25 October 2013

A Flash of Lightning...PNG (1st-2nd Oct.)

...Continuing our time at Kumul Lodge in Papua New Guinea's highlands, we enjoyed the bird table as all who visit do. They are the sole lodge in the world that can boast birds-of-paradise at the table. In addition to the aforementioned Brown Sicklebills, were a regular flow of Ribbon-tailed Astrapias, which after the performances they gave at Kumul Lodge, were justifiably included in the top five birds of the trip, and shone through many more recent memories at the trip end to beat many other great birds seen later on the trip into that hollowed position. Astrapia means flash of lightning, and you cannot help think that they named the group after the male Ribbon-tailed with his lightning rod tail?! Several individual astrapias were seen with the white-tailed male creating a stir on each appearance, even appearing to "stalk" one of the group, Shannon, when she stayed back at the lodge one afternoon. I cannot think of a better afternoon companion!
Other great birds at Kumul Lodge included a visit to Tonga downslope, where the reverse signal calls of a male Blue Bird-of-paradise pricked our ears, and the sight of a male flying into a tree beside us will be burnt in our retinas forever. Quite simply one of the world's greatest birds. There are many choices which would need some thought; this one is an automatic, no quandary-inducing entry into any top ten list! A calling male Superb Bird-of-paradise almost felt like an afterthought in hindsight once the blistering male Blue had come in and stole the show in such an all consuming, absolute manner.
Our time at Kumul Lodge continued with another contender for a top ten birds in the world list (only in PNG can you have two entries into this list in two consecutive days)! 

No comments: