Welcome to Birdquest
Monday 19th August - Friday 6th September 2013
During the eighth Birdquest to The Lesser Sundas, we found a very respectable 269 species. The weather was remarkably sunny, with no rain at all during birding hours; a first for this tour. The bird of the trip was the superb Wallace’s Scops-owl that gave walk-away scope views. The tricky Flores Scops-owl was also seen well and came in at second favourite. All together, we found 9 species of owl and 4 nightjars, a remarkable total, including three barn owls, Moluccan Scops-owl at its day-roost for a third tour running, and the recently described Timor Nightjar. The numerous other avian highlights included Flores Hawk-eagle (perched and in flight), Sumba Buttonquail, Timor Black Pigeon, Barred-necked Cuckoo-dove, Citron- and Yellow-crested Cockatoos, relatively good numbers of Pink-headed Imperial Pigeons and Olive-shouldered Parrots, Sumba Hornbill, multiple sightings of Cinnamon-banded and White-rumped Kingfishers, good perched views of Elegant Pitta, multiple sightings of Chestnut-capped, Chestnut-backed and Orange-sided Thrushes, nice views of Black-banded Flycatcher, Flores Monarch, and Timor Sparrow. The most unexpected find of the tour was the family party of tailorbirds that we found along the Sumba coast near Waingapu. They resembled Olive-backed (which is known to occur only as far as Lombok in Wallacea), but appeared to show at least some minor vocal differences.