just returned from a three week birding tour in Papua New Guinea. It was a
very smooth trip and very enjoyable.
Highlights at Varirata National Park: Barred Owlet Nightjar, Cinnamon Ground
Dove, Brown-headed and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Barking Owl,
Crested Pitohui, Buff-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Painted Quail-thrush, Northern
Scrub Robin plus much more.
Highlights at Kiunga: Southern Crowned Pigeon, Great-billed Heron (roaring
like lions), Ornate and Dwarf Fruit-dove, Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon,
Vulturine Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Long-billed
Cuckoo, Little Paradise Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Hooded Pitta,
Blue Jewel Babbler, Golden Cuckoo-shrike, Golden Monarch, Golden Myna and
Flame Bowerbird. Stunning King Bird of Paradise and Twelve-wired Bird of
Paradise displays, Palm Cockatoo, plus excellent views of the scarce
White-bellied Pitohui and Hooded Monarch.
Highlights at Tari: Black-mantled Goshawk, Forbes Forest Rail, Rufescent
Imperial Pigeon, Painted and Modest Tiger Parrot, Sooty Owl, Feline Owlet
Nightjar (heard only), Spotted Jewel Babbler, New Guinea Logrunner,
Black-cheeked Robin, Lesser Ground Robin, Lesser Melampitta, Archbold's
Bowerbird, 11 species of bird of paradise including mega close males of
Black Sicklebill and Blue Bird of Paradise.
The biggest surprise and still requiring confirmation was an unusual
passerine that taped in to a Chestnut Forest Rail recording on the Benson
Trail that came in very close and was seen by eye only but clearly fitted
the description of Papuan Whipbird (green upperparts, black underparts,
white malar stripe). More research required.
Highlights at Madang: Grand Mannikin, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Edward's Fig
Parrot, Brown-collared Brush Turkey, Ochre-collared Monarch and another
Hooded Monarch, Grey-headed Goshawk, Blue-breasted Pitta, Beach Kingfisher,
Coroneted Fruit-dove. The road to Keke Lodge (Fire-maned Bowerbird site) is
washed out so we birded Wasab area and neighbouring Udisis village.
Good mammals included Lorentz's Phascogale and Narrow-striped Dasyure both
hunting in the day at Tari and good reptiles included Papuan Taipan at
Varirata, White-lipped Python near Madang and New Guinea Crocodile, Mangrove
Monitor and a green forest dragon species near Kiunga.
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