Papua New Guinea Highlights Oct 31—Nov 12, 2011

Posted by David Bishop

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David Bishop

David Bishop loves his vocation and cannot imagine anything better than exploring wild and beautiful places in Asia and the Pacific in the company of friends and clients. H...

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Our inaugural Papua New Guinea Highlights tour was immensely successful.  While it is unfair to compare this tour to our comprehensive Papua New Guinea tour, our fabulous group of sharp-eyed, charming, and entertaining participants shared a great deal of fun, in addition to some truly spectacular birds and some fine cultural experiences. Despite Papua New Guinea's sometimes insalubrious reputation, its people are undoubtedly among the friendliest and most fascinating on our planet.

King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise

King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise— Photo: David Bishop

Just a handful of this tour's highlights for me included:

* A fabulous morning in Kiunga's lowland forest with as many as five male Flame Bowerbirds showing magnificently, giving everyone prolonged scope views of this exquisite bird.

* Returning down the mighty Fly River as the sun set; I have never seen skies so immense, gilded in the most fabulous colors from horizon to horizon—a fitting tribute to a fine day of birding "up the mighty Fly," and many would agree one of the finest sunsets they have witnessed.

* A pair of Chestnut Forest-Rails that responded beautifully to our tape.

* Fabulous views of a Southern Crowned-Pigeon glowing in the last of the afternoon's sun.

* An unusually easy and cooperative male Blue Bird-of-paradise together with an equally obliging male Superb Bird-of-paradise and a fabulous male Brown Sicklebill giving his machine-gun rattle.

It is always a privilege to return to New Guinea, which has become in many ways my second home during the thirty plus years I have lived and visited there. To return to this spectacular continental-island with such a wonderful group was sheer joy. Thank you one and all.

Thanks too, to all the people in PNG who helped make this trip so much fun and so successful: Stephen, Leonard, Billy, and John in Port Moresby; Sam and Thomas in Kiunga, plus all the girls at the Kiunga Guest House; and the incomparable Joseph and all our Huhli at Ambua.

This remarkable country never fails to astonish me. New Guineans are undoubtedly some of the finest and most interesting people on our planet, and they, together with the continuing vastness of this island-continent's forests, its birds and other wildlife, combine to produce not only an outstanding tour, but one that literally rejuvenates the soul. Who will ever forget that flight from Port Moresby to Kiunga over thousands and thousands of square miles of tropical forest wilderness? So yes, there really is still hope for our planet. What a place!