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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.

 

 

 


Australia Birding Tours

Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations, and pristine rainforests. Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and has the lowest population density per square kilometer. Australia has 16 world heritage-listed properties, with its historic townships, bustling cities, vivid landscapes, and exotic flora and fauna all adding to its unique appeal. Much of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and the lifestyle is one second to none.

Black Swan - Andy Walker

Birding Tour Australia: Tasmania and the Orange-bellied Parrot Pre-tour 2017

Duration: 6 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 7
Spaces Available:: 0
Date Start: October 25, 2017
Date End: October 30, 2017
Tour Start:: Hobart
Tour End:: Hobart
Price: AU$2752 per person sharing (6-7 people); AU$2995 per person sharing (4-5 people); AU$3458 per person sharing (3 people)
Summary: This tour is now closed for booking. Please consider our 2018 tour. Adjoined to the mainland until the end of the last glacial period about ten thousand years ago, Tasmania is both geographically and genet...

See full tour detail
Australian King Parrot

Birding Tour Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics 2017

Duration: 17 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 7
Spaces Available:: 0
Date Start: October 31, 2017
Date End: November 16, 2017
Tour Start:: Melbourne
Tour End:: Cairns
Price: AU$8,321 per person sharing (6-7 people); AU$10,082 per person sharing (4-5 people). AU$11,309 (3 people)
Summary: This tour is now closed for booking. Please consider our 2018 tour. Australia, the island continent, is a remote landmass that drifted away from Antarctica tens of millions of years ago. Without significan...

See full tour detail
Blue-faced Honeyeater by Andy Walker

Birding Tour Australia: Top End Birding Specialties 2017

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 7
Spaces Available:: 0
Date Start: November 16, 2017
Date End: November 24, 2017
Tour Start:: Darwin
Tour End:: Darwin
Price: AU$ 5,124 per person sharing (6 – 7 participants), AU$ 6,204 per person sharing (4 – 5 participants), AU$ 10,126 per person sharing (2 – 3 participants)
Summary: This tour is now closed for booking. Please consider our 2018 tour. The ‘Top End Birding Specialties’ Tour provides fantastic chances of viewing many of Australia’s Top End specialty bird species dur...

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Scarlet Robin by Andy Walker - Australia birding tour

Birding tour Australia: the Southwest 2017

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 7
Spaces Available:: 4
Date Start: November 29, 2017
Date End: December 07, 2017
Tour Start:: Perth
Tour End:: Perth
Price: AU$1,917 per person sharing (6 – 7 participants), AU$2,876 per person sharing (4 – 5 participants), AU$3,835 per person sharing (3 participants)
Summary: Due to geographic isolation and diverse habitats, the south of Western Australia boasts several endemic species and subspecies. This nine-day Birding Tour Australia: the Southwest Extension will focus on f...

See full tour detail
Black Swan - Andy Walker

Birding Tour Australia: Tasmania and the Orange-bellied Parrot Pre-tour 2018

Duration: 6 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: October 22, 2018
Date End: October 27, 2018
Tour Start:: Hobart
Tour End:: Hobart
Price: AU$2,752 per person sharing (7-8 participants), AU$2,995 per person sharing (5-6 participants), AU$3,458 per person sharing (3-4 participants)
Summary: Adjoined to the mainland until the end of the last glacial period about ten thousand years ago, Tasmania is both geographically and genetically isolated from Australia. Through the millennia this island ha...

See full tour detail
Australian King Parrot

Birding Tour Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics 2018

Duration: 17 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: October 28, 2018
Date End: November 12, 2018
Tour Start:: Melbourne
Tour End:: Cairns
Price: AU$9,154 per person sharing (7-8 participants), AU$11,090 per person sharing (5-6 participants), AU$12,440 (3-4 participants)
Summary: Australia, the island continent, is a remote landmass that drifted away from Antarctica tens of millions of years ago. Without significant volcanic activity and other mountain-building forces, it is also t...

See full tour detail
Blue-faced Honeyeater by Andy Walker

Birding Tour Australia: Top End Birding Specialties 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: November 13, 2018
Date End: November 21, 2018
Tour Start:: Darwin
Tour End:: Darwin
Price: AU$ 7,137 per person sharing (7-8 participants), AU$ 8,470 per person sharing (5-6 participants), AU$ 12,155 per person sharing (3-4 participants)
Summary: The ‘Top End Birding Specialties’ Tour provides fantastic chances of viewing many of Australia’s Top End specialty bird species during November, including Rainbow Pitta, Black-banded Fruit Dove (ende...

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Scarlet Robin by Andy Walker - Australia birding tour

Birding tour Australia: the Southwest 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Date Start: November 22, 2018
Date End: November 30, 2018
Tour Start:: Perth
Tour End:: Perth
Price: AU$ 2,110 per person sharing (7-8 participants), AU$ 3,164 per person sharing (5-6 participants), AU$ 4,218 per person sharing (3-4 participants)
Summary: Due to geographic isolation and diverse habitats, the south of Western Australia boasts several endemic species and subspecies. This nine-day Birding Tour Australia: the Southwest Extension will focus on f...

See full tour detail

Featured Guide - Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker is Birding Ecotours’ UK representative, and he also guides some of our birding tours in many parts of the world. He lives in York, North Yorkshire, England, where he is the York Ornith ...

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What our clients say

Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!  

Janice, Kent, UK



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.

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