Welcome to Birdquest
Friday 4th November - Saturday 26th November 2016
This was our fifth tour now to the not-so-remote islands of Buru, Ambon, Haruku, Yamdena (Tanimbar), Kai and Seram, and it turned out to be another amazing experience. Our huge total of 265 species included 18 tour write-ins, three of which were new species for the Birdquest Life List - the amazing and much sought-after Madanga (or Madanga Pipit), which had only been seen previously by four intrepid birders/ornithologists (and not at all for 10 years), the cryptic Violet-hooded Starling, and the endangered small-island endemic Black-chinned (or Boano) Monarch. We also heard the recently described Seram Masked Owl, the specific status of which remains in doubt. Once again, off the north coast of Seram, we re-found the lone wintering Chinese Crested Tern that was first discovered by us back in 2010. Other species to feature in the top five birds of the tour were Blue-eared Lory, which perched-up very nicely in the Seram highlands, and Buru Thrush, which we all watched (and even videoed) at the nest, incubating its single egg. The fantastic views that we had of all the nightbirds and pittas were also memorable. The smooth running and seamless logistics of the tour, thanks to Ceisar Riupassa, Vinno Soewarian and our local teams of drivers, made things very easy and comfortable for us. There was always time for a coffee and biscuit break, and a well-earned beng-beng!