Bird & Wildlife Cruise: birds, whales & dolphins and remote islands.
New Caledonia – Vanuatu – Fiji
temperate and tropical Pacific seabirds including Fiji Petrel, Vanuatu Petrel, Magnificent Petrel, Collared Petrel, Polynesian
‘New Caledonian’ Storm-Petrel. Potential landbirds include Kagu, Crow Honeyeater, Vanuatu Kingfisher and many other island endemics.
20 + species of whales and dolphins are also possible.
Leader: Chris Collins (TBC)
The Pacific Ocean is home to many unique and poorly known seabirds, however, there is one species which is critically endangered and remains an almost complete enigma and that is the Fiji Petrel. Thought to number less than fifty individual birds, it has probably been seen by even fewer birders. On this exciting itinerary, we not only plan to look for this special seabird but several others which whilst having somewhat larger populations remain rarely seen.
Our expedition plans to sail from New Caledonia where we will start with some optional shore excursions to look for the endemics on this amazing island. We will particularly want to see the extraordinary Kagu but other possibilities including Goliath (New Caledonian) Imperial Pigeon, Cloven-feathered Dove, White-bellied (New Caledonian) Goshawk, Horned Parakeet, New Caledonian Friarbird and New Caledonian Grassbird.
Once aboard our vessel, we intend to spend some time looking for the “New Caledonian Storm-petrel” which was initially found on the West Pacific Odyssey in 2008, however, more recent work has suggested this is the same as a long-lost storm-petrel which was described from Samoa a couple of hundred years ago.
Our track will then take us north to Vanuatu where we plan to target another poorly known seabird, the Vanuatu Petrel. We have an excellent chance of seeing this offshore from Vanua Lava, the island where the birds are known to breed, and in the early evening, we should encountering birds as they gather before heading inland to their burrows.
We also stand a good chance of encountering Magificent Petrel in these waters (since this also breeds here) and other possibilities include Kermadec Petrel, Tahiti Petrel and Polynesian Storm-petrel.
We plan to make some landings in Vanuatu and possibilities ashore include Vanuatu Kingfisher, Vanuatu Megapode, Buff-bellied Monarch and Vanuatu White-eye before continuing eastwards towards Fiji where our main objective will be to search for Fiji Petrel.
We anticipate high demand for this special trip which may well not be repeated again for several years so please use our online form to register your interest and we will contact you as soon as more details are available.
NB: As applies to all expedition cruises, the exact itinerary will be subject to weather and local conditions. All landings are subject to government and local permissions.
Tahiti Petrel, Fiji Petrel, Providence Petrel, Kermadec Petrel, Herald Petrel, Magnificent Petrel,
Collared Petrel, Vanuatu Petrel, Gould’s Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Wedge-tailed Shearwater,
‘New Caledonian’ Storm-Petrel, Polynesian Storm-Petrel,
Red-tailed Tropicbird, White-tailed Tropicbird,
Masked, Red-footed and Brown Boobies, Great and Lesser Frigatebirds, Grey-backed Tern, Bridled Tern, Sooty Tern, Great Crested Tern,
Noddy, Black Noddy and White Tern.
(selected species only)
White-bellied Goshawk, Fiji Goshawk, Kagu, Cloven-feathered Dove, Many-coloured Fruit, Golden Fruit Dove, Barking Imperial Pigeon, Goliath Imperial Pigeon, Collared Lory, Fiji Woodswallow, Streaked Fantail, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Buff-bellied Monarch, Versicoloured Monarch, Fiji Shrikebill, Yellow-bellied Robin, New Caledonian Whistler, Fiji Whistler, Green-backed White-eye, Crow Honeyeater, New Caledonian Myzomela, New Caledonian Friarbird, Red-throated Parrotfinch, Fiji Parrotfinch.
Potential Cetaceans (selected species only)
Sperm Whale, Dwarf and Pygmy Sperm
Whales, Cuvier’s, Longman’s, Ginkgo-toothed, Deraniyagala’s and
Blainville’s Beaked-Whales, Short-finnedPilot Whale, False Killer Whale, Pygmy Killer Whale, Melon-headed Whale, Striped,
Pantropical Spotted, Eastern Spinner, Bottlenose, Short-beaked Common,
Rough-toothed and Fraser’s Dolphins.