web analytics
Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours





This October Birding Ecotours tour leader and guide Andy Walker led a custom Pacific Tour around New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa. This custom tour followed our scheduled departure Pacific Tour itinerary, and the 2017 itinerary can be viewed here. The trip report is now online and can be found here. Below, Andy summarizes the trip and provides a few photos. Please visit our tour page for many more photos.

 

We had a great tour around several Pacific Islands this October. First stop was Grande Terre, the largest island in New Caledonia and home to plenty of endemics, several of which are totally astonishing, like Kagu, Cloven-feathered Dove, Horned Parakeet, and the tool-using New Caledonia Crow. These are some of the most interesting, beautiful, and bizarre birds on our planet, and we enjoyed taking pictures and observing them all at length.

birding ecotours kagu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kagu

Cloven-feathered Dove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloven-feathered Dove

We also enjoyed spending time with numerous other endemics, such as New Caledonian Whistler, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, Crow Honeyeater, White-bellied Goshawk, New Caledonian Myzomela, and Red-throated Parrotfinch.

Our second destination was Fiji. We spent time on three islands: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Kadavu. Here we experienced real Fijian culture and weather and an assortment of exciting birds. Endemic parrots were a big draw with Masked Shining Parrot, Maroon Shining Parrot, Crimson Shining Parrot, and Collared Lory all spectacular birds. However, the shining parrots were outshone by the totally outrageous fruit doves with the following all seen well: Golden Fruit Dove, Orange Fruit Dove, Whistling Fruit Dove, and Many-colored Fruit Dove.

Orange Fruit Dove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Fruit Dove

It wasn’t all about the doves and parrots, though, with loads of other endemics seen well: Azure-crested Flycatcher, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Fiji Whistler, Sulphur-breasted Myzomela, Black-throated Shrikebill, Fiji Goshawk, and of course one of the main Fijian targets – Silktail.

Our final stop was a brief one on Upolu, Samoa, where we found some very nice birds during our short stay. Flat-billed Kingfisher was a big target, and we got good views of several birds. Other highlights included the showy Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove, Cardinal Myzomela, Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Pacific Robin, Mao, Samoan Whistler, and Red-headed Parrotfinch. It was also hard not to enjoy the sight of Buff-banded Rails walking around gardens and roadside verges out in plain sight and totally abundant!

Also while on Upolu we saw the graceful White-tailed Tropicbird and White Terns displaying over forests we were birding in along with a constant stream of Brown Noddies passing overhead taking a shortcut across the island. All very spectacular!

Cardinal Myzomela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cardinal Myzomela

This Pacific Tour gives the perfect introduction into the region. Some great food, scenery, and people also accompany the wonderful birds and make for a great experience. A final word from Andy:

There is a lot of work to do on the taxonomy of many species in the region. Recent updates from BirdLife International hint at many proposed splits; however, we used the IOC taxonomy for our tour and so will have to wait whether any of these are accepted by the IOC.

We saw several subspecies across different islands in Fiji or the wider region, and many of these may be elevated to full-species status in the near future. Examples that spring to mind include the Fiji Whistler complex – we saw at least three very different subspecies on the Fijian islands we visited (these looked and sounded very different to each other – see the photos below of two of the three subspecies we encountered, one from Vanua Levu and one from Kadavu). Similarly, the Streaked Fantail on Grande Terre (New Caledonia) looked and sounded very different to those seen on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu (Fiji)… just some food for thought.

The trip list in the Trip Report is broken down to subspecies level so that we can keep track of any potential armchair ticks that may arise in the future!

Fiji Whistler – (aurantiiventris) from Vanua Levu, Fiji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiji Whistler – (aurantiiventris) from Vanua Levu, Fiji

Fiji Whistler – (kandavensis) from Kadavu Island, Fiji.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiji Whistler – (kandavensis) from Kadavu Island, Fiji.

 

 

 


Antarctica Birding Tours

Antarctica, the vast frozen wastes of a deep ice continent with forbidding temperatures and freezing winds! It is in the surrounding ice pack waters, welling up with life from the bottom of the ocean, where the profusion of Antarctic wildlife occurs. These rich, coastal, southern waters hold penguins and quantities of seabirds like skuas, albatrosses, shearwaters, cormorants, and petrels. Huge marine mammals like whales, dolphins and seals lurk here, searching for krill and fish – and sometimes the penguins that call this place home. Both savage and majestic, the continent of Antarctica has drawn many an intrepid explorer to this amazing wildlife spectacle of huge penguin colonies, cetacean highlights and rutting sea lions, surely not a place to be missed for any serious world birder or general traveler.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin ©Jan de Groot

Birding Cruise Antarctica: Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula 2017

Duration: 20 days
Limit (Group Size): The group sizes of cruises are a function of the capacity of the ship, so our usual small group size policy naturally can't apply here.
Date Start: November 29, 2017
Date End: December 18, 2017
Tour Start:: Ushuaia, Argentina
Tour End:: Ushuaia, Argentina
Price: Quadruple porthole – sharing US$12,150; Triple porthole – sharing US$13,250; Twin porthole or window – sharing US$14,450, single US$24,735; Twin deluxe – sharing US$16,200, single US$27,540; Double superior – sharing US$17,950, single US$30,515
Summary: This magnificent cruise starts in the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia. This Argentinean city is bounded by the famous Beagle Channel on one side and by the mountains of Tierra del Fuego (“Land of th...

See full tour detail
Gentoo Penguin by Steve and Louise Braine - birding cruise Antarctica

Birding Cruise Antarctica: Subantarctic Islands and the Ross Sea 2018

Duration: 30 days
Limit (Group Size): N/A
Date Start: January 10, 2018
Date End: February 08, 2018
Tour Start:: Invercargill, New Zealand
Tour End:: Invercargill, New Zealand
Price: Heritage Suite US$30,200 p/p, Mini Suite US$28,000 p/p, Superior Plus US$27,000 p/p, Superior US$24,000 p/p, Main Deck US$22,300 p/p. Additional Charges: Landing Fees US$880 pp
Summary: Being one of the most remote areas on our planet, with fascinating places regarding the human history of this continent, the Ross Sea region in Antarctica is a breathtaking destination. Impenetrable pack i...

See full tour detail

Featured Guide - To be assigned

...

See guide details

Download Tour Itineraries



Request More Info

Gallery for Country

What our clients say

We had an absolutely wonderful weekend at Ezemvelo. Great company, good weather and Dylan. What a good guide that young man is!!! He certainly knows his birds, and tries very hard to make everyone happy. He really goes out of his way. He’s such a gentleman, he’s going to go far. By the way four adults and one Blue Crane chick were seen on the weekend. Also a Black Stork, which Dylan was so pleased to see, and a couple of Honey Buzzards

Bev Carstens, Johannesburg, South Africa
01/21/2014



We can run any of our tours privately any time and we can also arrange custom itineraries - send us your wish-list and we'll put the itinerary together! Please click here.

Back to Top

Switch to our mobile site