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SUMATRA

Sunday 8th July - Tuesday 31st July 2018

JANOS OLAH

Sumatra is a great place to catch up with the enigmatic Oriental Bay Owl, seen on a more or less horizontal branch here for a change! (János Oláh)

Sumatra is a great place to catch up with the enigmatic Oriental Bay Owl, seen on a more or less horizontal branch here for a change! (János Oláh)

Sumatra and Java are two very special endemic-reach islands of the Greater Sundas! Birdquest has been operating tours to this region for a long time. Nowadays we offer a classic Sumatra tour with an optional Javan extension which visits the key sites on the western part of the island. Each part of this tour is an adventure on its own with many excellent birds. Sumatra is the largest entirely Indonesian island and the sixth largest island in the World! The longest axis of the island runs approximately 1,790 km northwest–southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. The interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: the Barisan Mountain Range in the west and swampy plains in the east. The highest peak is Mount Kerinci with an impressive 3805 meter. The longer part of our tour was spent in the mountains, which support all the endemic birds of this fantastic island but we also spent as few days in the lowlands. Java is the most densly populated island in Indonesia and dotted with a chain of volcanos and most of our time was

spent in Mount Gede and Mount Halimun but we also visited the coastal area as well as Jakarta Bay. Those interested in Asian birding both Sumatra and Java are essential destinations. In recent years with taxonomic changes both islands hosting more and more endemics, especially the endemic birds of Java is increasing steadily. Birding however can be extremely difficult as some of the special birds being very hard-to-see and a fair amount of work and devotion is required. But it is also fair to state that in the last four years both islands certainly got more staked-out and there is a new generation of local birders to help out the visitors! As a side effect of the growing demand for nature and bird Photography in Asia, more and more hides were set up recently. The weather was mostly kind to us on the 2018 tour and we only got one full day of rain in Kerinci. The highlights for this year included such sought-after birds as Red-billed Partridge, Salvadori’s Pheasant, Sumatran Peacock-Pheasant, Storm’s Stork, Sumatran Green Pigeon, Oriental Bay Owl, Barred Eagle Owl, Sunda (Collared) Owlet, Large, Short-tailed (Sumatran), Gould’s and Sunda Frogmouthes, Bonaparte’s Nightjar, Sumatran Trogon, Schneider’s and Graceful Pittas, Rusty-breasted, Marbled and Sumatran Wren-Babblers, Sumatran Babbler and Sumatran Cochoa just to name the top of the list. We recorded 273 species

on our 13 full days of birding. In Java we also had excellent weather and the best birds were Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Milky Stork, Christmas Island Frigatebird, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Pink-headed Fruit-Dove, Sunda Coucal, Javan Scops Owl, Javan Owlet, Javan Frogmouth, Salvadori’s Nightjar, Volcano Swiftlet, Javan Trogon, Javan and Cerulean Kingfishers, Brown-throated, Black-banded and Flame-fronted Barbets, Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Javan Banded Pitta, Pied and Trilling Shrike-Babblers, Javan Tesia, Pygmy Bushtit, White-breasted, White-bibbed and Crescent-chested Babblers, Large Wren-Babbler, Javan (Rufous-fronted) Laughingthrush, Spotted Crocias, Javan Cochoa and Horsfield’s Thrush just to name some of the best ones. In Java we recorded 180 species on our 8 full days birding.

Schneider's Pitta is one of the most sought after endemics on this tour and we have a great track record of seeing it at its Mount Kerinci stronghold (János Oláh)

Schneider's Pitta is one of the most sought after endemics on this tour and we have a great track record of seeing it at its Mount Kerinci stronghold (János Oláh)