Phil Gregory

Phil has been interested in birds since the demise of the steam trains when he was about 11. Born in Southampton, England he first came to Australia in 1977, but got sidetracked, and spent the next twenty years living and birding in Nigeria, Zambia, the Falkland Islands and Papua New Guinea. He is currently working on a field guide to the Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago. He has also written species and family accounts for three volumes of theHandbook of the Birds of the World covering monarchs, bristle birds, the Acanthizidae and berrypeckers and longbills, and is involved as an advisor with the IOC and their World Checklist andRecommended English Names of Birds projects.He is the editor of Muruk, the journal of the Papua New Guinea Ornithological Society and is the author, amongst other things, of The Birds of the Ok Tedi Region and various notes and papers on Papua New Guinean birds. He is a well-known tour leader, working for Field Guides Inc. and Sicklebill Safaris, and is one of Australia's foremost birders. He is also one of the most experienced New Guinea guides with over 40 tours led there since 1998.

Special interests include field identification, vocalisation, taxonomy and distribution. He has been guiding occasionally 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.

Jun Matsui

With a lifetime interest in wildlife in general Jun started bird guiding in 1993 when he worked as a volunteer ranger at the Hikarigaoka nature park in Tokyo, Japan. After working for the Japanese Environment Agency where he collected and managed data and at several reserves where he was involved in setting up environmental education projects and guiding as well as general management, he first arrived in Australia in 1999. Spending a year traveling around and volunteering at various bird hotspots including Broome Bird Observatory he eventually took a job as a specialist bird tour guide for inbound Japanese groups, based in the tropical Far North Queensland town of Cairns. He has been involved in several bird publications and is the author of the very popular Japanese language field guide to the birds and wildlife of the Cairns/Atherton Tablelands area. Jun joined Sicklebill Safaris in 2007.

Ben Blewitt

Ben has been interested in natural history from an early age. After completing a degree in Applied Science specialising in wildlife biology he moved to north Queensland and worked as a field biologist with CSIRO researching the Northern Bettong and other mammals. He also worked as a consultant ecologist on various projects as part of environmental impact studies and came to know the natural history of the area very well. In the early 90’s he became involved in nature tourism, leading walking tours in the Daintree rainforest. This led to many guiding positions including 4 years of nocturnal wildlife tours and a season as the head naturalist at Lotus Bird Lodge on Cape York.  Ben is a passionate birder and experienced naturalist with a professional yet relaxed approach to guiding.  He set up the very successful Cassowary Tours in 2004 .  Although he has decided to opt out of the administrative side of things he will continue to lead tours for them and Sicklebill Safaris in the coming seasons.

Murray Hunt

For a period of ten years Murray has worked as a guide at a number of bird-watching hotspots around Australia. He has had stints at Lotus Bird Lodge, O’Reilly’s Guesthouse, Uluru, Kangaroo Island and an extended period in Kakadu operating cruises on Yellow Water Billabong. Murray also has impressive academic qualifications with a Masters degree in the environment and has participated in a multitude of avian conservation activities with an eclectic mix of birds including two of New Zealand’s rarest species - Kakapo and Black Robin. In 2010 he also assisted with a reintroduction program of Brown Teal to the wild rivers of Fiordland. He now lives in Port Douglas and operates the Daintree Boatman River Cruise (formerly Chris Dahlberg’s boat). He is available for bird guiding around the Wet Tropics and further afield. Murray started working with Sicklebill Safaris on a part time basis in 2010.

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