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Papuan birder
Saturday 10th December 2005, 12:09
Today me and two friends flew from Port Moresby to a city called Daru, a flight on about an hour from PM, this city is confined in the southern parts of the trans-fly. The time here is 22:00pm, we are still in Daru and we will probably not try to get out of the city until tomorrow as its not safe to travelling around this time of the night.


But early tomorrow we will pack down our things and then start heading north to the largest river in this region, called the fly river, a largely destroyed region today and you need to travell further north to get to the real hotspots, you almost needs to enter the Indonesian part of the river to come to these areas, but as we not are going that far north it will not be a goal for us, we are planning to reach a village called Suki by tomorrow night, and then in a few days (2-3) we will enter Indonesia as the Indonesian part offers a lot better birding. We will be out for about a week and be back next saturday and with a plan to end the trip in a city called Mappi.

martinf
Saturday 10th December 2005, 12:22
Looking forward to hearing yor trip report

Papuan birder
Sunday 11th December 2005, 20:14
We wooke up very early in the morning, ate some breakfast, put down our things and then headed out in Daru to look after a place to rent a car, we searched for 3 hours before we manage to find a place which rented small blue holdens, the car we did get was in a poor condition, the dires was almost flat, dirty, the blue colour was almost gone, many of the windows was crashed and this was a very ugly car. But as we wanted to get away to took it. Our goal was try to reach Oriomo, a small city located around 40km north of Daru, the way from Daru to Oriomo was good and it took only 50 minutes to reach the small city, as we had thught not a single bird was spotted along the road, the car had no radio and the other guys was sleeping, boring start of the trip, when we passed Oriomo the road was very poor with large holes in the road, the first bird sighting almost ended bad, as we was driving on the road leding from Oriomo, the grass along the road was thick, and suddenly a small family on 5 Wandering whistling ducks Dendrocygna arcuata walked out in the road, they was apprently trying to reach a small pond on the other side of the road, I stood on the brakes and turned left to avaid hitting the birds, I stopped and maked sure that no other cats hit the birds, luckily all made it over and jumped happily down in the pond, probably not aware of the danger they just had faced. A few minutes later our car brooke down, we called the car rental and said that they had to come and get the car, we didnt wait and a kind farmer gave us a lift to the city called Iamara, he was transpoting a few pigs and the smell was really awful, after two hours of driving the reached Iamara. We soon realized that we wont be able to reach Suki this day as that was another 7-8 hours drive further west. We decided to take a ferry to Kenalia, we bought a few thickets and headed to the ferry terminal, fly river is a very wide river up to Kenalia and the river banks is either covered by settlements or industries. We didnt see many birds, in the ferry terminal we spotted a few mixed groups with Spotted Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna guttata and Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata, most birds was either covered by oil or had fishing nets around their head or their feets, a horrible sight, we didnt see many other species, Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata only three birds flying over the upper river bank, one bird had a bloody wing and had probably been shot by a hunter, Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa small groups grazzed in the fields, a single Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus seen circulating over the river and probably searched after something to eat, Beach Thick-knee Burhinus magnirostris a few birds on the upper river banks and finally we spotted a single Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles just before reaching Kenalia.

A poor and mostly said birding day, we hope that we dont will se such much half dead birds as we moves to the more remote areas of the river. The river gets about half the size after Kenalia and the birding seems more promesing tomorrow.

Papuan birder
Monday 12th December 2005, 19:56
We woke up 07.00am the following day, the dinner hadent open that early so we decided to check out from our the hotel and to eat someting later on the ferry, we then went down to the ferry terminal to make sure we got space on the ferry leaving to Suki 10.00am, we had heard that a large group of 70 Australians had arrived to Kenalia and they was apparently also going to Suki that morning.

Down in the ferry terminal we made the first bird observations of the day, a group of 23 Little Pied Cormorant sat on one of the boats, drying their weathers in the sunshine and was probably preparing to go out fishing. A mixed flock on around 20 Spotted Whistling-Ducks and 12-13 Radjah Shelducks was feeding on a nearby field, many of them was in very poor condition, something that seems common here.

As we was walking against the centre of Kenalia we spotted somekind of raptor, Brown Goshawk? flying swiftly just over our heads, an immature so not 100% sure about the species identification, Eurasian Tree Sparrows was very common and was seen in large numbers in and around the city. It was then time to start walking to the ferry as it was department in 20 minutes. It suprised me that so many people actually travelled by ferries as the roadnet is good around the river becuase of all the timber, oil and fruits transports going by truck along the river, the ferry was probably not built to carry more than 200 people but as far as we could see, we were a lot more than 300 on the boat, didnt feelt very secure as the boat was in bad condition, but we still enjoied the boatride very much becuase of the beutiful forests and swamps that now covered the shores of the river, single Great and little egrets was regulary seen, either sitting on small dead branches or walking in the wateredge, looking for a fish or perhaps a small frog. Other birds which was seen along the river that day was
White-faced Herons
Pied Herons (over 100 seen)
Intermediate Egrets
Spotted Whistling-Duck (again seen in large numbers, but the birds looked more healthy now)
Wandering Whistling-Duck
Magpie Goose (several groups of 15-20 birds was seen)
Green Pygmy-geese
Gray Teals (only 3 birds)
Pacific Black Ducks
Little Pied Cormorants
Australian Pelican (seen several times but only in small numbers)
Striated Herons
Australian Ibis (a single bird)
Whistling Kites (only regulary raptor)
Brahminy Kites
Purple Swamphens (a very large breeding colony half between Kenalia and Suki)
Masked Lapwings
Rainbow Bee-eater (a few birds seen around muddy river banks)
Rock Pigeons (a few feral birds was attracted to the boat)
Palm Cockatoos (one of the highlights of the day, surprisingly easy to see) Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (a single bird seen just before reaching Suki)
Little Paradise-Kingfisher (a single bird was seen sitting in a dead tree on the lower river banks, when the boat passed it flew across the river and disapered in the undergrowth on the other side, highlight of trip so far)
Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher (a single bird seen in a mangrove swamp just after leaving Kenalia)
Common Paradise-Kingfishers (a total of three birds)
Rainbow Lorikeets (a very common parrot, seen in very good numbers) Eclectus Parrots (two groups of three and two birds each was observed)
Red-winged Parrot (a single bird, very rare on PNG)
Azure Kingfishers
Little Kingfisher
Blue-winged Kookaburras
Blyth's Hornbills (common in the forested parts, large familes seen flying across the river)


We arrived to Suki after a few hours, happily after a great biriding day on the river, we are now leaving the river and the next the we will head into the jungle.

jurek
Tuesday 13th December 2005, 10:35
Wow! Please continue!

I would love to birding in PNG one day :)