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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.

 

 

 


Tanzania Birding Tours

Tanzania is arguably one of the best countries to visit for its avifauna. By birding Tanzania, you’ll add a host of East African endemics, and also most of the 20 country endemics. You can also see your first Miombo (south-central African) endemic birds in Tanzania. And you’ll see a great many of Africa’s big (and small) animals, along with some of the continent’s most famous sites. These include the Great Rift Valley and its flamingo-filled lakes, the Serengeti with its relatively easy to see big cats and its wildebeest migration, Ngorongoro Crater, and, last but not least, Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s most massive isolated mountains. Africa’s highest mountain rises straight out of the wildlife-riddled plains below to a dizzying 19,341 feet above sea level.

Grey Woodpecker - Niall Perrins

Birding Tour Tanzania: 8-day Introduction to Africa 2017

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 9
Date Start: November 10, 2017
Date End: November 17, 2017
Tour Start:: Kilimanjaro International Airport near Arusha
Tour End:: Kilimanjaro International Airport near Arusha
Price: From US$3147 per person sharing, depending on group size and other factors
Summary: This tour is designed to give you the opportunity to experience the real Africa, given only about a week. Where else can you see leopard, cheetah, lion, and a hundred spectacular birds in a single day? Whe...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Tanzania - Yellow-throated Longclaw - Andre Stapelberg

Birding Tour Tanzania: 19-day Birding Safari 2018

Duration: 19 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 6
Date Start: April 11, 2018
Date End: April 29, 2018
Tour Start:: Kilimanjaro International Airport near Arusha
Tour End:: Dar es Salaam
Price: US$9,475 per person sharing (6 clients), US$9,690 (5 clients), US$10,781 (4 clients), US$11,088 (3 clients).
Summary: Tanzania surely comes closer to what people expect of Africa than any other country: the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Africa’s highest mountain (Kilimanjaro) epi...

See full tour detail
Grey Woodpecker - Niall Perrins

Birding Tour Tanzania: 8-day Introduction to Africa 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 9
Date Start: November 10, 2018
Date End: November 17, 2018
Tour Start:: Kilimanjaro International Airport near Arusha
Tour End:: Kilimanjaro International Airport near Arusha
Price: From US$3493 per person sharing, depending on group size and other factors
Summary: This tour is designed to give you the opportunity to experience the real Africa, given only about a week. Where else can you see leopard, cheetah, lion, and a hundred spectacular birds in a single day? Whe...

See full tour detail

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What our clients say

Just wanted to tell you what a fantastic time I had on my custom Sri Lanka birding tour. Everything went flawlessly thanks to Andy’s preparation, and his knowledge and passion for the birds was infectious and made it great fun. Our local guide, Lester, was as passionate, and was expert in locating the birds and sharing his knowledge of the country. The food and lodging were great, and we became good friends as well as birding buddies, and I would recommend Sri Lanka as a, safe, friendly place to bird.  Andy’s trip report is on the website. Birding Ecotours ran a wonderful tour, and I will use their services again for our next trip. Bill Fiero

Bill Fiero, New York
01/24/2017



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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