Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Wanna see a BoP? Part three

One of the highlights of Ambua for me was the abundance of insects attracted to lights around the lodge. As is usual in such places, I have no idea what the species concerned were but a small selection is shown below.

The ornithological highlight of our remaining time at Ambua was undoubtedly the adult male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia. You really need two photographs to appreciate this bird.

We also saw the mammal highlight of the trip (not hard as we hardly saw any other mammals) which was, somewhat inaccurately announced by me with a shout of 'Rat'.

Speckled Dasyure
It was quite unconcerned by a bunch of humans and came right out into the road towards us.

I'm not a fan of 'cultural experiences' on birding trips. If I was interested in culture, I'd go on a culture holiday. I was however quite looking forward to going to see the famous Huli Wigmen. In the event, it wasn't quite what I was expecting but it was interesting nevertheless.

Just told them a joke
The fact that the men all have a cassowary thigh bone in which they hide their money from their wives appealed to my sense of humour.

The most impressively attired Wigmen were not at the display that was laid on for us but were seen whilst driving through the nearby town.

After visiting the Wigmen we drove to the airport where we had a flight back to Port Moresby, followed by a flight to Mount Hagen. Obviously we needed the flights be vaguely on time if we were to make it to Mount Hagen in one day. Of course this meant that our plane didn't arrive so we had several hours enjoying the luxury of Tari airport. There wasn't even anywhere to sit except the floor!

When the plane did finally show up it was clearly way too late for us to make the connecting flight to Mount Hagen that day so an unscheduled overnight stay in Port Moresby was in order. This wasn't taking into account the persuasive powers of the Rockjumper leaders though! I still don't know how they did it but they somehow managed to get the pilot to fly us straight to Mount Hagen - much to the bemusement of the other passengers no doubt - although maybe if they live in PNG they are used to this sort of thing. We actually got to Mount Hagen before our scheduled time of arrival.

When I came back from Costa Rica our plane was diverted from Gatwick to Heathrow because of two flakes of snow at Gatwick. We sat on the runway at Heathrow for two hours before taking off and flying to Gatwick. There were people on the plane with connecting flights from Heathrow but they weren't allowed to get off and had to go back to Gatwick and get the bus to Heathrow, by which time they'd missed their flights. These two incidents pretty much sum up the difference between England and PNG, I'll leave you to decide on the relative merits of each system.

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