Friday, 16 September 2022

Red BoP's, Tricky Pittas and Islands.....

So how to follow yesterday’s Wilson’s BoP extravaganza? With another BoP displaying of course and this morning’s entertainment was provided by some male Red Bird-of-Paradise darting around their display tree in a crazy manner. A totally different experience this one as we were sat on benches out in the open gazing up at a tall tree maybe 70m away and watching this extraordinary species darting around the branches in maniacal fashion. It really was a superb display and my photos just don't do this bird justice at all.

Red Bird-of-Paradise

Whilst watching this, a pair of Hooded Butcherbirds began feeding right in front of us and we enjoyed fine looks at this endemic. 

Hooded Butcherbird

We then spent the rest of the morning wandering along the old logging track looking for Western Crowned Pigeon, occasionally taking side trails or heading inside the forest but we didn’t get a sniff. All we had to show for this morning’s efforts were Papuan Drongo, another Pale-billed Scrubwren and a Green-backed Gerygone. 


At lunch I decided we needed a change of scenery and to take a boat out to some islands, and what a great decision this proved to be. 

The Gang....

New birds came thick and fast and spending an hour cruising in a boat wasn’t the worst experience either. On the way out we had fantastic close views of a White-bellied Sea-Eagle, some distant frigatebirds which were mainly Greater but there was at least one Lesser Frigatebird as well. 

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Lesser Frigatebird

Once ashore on what was for all intents and purposes a typical tropical paradise island we were greeted immediately by a Beach Kingfisher

That's William watching the kingfisher

We hadn’t walked more than 20m when some Violet-necked Lory’sscreeched by and we eventually had decent perched views of this stunning species. In a nearby large leafy tree we saw Olive Honeyeater, Arafura Fantail, Variable Honeyeater, and a nice Island Whistler

Island Whistler

Nearby some Moluccan Starlings seemed to be nesting in a dead palm tree and as we scoped them an Eastern Hooded Pitta began calling. Usually I find this species not too difficult to track down, but this individual was very tricky and we ended up spending way too long trying to get everyone on to it, which we did in the end. So we left here and headed to another island to look for Spice Imperial-Pigeon, but arrived too late and only saw lots of Pied Imperial-Pigeons and some White-breasted Woodswallows, although the sight of hundreds of huge Flying Foxes setting out to hunt against the setting sun made for a pretty spectacular end to the day.

Amazing sunset tonight.....

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