Flying Parrots
SICKLEBILL SAFARIS
Specialists in birding tours to New Guinea, Australia and throughout the Pacific Region
About Us

Since the founding of Sicklebill Safaris in 1998 Phil has led well over 30 trips to Papua New Guinea, these have ranged from private clients with particular needs such as family groups, parrot enthusiasts and photographers, to hard core world listers. A truly impressive list of birds has been seen. These have included 26 species of bird of paradise including Brown, Black, Buff-tailed and Pale-billed Sicklebills, Princess Stephanie's and Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, Carola's, Wahnes' and Lawes Parotia, Blue, King-of-Saxony, Greater, Lesser, Emperor, Crested and King Bird of Paradise. We have also seen such marvels as New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Victoria and Southern Crowned Pigeons, Flame Bowerbird, Long-billed Cuckoo, Shovel billed Kingfisher, Superb, Red-bellied and Hooded Pittas, 5 species of Paradise-Kingfisher and many more. Additional highlights included Fire-maned Bowerbird, New Britain Bronzewing, Nicobar Pigeon, Bismarck Boobook and an undescribed species of Microeca Flycatcher.

We have unrivalled experience in the Bismarck (New Britain and New Ireland) and Admiralty Islands (Manus) where over 50 endemics can await the intrepid birder including Black, Finsch's, Grey and Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeons, Violaceous and White-necked Coucals, Black-headed Paradise, White-mantled and Bismarck Kingfishers, Meek's Pygmy-Parrot, Superb Pitta, Bismarck, New Britian and Manus Boobook Owls, Bismarck and Admiralty Pied Monarchs, Rufous-faced Thicket-warbler and Manus Rufous Fantail.

Since the peace settlement we have been able to lead several trips to Bougainville seeing
such great species as Sanford's Sea-eagle, Woodford's Rail, Solomon's Boobook, Bougainville Monarch, Bougainville Crow, Ultramarine Kingfisher, Duchess Lorikeet, Pied Goshawk and Claret-breasted Fruit Dove.

From our beginnings in New Guinea it was logical that we expand and branch out to cover the whole of the Pacific area. Our guides are, between them, arguably the most experienced tour leaders in this region and we can offer tours to suit all ages, budgets and birding needs. Our current tour catalogue (see the link below) gives some idea of the areas we cover and some of the birds you can see on the various tours. Feel free to enquire about the possibilities of any other areas you are interested in as we may be able to help you there. We have world wide experience and even if we cannot take you ourselves can often recommend itineraries and guides for you to contact. Please also feel free to ask about our specially customised tours which link birding to other interest. For example we have run PNG trips which combine birds with looking at the local culture and orchids.


Your Guides

Phil at the Frio Bat Cave in Texas

Phil Gregory: Phil has been interested in birds since the demise of the steam trains at about age 11. Born in England he first came to Australia in 1977 with the intention of staying but got sidetracked, and spent the next twenty years living and birding in Nigeria, Zambia, the Falkland Islands and Papua New Guinea. He was for several years the editor of Muruk, the journal of the Papua New Guinea Ornithological Society and is the author of The Birds of the Ok Tedi Region and several papers on Papua New Guinean birds. He is currently working on a Bird of Paradise and Bowerbird title for Pica Press.

Special interests include field identification, vocalisation, taxonomy and distribution. He has been guiding occasionly since his African days, and became full time in 1998 when he sidestepped the joys of being an international school principal which he found was seriously impeding his birding. He now leads several tours a year throughout the Pacific Region and has recently resumed his tour leading in Africa.

Dr Guy Dutson: Guy Dutson is a world authority on Pacific birds and has led many tours to the region. He established and ran the BirdLife International Pacific programme from 2000-2005, being based in the U.K. and Fiji. Working for BirdLife and as a tour leader enabled him to visit most of the Pacific islands as well as many Asian and African countries. Before working for BirdLife he spent a year researching birds of Melanesia (PNG to New Caledonia) for a forthcoming field guide and series of papers.

His interest in the region was ignited when he led a Cambridge University expedition to PNG and the Solomon islands in 1990, which included putting the Superb Pitta on the map. His university expeditions took him repeatedly to the Philippines and Indonesia, rediscovering the Cebu Flowerpecker and Tanahjampea Monarch. In a previous life as a veterinarian, he worked in the UK, Ethiopia and South Africa. He wrote most of the Pacific Islands species in BirdLife's book Threatened Birds of the World and edits these species for the Handbook of the Birds of the World. He is now busy writing several papers describing and splitting South Pacific Species. He pioneered tours to the Solomon Islands where he has unrivalled experience and local contacts to find the rarest birds. His many tours to PNG have been notable for their high number of species seen and he's not too bad at finding owlet-nightjars.


Guy and Long-legged Warbler on
Viti Levu, Fiji

For further information contact us at: sicklebill@optusnet.com.au