South Pacific Birding Tours
Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
The Western Pacific Ocean is dotted with numerous archipelagos including those of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. It may be surprising for some that rugged volcanic islands dominate these countries. Mossy mountain forests dominate the higher altitudes with humid tropical forest in the lowlands. Of course these scenic surroundings wouldn’t be complete without palm-fringed sandy beaches and superb coral reefs offshore.
SOLOMON HAWK OWL
During a long period of isolation these archipelagoes have evolved a highly endemic avifauna of many colourful and interesting birds including an endemic family, represented by the Kagu.
We will be delighted by the diversity of species, ranging from the soaring Solomon Sea-Eagle to the two Pygmy-Parrots. Coastal waters support a good variety of seabirds including the rare Heinroth’s Shearwater.
The diverse range of lifestyles, from the modern infrastructure of New Caledonia to the remote villages in the Solomon Islands, where undescribed birds are still being found, make this a fascinating area to visit.
If we ever tire of looking up at the birds we can always swap our binoculars for goggles and observe the equally delightful fish in the warm waters surrounding the islands. In our world travels we have snorkeled and dived in many different locations, the Solomon Islands offered us the best snorkeling we have ever experienced.
RAVO RIVER CROSSING, SOLOMON ISLANDS
150 species, 26 endemic.
The friendly islands of Fiji offer a wonderful array of endemic birds and our tour offers a good chance to see many of them. Three very different islands are visited, each with it's own endemics. Be prepred to see the glow of the Orange Dove and the iridescent shine of the Silktail.The short pelagic trips offer a wealth of seabirds and hopefully sea mammals to make these trips even more special.
MANY-COLOURED FRUIT-DOVE 122 species, 20 endemic.
In addition to the excellent food we will encounter on these “French-speaking” tropical islands we will witness an abundance of exquisite bird life. A few of the endemic species we hope to see are the extremely attractive Cloven-feathered Dove, the rainforest dwelling New Caledonia Goshawk, the lowland to highland ranging New Caledonia Cuckoo-Shrike, the very long-tailed Horned Parakeet and that inhabitant of grassy clearings, the Red-throated Parrotfinch.
245 species of birds, 68 endemic.
I must say my most exciting birding was done here and the one bird that sticks out in my mind is the Fearful Owl on Isabel Island. Imagine stumbling up a jungle path, sweating in the tropical humidity, thinking you would rather be lying on a beach when your guide taps you on the shoulder and say's "look" and an owl that very few birders have ever seen fills your binoculars. What a thrill!
Other endemic species we may encounter here are Blyth’s Hornbill, Silver-capped Fruit Dove, Roviana Rail, Rennell Shrikebill and Mottled Flowerpecker.
HIKING, MT AUSTIN
75 species, 12 endemic.
On these island’s, located west of Fiji, we were welcomed by the extremely friendly Ni-Vanuatu people.
GIANT TREE BUTTRESS
Some of the endemic birds we expect to find here are the forest-dwelling Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher, the grass-green Tanna Fruit-Dove amongst the fruit bearing trees, the forest-dwelling New Hebrides Honeyeater with it’s rich and varied song and the strangely behaved Vanuatu Scrubfowl.
We have created excellent itineraries that will provide us the opportunity to see as many of the endemic species as possible in the amount of time we have allowed. For a detailed itinerary, bird list and more information please contact us. Email: email@example.com