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ULTIMATE SULAWESI & HALMAHERA

Sunday 3rd September - Sunday 24th September 2017

DAVE FARROW

Satanic Nightjars, once again we had fabulous views of this enigmatic nightjar on the Anaso Track (Dave Farrow)

Satanic Nightjars, once again we had fabulous views of this enigmatic nightjar on the Anaso Track (Dave Farrow)

This year’s Ultimate Sulawesi and Halmahera tour was once again a successful trip around these endemic-rich islands. Unlike my previous visit two years ago when it was bone dry and there were fires raging everywhere, this year the tour was dominated by rain! However it was only on a couple of days only we endured continuous precipitation, and the frequent showers didn’t stop our birding and in some cases may have helped. On Sulawesi we enjoyed the delights of montane forest birding at Lore Lindu where we saw Satanic Nightjars, Cinnabar Boobook, Eastern Grass Owl, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Maroon-backed Whistler, Sulawesi Thrush, Dark-eared and White-eared Myza and Northern Hylocitrea. Around Makassar we saw Black-ringed White-eye, Lompobattang Leaf Warbler and Southern Hylocitrea – the latter two both Birdquest lifers, Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher nest building, Sulawesi Goshawk, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle and Javan Plovers. In the north of Sulawesi at Gunung Mahawu we had stunning looks at Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, plus Sulawesi Scops Owl, Speckled Boobook and Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker. Around the Kotamobagu and Dumoga Bone area we saw four of the fantastic Maleo, Sulawesi Masked Owl, Oberholser’s Fruit Dove, Silver-tipped and Grey-headed Imperial Pigeons, Yellow-breasted Racket-tails, Lilac and Green-backed Kingfishers, Sulawesi Pitta and Matinan Flycatcher. The last days of the tour at Tangkoko were thrilling as ever, with Great-billed, Ruddy and Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfishers, Aleutian Tern, Ornate Lorikeet, Pygmy Hanging Parrot, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Sulawesi Nightjar, Purple-winged Roller, Isabelline Bush-hen, Pied and White-rumped Cuckooshrikes, and the stunning Rd-backed Thrush. On Halmahera we found a splendid Moluccan Megapode on the beach at Galela, and in the forests we saw Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk, Gurney’s Eagles, Moluccan Goshawk, Scarlet-breasted Fruit Doves, Moluccan King Parrot, Chattering Lory, three Barking Owl in the daytime, Moluccan Owlet Nightjar, Halmahera Boobook, Sombre and Beach Kingfishers, Goliath Coucals, Purple Dollarbird, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Paradise Crows, Halmahera Leaf Warbler and Gray's Grasshopper Warbler, and watched the thrilling displays of Wallace’s Standardwing.

Red-backed Thrush, Tangkoko (Dave Farrow)

Red-backed Thrush, Tangkoko (Dave Farrow)