Welcome to Birdquest
Saturday 6th September - Friday 26th September 2014
Another great Birdquest tour to Sulawesi and Halmahera, we enjoyed great success despite the effects of ever-increasing habitat destruction at some sites. On Sulawesi we enjoyed many superb endemics such as Green-backed, Lilac-cheeked, Sulawesi Dwarf and Great-billed Kingfishers, (some of the 14 Kingfisher species recorded!), a daytime roosting Sulawesi Scops Owls and both Ochre-bellied and Speckled Boobooks, Cinnabar Boobook, Sulawesi Masked Owl, Sulawesi and Satanic Nightjars (to make five Nightjar species seen), that marvel of evolution the Maleo, Knobbed and Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbills, Red-eared and Oberholser’s Fruit Doves, Sulawesi Serpent Eagles, Sulawesi Hawk Eagles, Spot-tailed and Sulawesi Goshawks, Small Sparrowhawk, Purple-bearded Bee-eaters, Purple-winged Roller, Piping Crow, Malia, Hylocitrea, Red-backed and Sulawesi Thrushes, and the demure Matinan Flycatcher. On Halmahera we saw Beach, Common Paradise, Blue-and-white and Sombre Kingfishers, and had good encounters with Halmahera Boobook and Moluccan Scops Owl. Its a great place for Pigeons and Parrots, and we found Blue-capped, Grey-headed and Scarlet-breasted Fruit Doves, Spectacled and Cinnamon-bellied Imperial Pigeons, Moluccan King Parrot, White Cockatoo, Great-billed, Red-cheeked and Eclectus Parrots, Moluccan Hanging Parrot, Chattering and Violet-necked Lorys. We had stunning views at close range of Moluccan Scrubfowl, found Goliath Coucals, the odd Paradise Crow, Gurney’s Eagles, Halmahera Leaf Warbler and White-naped Monarch. We enjoyed the dawn lek of Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise, plus some icing on the cake that came in the form of a pair of Purple Dollarbirds performing in the early morning sun. Our ‘bird-of-the-trip’ came at close to the end of our visit, with a superb Red-bellied Pitta (or Sulawesi Pitta as it must now be called!) that thrilled us at close range and gave some stunning views, just one of the 274 bird species recorded.