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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.

 

 

 


Malawi Birding Tours

Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2(45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 16,777,547 (July 2013 est.). Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”.

Birding Tour Zambia: Chaplin's Barbet - Niall Perrins

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi (South-central Africa) 2017

Duration: 27 days
Limit (Group Size): 5 - 6
Date Start: August 14, 2017
Date End: September 09, 2017
Tour Start:: Livingstone, Zambia
Tour End:: Lilongwe, Malawi
Price: US$10,880 per person sharing for 6 participants, US$11,715 per person sharing for 5 participants
Summary: It is surprising that Zambia and Malawi are not bombarded by birders! Probably they are just not particularly well-marketed, charismatic, and popular countries for birding tours. But this is certainly not ...

See full tour detail
Red-faced Crimsonwing - John Caddick

Birding Tour Malawi: 15-day Birding Adventure 2017

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 6 - 7
Date Start: December 01, 2017
Date End: December 15, 2017
Tour Start:: Lilongwe
Tour End:: Lilongwe
Price: US$6000 per person sharing, assuming 6-7 people
Summary: Malawi, a country in southeast Africa rarely visited by tourists, is an amazing destination for birders. Its numerous national parks are brimming with avian riches, and beautiful Lake Malawi adds a differe...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Zambia: Chaplin's Barbet - Niall Perrins

Birding Tour Zambia and Malawi (South-central Africa) 2018

Duration: 27 days
Limit (Group Size): 5 - 6
Date Start: August 14, 2018
Date End: September 09, 2018
Tour Start:: Livingstone, Zambia
Tour End:: Lilongwe, Malawi
Price: US$11,859 per person sharing for 6 participants, US$12,769 per person sharing for 5 participants
Summary: It is surprising that Zambia and Malawi are not bombarded by birders! Probably they are just not particularly well-marketed, charismatic, and popular countries for birding tours. But this is certainly not ...

See full tour detail
Red-faced Crimsonwing - John Caddick

Birding Tour Malawi: 15-day Birding Adventure 2018

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 6 - 7
Date Start: December 01, 2018
Date End: December 15, 2018
Tour Start:: Lilongwe
Tour End:: Lilongwe
Price: US$6540 per person assuming 6 - 7 people
Summary: Malawi, a country in southeast Africa rarely visited by tourists, is an amazing destination for birders. Its numerous national parks are brimming with avian riches, and beautiful Lake Malawi adds a differe...

See full tour detail

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What our clients say

Chris, Our trip was wonderful! Dylan was great. Top notch birder and guide. Patient, kind, thoughtful, understanding. Best birding ears ever! He found us so many great birds! My count is 430, more than I had expected for the entire trip! Great views as well. He worked hard to get the birds and get us in position for photos. My best decision was hiring Birding Ecotours. Cheers, more later. Off to Vic Falls now… Bob

Bob and Terrie Davis, Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
01/29/2015



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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