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.

 

 

 


USA Birding Tours

From the eastern shoreline west across the rolling Appalachian mountains, across the wide open plains of the mid-west into the towering Rockies and across the arid desert-like western slope — the continent of North American offers a very wide range of habitats to explore. The Appalachians offer the widest array of North American wood warblers, and our Tennessee tour offers the chance to see over 30 of them in breeding splendor, both on territory and in migration. The foothills of the eastern Rockies and the plains leading up to them offer the chance to see one the world’s great birding spectacles: the lekking dances of grouse and prairie chickens trying to win mates. North along Hudson Bay, there is the chance to see open tundra prairie shorebirds in breeding plumage, like Hudsonian Godwit and American Golden Plover, as well as grouse like White-tailed Ptarmigan and Spruce Grouse. Sparrows and warblers are also in abundance in the forested regions up there. This continent has a lot of spectacular owls, and we offer several “Owls of the World” (R) trips here. North America is one of the most scenically spectacular continents, and it is also teaming with wildlife in addition to birds: moose, elk, bears, mountain goats, and so much more. Join us in exploring this rich wilderness.

Please also visit Bird Treks, A Quality Birdwatching Tour Company.

Birding Tour USA - Boreal Owl - Jari Peltomäki

Birding Tour USA: Owls and Other Winter Birds of Minnesota 2018

Duration: 6 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: January 11, 2018
Date End: January 16, 2018
Tour Start:: Duluth
Tour End:: Duluth
Price: $1986 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants
Summary: One of the best places for owls in the US winter is in Duluth, Minnesota. This is our destination for this Birding Tour USA adventure. Up here there is a chance for irruptive Owls like Snowy and Boreal plu...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour USA - Great Kiskadee

Birding Tour USA: A Texas Spring and Whooping Cranes 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: March 26, 2018
Date End: April 06, 2018
Tour Start:: Corpus Christi
Tour End:: Corpus Christi
Price: US$3991 per person sharing
Summary: Here’s our next exciting tour in the Birding Tour USA collection. Due to its proximity to the humid tropics of Mexico, the subtropical woodlands of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas boast over two dozen...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour USA - Sage Grouse

Birding Tour USA: Colorado - Lekking Grouse and Rocky Mountains 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: April 06, 2018
Date End: April 17, 2018
Tour Start:: Denver
Tour End:: Denver
Price: $3737 per person sharing
Summary: Colorado offers one of the most spectacular North American birding spectacles with the spring lekking season of several grouse species, which we’ll see on this Birding Tour USA adventure. Churring, g...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour USA - Roseate Spoonbill

Birding Tour USA: Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys 2018

Duration: 10 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Spaces Available:: 5
Date Start: April 24, 2018
Date End: May 03, 2018
Tour Start:: Miami
Tour End:: Miami
Price: US$3320 per perdon sharing assuming 5 – 8 participants; US$3849 per person sharing assuming 3 – 4 participants
Summary: Welcome to the next tour in our Birding Tour USA collection. On a map, the finger-like state of Florida protrudes prominently from the continental United States, reaching south towards the Caribbean until ...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour USA - Black-throated Blue Warbler

Birding Tour USA: Tennessee - Spring Migration 2018

Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: May 07, 2018
Date End: May 17, 2018
Tour Start:: Knoxville
Tour End:: Knoxville
Price: US$2901 per person sharing, assuming 4-6 people on the tour.
Summary: Welcome to our next ‘Birding Tour USA’ adventure. The Appalachian range of mountains running through east Tennessee is along the major eastern flyway and is a great spot to do some spring migra...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour USA - Elf Owl

Birding Tour USA: Arizona - Desert and the Grand Canyon 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 5 - 8
Date Start: May 21, 2018
Date End: June 01, 2018
Tour Start:: Phoenix
Tour End:: Phoenix
Price: US$3522 per person sharing
Summary: Welcome to our next ‘Birding Tour USA’ adventure. Southeast Arizona is a land of stark contrast and spectacular scenery. In the lowlands, granite outcroppings, towering saguaro cactus, and sand...

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

Dear Chris, Thank you for your interest in the outcome of our tour. It is not possible to answer you in one note, so I will try to do so in a few ‘to the point’ remarks. Yes, the trip met all our expectations, and more! We saw and experienced the Cerrado, the Amazon forest, even better than previously at Tambopata, and the Pantanal with its amazing variety and volume of wildlife. For me the sight of a Hyacinth Macaw, which drew me to the Pantanal, already made it worthwhile. Then, of course, come the excellent sightings of the Jaguars and the Otters and then all the birds for which Eduardo made special efforts to find for his goals. In the Cerrado we stayed in an excellent farm-lodge where we were lucky to experience the sighting of the Maned Wolf and the Burrowing Owl (which was on Elzine’s bucket list), apart from a number of colourful specials like the Motmot and Jacamar. In the Amazon we were also very lucky to find another of Elzine’s target species, the Anaconda, and also another member of South America’s big five, the Tapir. We had an excellent session of forest birding on one of the towers where we could really appreciate the advantages of our private tour which, we think, was good value for the additional cost. Together with the Cristalino guide we had the tower for ourselves, and with an excellent guide like Eduardo also with us, we experienced a feast of good sightings. On EDUARDO:  It was a pleasure to travel with him again and having him as a guide who showed his expertise even in the presence of other local guides. It is good to hear that he also enjoyed our company. In summary, we came back as very satisfied customers of Birding Ecotours  and wish to thank you and Lynn for the opportunity to experience the Heart of Brazil. Regards Jacques and Elzine Smuts

Jacques and Elzine Smuts , Pretoria, South Africa
10/07/2015



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.

Back to Top

Switch to our mobile site