of Fruit Doves, Chestnut-backed Jewel Babblers, an obliging Papuan Logrunner and Papuan Pitta and unusually close views of the gargantuan Pesquet’s Parrot and miniscule Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot. After recent taxonomic adjustments New Guinea is now home to seven endemic bird families and we succeeded in seeing members of each including the sensational Wattled Ploughbill and sublime Blue-capped Ifrit. Only in a place like PNG can species such as Flame Bowerbird, Palm Cockatoo, Nicobar Pigeon, Forbes’s Forest Rail and Golden Myna be regarded as the supporting cast.

Southern Crested Pigeon (tour participant Martin Partridge).

Southern Crested Pigeon (tour participant Martin Partridge).