Last Feb, two members of Birding Aus that I met on the
Esplanade in Cairns asked me if I would put this tour report to the group.
We are presuming that most of you will be interested.
PNG MARCH-APRIL 1997 -TRIP REORT SUMMARY
March 19, 1997.
Landed pm at Port Moresby amid a touch of civil unrest, which spelt no
danger to us, more inconvenience because fuel stations had closed early.
Hired a taxi for K40 (K1.00=nearly $A1.00) for 40k drive to Kokoda Trail
Hotel at 500m a.s.l.
Birds seen were (easily seen Australian species omitted) -
Uniform Swiftlet, Glossy Swiftlet, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded
Grey-headed and Grand Mannikins, Pacific Swallow, Singing Starling,
March 20-21 - Varirata National Park (2x half-days) - 7-800m.
Dwarf Cassowary (twice), Black-billed Pigeon, Black-capped Lory,
Red-cheeked Parrot, Large-tailed Nightjar, Moustached Tree-swift, Rusty
Mouse Warbler, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Mountain Red-headed Myzomela, Mimic
Meliphaga, Hooded Pitohui; Black-winged, Frilled and Spot-winged Monarchs;
Chestnut-bellied Fantail, Eastern Riflebird, Raggiana BoP, Grey Crow, Black
- Pacific Adventist College - 100m.
White-shouldered Fairy Wren, Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Black-backed
Butcherbird, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Pied Chat.
- Rouna Power Station - 300m.
Flight Port Moresby-Wau at midday on the 21st.
March 21-22 - Wau Ecology - 1100m. New birds were -
Dusky Lory, White-eared Cuckoo, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Papuan Boobook,
Mountain Swiftlet, Scrub Meliphaga, Tawny-breasted and Marbled
Honeyeaters, Black-headed Whistler, Great Woodswallow, Hooded Mannikin,
March 22-23-24 - Kolorong Pass Field Station - 2200m.
Wattled Brush-turkey, Little Eagle, White-breasted Fruit Dove, Papuan
Mountain Pigeon; Goldie's, Little Red, Papuan, Yellow-billed, and
Orange-billed Lorikeets; Madarasz's and Brehm's Tiger Parrots, Papuan
King Parrot, Rufous-throated Cuckoo, Mountain Mouse Warbler, Buff-faced
Scrub-wren, Grey(Mid-mountain) Warbler, Brown-breasted Warbler,
Rufous-backed Honeyeater, Belford's Melidectes, Common Smoky Honeyeater,
Canary Flycatcher; Garnet, Black-throated and Blue-grey Robins,
Blue-capped Ifrita; Dwarf, Mottled, Sclater's, Regent, and Brown-backed
Whistlers; Wattled Ploughbill, Black-breasted Boatbill, Black Monarch,
Dimorphic, Black, and Friendly Fantails, Black-bellied Cuckoo-shrike,
Mountain Peltops, Lesser Melampitta, Brown Sicklebill, Stephanie's
Astrapia, Superb and Loria's BoPs, Lawe's Parotia, Blue BoP, Macgregor's
Bowerbird, Grey Wagtail, Papuan Parrot Finch, Papuan Flowerpecker, Tit
Berrypecker, Mountain Leaf Warbler, New Guinea White-eye.
March 26, 27, 28 - Tekadu - 200+m. Walk to Ivimka Lodge.
Southern Cassowary, Great-billed Heron, Great Cuckoo-dove, Stephan's Dove;
Pink-spotted, Ornate, and Dwarf Fruit Doves; Pinon and Zoe Fruit Pigeons,
Greater Streaked Lory, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Eclectus and Vulturine
Parrots, Blyth's Hornbill, Long-billed Honeyeater, Puff-backed Meliphaga,
Rufous Babbler, Blue Jewel-babbler, Variable and Rusty Pitohuis, Hooded
Monarch, Sooty Thicket Fantail, Mountain Drongo, Black and Golden
Cuckoo-shrikes, Trumpet Manucode, King Bird of Paradise. Our guide saw a
Thick-billed Pigeon but no-one else did. This often happens in PNG - the
first , sometimes the second, on a forest trail is often the only one to
see the bird.
Flight Wau-Lae midday 28th.
Hired x2cab 4wd ute for 7 days. Drove to Madang & back, and along the
Highlands Highway to Mendi. This was only practicable because we were an
all-male group. Groups with women should not drive the Highlands Highway,
although we struck only very helpful and friendly people. From Nadzab
airport to Madang should be quite safe, and Madang itself is probably safer
than Cairns. You can walk the streets of Madang quite safely at night. Much
of the Highlands is a different story.
March 28,29 - Markham Valley & Lae area - t0 200m.
Black-winged Kite, Papuan Harrier, White-throated(Metallic) Pigeon,
Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Brown Oriole, Crinkle-collared Manucode, Emperor
Bird of Paradise, Golden Myna.
March 29,30,31 - Road to Madang, and around Madang - 0-700m.
Spotted Whistling Duck, Eurasian Little Grebe, Gurney's Eagle, Oriental
Hobby, (Victoria Crowned Pigeon, heard only), Beautiful Fruit Dove, Palm
Cockatoo, Brown Lory, Lesser Black Coucal, Beach Kingfisher, Common
Kingfisher, Ornate Melidectes, Rufous Monarch, White-bellied Thicket
Fantail, Black-browed Triller, Lowland Peltops, Lesser BoP, Black
April 1 - Aiyura to Mount Hagen - 16-2600m.
Variable Goshawk, Sooty Melidectes, Long-tailed Shrike.
April 2,3 - Mendi - 1600m and Mt Giluwe to 2900m.
Salvadori's Teal, Black-mantled Goshawk, Grey-headed Goshawk, White-bibbed
Ground Dove, Pygmy Parrot, Papuan Treecreeper, Large Scrubwren, Papuan
Scrubwren, New Guinea Thornbill, Red-collared Myzomela, Plain Honeyeater,
Yellow-browed Melidectes, Black Sitella, Black Pitohui, Ribbon-tailed
Astrapia, Fan-tailed Berrypecker, Western Mountain White-eye, Island
April 4,5,6,7 - Tabubil - 7-800m.
Little Ringed Plover, Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Orange-breasted Fig
Parrot, Three-toed Swift, Red Myzomela, Chestnut-backed Jewel-babbler,
Golden-backed Whistler; Stout-billed, Boyer's, and Grey-headed
Cuckoo-shrikes; Magnificent Riflebird, Carola's Parotia, Greater BoP,
April 7,8,9,10 - Kiunga - 200m
Long-tailed Buzzard (at last!), Bare-eyed Rail, Flightless Rail, Southern
Crowned Pigeon, Collared Fruit Pigeon, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Large
Fig Parrot, White-crowned Koel, Papuan Spine-tailed Swift, (Blue-black
Kingfisher? heard ), Meyer's Friarbird, Golden Monarch, Slaty-chinned
Longbill, Yellow-eyed Starling.
April 11 Hiritano Highway, west of Port Moresby - 30m.
The only addition to the trip list of species not easily found in
Australia, or endemic to the arc of Moluccas-New Guinea-Solomons, was
Silver-eared Honeyeater, but we missed out very good spots such as the
Vanapa Lagoon and the Veimauri logging trail.
For reasons of cost, we were forced to miss out Ambua Lodge, but missed
very few species by going to much cheaper places. Kiburu Lodge is half the
cost. We saw 276 species altogether. A further 38 species were identified
by sound but wouldn't show themselves. This is not unusual on a trip to PNG
which nearly everyone describes as the hardest birding in the world.
But it certainly is rewarding.
Andrew P.Anderson's Box 7999 Cairns 4870,Australia
AUSTRALASIAN BIRDING SERVICES
Australia-New Zealand-New Guinea-S.W.Pacific fax/ph 61/70 323387
Showing the Birds of Australasia to the People of the World