Trip Report:


19 January - 3 February, 2002
By Greg Roberts

Mainly a work trip with Angela Wylie, with some birding fitted in as follows:

Buka Island 19-21 Jan. Mainly the road to the island’s interior. One late afternoon, one early morning.

Bougainville Island 21-24 Jan. Arawa area, where Don and Llane Hadden were our kind hosts. A boat trip was made to Anusagaro Island offshore and an islet nearby.

Rabaul, New Britain 24-28 Jan. Forest patches around Gaulim, two hours’ drive south-west of Rabaul, and Tomaringa, 30 minutes from Rabaul. Two mornings, a brief afternoon session.

Lihir Island 28-29 Jan.

Kavieng, New Ireland 29-31 Jan. Mainly a swamp forest 20km south of Kavieng - a right turn off the main road just after a well-defined bridge. The road goes through 3km of excellent forest before a branch to the left goes up a logging track, which was also good.

Manus Island 29 Jan - 3 Feb. One late afternoon, two early mornings around Rossun village, just out of Lorengau, and the waterfall nearby. Aaron Joseph, the guide in Rossun, was useful here. A visit was made to Mandrin and Hawei islands offshore.

* denotes lifer.. common names follow Clements

MAMMALS - *Giant Flying-Fox (common on New Britain and New Ireland).

BIRDS - Lesser Frigatebird, Great Frigatebird, Reef Heron, Intermediate Egret (Manus), Osprey, Brahminy Kite, Pacific Baza, Variable Goshawk (everywhere),

Pied Goshawk (1 on Buka, 1 on Bougainville),

*New Britain Sparrowhawk (1 near Tomaringa, New Britain),

*Solomon Sea-Eagle (1 seen well on Buka in a forested valley, being chased by Bougainville Crows),

Island Imperial-Pigeon (hundreds breeding on Anusagaro Island, also on Manus and Buka), Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeon (common),

*Bismarck [Black] Imperial-Pigeon (1 in hills near Gaulim),

Mackinlay’s Cuckoo-Dove (small nos Buka), Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove (small nos New Britain and New Ireland),

*Nicobar Pigeon (at last… 30+ on Anusagaro Island, breeding with Island Imp-Ps),

*Bronze Ground-Dove (1 on Lihir),

Stephan’s Ground-Dove,

*Knob-billed [Red-knobbed] Fruit-Dove (2 on Lihir, 2 on New Ireland),

Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove (Mandrin Island), Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove (Buka),

*Pied Cuckoo-Dove (1 in swamp forest on New Ireland),

*Yellow-legged Pigeon (1 flushed from swamp forest floor on New Ireland, it and a second bird were calling: an explosive, barking ‘coo’, a jumble of one or two-syllabled notes repeated in quick succession over several minutes),

Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Cardinal Lory,

Duchess Lorikeet (flock at Arawa),

*Purple-bellied [Eastern Black-capped] Lory (common on New Ireland),

Eclectus Parrot, Song Parrot (Buka, Manus), Ducorp’s Cockatoo (Buka),

*Blue-eyed Cockatoo (common on New Britain),

Finsch’s Pygmy-Parrot (small nos Buka and New Ireland),

*Meek’s Pygmy-Parrot (1 descending tree trunk near waterfall on Manus),

Crested Tern, Common Tern, Bridled Tern, Common Noddy,

Black-headed Gull (20 in winter plumage, mostly first-year, in a flock off Lorengau, Manus, being harassed by frigate-birds),

Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Wandering Tattler,

Pectoral Sandpiper (singles at airports at Namatani [New Ireland] and Manus; I have seen this bird also at Solomons airports), Mongolian Plover, Golden Plover,

Swinhoe’s Snipe (1 at Rabaul airport), Beach Thick-knee (1 on islet off Arawa),

White-browed Crake, Red-necked Crake (Manus),

Buff-banded Rail (New Ireland), Swamphen,

*Woodford’s Rail (8 in the Arawa area, including one in a disused building and two seen well by a creek),

*Manus Boobook (1 en route to Rossun, Manus),

Glossy Swiftlet, White-rumped Swiftlet, Uniform Swiftlet, Moustached Tree-Swift (common), Variable Kingfisher (1 at Arawa), Collared Kingfisher,

Ultramarine Kingfisher (several pairs Buka and Bougainville),

Beach Kingfisher (pairs Anusagaro and Mandrin islands), Common Kingfisher,

Dollar-bird, Common Koel, Oriental Cuckoo (1 on New Britain), Brush Cuckoo,

*Pied Coucal (small nos New Ireland and New Britain),

*Violaceous Coucal (2 in swamp forest on New Ireland),

*Superb Pitta (1 called in on Manus by Aaron, seen brilliantly, others calling),

Pacific Swallow, Cicadabird (Buka, New Ireland), White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike,

Varied Triller, Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrike, Australian Reed-Warbler (Rabaul),

Blyth’s Hornbill (3 near Tomaringa, New Britain), Spangled Drongo,

*Ribbon-tailed Drongo (2 in swamp forest on New Ireland),

Willie Wagtail, Northern Fantail, Steel-blue Flycatcher (Buka), Island Monarch (Anusagaro Island), Black-and-white Monarch (Buka), Shining Flycatcher,

*Dull [Lesser Shining] Flycatcher (pair on logging track, New Ireland),

*Bougainville Monarch (1 on Buka),

*Black-tailed [Bismarck Pied] Monarch (1 in swamp forest, New Ireland),

*Admiralty Pied Monarch (1 near waterfall, Manus),

Golden Monarch (common on New Ireland),

Golden Whistler (Manus),

*Black-tailed Whistler (1 on Anusagaro Island, others calling),

Midget Flowerpecker (Buka),

*Bismarck Flowerpecker (1 on New Britain, common on New Ireland),

Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird,

*Scarlet-naped Myzomela (1 on Buka),

*Ashy Myzomela (small nos near Gaulim, New Britain),

*Black-bellied [New Britain Red-headed] Myzomela (small nos in flowering tree near Gaulim, New Britain),

Red Myzomela (small nos on New Ireland),

*New Britain Friarbird (common on New Britain),

*Manus Friarbird (common on Manus),

*Bismarck Black Myzomela (common on Hawei and Mandrin islands),

*Yellow-throated White-eye (common on Buka and Bougainville),

*Black-headed White-eye (small nos Manus),

Metallic Starling, Singing Starling, Brown-winged Starling (Buka),

Yellow-faced Myna, Torresian Crow,

*Bougainville Crow (small nos Buka and Bougainville),

Hooded Mannikin (common around Rabaul),

*Mottled [Hunstein’s] Mannikin (common on New Ireland, and not just around airport),

*Bismarck [Buff-bellied] Mannikin (several with previous species on New Ireland logging track).

Total 106, 33 lifers