I had the chance to head to Kumul Lodge a few days ago with the McCoys, Williams and Charity. Kumul Lodge is in Enga Province, and for birders, it is a place everyone wants to go to in order to see some of the Birds of Paradise. I have been there a number of times, as it is a nice place to get away for a day or overnight, as time allows. Having been there before, there is the risk that you don't appreciate the beauty of what you are seeing, but when you go with new people, once again everything seems new to you as well, as you are appreciating the little things that you may have missed the last time you were there.
When you really look at the birds and watch them, they are anything but ordinary. There is a Common Smoky Honeyeater that changes the color around it’s eye from yellow to orange to red. I don’t know why this happens, but it happens often and to watch it happen through binoculars is pretty neat. There are Ribbon Tailed Astrapias who have long tail feathers that are about 3 feet long, which amazingly don’t get caught on anything as they fly. We saw moms who have juvenile babies who are bigger than them, but who are still feeding them. We saw a few new birds that I had never seen with the blue capped Ifrit and the Eastern Crested Berrypecker, both of who have amazing colors on them. When given the time, birds are pretty amaing to watch - so different and unique, even in their own species.
The rainforest is also amazing when you take the time to stop and look at it. When you see the number of different ferns, orchids, flowers, and trees growing. When you hear all the sounds from the animals that inhabit them. We went on a night hike, and although we didn't find the Kapals, we know they were watching us and enjoyed the beauty of the rain forest at night. It was definitely a great 24 hours (outside of the car ride) and I hope to do it again.