15 Apr 2017

Sperm Whales, Spinner Dolphins and rare birds delight

15 April

Today (15 April) we made our last landing at the Solomon Islands before we work our way up to Papua New Guinea for our disembarkation in Rabaul on the 18th of April. Ringgi, Kolombangara in the Western Province was our final destination. On the back of two old trucks we were brought to the Imbu Rano Lodge. The lodge had some great lookouts over the Vila River valley from where the summit of Mt Rano (1698m), Mt Tepalamenggutu (1708m) and the highest peak, Mt Veve (1779m) could be seen. The peak of Mt Veve could be reached through a two day trekking, which today we didn’t have enough time for. However, the guides laid out two other great walks around the montane and sub-montane forests, which are some of the most intact in the world. The general track revealed some great sightings of the three peaks and the more advanced track led via a slippery and steep track to the actual river of the valley.

The birders for sure didn’t break any distance records today so they could see as many birds as possible. Fantastic views of the suburb Fruit-Dove, the very rare Pale Mountain Dove, White Capped Monarch, Meeks Lorikeet, Mackinley’s Cuckoo-Dove and the Crimson-rumped Myzomela were had. Once we got back on the ship a Grey Backed Turn and Great Crested Turn were spotted. As a final hooray before entering Papua New Guinea close to a dozen Sperm Whales and over a hundred Spinner Dolphins were sighted with many thousand sea birds working on the surface around them.

 -Chris Verstappen (Heritage Expeditions’ intern) 

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