Birding Tour New Caledonia: Kagu and Other Endemics December 2019

Tour Details

Duration: 6 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Date Start: December 10, 2019
Date End: December 15, 2019
Tour Start: Nouméa (La Tontouta International Airport)
Tour End: Nouméa (La Tontouta International Airport)

Tour Costs

Price: US$3,305 / £2,491 / €2,807 per person sharing based on 4-8 participants.

Single Supplement: US$565 / £426 / €480

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when finalising payments.

Price includes:
Expert professional guiding fees
All meals (from evening meal on day 1 through lunch on day 6)
Accommodation
Entrance fees to parks and reserves
All land-based transport while on tour
Tolls

Price excludes:
All flights
Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts, phone-calls, laundry, internet access etc.
All drinks
Personal insurance
Gratuities

Birding Tour New Caledonia: Kagu and Other Endemics December 2019

Tour Summary

This tour visits Grande Terre, New Caledonia, and focuses on the many exciting endemic birds found across the island.

Grande Terre is part of an ancient archipelago of Gondwanan (continental) origin. Most of the island is covered in tropical evergreen forest in the higher elevations, while savanna and maquis dominate the lower elevations. Most famous for being the home of the unique Kagu, Grande Terre hosts a total of 18 island endemics as well as about a dozen more Melanesian endemics. We will spend time at the following areas: Parc de la Rivière Bleue, Mt Koghi, and the Farino area. The prime target will be finding the endemic star bird of New Caledonia, the charismatic Kagu.

Most endemics found on Grande Terre should be encountered during the time we have, and these include White-bellied GoshawkKaguCloven-feathered DoveGoliath Imperial PigeonHorned ParakeetNew Caledonian ParakeetNew Caledonian MyzomelaBarred HoneyeaterNew Caledonian FriarbirdNew Caledonian WhistlerNew Caledonian CrowNew Caledonian CuckooshrikeYellow-bellied FlyrobinGreen-backed White-eyeStriated Starling, and Red-throated Parrotfinch. Two species, the Critically Endangered Crow Honeyeater and increasingly rare New Caledonian Thicketbird, are becoming more difficult year on year but we will still try to find them in suitable areas in which they may still be hanging on.

 

Itinerary (6 days/5 nights)

Day 1: Arrival in New Caledonia

Arrival at La Tontouta International Airport, Grande Terre, New Caledonia, and transfer to our hotel in Nouméa. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight: Nouméa

Days 2 – 3: Full day birding at Parc de la Rivière Bleue

We will travel to Parc de la Rivière Bleue in search of endemic birds over these two days, including the star endemic, the flightless and extremely rare Kagu. We will focus our attention on finding this great bird and getting the best views, and hopefully photographs, possible.

While searching for the Kagu we are likely to come across many other endemics and regional specialties, such as New Caledonian ParakeetNew Caledonian MyzomelaBarred HoneyeaterNew Caledonian FriarbirdGreen-backed White-eyeFan-tailed GerygoneMetallic Pigeon, Goliath Imperial PigeonSacred KingfisherSouth Melanesian CuckooshrikeCrow HoneyeaterNew Caledonian CuckooshrikeHorned ParakeetSouthern ShrikebillYellow-bellied FlyrobinRed-throated ParrotfinchWhite-bellied GoshawkCloven-feathered Dove, and New Caledonian Crow.

Overnight: Nouméa

Day 4: Morning birding at Mount Koghi and transfer to Sarraméa

We will spend the morning birding Mount Koghi and the surrounding area for a range of endemic birds, such as the simply-spectacular endemic Cloven-feathered Dove, which is a real assault on the eyes, and the endemic White-bellied Goshawk. This area was once a stronghold for the declining, and now quite rare New Caledonian Thicketbird, so we will be checking suitable habitat for that species. We will also look here for the unique, ‘tool-using’ New Caledonian Crow, and we may also get our first look at the humongous Goliath Imperial Pigeon.

In the afternoon we will transfer to the Farino area for a couple of nights’ stay in the central section of Grande Terre.

Overnight: Sarraméa

Day 5: Full day birding the Farino area

We will spend the full day birding around Farino and the surrounding area, such as Parc des Grandes Fougères. Again we will target the rare New Caledonian Thicketbird while in suitable habitat, where we may also find Red-throated Parrotfinch. Other special birds here may include Cloven-feathered DoveNew Caledonian Crow, and Horned Parakeet among many other species such as Southern ShrikebillYellow-bellied FlyrobinNew Caledonian Whistler, and Striated Starling. The forests here also have a population of Kagu that is increasing in size due to predator control, so we may again bump into this unique species.

Overnight: Sarraméa

Day 6: Transfer from Sarraméa to La Tontouta International Airport, departure

We will have time for some morning birding around our hotel grounds, seeking out any more endemics or regional specialties, such as Red-throated ParrotfinchMelanesian Flycatcher, and Cloven-feathered Dove before we transfer back to La Tontouta International Airport, where the tour concludes in the mid-afternoon.

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors.

Download Itinerary

Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!

Janice — Kent, UK

NEW CALEDONIA CUSTOM TRIP REPORT DECEMBER 2017

This is a sample trip report. Please email us (info@birdingecotours.com) for more trip reports from this destination.