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SULAWESI & HALMAHERA BIRDING TOUR

Tour Description

green-slate

INDONESIA
BIRDING TOUR
ANY TIME*

Duration:20 days, 19 nights
Group Size:2-6
Anytime Price:TBA
Group Price:TBA
Single Suppl:TBA
Est #Species:275-300
Pace:Moderate/Difficult
Difficulty:Moderate
* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL, FISH PONDS, TRANSFER

Arrive by mid-morning at the Makassar airport to meet the guide and driver. Transfer to Malino, about 5-6 hours drive from Makassar, with a stop at the Makassar fish ponds where migrant shorebirds are present in spring and fall. Most interesting there is Buff-banded Rail. Night at Villa Tengah Sawah in Malino.

DAY 2 - LOMPOBATTANG MOUNTAIN & RICE FIELDS

Morning hike up Lompobattang Mountain seeking Lompobattang Warbler, a very local endemic found only on this mountain. The hike traverses about a mile of cultivation before reaching the forest. Also likely is the southern Sulawesi endemic Black-ringed White-eye along with some chance to see the recently split Black-headed Kingfisher and Sulawesi Leaf Warbler. Other interesting birds include Dark-eared Myza, Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Rusty-bellied Fantail, Piping Crow, Mountain White-eye, and Snowy-browed Flycatcher. Afternoon transfer back to Makassar with some birding en route. Night at the Dalton Hotel or similar in Makassar.

DAY 3 - BANTIMURANG, KAENTA FORESTS & PALU FLIGHT

Morning bird the small remnant forest near Bantimurang followed by a visit of Karaenta Forest Reserve in a limestone karst area. Likely possibilities include Sulawesi Hornbill, Pale-blue Monarch, Piping Crow, Sulawesi Brown Flycatcher, and White-necked Myna. Then transfer to the airport for a short flight to Palu, followed by a 3-hour drive to the village of Wuasa in Lore Lindu National Park. Night at Sendy Guesthouse.

DAY 4 - ANASO TRACK

Lore Lindu offers an astonishing diversity of bird species, including most of Sulawesi's endemic species. Many of these can be seen along the Anaso Track, an old 4x4 logging road leading up the mountain to a crest in a saddleback at the top of a ridgeline. This morning depart very early for the Anaso Track, hiking up in the dark to hopefully reach the landslide area by first light. The hike up is rather strenous, especially the first section before the landslide. Possibilities on the way up include Cinnabar Boobook and Speckled Boobook. After dawn Diabolical Nightjars can be found roosting in a gully below the trail above the landslide area. Key target species along the track are Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Sulawesi Myzomela, Geomalia, Sulawesi Thrush, and Hylocitrea. Of these, the Geomalia is most difficult as it is very shy and is typically seen only by the first couple of people in a group before it flushes from the track. Numerous other possibilities can be seen including goodies such as Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove, Red-eared Fruit-Dove, Sombre Pigeon, Golden-mantled Racquet-tail, Pygmy Cuckooshrike, Malia, Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, Fiery-browed Myna, and Mountain Serin.

DAY 5 - ANASO TRACK & SELIBU VALLEY

Return very early to the Anaso Track, again reaching the landslide by first light. Look for any owls missed the previous day. The main reason to hike up the track again is to try again for Geomalia, which is often missed on a first try. The typical strategy is to seed the upper section of the track with dried rice the previous day and return next morning to look for the Geomalia feeding on the rice along the track. It's also worthwhile hiking up the track to look for species missed the previous day, as it's unlikely that everything will be seen in a single day. Return to the bottom of the track by mid-afternoon and bird the road back to Wuasa looking for soaring raptors such as Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle and Black Eagle as well as Purple Needletails. There should also be time to bird the gravel road leading into the Selibu Valley before dark. Possibilities in this cultivated area include Sulawesi Cicadabird, Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot, and Sulawesi Cicadabird. Night at Sendy Guesthouse.

DAY 6 - LAKE TAMBING & SEDOA VALLEY

Morning birding around Lake Tambing, a rather open picnic and boat launch area. Scattered trees and forest edge in the area are good for many species such as Sulawesi Woodpecker, Yellow-and-green Lorikeet, Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, Turquoise Flycatcher, Great Shortwing, Fiery-browed Myna, and Finch-billed Myna. Afternoon bird the gardens around the guesthouse and roadsides in the Sedoa Valley. Possibilities include Knobbed Hornbill, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Gray-sided Flowerpecker, and Crimson Sunbird. Night at Sendy Guesthouse.

DAY 7 - ANASO TRACK & OLOBOJU RIVER BOTTOMS

Depart early for a hike up the lower section of the Anaso Track as far as the landslide area. The main target bird is Scaly Kingfisher, a difficult forest kingfisher often missed by groups. Look also for any owls missed previously. Return to the Sedoa Valley to look for soaring raptors. After some mid-day rest, visit the Oloboju River Bottom where roosting Savanna Nightjars can usually be found in the dry scrub and grass. Also walk the area looking to flush Bed-backed Buttonquail and Barred Buttonquail. Other birds in the area include Black-billed Koel, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, White-shouldered Triller, and Pale-headed Munia. Night at Sendy Guesthouse.

DAY 8 - TRANSFER, FLIGHTS, & AMURANG RICE FIELDS

Depart early for the airport in Palu and flight back to Makassar with a connecting flight to Manado. Upon arrival and after lunch, transfer to Kotamobagu. En route stop at the Amurang rice fields for a birding stop. Night at the Senator Hotel.

DAY 9 - TAMBUN MALEO RESERVE & TORAUT

Depart early for the Tambun Maleo Reserve. On some days Maleos come down out of the forest to excavate or attend nest mounds. Other days they can be found in the forest. Other birds of interest present there include White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Green Imperial-Pigeon, Bay Coucal, Yellow-billed Malkoha, and Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot. Afternoon visit a forest remnant near Toraut. Possibilities there include Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeon, Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher, Yellow-breasted Racquet-tail, Azure-rumped Parrot, Ornate Lorikeet, and White-rumped Cuckooshrike. Night at the Senator Hotel.

DAY 10 - TAMBUN MALEO RESERVE, TAPAKOLINTANG, TORAUT

Morning return to Tambun Maleo Reserve if Maleos not seen the day before. Then bird the roadside near Tapakolintang, where Maleos are also possible. Other possibilities include Red Collared-Dove, Lesser Coucal, Purple Needletail, Pied Cuckooshrike, Finch-billed Myna, and White-necked Myna. Afternoon back at Toraut. Night at the Senator Hotel.

DAY 11 - GUNUNG AMBANG NATURE RESERVE & TRANSFER

Depart very early for Sinsingon Village and Gunung Anbang Nature Reserve, arriving before first light. If still dark, there's a good chance to find Sulawesi Masked-Owl on the hike up the trail. A major target bird is Matinon Flycatcher. Other interesting possibilities include White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Bay Coucal, Ashy Woodpecker, Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Malia, and Sulawesi Babbler. Afternoon transfer to Tomohon with birding stops en route. Night at Mountain View Resort or Highland Resort.

DAY 12 - GUNUNG MAHAWU & TRANSFER

Morning bird the footpath leading up the forested volcano of Gunung Mahawu. This is one of the best sites for Scaly Kingfisher, a key target species always difficult to find. Other key species include Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Metallic Pigeon, Speckled Boobook, Purple-winged Roller, Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Pale-blue Monarch, and Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher. Afternoon transfer to Tangkoko National Park area. Night at Tangkoko Guesthouse.

DAY 13 - TANGKOKO NATIONAL PARK

Depart early for Tangkoko National Park. Birding is along the dirt road through the forest and some trails with gradual uphill hiking. Some groups arrive in the dark to seek out Minahassa Masked-Owl and Ochre-bellied Boobook. Sometimes it can be arranged with a park ranger to find day roosts of both species. Additional key target species are Sulawesi Pitta, most easily found with the help of a local park ranger, and Red-backed Thrush, a beautiful but quite shy thrush of the understory. Other possibilities include Gray-headed Imperial-Pigeon, Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher, Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Great-billed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, and Ashy Woodpecker. Tangkoko is also home to the endangered Sulawesi Crested Macaque. Night at Tangkoko Guesthouse.

DAY 14 - TANGKOKO NATIONAL PARK & TRANSFER

Morning return to Tangkoko National Park to look for any species missed the previous day. Afternoon transfer to Manado. Night at Novotel Golf Resort.

DAY 15 - FLIGHT TO KAO & HIGH PASS

Depart hotel very early to ideally catch 6:50am flight to Kao on Halmahera Island. Drive toward Wasile through the high mountain pass birding en route most of day including a stop at Gunung Roni.. Birding this day is mostly roadside through open forest plus a stop in a coastal area for lunch. The key target bird on the coast is Beach Kingfisher. Possibilities at Gunung Roni include Scarlet-breasted Fruit-Dove, Blue-capped Fruit-Dove, Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Goliath Coucal, Moustached Treeswift, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Violet-necked Lory, White-streaked Friarbird, White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Manus Cuckooshrike, Moluccan Flycatcher, Shining Flycatcher, and Cream-throated White-eye. Additional possibilities along the road include Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove, White Cockatoo, Moluccan Hanging-Parrot, Rufous-bellied Triller, Halmahera Oriole, White-naped Monarch, Halmahera Flowerpecker. Night at Wisma Kita Guesthouse in Wasile.

DAY 16 - FOLI & LOGGING ROAD

Depart very early for the Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise lek near Foli. Much of the morning will be spent there watching the extraordinary displays of male Standardwings display and courting females on the lek. Other birds are also likely in the same forest including the spectacular Ivory-breasted Pitta. The afternoon will be spent birding a nearby logging road through the forest, where birds including the Moluccan endemics Moluccan Drongo-Cuckoo, Drab Whistler, and White-naped Monarch as well as Great-billed Parrot, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Violet-necked Lory, Dusky Myzomela, and Golden Whistler. Night at Wisma Kita Guesthouse in Wasile.

DAY 17 - HALMAHERA ROADSIDE & LOOP ROAD

Morning birding roadside area around Buli Pass. Possibilities include Gurney's Eagle, Moluccan Goshawk, Nicobar Pigeon, Scarlet-breasted Fruit-Dove, Moluccan King-Parrot, Chattering Lory, Violet-necked Lory, Moluccan Hanging-Parrot, White-streaked Friarbird, Dusky Friarbird, Halmahera Cuckooshrike, White-naped Monarch, and Paradise-crow. Afternoon return to the coastal area, looking especially for Beach Kingfisher if missed previously. Night at Wisma Kita Guesthouse in Wasile.

DAY 18 - BUKIT GUNUNG HIGHLANDS & ROADSIDE

Morning bird the highlands of Bukit Gunung. Likely possibilities include Blue-capped Fruit-Dove, Gray-headed Fruit-Dove, Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Blyth's Hornbill, perched and flying Chattering Lories, perched Violet-necked Lories, Moluccan King-Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Stout-billed Cuckooshrike, Black-chinned Whistler, Rufous Fantail, and Halmahera Leaf Warbler. Afternoon bird some roadside area where possibilities include Black Bittern, Zebra Dove, Moluccan Imperial-Pigeon, Spotted Kestrel, Azure Kingfisher, and Moluccan Starling. Around dusk look for Rufous-tailed Bush-hen. Night at Wisma Kita Guesthouse in Wasile.

DAY 19 - GUNUNG RONI, BINAGGARA, & GALELA

Morning return to Gunung Roni to look for Purple Dolarbird if not seen earlier. Then continue to Binagara to look for Invisible Rail. Other possibilties there include Ivory-breasted Pitta, Chattering Lory, Goliath Coucal, and Azure Dollarbird. Afternoon transfer to Tobelo. After dark drive to the nearby mudflats at Galela to look for Moluccan Scrubfowl. Night at Bryken Hotel in Tobelo.

DAY 20 - TRANSFER & MANADO

Early morning transfer to the airport in Kao for flight to Manado. Tour ends at the airport in Manado. International flight out of Manado.

ADDITIONAL INFO
(Not on Menu Above)

BIRDING LOCALES

  • Amurang Rice Fields
  • Bantimurang Forest
  • Gunung Ambang
  • Gunung Mahawu
  • Halmahera
  • Karaenta Forest
  • Lompobattang Mountain
  • Lore Lindu National Park
  • Tambun Maleo Reserve
  • Tangkoko National Park

 

Red-eared Fruit-Dove - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Yellow-and-green Lorikeet - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Knobbed Hornbill - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Bay Coucal - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Great-billed Kingfisher - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Ivory-breasted Pitta - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Moluccan King-Parrot - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Moluccan Scrubfowl - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours