10 August 2010

Papua New Guinea Trip 1: June 2010

Near the start of my first of 2 PNG tours this year we visited the now legendary Kumul Lodge in Enga province in the bird-of-paradise (BOP) packed highlands. On arrival at the lodge we feasted on the many birds in the garden and on their amazing fruit-filled bird table, that attracted immature male Ribbon-tailed Astrapias, top photo, and female Brown Sicklebills (both dramatic BOPs), middle photo. While watching the frenetic action we noticed a movement under the table where the normally shy Chestnut Forest-Rail (this one a polka-dotted female), bottom photo, was found feeding unconcernedly! Plenty of other avian morsels were on offer, although we could not resist a foray into the forest to pick up a flame-orange Crested Bird-of-Paradise (now renamed Crested Satinbird and classified within that new, 2-bird, family) that was seen at very close range: a truly shocking black and orange bird with a gleaming blue eye! A magical day that only Kumul, and indeed Papua New Guinea, can provide. Breathtaking.

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