Western Pacific Ocean is dotted with numerous archipelagos including
those of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New
It may be surprising
for some that rugged volcanic islands dominate these countries.
Mossy montane forests dominate the higher altitudes with humid
tropical forest in the lowlands. Of course these scenic surroundings
wouldn’t be complete without palm-fringed sandy beaches
and superb coral reefs offshore.
During a long period
of isolation these archipelagoes have evolved a highly endemic
avifauna of many colourful and interesting birds including an
endemic family, represented by the Kagu.
We will be delighted
by the diversity of species, ranging from the soaring Solomon’s
Sea-Eagle to the tiny Pygmy-Parrots.
Coastal waters support a good variety of seabirds including the
rare Heinroth’s Shearwater.
I must say my most
exciting birding was done here and the one bird that sticks out
in my mind was the Fearful Owl on Isabel Island.
Imagine stumbling up a jungle path, sweating in the tropical humidity,
thinking you would rather be lying on a beach when your guide
taps you on the shoulder and say's "look" and an owl
that very few birders have ever seen fills your binoculars. What
Other endemic species
we may encounter here are Blyth’s Hornbill, Silver-capped
Fruit Dove, Roviana Rail, Rennell Shrikebill and Mottled