Sulawesi Birding Trip

by Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia

Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia offers a range of private and small group birding tours throughout Sulawesi cover Tangkoko birdwatching, Lore Lindu National Park, Dumoga bone Park and Gunung Mahawu

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Sulawesi Birding Trip

Birders will find Sulawesi a real Mecca, with 112 Sulawesi’s endemic bird to go for. Sulawesi is the highest levels of the endemism in Indonesia, of 421 bird species known from the island, approximately 88 ( 27%) are found no where else. Fourteen genera are so unusual that they are considered unique to Sulawesi.

Duration: 14 days
Starting city: Makassar (South Sulawesi)
Ending city: Manado (North Sulawesi)
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, GunungAmbang 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.
Min group size: 2 persons
Max group size: 10 persons

Day 1: Arrival in Makassar in South Sulawesi.
After your arrival in the capital of South Sulawesi, you will be transferred to a comfortable hotel, for the night. For early arrivals an afternoon trip can be taken to Makassar and 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
Karaenta to Lore Lindu National Park. 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 that is confined to South Sulawesi the local Black-ringed White-eye, This forest also provides a good chance to see the Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbill, Yellow billed Malkoha, Red Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi crested Myna, Piping Crow, Sulawesi Goshawk and with luck the White necked Myna. In this forest we might also find the Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher( recently described in 2015. After morning birding in this area we will return to Makassar and take a flight to Palu in Central Sulawesi. From Palu we will travel by car to Lore Lindu National Park, our base for exploring the montane forests of Lore Lindu National Park and we will stay three nights in a simple guesthouse in Wuasa, near to the national park.

Days 3-5: Lore Lindu National Park.
There is probably nowhere better to see Sulawesi’s unique avifauna, with 80% of the island’s endemic species, this park has a well deserved reputation for montanespecialities. our main targets here are the magnificent Sulawesi endemic of the Purple-Beared Bee-Eater, Great Shortwing, Malia, Geomalia, Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, noisy 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 and many more with luck! On at least one of the days we will make the climb up the infamous Anaso Track, which allows access to higher altitudes, and the possibility of Sulawesi’s sole endemic bird family – Hylocitrea (yellow flanked whistler); the strange and rare Geomalia (recently found to be an odd zoothera thrush); along with Golden-mantled and Yellow-breasted Racquet-tails, Red-eared Fruit-Dove, Maroon-backed Whistler, White-eared Myza, and Streak-headed Dark-eye. These ascents will also give us a chance at the rare Mountain Serin, Sombre Pigeon, and with luck we might see the Purple-bearded Bee-eater known as the world’s most interesting bee-eater. There is also often the chance to find Diabolical Nightjars roosting during the day.
On day 5 – late afternoon we will 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: DumogaNaniWartabone National Park, fullday morning and 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 back 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
Fullday morning birding in Toraut, another forested section of the park, where we hope to find the regularly roosting Speckled Boobook within the park buildings, and we might see 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 park checking 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. Here we try find the Matinan flycatcher and we will also be hoping to encounter the beautiful the Scaly breasted Kingfisher and if we are in luck we will spot the purple-bearded Bee-eater, Red eared Fruit Dove, Sulawesi blue flycatcher, Sulawesi leaf warbler, 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 4 hours to reach Tomohon.

Day 10: Gunung Mahawu – Tangkoko Park
GunungMahawu is a forested Volcano (1490 meters above sea level), Inside the crater is a steaming, emerald-green lake ringed with yellow sulphur deposits. From the summit you can see neighbouring Mount Lokon with its ever-present plume of smoke. On the clear day you can also see both the Sulawesi sea on the west and to the Maluku sea to the east, GunungMahawu is located near the village of Rurukan where Sir Alfred Wallace lived for a while. Now GunungMahawu is one of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas ( IBAs ) in Asia by BirdLife International. In this birding place we have some interesting Sulawesi endemic species, It is one of the easiest and most reliable sites in Sulawesi for the Scaly-breasted kingfisher- Actenoidesprinceps but please note this star bird of Sulawesi is very skittish and always hide so to spot them still need luck. 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 Birding.
This reserve on the eastern tip of the Minahassa Peninsula, is one of Sulawesi’s flagship parks, the excellent lowland jungle and mangrove forest providing superb birding site, 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. Three nights will be spent in a simple lodge just outside the park. On the day 13 – late afternoon we will move to Manado for overnight stay at 4**** hotel.

Day 14: Manado – Next destination.
Morning birding around the hotel and its good for Java sparrow, buff banded rail, Barred rail, Olive backed Sunbird, White breasted Woodswallow.

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