Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

Boigu Island Bird Watching Tour

Boigu Island Bird Watching Tour
When: Mon 7 Feb - Fri 11 Feb 2022
Leader: Chris Doughty
Boigu Island Bird Watching Tour
Cairns/Cairns $4,706
Boigu Island Bird Watching Tour
Boigu Island is a small, remote and seldom visited fragment of Australian territory, a tiny area of white sandy beaches and mangroves swamps, which barely break the surface of the sparkling blue waters of tropical north Queensland. Boigu Island is the largest of three small islands which make up the Talbot Islands situated in Torres Strait, a body of water which separates Cape York Peninsula from the island of New Guinea. Boigu Island lies only six kilometres from the mainland of Papua New Guinea. It is the most northerly inhabited island of Queensland and Australia. The island was first visited by South Sea Islander missionaries of the London Missionary Society, in 1871. Shortly afterwards the local people accepted Christianity. At this time the inhabitants of the island were being severely harassed by the Marind-anim, ferocious head-hunting cannibals, from present day, West Papua. When Papua New Guinea became independent in 1975, the Boigu Islanders campaigned vigorously to remain part of Australia and their wish was granted. Currently there are approximately 260 indigenous Torres Strait Islanders living on the island. Torres Strait is home to the world? largest population of Dugong and is also an important foraging, breeding and nesting area for 6 of the world? 7 species of marine turtles. Torres Strait Islanders have traditionally hunted Dugong and turtle for many thousands of years and these marine animals play an important role in the local culture. Although the island is less than 90 square kilometres, and only 18 kilometres long, a staggering 160 species of birds have been recorded on the island to date. However, it is its close proximity to New Guinea that makes Boigu Island such an exciting destination for visiting Australian birders. The island is host to three essentially New Guinea species; small numbers of Collared Imperial Pigeons visit the island daily to feed, and both the Red-capped Flowerpecker and the Singing Starling breed on the island, in very small numbers. On this exciting tour we have more than enough time to find the three main target species, as well as the opportunity to see a good selection of interesting and little-known species such as Black Bittern, Spotted Whistling Duck, White-browed Crake, Red-backed Buttonquail, Oriental Cuckoo, Uniform Swiftlet, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Cicadabird, Red-headed Honeyeater and Trumpet Manucode. There is also the tantalising prospect of finding one or two extremely rare visitors from nearby New Guinea, such as Gurney's Eagle, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Coconut Lorikeet, House Swift, Papuan Spine-tailed Swift and Pacific and Red-rumped Swallows, all of which, have been recorded on Boigu Island in recent years. There is even the possibility of finding a species of bird that has not previously been recorded on Australian territory. Bring a New Guinea field guide with you, and expect the unexpected! Come with us and enjoy this once in a life time trip to Boigu Island.

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