Jun 10, 2009

BirdQuest | Tour Reports | NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI


Saturday 8th October - Sunday 23rd October 2005
Richard Thomas

The October 2005 tour to the island archipelagos of New Caledonia and Fiji was the most successful Birdquest ever to this magical part of the South Pacific. In 2003, Birdquest became the first tour company to record all known 21 extant endemics on New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, and this feat was emulated in 2005.

Highlights included stunning views of the notoriously skulking and elusive New Caledonian Grassbird, superb views of male Cloven-feathered Doves and Crow Honeyeater, and all topped off by the incomparable Kagu. Our visit to Fiji recorded 22 endemic species and, thanks to help from my contacts, we became the first bird tour to see the exceedingly rare, localized and highly elusive Long-legged Warbler, an endemic species “lost” on the main island of Viti Levu for more than 110 years, until its rediscovery in 2003. Other highlights of this tropical island nation paradise included a stunning array of fruit-doves: Many-coloured, Velvet and Golden plus the unimaginable Orange Dove – one of the world’s brightest species, plus a total of three male Black-throated Shrikebills, an increasingly scarce and elusive endemic species.

The tour recorded 118 species, 42 of them endemic to either New Caledonia or Fiji, plus around 20 regional specialities.

BirdQuest | Tour Reports | NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI