Lore Lindu Birding

by Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia

Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia offers a range of private and small group birding tours throughout Sulawesi, Halmahera, West Papua, Java, Bali, Flores and Lesser Sunda allowing birders to select from a variety of destinations.

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Trip report birding in Tangkoko and Gunung Mahawu, North Sulawesi Indonesia

From March 14 to 17 2014 I did a 4-day birding trip with Sultan Tours in the extreme northeast corner of Sulawesi. Since time was limited we birded in Tangkoko (2,5 days) and the surroundings of Tomohon (1,5 day). Monal was my bird guide during those 4 days.

Birding was excellent. The main focus was on seeing as many endemic bird species as possible. Since a lot of birds are willing to pose very well, especially in Tangkoko, I did quite some photographing too (although that was not the main purpose of the trip). During the time in Tangkoko, a local bird guide joined us as well. Both this guy and Monal have excellent knowledge of the whereabouts of the birds. The main endemic bird attractions always had priority. As indicated before we started the trip, the schedule was flexible and could be changed to whatever bird species we had missed before.

During the four day trip I saw just over a 100 species (with a very high proportion of endemics). A few birds were heard only. All observed birds are listed below:

  1. Great Frigatebird: at least 1 bird in flight at mangroves near Tangkoko
  2. Lesser Frigatebird: several birds in flight at mangroves near Tangkoko
  3.  Common Tern: a flock of distant terns were probably this species
  4.  Purple Heron: several seen near lake Tondano
  5. Little Egret: common in rice fields
  6. Pacific Reef-Egret: 1 seen at beach near mangroves, Tangkoko
  7. Cattle Egret: several seen
  8. Javan Pond Heron: fairly common in rice fields near Lake Tondano
  9. Striated Heron: several birds in the mangroves near Tangkoko
  10. Yellow Bittern: several birds in flight at Lake Tondano
  11. Eastern Osprey: 1 bird seen at mangroves Tangkoko, 1 bird near AMS lookout near Bitung
  12.  Black Eagle: seen on two days at AMS lookout near Bitung
  13. Brahminy Kite: several birds seen
  14.  White-bellied Sea-Eagle: 2 birds in flight at TangkokoSulawesi Serpent-Eagle (endemic): several birds seen at AMS lookout near Bitung. One showed very well just above our heads in a tree
  15.  Black kite: 3 birds at Lake Tondano
  16. Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle (endemic):a bird at nest in Tangkoko showed very well. A juvenile was calling nearby, but not seen
  17. Japanese Sparrowhawk: 3 birds migrating at AMS lookout
  18. Chinese Sparrowhawk: several birds migrating at AMS lookout, of which one bird showed very well perched. Two huge migrating flocks of approximately 80 and 200 birds near Gunung Mahawu
  19. Spotted Kestrel: 1 bird near Gunung Mahawu
  20. Wandering Whistling-Duck: 3 birds at Lake Tondano
  21. White-browed Crake: several birds seen in the rice fields at Lake Tondano
  22. Buff-banded Rail: 1 bird seen at the fields of the entrance of Gunung Mahawu
  23. Barred Rail: up to 15 birds seen on all days, mostly crossing the road in early mornings
  24. Isabelline Bush-hen (endemic): 1 bird crossing the road at Tangkoko
  25. Dusky Moorhen: common at Lake Tondano
  26. Common Moorhen: at least 1 bird identified at Lake Tondano
  27. Wood Sandpiper: several birds in the rice fields near Lake Tondano
  28. Common Sandpiper: several birds seen
  29. Grey-tailed Tattler: 2 birds at mangroves near Tangkoko
  30. Spotted Dove: common at Lake Tondano
  31. Sulawesi Black Pigeon (endemic): several birds seen in Tangkoko
  32. Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove: several birds seen at Tangkoko and Gunung Mahawu
  33. Stephan’s Dove: 1 bird walking across the road in Tangkoko gave good views
  34. Green Imperial Pigeon: fairly common in Tangkoko
  35. White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon (endemic): several birds seen by telescope at AMS lookout
  36.  Pied Imperial Pigeon: several large flocks at mangroves near Tangkoko
  37. Silver-tipped imperial Pigeon (endemic): several birds seen at AMS lookout. Striking birds!
  38.  Superb Fruit-Dove: 1 bird seen very well at Gunung Mahawu
  39. Pink-necked Green Pigeon: common at mangroves near Tangkoko
  40. Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon: several birds seen at Tangkoko
  41. Ornate Lorikeet (endemic): only a few birds seen in AMS lookout.
  42. Golden-mantled Racket-tail (endemic): seen only in flight at AMS lookout
  43. Blue-backed Parrot (endemic): eventually showing well inside the park
  44. Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot (endemic): several birds seen well. Much larger than next species
  45. Pygmy Hanging-Parrot (endemic): some birds showed very well at AMS lookout. Smart birds!
  46.  Rusty-breasted Cuckoo: 1 bird seen very well at AMS lookout
  47. Yellow-billed Malkoha (endemic): fairly common in the park, seen well at several occasions
  48. Lesser Coucal: 1 bird seen well at Tangkoko
  49. Bay Coucal (endemic): 1 bird seen in Tangkoko was a bit elusive
  50. Ochre-bellied Boobook (endemic): great find by the local guide in Tangkoko. Showed very well!
  51. Sulawesi Scops-Owl (endemic): fairly common and heard at several occasions at night. Eventually showed very well!
  52. Great-eared Nightjar: 1 found by the local guide on itsday roost. Showed very well. Impressive bird! Another one heard calling at night.
  53. Uniform Swiftlet: several seen
  54. Sulawesi Swiftlet: very common
  55. Glossy Swiftlet: common
  56. Grey-rumpedTreeswift: several birds seen at AMS lookout
  57. Green-backed Kingfisher (endemic): several birds seen well in Tangkoko. We even found a nesting bird, incubating one egg.
  58. Great-billed Kingfisher (endemic): after some effort seen very well in the mangroves near Tangkoko. What a stunning bird!
  59. Ruddy Kingfisher: 1 seen well near the entrance of Tangkoko
  60.  Lilac Kingfisher (endemic): several birds seen very well. Impressive birds and one of the star attractions of Tangkoko
  61.  Collared Kingfisher: common
  62.  Blue-eared Kingfisher: 1 bird seen at stakeout near Gunung Mahawu
  63. Common Kingfisher: 1 bird in the mangroves near Tangkoko
  64. Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher (endemic): a pair seen very well in Tangkoko. Again with great help of the local guide
  65. Knobbed Hornbill (endemic): several birds seen in Tangkoko
  66. Purple-winged Roller (endemic): attractive bird seen on several occasions
  67. Ashy Woodpecker (endemic): 2 birds seen very well in Tangkoko. Again, another impressive Sulawesi endemic.
  68. Barn Swallow: common
  69.  Pacific Swallow: common
  70. Yellow Wagtail: several birds seen in the fields near Gunung Mahawu
  71. Grey Wagtail: 1 at Gunung Mahawu and 1 at the lodge near Mahawu
  72. White-rumped Cuckoo-Shrike (endemic): several birds in the mangroves near Tangkoko
  73.  Sulawesi Triller (endemic): 1 bird showed very well at AMS lookout
  74.  Sooty-headed Bulbul: common
  75. Hair-crested Drongo: common
  76. Black-naped Oriole: fairly common at AMS lookout
  77. Slender-billed Crow: common
  78. Sulawesi Babbler (endemic): heard at a lot of places, but only 1 bird showed well at Gunung Mahawu
  79.  Golden-bellied Gerygone: common in the mangroves neat Tangkoko
  80. Mountain Tailorbird: 1 bird at Gunung Mahawu
  81. Mountain White-eye: several flocks at Gunung Mahawu
  82. Black-fronted White-eye: several flocks at Gunung Mahawu, also at the lodge
  83. Grey-streaked Flycatcher: 1 bird showed well at AMS lookout
  84.  Island Flycatcher: 1 bird at Gunung Mahawu
  85.  Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (endemic): 1 bird seen at the lodge at Gunung Mahawu, 1 bird at Gunung Mahawu
  86. Pale-blue Monarch: only 1 bird seen in Tangkoko
  87. Ivory-backed Woodswallow (endemic): a distant group of 8 birds at Gunung Mahawu
  88. White-necked Myna (endemic): several birds seen well at AMS lookout
  89. Grosbeak Myna (endemic): common in Tangkoko. Sometimes in large flocks.
  90. Sulawesi Crested Myna (endemic): several birds seen very well AMS lookout. Can be a tricky bird to see.
  91. Sulawesi Myzomela (endemic): 1 male seen very well at Gunung Mahawu
  92. Brown-throated Sunbird: fairly common
  93. Black Sunbird: 1 bird in Tangkoko, 2 at Gunung Mahawu
  94. Olive-backed Sunbird: common
  95. ellow-sided Flowerpecker (endemic): fairly common at both Tangkoko and Gunung Mahawu
  96.  Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker (endemic): at least two birds seen at Gunung Mahawu
  97. Grey-sided Flowerpecker (endemic): several birds seen at AMS lookout
  98. Eurasian Tree Sparrow: common
  99. Scaly-breasted Munia: common in rice fields
  100. Chestnut Munia: common in fields and rice fields

The following birds were heard only:

  1. Sulawesi Nightjar (endemic): 1 distantly calling at Tangkoko
  2. Red-bellied Pitta: often heard at Tangkoko, but never close enough for an encounter
  3. Clamorous Reed Warbler: 1 bird singing at Lake Tondano
  4. Scaly Kingfisher (endemic): heard at its stakeout at Gunung Mahawu, but unfortunately never seen.

By: Arthur Geilvoet (Netherland)