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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.

 

 

 


Bhutan Birding Tours

Bhutan, known as the land of the Thunder Dragon, is a quaint, quiet, and scenically spectacular country with a strong conservation ethic rooted in ancient Buddhist traditions. Vast areas of unspoiled forest still cover the Himalayan foothills, that spread over much of the country. We expect to find most of Bhutan’s fabled Eastern Himalayan species such as Beautiful Nuthatch (and other nuthatches), Ward’s Trogon, the unbelievable Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Ibisbill, and of course Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, and other vivid pheasants. Other highlights include Wallcreeper, spectacular sunbirds, five species of parrotbills, up to ten species of laughingthrushes, striking and gorgeous forktails along the fast-flowing rivers, in addition to a plethora of other tantalizing jewels.

Blue-throated Barbet

Birding Tour Bhutan: The Himalayas and Black-necked Crane 2017

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: November 01, 2017
Date End: November 12, 2017
Tour Start:: Paro, Bhutan
Tour End:: Paro, Bhutan
Price: US$5100 per person sharing
Summary: Welcome to our Birding Tour Bhutan. Known as the land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a quaint, quiet, and scenically spectacular country with a strong conservation ethic rooted in ancient Buddhist tradit...

See full tour detail
Lesser Adjutant

Birding Tour India: Bhutan Extension - Assam November 2017

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: November 12, 2017
Date End: November 19, 2017
Tour Start:: Guwahati, India
Tour End:: Guwahati, India
Price: $2628 per person sharing
Summary: This extension to our 12-day Bhutan tour will lead to the Indian province of Assam, home to two magnificent national parks for us to visit: Kaziranga NP and Nameri NP. Either of these parks may allow us a ...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Bhutan - Ward's Trogon

Birding Tour Bhutan: Spring in the Eastern Himalayas 2018

Duration: 20 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: March 25, 2018
Date End: April 13, 2018
Tour Start:: Paro, Bhutan
Tour End:: Guwahati, India
Price: US$8100 per person sharing (These are 2017 prices; 2018 prices are expected to be 5 - 10% higher.)
Summary: Bhutan, known as the land of the Thunder Dragon, is a quaint, quiet, and scenically spectacular country with a strong conservation ethic rooted in ancient Buddhist traditions. Vast areas of unspoiled fores...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour India - Lesser Adjutant

Birding Tour India: Bhutan Extension - Assam April 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: April 13, 2018
Date End: April 20, 2018
Tour Start:: Guwahati, India
Tour End:: Guwahati, India
Price: US$2970 per person sharing
Summary: This extension to our 20-day Bhutan tour will lead to the Indian province of Assam, home to two magnificent national parks for us to visit: Kaziranga NP and Nameri NP. Either of these parks may allow ̵...

See full tour detail
Blue-throated Barbet

Birding Tour Bhutan: The Himalayas and Black-necked Crane 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: November 01, 2018
Date End: November 12, 2018
Tour Start:: Paro, Bhutan
Tour End:: Paro, Bhutan
Price: US$5100 per person sharing (These are 2017 prices; 2018 prices are expected to be 5 – 10% higher.)
Summary: Welcome to our Birding Tour Bhutan. Known as the land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a quaint, quiet, and scenically spectacular country with a strong conservation ethic rooted in ancient Buddhist tradit...

See full tour detail
Lesser Adjutant

Birding Tour India: Bhutan Extension - Assam November 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: November 12, 2018
Date End: November 19, 2018
Tour Start:: Guwahati, India
Tour End:: Guwahati, India
Price: $2970 per person sharing
Summary: This extension to our 12-day Bhutan tour will lead to the Indian province of Assam, home to two magnificent national parks for us to visit: Kaziranga NP and Nameri NP. Either of these parks may allow us a ...

See full tour detail

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What our clients say

Diane and I participated in an amazing 12 day Western Cape Bird watching tour through Birding Ecotours in the fall of 2011 with Mark Harrington as our driver/guide. Mark was a very pleasant, good humoured, knowledgeable guide whose knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Western Cape area was outstanding. He was able to identify all of the birds we saw very quickly and took the time to make sure that all of our group was able to clearly see and identify each new bird or animal. As well his knowledge of the cultural history of South Africa made the trip an excellent learning experience for both of us. He was able to smooth over any rough patches in the tour and made all of us feel special. We hope that in the future that he can be our guide again.

Otto Peter, Canada



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