Sulawesi - Halmahera 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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Sulawesi and Halmahera Birding

The ultimate birding destination in asia and the world’s most spectacular endemic birds species such as Hylocitrea which is now in a family its own, Red-knobbed Hornbill, Purple bearded Bee-eater, Maleo,Geomalia, Sulawesi streaked Flycatcher, Purple winged Roller, Sulawesi crested Myna, White necked Myna, Fiery-browed Myna, Wallace’s Standardwing, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Moluccan Owlet Nightjar, Fruit Doves and some impressive selection of the Kingfishers.

Duration: 18 days
Starting city: Makassar (South Sulawesi)
Ending city: Ternate (Halmahera)
Physical difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Focus: Birding
Bird Photography: is the best, special the Sulawesi bird endemic
Walking condition: the walking ranges from easy to moderate, but there will be a few tough days in anaso track Lore Lindu Park, Gunung Ambang in Dumoga and Temboan hill near Tangkoko Park
Type of Land Transport & Road: We will use minibus or cars. Road is some part in good condition and some part in bad condition. While for mangrove boat trip we will use small boat.
Accommodation: Makassar Hotel standard, in Lore Lindu we will be staying in basic guesthouse with no hot water, in Palu we will be staying at standard hotel in Town, In Kotamobagu we will stay Three nights at standard hotel has hot water shower and internet access WIFI, in TomohonGunungMahawu we will be staying in the hotel or cottages which has hot water shower and has also internet access WIFI, In Tangkoko park we will be staying in basic guesthouses with no hot water but has aircondition room, no internet connection and in Manado we will stay at 4**** hotel, in Halmahera we will be stay at hotel and in Ternate we will stay at the standard hotel
Min group size: 2 persons
Max group size: 10 persons

Day 1: Arrival in Makassar in South Sulawesi.
We will start our trip to visit ricefield and fishponds for Pale headed Munia, Black faced Munia, ChesnutMunia, White shouldered triller, Javan pond Heron, White headed Stilt, Sacred Kingfisher, lesser coucal.

Day 2: Karaenta forest – Makassar – Palu – Lore Lindu
Early morning breakfast at the hotel then we will travel up into the forested limestone hills north of the Makassar city. Karaenta Nature Reserve is the good place to spot an endemic to South Sulawesi the Black-ringed White-eye, This forest good chance to see the Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbill, Yellow billed Malkoha, Red Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi crested Myna, Piping Crow, Sulawesi GoshawkandSulawesi Streaked Flycatcher( recently described in 2015. After morning birding in this area we will transfer to Makassar airport for flight to Palu in Central Sulawesi and to Lore Lindu National park

Days 3-5: Lore Lindu National Park.
This park has a well deserved reputation for montanespecialities. our main targets here are Sulawesi endemic of the Purple-Beared Bee-Eater, Great Shortwing, Malia, Geomalia, Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, Caerulean cuckoo shrikes, Sulawesi Cicadabirds, Black-fronted White-eye, black Sunbird, Black-naped Monarch and the Citrine Flycatcher, Island Flycatcher, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Mountain serin, Sulawesi myzomela, Ivory-backed wood-swallow, Ornate lorikeet, Small-sparrow hawk, Maroon-backed Whistler, Heinrich nightjar, Speckled boobook, CinabarBoobook, Sulawesi scops owl, Sulawesi pygmy woodpecker, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Spotted kestrel, lemon-bellied white-eye, Sulawesi Triller, Sulawesi cicadabird, Sulawesi serpent eagle, Hylocitrea;Geomalia, Golden-mantled and Yellow-breasted Racquet-tails, Red-eared Fruit-Dove, Maroon-backed Whistler, White-eared Myza, and Streak-headed Dark-eye, Sombre Pigeon, and the Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Diabolical (Satanic) Nightjars roosting during the day at regular stakeouts along there. Late afternoon we drive back to Palu for overnight stay.

Day 6: Palu to Manado via Luwuk (flight by Wings Air IW 1156 depart at 07:15 and arrived at 10:10 AM) and 4 hours car drive to Kotamobagu. Today much of the day will be spent traveling. Three nights will be spent at hotel in the town of Kotamobagu.

Days 7: Dumoga Nani Wartabone National Park
Fullday morning/afternoon, we will explore the Maleo breeding Center, the most handsome of all megapodes is the endemic MacrocephalonMaleo of Sulawesi. Its black-and-pink plumage, erect tail and grotesque helmet or cephalon (hence its scientific name) and characteristic rolling call make the Maleo a must for bird-watchers visiting Sulawesi. and on same days it is possible to help with the release of chicks into the wild. After spending some time searching for Maleos, we will walk in this small forest patch, searching for a local endemic, Sulawesi crested Myna, White necked Myna, Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove, Yellow-billed Malkoha, the strange white-eyed race of Hair-crested Drongo, Black-billed Koel, Bay Coucal, Black naped Fruit Dove, Sulawesi hanging Parrot, White breasted Woodswallow and Sulawesi hawk Eagle. These forests also hold Sulawesi black Pigeon and perhaps get further chances at Sulawesi Pitta.

Day 8: Dumoga Nani Wartabone National Park
Hope we will see regularly roosting Speckled Boobook within the park buildings, and other species; Pied Cuckooshrike, Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher, Lilac cheeked Kingfisher, Green backed Kingfisher, Maroon chinned Fruit Dove, Superb fruit Dove, Grey headed Imperial Pigeon, Red Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi dwarf Hornbill, Grey headed Fish eagle, this area also good for the endemic Ivory-backed Woodswallow, and is great for mynas, with Finch-billed, White-vented and Sulawesi (Crested) Mynas, Barred (Sulawesi) Honey-Buzzard. In the afternoon we will move onto another area of the roadside paddies and wet areas for Barred and Buff-banded Rails, and Wandering Whistling-Ducks on the way.

Day 9: Gunung Ambang to Tomohon.
This morning we will start very early and explore some of the surviving montane forest in GunungAmbang Nature Reserve. Birds species here are; Matinan flycatcher, the Scaly breasted Kingfisher, the purple-bearded Bee-eater, Red eared Fruit Dove, Sulawesi blue flycatcher, Sulawesi leaf warbler, Carulean cuckoo-shrike, Superb Fruit dove, Ornate lorikeet, yellow and green lorikeet, Black billed Koel, Sulawesi Pitta, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Ashy Woodpecker, Malia, yellow sided flowerpecker, Sulawesi myzomela. After morning here we will back to Kotamobagu for Lunch then after that we will drive 5 hours to reach Tomohon.

Day 10: Gunung Mahawu – Tangkoko Park
Gunung Mahawu is a forested Volcano (1490 meters above sea level), Bird species at GunungMahawu and Tomohon; Scaly-breasted kingfisher, Lilac-cheeked kingfisher, Green-backed kingfisher, Blue-eared kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Sulawesi scops owl, Speckled boobook, Ochre-bellied boobook, Sulawesi babler, Chestnut-backed Bush-Warbler, Sulawesi Blue-Flycatcher (split from Mangrove Blue-Flycatcher), the ultra rareRufous-throated Flycatcher, Pale-blue Monarch (split from Black-naped Monarch), Isabeline-bush hen, Barred rail, White-browed Crake, Sulawesi
Myzomela, Island Flycatcher, Citrine Flycatcher, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Black-fronted White-eye, Mountain white-eye, Streak-headed Dark-eye, Mountain Tailorbird, Purple-winged Roller, Yellow vented Whistler, Crimson sunbird, Black Sunbird, Olive-back sunbird, Sooty-headed bulbul, Hair crested drongo, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Ashy Woodpecker, Sulawesi pygmy Woodpecker, Grey wagtail, Yellow wagtail, Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted munia, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Brown-cuckoo dove, superb-fruit dove, Sulawesi black-Pigeon, Sulawesi-hanging parrot, Black Eagle, Black Kite, Osprey, Spotted Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon. During our stay here also we have a great chance of finding Purple swamphen, White-browed crake, White-breasted waterhen, Common Moorhen, Javan pond heron on the Lake Tondano.

Days 11-13: Tangkoko.
The reserve is especially famous for kingfishers, having no less then eight resident species, of which four are endemic but remember that Tangkoko also has much more to offer than its kingfisher though and with the assistance of the skilled our local team, we will be search for Lilac cheeked kingfisher, Green-backed kingfisher, Sulawesi-dwarf kingfisher, Sulawesi Pitta, Rudy kingfisher, Common kingfisher, Blue-eared kingfisher, collared kingfisher, Red-Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi dwarf Hornbill, Ochre-bellied boobook, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Bay Coucal, Lesser coucal, Sulawesi-Hawk eagle, Sulawesi serpent eagle, Black eagle, Black kite, Sulawesi cicada bird, Rusty-breasted cuckko, Sulawesi triller, Purple-winged roller, Ashy woodpecker, Sulawesi pygmy woodpecker, Sulawesi hanging parrot, Ornate lorikeet, Golden-mantled Racquetail, Blue-backed parrot, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon, White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Silver-tipped Imperial Pigeon, Sulawesi Black Pigeon, Stephan’s Dove, Brown-cuckoo dove, PhilipineScrubfowl, Barred rail, Isabeline Bush hen. During our boat trip to the mangrove we may find other species; White-rumped cuckoo-Shrike, Common kingfisher, Great-billed kingfisher, Pink-necked green Pigeon, Osprey, Great Frigatebirds, Lesser frigatebirds, Pasific reef egret, common dollar bird, Striated heron, Little tern, Sacred and Collared kingfisher, White-bellied Sea eagle, Brahminy kite and Purple heron. After spending much of the day birding but we have time also to see interesting mammals such as Black-macacanigra, Tarsier spectrum and bear cuscus in Tangkoko Park. On the day 13 – late afternoon we will move to Manado for overnight stay at good hotel.

Day 14: Manado – Ternate – Halmahera
Morning birding around the hotel and its good for Java sparrow, buff banded rail, Barred rail, Olive backed Sunbird, White breasted Woodswallow.From here we will transfer to the Manado airport for our flight to Ternate and from there we take a speed boat to Sofifi on Halmahera and after check-in at the hotel and if time permited we birding for Common Paradise Kingfisher and Ivory-breasted Pitta. Accommodation at Bolote Hotel in Sofifi

Day 15 :Fullday Birding in Sidanggoli / Kali BatuPutih, KM 12
Breakfast at 04.30 and leave the Hotel at 5 AM, from the hotel to the birding site about 45 minutes driving. Our birds target are: Common paradise kingfisher, Sombre kingfisher, Blue and white kingfisher, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Blyt’h Hornbill, Goliatcoucal, Golden bulbul. Night at Bolote hotel in Sofifi.

Day 16 :Aketajawe NP – Subaim / Poli
Morning birding in Aketajawe NP for Ivory breasted Pitta, Variable dwarf Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Blue and White Kingfisher, Sombre Kingfisher, Paradise crow, Long billed Crow, Blyths Hornbill. Lunch at local restaurant and after lunch we should drive to Subaim/Poli for overnight stay.

Day 17 :Poli – Sofifi – Ternate
Early morning we need to be at the Lek of the Poli, this location of one of the display trees of the rare and magnificent bird of Wallace’s standardwing. late afternoon we will go back to Sofifi for 4 hours driving the catch the speedboat back Ternate for overnight.

Day 18 :TERNATE – JAKARTA.
Breakfast at the hotel and then we transfer by car to ternate airport for next destination. End of the trip.

More pictures …