from: $8460*

BIRD WATCHING

TASTE OF SOLOMONS 5 2015-16

The Solomons archipelago stretches from Bougainville (PNG) in a south-west arc across the Pacific. Consisting of several large islands and numerous small ones, many of which are uninhabited, it is a must see destination for serious  birders.  It has  a  high degree of endemism amongst pigeons, monarchs, fantails, myzomelas and white-eyes. It also has a couple of near legendary  flightless rails and some of the least known birds on the planet. This birdwatching  tour, while visiting  a number  of the main birding sites within the Solomons, concentrates on the areas  that are most  easily accessed. This means that while all high altitude birds will not be seen, a good representation of Solomon Island birds are still possible. This tour start and ends in Australia.

Difficulty


This birdwatching tour avoids the areas which have the most difficult terrain and the steepest trails. However there are still a number of flights in small planes, a few short sea crossings in small boats and very basic accommodation in some  area.

Accommodation

In Honiara we use western-style hotels of a good standard. Elsewhere on this tour accommodation is usually in landowner lodges,  many  of which  only have  very basic  facilities, and hot water may not be available. At Imbu Ranu it may be necessary to share  accommodation.

Suggested Tour Itinerary


Day 1: Fly Brisbane to Honiara where you will overnight.
Day 2: Take the early flight to Rennell. Spend the afternoon birding the Rennell area. There are numerous logging trails through the forest and we will be searching for the Rennell endemics including Rennell Fantail, Rennell Shrikebill, Rennell Starling, Rennell White-eye, Rennell Whistler and Bare-eyed White-eye. Also near-endemic Silver-capped Fruit Dove
Day 3: Full day Rennell area.  There are a number  of other great birds on Rennell including 3 Melanesian endemics, Cardinal Myzomela, Fantail Gerygone and Melanesian Flycatcher.
Day 4: Fly to Kirakira on Makira via Honiara. Explore the area around Kirakira.
Day 5: Spend the  day  around  Kirakira looking for the  lowland species Along the walk we should see White-headed Fruit-Dove, Ochre-headed Flycatcher, San Cristobal Melidectes, Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove and Yellow-bibbed Lory.
Day 6: Day trip to Ugi island where there are 3 very distinct taxa to be seen. Ugi Black Monarch, Ugi White-collared Monarch and Ugi Rufous Fantail plus Silver-capped Fruit Dove are possible here.
Day 7: Full day walking the trails around the Kirakira area.
Day 8: Morning around Kirakira then afternoon flight back  to Honiara.
Day 9 : Fly to Gizo. Balance of day exploring Gizo for Gizo White-eye, White-capped Monarch and Steel-blue Flycatcher.
Day 10: Travel by boat  to Hambere on Kolombangara via Vella Lavella for Banded White-eye and Ranongga for Ranongga White-eye. Great seabirds including Heinroth’s Shearwater can sometimes be seen on this crossing.
Day 11: Spend the day exploring the Hambere area looking for Roviana Rail. Solomon’s Sea-Eagle, Red-knobbed Imperial Pigeons, Duchess Lorikeets and Melanesian Megapode are also found in this area.
Day 12: We transfer to Imbu Rano and explore the local area looking for Cockerell’s Fantail, Kolombangara Monarch, Solomons Cuckoo-shrike, Oriole Whistler and more.
Day 13: Second day around Imbu Rano. The more adventurous can take the higher trails up the mountain Pale Mountain Pigeon, Kolombangara White-eyes, Pacific Robin and Red-breasted Pygmy Parrots.
Day 14: Another day around Imbu Rano
Day 15: Travel back  to Gizo and take late afternoon flight back to Honiara.
Day 16: Morning on Mount Austen, home to Pied Goshawks, Ducorp’s Cockatoo, Ultramarine Kingfisher, White-billed Crow and Claret-breasted Fruit Dove. Afternoon at Betikama Wetlands Day 17: Trip up Mount Austen in the morning and the afternoon spent  in the Honiara area.
Day 18: Fly back to Brisbane.

Possible Tour Extensions:

  • Fly to Munda on New Georgia and travel to Tetepare and Rendova to look for their distinctive White-eyes, which are likely to soon be split. These are great places to relax, snorkel, walk, canoe and undertake cultural activities as well.
  • Travel to Isabel and  stay  at Isaisao in the north of the island where there is pristine forest, snorkelling, birdwatching walks and, at the right time of year, turtle hatches.

Price

From $8460 per person, based on a group of 6 people on a twin share basis. Prices may vary depending on start days, flight schedules and number of people travelling.

Includes

  • Return International flights from Brisbane to Honiara
  • Return Domestic flights from Honiara to Kira Kira
  • 2 nights accommodation in Honiara
  • 7 nights accommodation on Makaira Island
  • All site and entry fees
  • All transfers
  • Guides and transport
  • All meals with Rennell accommodation
  • Bird list

MORE BIRDWATCHING TOURS

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Terms & Conditions

Prices include tax, are quoted in AUD, valid for 2015-16 and are subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations. The rates cannot be guaranteed until full payment has been received. All international bank and credit card fees will be borne by the client. For full terms and conditions, please refer to the page on this website.