REMOTE ISLANDS OF THE BANDA SEA, INDONESIA TOUR REPORT 2022

17 SEPTEMBER – 5 OCTOBER 2022

by Mark Beaman

Our Banda Sea adventure in September-October 2022 was a great success, turning up all the currently-recognized endemic bird species of the islands, whatever the taxonomic authority followed. Not only did we do very well with the endemics, but we also had a great selection of seabirds including such rarities as Aleutian Tern, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Matsudaira’s Storm Petrel, Tahiti Petrel, Heinroth’s Shearwater and Masked and Abbott’s Boobies, as well as some difficult Lesser Sundas endemics including Flores Green Pigeon, Flores Hawk-Eagle, the endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo and the local form of the Sunda Grasshopper Warbler. It was certainly one of the most successful Banda Sea expeditions ever in terms of the important birds seen. However, there was something else really remarkable about this expedition and that was the sheer comfort of it all. Birding in remote parts of Indonesia often involves very basic accommodations and pretty simple food, but instead, we explored the Banda Sea on a lovely and very comfortable schooner where the crew greeted us back from birding with cool towels and welcome drinks, and where the food was varied and delicious, the cabins air-conditioned and the seabird and cetacean watching done from the seats and sun-loungers on the upper deck! It was no problem at all getting used to such luxuries, but now I am not sure we can all go back to normality!

Our pre-tour extension to the Tanimbar archipelago ended up being extended by a day owing to a feature of immediately post-pandemic Indonesia, flight cancellations owing to not enough travellers. Of course, having an extra day was great, but it would have been good to have had more notice.

The main island of Yamdena still has plenty of forest, which is obviously the case as one flies over tens of kilometres of pristine forest before approaching the island capital of Saumlaki, although deforestation along the few main roads is an issue. Nonetheless, there is plenty of good habitat not far away and we were soon out exploring the forest trails.

Most of Tanimbar’s endemics were easy or at least straightforward to find, including Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove, the raucous Tanimbar Corella (or Tanimbar Cockatoo), Blue-streaked Lory, Tanimbar Friarbird, Tanimbar Oriole, White-browed (or Tanimbar) Triller, Tanimbar Monarch, Golden-bellied (or Tanimbar) Flyrobin, Tanimbar Bush Warbler, Tanimbar Starling and the pretty Tanimbar Flycatcher. Long-tailed (or Charming) Fantails truly lived up to their name and became a great favourite. In addition, Tanimbar Boobooks put on a great display for us after dark, peering down at us from close range. Two absolutely stunning endemics that we especially enjoyed were the striking Slaty-backed Thrush, a canopy feeder, and the handsome Fawn-breasted Thrush, which kept low down, often feeding on the ground. We were even fortunate enough to come across two Tanimbar Megapodes (or Tanimbar Scrubfowl) in one section of Yamdena forest, a bird that is nowadays more easily seen on the outlying islands owing to hunting pressure.

We also had good views of the truly stunning, range-restricted Wallace’s Fruit Dove, Pied Bronze Cuckoo, which if split is endemic to just Tanimbar and Kai, as well as a very noisy Channel-billed Cuckoo, the xanthogaster form of Rose-crowned Fruit Dove that has a silver-white crown (!), Elegant Imperial Pigeon, the lovely Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, the Tanimbar form of Eclectus Parrot, Banda Sea (or Tanimbar) Myzomela (endemic to Tanimbar if split), Kai Cicadabird (a tough one to find and a species usually restricted to Tanimbar and Kai) and the Tanimbar form of the Wallacean Drongo (another rather uncommon bird on Yamdena). We also encountered our first Barred Doves, Banda Sea Pittas, Scaly-breasted (or Banda) Honeyeaters, Rufous-sided (or Banda Sea) Gerygones, Wallacean Whistlers, Arafura (or Supertramp) Fantails, Black-bibbed (or Banda Sea) Monarchs and Ashy-bellied White-eyes.

Cutover and grassy areas turned up a couple of King (or Blue-breasted) Quails as well as the more expected Australian Pratincole, Tawny Grassbird and Five-coloured Munia. Wetlands are few on Yamdena but we did manage to find, among others, Radjah Shelduck, Black Bittern and Azure Kingfisher, as well as a very unexpected Magpie Goose, a rarity in these parts.

During the extension and the first day of our cruise on the Lady Denok we explored the small islands not far from Saumlaki. The major target here is Tanimbar Megapode, of which we managed to see an extraordinary total of 10 in addition to the two on the mainland! Mind you, they are not the easiest of birds to get good or prolonged views of so the ‘extensioners’ were very happy with the one that perched in full view for at least five minutes.

Other birds of interest on the ‘out islands’ included Beach Thick-knee, Pied Oystercatcher (that Australian influence creeping in), groups of migrant Little Curlews, Australian Pelican, Pink-headed and Pied Imperial Pigeons and huge Great-billed Herons.

A rocky islet held numerous Great and Lesser Frigatebirds, Brown Boobies and Bridled, Greater Crested and smart Black-naped Terns, all of which gave awesome close views. We particularly enjoyed the acrobatic pursuits by the frigatebirds, usually after Brown Boobies but sometimes terns.

We had stayed in a very pleasant waterfront hotel in Saumlaki, but on boarding the Lady Denok, our chartered phinisi (schooner) the difference was obvious. The smart, uniformed crew, the face towels, the welcome drinks… It was clearly going to be marvellous! It was time to unload our luggage and enjoy our adventurous cruise to come.

After leaving the outermost islands of the Tanimbar archipelago behind, we set sail for distant Babar, which lies to the southwest of Tanimbar. Our first ‘seawatching’ session was rewarding, with lots of Wilson’s Storm Petrels and our first Streaked Shearwaters, Red-footed Boobies and Parasitic Jaegers (or Arctic Skuas). The big highlights of the day included a close Masked Booby, some Tahiti Petrels and two Matsudaira’s Storm Petrels. For some reason, in spite of the calm seas, cetacean sightings were few but included Indo-Pacific Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins.

Babar, like most of the islands on our route, is a remote yet very friendly place, although it was the only place they initially wanted to check our passports as we had been in ‘international waters’ on the way from Tanimbar, meeting up with heaven knows who out there!

On Babar, even the village area was great for birds. Drab and Uniform Swiftlets fluttered overhead, while Little Bronze Cuckoos of the interesting form salvadorii called from the treetops. Barred Doves were obvious and other columbids included the smart Banded Fruit Dove, Wallace’s Fruit Dove and more xanthogaster non-Rose-crowned Fruit Doves. Other new birds, or species seen for the first time during the cruise itself, included Variable Goshawk, Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, Great-billed Parrot, Banda Myzomela, Scaly-breasted Honeyeater, the confiding Rufous-sided Gerygone, Wallacean Whistler, Arafura (or Supertramp) Fantail of the endemic form reichenowi, Black-bibbed (or Banda Sea) Monarch, Ashy-bellied White-eye, beautiful Orange-sided Thrushes, Blue-cheeked (or Red-chested) Flowerpeckers and lots of Tricoloured Parrotfinches. Of even more interest were the local Cinnamon-tailed Fantails, which are of an undescribed form and could represent a distinct species, and a lucky find in the form of the endemic audacis subspecies of Snowy-browed Flycatcher, an uncommon bird on Babar. The harbour flats added Great Knot and Terek Sandpiper.

Moving farther afield, we soon found the endemic Babar Whistler, a form sometimes treated as a full species or, as per the IOC, lumped in Yellow-throated Whistler in spite of that great big bill and other differences. A nice little bonus was excellent views of the advena form of Timor Stubtail.

One Babar speciality did give us the runaround for a time, calling but not showing, and that was the endemic cinnamomina form of the Australian Boobook, which may be distinctive enough to be split in future. But with persistence, we eventually had it in the bag!

The sail up to the island of Damar was good for cetaceans, including four Pygmy Killer Whales and no fewer than seven Great Sperm Whales, including some close to the ship. Seabirds included our first Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers, loads of Bulwer’s Petrels and another Tahiti Petrel.

Damar is a spectacular island with a huge volcano towering above the inlet that leads deep into the southeastern part of the island. Sailing in there is like entering the dragon’s mouth, what with big fumaroles belching sulphurous smoke into the air high above, just like a dragon’s nostrils!

The bird everyone wants to see on Damar is of course the ‘long-lost’ Damar Flycatcher that was only relatively recently rediscovered by a BirdLife Expedition. These inquisitive and confiding birds are common enough in the native forest and soon became a group favourite. We had to drag ourselves away to admire the very responsive Banda Sea Pittas and the unusual dammeriana form of the Yellow-throated Whistler that is sometimes treated as a subspecies of Golden Whistler. Perhaps the simplest thing would be to treat it as an endemic species. Olive-headed Lorikeet, the sometimes-split Banda Sea form of the Northern Fantail and Black-faced Munia appeared for the first time, we had the first Elegant Imperial Pigeons since Tanimbar and, down on the coast, two Far Eastern Curlews were found alongside other shorebirds.

As we sailed towards Leti we picked up our first Brown Noddies and best of all five Aleutian Terns, already on their wintering grounds after the long journey from northeast Siberia or Alaska. We made a stop at the small island of Terbang Selatan for a spectacular snorkel or, for some, a dive on an extraordinarily beautiful and dramatic coral reef. Myriads of colourful fish enlivened the reef and some of us saw a huge Napolean Wrasse, both Green and Hawksbill Turtles and even a Grey Reef Shark. It was hard to drag ourselves away.

Leti was the flattest and driest island we visited during the cruise, but it is definitely a ‘birdy’ spot and, after rapidly finding the moae form of Australian Boobook and some 30 Nankeen (or Rufous) Night Herons, we started to look for birds of the daytime. We soon found several Timor Cuckoo-Doves, no fewer than 5 of the rather rare lettiensis form of Banded (or Black-backed) Fruit Dove, Wallacean Cuckooshrikes of the form personata (looking very different from the form unimoda in Tanimbar), White-shouldered (or Lesueur’s Triller) and Sunda Zebra Finch. The star bird was of course Grey (or Kisar) Friarbird, which is endemic to Leti and two other adjacent islands. Another bird of particular interest was the distinctive compar form of the Yellow-throated Whistler. Placing this in Fawn-breasted Whistler, as in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago, seems a better solution.

From Leti, we headed for the island of Wetar, enjoying the many Sooty Terns, Bulwer’s Petrels and other seabirds. A big surprise was an Abbott’s Booby among a large feeding flock of Red-footed Boobies. There have been a few records from the Banda Sea so it is possibly a regular visitor in very small numbers.

Wetar is a large and scenically spectacular island with a low human population. This is especially true on the north coast, the area we visited, with the result that hunting pressure is unusually low by Indonesian standards. This lack of hunting pressure was reflected every time we headed into the interior, some of the time crossing a shallow river that winds towards the coast in a deep gorge. Columbids were positively numerous, with crazy numbers of Black and Timor Cuckoo-Doves, Pacific Emerald Doves, Banded Fruit Doves, and Pink-headed and Timor Imperial Pigeons. The strange, reverberating songs of the Timor Imperial Pigeons filled the air at times and you could almost feel the weird sound vibrating in your bones! Metallic Pigeons were also seen but only in small numbers. The grailbird on Wetar is the near-endemic Wetar Ground Dove, a species that still hangs on in East Timor. Fortunately, on Wetar they are still rather straightforward to find and it was not long before we found a pair and enjoyed fantastic views, followed by views of three more later in the day.

Wetar’s endemics were also easy enough to find and included the smart Wetar Myzomela, the handsome Black-necklaced Honeyeater, Wetar Oriole and Wetar Figbird. Wetar Scops Owl gave wonderful views, including one individual that called back at us from just a few metres away, while its mate peered at us from a bamboo clump. We even found a pair of range-restricted Timor Nightjars in the daytime and this key species also gave great views from just a short distance.

Bonelli’s Eagles of the isolated Lesser Sundas form were surprisingly common and there was an excellent variety of psittacids, including Jonquil (or Olive-shouldered) and Red-cheeked Parrots and Iris and Marigold Lorikeets. We also found Plain Gerygone, undisputed Fawn-breasted Whistlers, Yellow-throated Whistlers of the form calliope, Tenggara Cicadabird (or Common if you don’t follow the split), the Timor form of the Northern Fantail (sometimes split), the likewise sometimes-split Timor Drongo, Timor Leaf Warbler, Timor Stubtails of the nominate form (what amazing views!), Sunda Bush Warbler, a very retiring Sunda Thrush that showed to a few of us, Timor Blue Flycatcher and the distinctive exquisitus form of the Flame-breasted Sunbird. The Helmeted Friarbirds on Wetar and elsewhere in the Lesser Sundas are sometimes split as Tenggara Friarbird.

Our arrival at the large and more heavily-populated island of Alor was greeted by two Blue Whales, one of which sounded right beside the Lady Denok. Amazing! We wondered why they had penetrated so far into a large bay, but they clearly realised their error and soon were far out to sea. We could see their huge blows from kilometres away! They rather overshadowed the earlier-that-day Aleutian Terns and Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

A short afternoon excursion to a tract of forest turned up Ornate Pitta (they were calling all over Alor after recent rain), Black-fronted Flowerpecker and the uncommon Flores Green Pigeon.

Making our way into the mountainous interior the following morning, we climbed up to one of the highest ridges on the island, the area where the Alor Myzomela was first discovered not that many years ago. This species must have a rather small population as the ridges where their favoured eucalyptus forest occurs occupy just a small part of the island. Fortunately for us, we soon had this endemic speciality on the list, closely followed by Alor Cuckooshrike (still often lumped in Wallacean, but that seems a poor choice) which is endemic to Alor and adjacent Pantar. Our next target was the skulking Sunda Grasshopper Warbler (please don’t call it Javan Bush Warbler like the IOC do!). Hearing this bird is pretty easy but seeing one is another matter. It took a bit of coaxing just to get views of the birds hopping across the track but we persisted and eventually, we had prolonged views of a bird singing from a bush. Mission accomplished!

During our sojourn in the mountains, we also enjoyed views of Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, the as-yet-undescribed Eucalypt Cuckoo-Dove, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Spotted (or Indonesian) Kestrel, ‘Indonesian Honeyeater’ (sadly relumped in Brown Honeyeater), Rusty-breasted Whistler, the sometimes-split Flores Drongo, Sunda Bush Warbler (much better views than on Wetar), Short-tailed Starling and Pale-headed Munia.

We eventually found the Critically Endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo in a deep valley and not long after a magnificent Flores Hawk-Eagle that gave prolonged views (just as well for me!). It was only later that I realised why those cockatoos further up the valley were flying back and forth so much: they were mobbing a second Flores Hawk-Eagle that was visible in the photos but which we had not detected at the time!

We spent one night on Alor in some homestays in a friendly village inhabited by the indigenous Abui people. This allowed us a glimpse into rural island life and also gave us plenty of time to get to grips with Alor Bookook, endemic to Alor and Pantar. A total of three were seen. We also came across the range-restricted Mees’s Nightjar, a nice bonus.

The long run across the Banda Sea/Flores Sea interface to the remote island of Kalaotoa provided some excellent seawatching. Pride of place goes to Heinroth’s Shearwater, with no fewer than 11 being recorded. It must be very possible that this rare and little-known species breeds on isolated islands in this area, given the increasing number of records. A rich supporting cast included large numbers of seabirds resident in the area, plenty of jaegers (skuas) of three species, three White-tailed Tropicbirds and our last Tahiti Petrel. We also had a wonderful encounter with eight Risso’s Dolphins, watching these much-scarred creatures leaping almost vertically out of the water. A large pod of 50 or more Fraser’s Dolphins that came close to the Lady Denok, revealing their very short beak and strange head shape, was a major bonus.

Kalaotoa gets few visitors, let alone birders, but we enjoyed our short stay on the island. The endemic forms of the Rufous-sided Gerygone and Arafura Fantail were easy to locate and we had great views of both the regionally endemic Flores Sea Cuckoo-Dove and of Elegant Pitta to round things off nicely. There was even a pair of Ospreys nesting at the pier.

The flat calm sea as we headed for our final ports of call on the islands of Tanahjampea and adjacent Kalao helped with cetacean watching and new species included two Dwarf Sperm Wales and three Humpback Whales.

Verdant Tanahjampea lies to the south of Sulawesi in the Flores Sea. Here we walked from a village to the forest, finding a migrant Oriental Plover and watching smart endemic Tanahjampea (or White-tipped) Monarchs and other birds like Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Sulawesi Myzomela and Lemon-bellied White-eye before finding our second major target, the endemic Tanahjampea Blue Flycatcher (or Tanahjampea Jungle Flycatcher). Both the endemics are very smart birds and both put on great performances. We even had a female Black-naped Fruit Dove sitting at close range at eye-level on a flimsy stick nest. Pacific Bazas were common on the island and we also encountered a couple of migrant Crested Honey Buzzards.

From Tanahjampea it was just a short hop over to Kalao and our final birding, but not before a final snorkelling session on yet another wonderful coral reef. Long-tailed Macaques were foraging among the tidal pools as we landed and along the coast, we subsequently found four Malaysian Plovers. Not far inland, where the forest began, we soon found the endemic Kalao Blue Flycatcher (or Kalao Jungle Flycatcher). It is a mystery why the IOC lump this distinctive form in Mangrove Blue Flycatcher.

After our final endemic speciality, it was back on board the Lady Denok in time for a glorious sunset as we sailed towards the port of Labuanbajo on Flores. A fitting end to what had been a remarkable voyage that really did produce memories that would last forever.

 

BIRDS OF THE TOUR

1st: Damar Flycatcher

2nd: Wetar Ground Dove

3rd: Wetar Scops Owl

4th: Flores Hawk-Eagle

5th=: Alor Myzomela and Elegant Pitta

 

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED

 

BIRDS

Magpie Goose  Anseranas semipalmata

Radjah Shelduck (Raja Shelduck)  Radjah radjah

Tanimbar Megapode ◊ (Tanimbar Scrubfowl)  Megapodius tenimberensis  Endemic

Orange-footed Scrubfowl  Megapodius reinwardt reinwardt

Brown Quail  Coturnix ypsilophora raaltenii

King Quail (Blue-breasted Quail)  Synoicus chinensis lineatus

Green Junglefowl ◊  Gallus varius  heard-only

Red Junglefowl (feral)  Gallus gallus

Large-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus macrurus schlegelii

Timor Nightjar ◊  Caprimulgus sp nov

Mees’s Nightjar ◊  Caprimulgus meesi

Savanna Nightjar  Caprimulgus affinis timorensis  heard-only

Tenggara Swiftlet ◊  Collocalia sumbawae sumbawae

Drab Swiftlet ◊  Collocalia neglecta perneglecta

Glossy Swiftlet  Collocalia esculenta  Subspecis esculenta was seen on Yamdena, minuta on Kalaotoa, Tanahjampea and Kalao.

Uniform Swiftlet  Aerodramus vanikorensis moluccarum

Edible-nest Swiftlet  Aerodramus fuciphagus dammermani

Pacific Swift  Apus pacificus

House Swift  Apus nipalensis

Lesser Coucal  Centropus bengalensis sarasinorum

Asian Koel  Eudynamys scolopaceus malayanus

Pacific Koel  Eudynamys cyanocephalus picatus

Channel-billed Cuckoo  Scythrops novaehollandiae

Little Bronze Cuckoo (Gould’s Bronze Cuckoo)  Chrysococcyx minutillus  Subspecies jungei was seen on Kalaotoa, rufomerus on Damar (and heard Leti) and salvadorii on Babar. Forms rufomerus and salvadorii are sometimes referred to as ‘Banda Bronze Cuckoo’.

Little Bronze Cuckoo [Pied Bronze Cuckoo]  Chrysoccoccyx [minutillus] crassirostris  Endemic. Seen in Tanimbar. The distinctive form crassirostris is sometimes split as Pied Bronze Cuckoo (as in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago) and salvadorii is sometimes lumped with it.

Brush Cuckoo (Australian Brush Cuckoo)  Cacomantis variolosus variolosus  heard-only

Rusty-breasted Cuckoo [Sunda Brush Cuckoo]  Cacomantis [sepulcralis] sepulcralis  Split by Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Oriental Cuckoo  Cuculus optatus

Rock Dove (feral)  Columba livia

Metallic Pigeon  Columba vitiensis metallica

Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis tigrina

Timor Cuckoo-Dove ◊  Macropygia magna

Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove ◊  Macropygia timorlaoensis  Endemic

Flores Sea Cuckoo-Dove ◊  Macropygia macassariensis longa  Endemic

Eucalypt Cuckoo-Dove ◊  Macropygia sp nov

Black Cuckoo-Dove ◊  Turacoena modesta

Common Emerald Dove (Asian Emerald Dove)  Chalcophaps indica indica

Pacific Emerald Dove  Chalcophaps longirostris timorensis

Barred Dove ◊  Geopelia maugei

Wetar Ground Dove ◊  Gallicolomba hoedtii  Near-Endemic

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon ◊  Treron griseicauda pallidior

Flores Green Pigeon ◊  Treron floris

Banded Fruit Dove ◊ (Black-backed Fruit Dove)  Ptilonopus cinctus  Subspecies everetti seen on Alor, cinctus on Wetar, lettiensis on Leti and otonis on Babar and Damar.

Wallace’s Fruit Dove ◊  Ptilonopus wallacii  Endemic

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove  Ptilonopus regina  Subspecies roseipileum seen on Leti and Wetar and xanthogaster in Tanimbar and on Babar and Damar.

Black-naped Fruit Dove  Ptilonopus melanospilus melanauchen

Elegant Imperial Pigeon ◊ (Yellow-eyed Imperial Pigeon)  Ducula concinna

Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon ◊  Ducula rosacea

Timor Imperial Pigeon ◊  Duculua cineracea

Pied Imperial Pigeon  Ducula bicolor

Buff-banded Rail  Hypotaenidia philippensis

White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus leucomelana  heard-only

Australasian Grebe  Tachybaptus novaehollandiae novaehollandiae

Red-backed Buttonquail  Turnix maculosus

Beach Stone-curlew (Beach Thick-knee)  Esacus magnirostris

Pied Oystercatcher  Haematopus longirostris

Pacific Golden Plover  Pluvialis fulva

Grey Plover (Black-bellied Plover)  Pluvialis squatarola

Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius

Malaysian Plover  Charadrius peronii

Greater Sand Plover  Charadrius leschenaultii

Oriental Plover ◊  Charadrius veredus

Eurasian Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus

Little Curlew ◊  Numenius minutus

Far Eastern Curlew (Eastern Curlew)  Numenius madagascariensis

Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica

Ruddy Turnstone  Arenaria interpres

Great Knot  Calidris tenuirostris

Red-necked Stint  Calidris ruficollis

Terek Sandpiper  Xenus cinereus

Red-necked Phalarope  Phalaropus lobatus

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus

Grey-tailed Tattler  Tringa brevipes

Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Australian Pratincole  Stiltia isabella

Brown Noddy  Anous stolidus

Greater Crested Tern  Thalasseus bergii

Little Tern  Sternula albifrons sinensis

Aleutian Tern ◊  Onychoprion aleuticus

Bridled Tern  Onychoprion anaethetus anaethetus

Sooty Tern  Onychoprion fuscatus

Black-naped Tern  Sterna sumatrana

Common Tern  Sterna hirundo longipennis

Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybrida

White-winged Tern  Chlidonias leucopterus

Pomarine Jaeger (Pomarine Skua)  Stercorarius pomarinus

Parasitic Jaeger (Arctic Skua)  Stercorarius parasiticus

Long-tailed Jaeger (Long-tailed Skua)  Stercorarius longicaudus

Red-tailed Tropicbird ◊  Phaethon rubricauda

White-tailed Tropicbird  Phaethon lepturus

Wilson’s Storm Petrel  Oceanites oceanicus

Matsudaira’s Storm Petrel ◊  Hydrobates matsudairae

Bulwer’s Petrel  Bulweria bulwerii

Tahiti Petrel ◊  Pseudobulweria rostrata

Streaked Shearwater ◊  Calonectris leucomelas

Wedge-tailed Shearwater  Ardenna pacifica

Heinroth’s Shearwater ◊  Puffinus heinrothi

Great Frigatebird  Fregata minor

Lesser Frigatebird  Fregata ariel

Abbott’s Booby ◊  Papasula abbotti

Masked Booby ◊  Sula dactylatra

Red-footed Booby  Sula sula rubripes

Brown Booby  Sula leucogaster plotus

Australasian Darter  Anhinga novaehollandiae

Little Pied Cormorant  Phalacrocorax melanoleucos

Little Black Cormorant  Phalacrocorax sulcirostris

Black Bittern  Ixobrychus flavicollis

Nankeen Night Heron (Rufous Night Heron)  Nycticorax caledonicus hilli

Striated Heron  Butorides striata javanicus

Javan Pond Heron  Ardeola speciosa

Great-billed Heron  Ardea sumatrana

Great Egret [Eastern Great Egret]  Ardea [albus] modesta

Intermediate Egret  Ardea intermedia plumifera

Pied Heron  Egretta picata

Pacific Reef Heron (Pacific Reef Egret)  Egretta sacra sacra

Australian Pelican  Pelecanus conspicillatus

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

Crested Honey Buzzard (Oriental Honey Buzzard)  Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis

Pacific Baza  Aviceda subcristata timorlaoensis

Flores Hawk-Eagle ◊  Nisaetus floris

Bonelli’s Eagle  Aquila fasciata renschi

Variable Goshawk (Varied Goshawk)  Accipiter hiogaster  Subspecies polionotus seen on Babar and Damar.

Brown Goshawk  Accipiter fasciatus  Subspecies wallacii seen on Leti and Alor.

Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus intermedius

White-bellied Sea Eagle (White-bellied Fish Eagle)  Icthyophaga leucogaster

Moluccan Masked Owl ◊ (Lesser Masked Owl)  Tyto sororcula sororcula  This form is lumped in (Australian) Masked Owl in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Eastern Barn Owl  Tyto javanica delicatula

Australian Boobook ◊ (Southern Boobook) [Babar Boobook]  Ninox [boobook] cinnamomina  Surely this form is going to get split! What a different voice!

Australian Boobook ◊ (Southern Boobook)  Ninox boobook moae  Endemic subspecies

Alor Boobook ◊  Ninox plesseni  Endemic

Tanimbar Boobook ◊  Ninox forbesi  Endemic

Wetar Scops Owl ◊  Otus tempestatis  Endemic

Collared Kingfisher  Todiramphus chloris chloris

Sacred Kingfisher  Todiramphus sanctus sanctus

Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher ◊  Todiramphus australasia  Subspecies australasia was seen on Wetar, dammerianus on Babar (also heard on Damar and Leti) and odites on Yamdena. The last two are endemic subspecies.

Common Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis floresiana

Azure Kingfisher  Ceyx azureus ruficollaris

Oriental Dollarbird (Common Dollarbird)  Eurystomus orientalis orientalis

Blue-tailed Bee-eater  Merops philippinus

Rainbow Bee-eater  Merops ornatus

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker ◊  Yungipicus moluccensis grandis

Spotted Kestrel ◊ (Indonesian Kestrel)  Falco moluccensis microbalia

Australian Hobby  Falco longipennius hanieli

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus ernesti

Tanimbar Corella ◊ (Tanimbar Cockatoo)  Cacatua goffiniana  Endemic

Yellow-crested Cockatoo ◊ Cacatua sulphurea occidentalis

Jonquil Parrot ◊ (Olive-shouldered Parrot)  Aprosmictus jonquillaceus wetterensis

Eclectus Parrot  Eclectus roratus

Red-cheeked Parrot  Geoffroyus geoffroyi  Subspecies geoffroyi was seen on Wetar and timorlaoensis in Tanimbar.

Great-billed Parrot  Tanygnathus megalorynchos  Subspecies megalorynchos was seen on Tanahjampea and Kalao and subaffinis in Tanimbar and on Babar.

Iris Lorikeet ◊  Saudareos iris wetterensis

Blue-streaked Lory ◊  Eos reticulata  Endemic

Marigold Lorikeet ◊  Trichoglossus capistratus flavotectus

Olive-headed Lorikeet ◊  Trichoglossus euteles

Ornate Pitta ◊ (Wallace’s Elegant Pitta)  Pitta concinna

Elegant Pitta ◊ (Temminck’s Elegant Pitta)  Pitta elegans virginalis

Banda Sea Pitta ◊ (Banda Elegant Pitta)  Pitta vigorsii  Endemic

Wetar Myzomela ◊  Myzomela kuehni  Endemic

Alor Myzomela ◊  Myzomela prawiradilagae  Endemic

Sulawesi Myzomela ◊  Myzomela chloroptera eva

Banda Myzomela ◊ (Tanimbar Myzomela)  Myzomela boiei annabellae  Endemic. The form annabellae is plit as Tanimbar Myzomela in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Grey Friarbird ◊ (Kisar F) Philemon kisserensis  Endemic

Tanimbar Friarbird ◊  Philemon plumigenis  Endemic

Helmeted Friarbird ◊  Philemon buceroides neglectus

Helmeted Friarbird ◊ [Tenggara Friarbird]  Philemon [buceroides] buceroides  This form together with neglectus are split in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Brown Honeyeater ◊  [Indonesian Honeyeater]  Lichmera [indistincta] limbata

Scaly-breasted Honeyeater ◊ (Banda or White-tufted Honeyeater)  Lichmera squamata  Endemic

Black-necklaced Honeyeater ◊  Lichmera notabilis

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater)  Gerygone sulphurea sulphurea

Rufous-sided Gerygone ◊ (Banda Sea Gerygone)  Gerygone dorsalis  Endemic. Subspecies senex was seen on Kalaotoa, kuehni on Damar, fulvescens on Babar and Leti and dorsalis in Tanimbar.

Plain Gerygone ◊ (Timor Gerygone)  Gerygone inornata

Wetar Oriole ◊  Oriolus finschi  Endemic

Tanimbar Oriole ◊  Oriolus decipiens  Endemic

Black-naped Oriole  Oriolus chinensis boneratensis  Subspecies boneratensis was seen on Kalaotoa and Tanahjampea, broderipi on Alor.

Wetar Figbird ◊  Sphecotheres hypoleucus  Endemic

Fawn-breasted Whistler ◊  Pachycephala orpheus

Rusty-breasted Whistler ◊  Pachycephala fulvotincta  Subspecies everetti was seen on Kalaotoa and fulvotincta on Alor. There are big differences in the approach to whistlers between authorities. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago does not recognize this species, treating these forms as subspecies of a species not recognized by the IOC, Tenggara Whistler P. calliope!

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊  Pachycephala macrorhyncha  Subspecies calliope was seen on Wetar, compar on Leti and fuscoflava in Tanimbar. Furthermore subspecies compar is placed in Fawn-breasted Whistler P. orpheus in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago and that seemed to us a more appropriate treatment! See also the next two forms.

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊ [Damar Whistler]  Pachycephala [macrorhyncha] dammeriana  Endemic.  Another tricky one. This form is treated as a subspecies of Golden Whistler P. pectoralis in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago but is so isolated from that the rest of that species’ range that it would be no surprise to find it elevated to endemic species level in the future.

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊ [Babar Whistler]  Pachycephala [macrorhyncha] sharpei  Endemic. This distinctive, large-billed form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago, which seems appropriate.

Wallacean Whistler ◊  Pachycephala arctitorquis  Subspecies kebirensis was seen on Babar, Damar and Leti, while arctitorquis was seen in Tanimbar.

White-breasted Woodswallow  Artamus leucorynchus  Subspecies albiventer was seen on Alor and Tanahjampea and musschenbroeki in Tanimbar and on Babar.

Black-faced Cuckooshrike  Coracina novaehollandiae

Wallacean Cuckooshrike ◊  [Alor Cuckooshrike]  Coracina [personata] alfrediana  Endemic. This form is treated as a distinct species in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago and this seems the appropriate treatment for this distinctive form with minimal sexual dimorphism.

Wallacean Cuckooshrike ◊ [Timor Cuckooshrike]  Coracina [personata] personata  Seen on Leti and Wetar.

Wallacean Cuckooshrike ◊ [Tanimbar Cuckooshrike]  Coracina [personata] unimoda  Endemic

Kai Cicadabird ◊  Edolisoma dispar  This species is called Tenggara Cicadabird in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago where the species is enlarged (see note below).

Common Cicadabird  Edolisoma tenuirostre timoriense  This form is lumped in Tenggara Cicadabird E. dispar in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago, but this treatment is not recognized by the IOC.

White-shouldered Triller ◊ (Lesueur’s T)  Lalage sueuri

White-browed Triller ◊ (Tanimbar T)  Lalage moesta  Endemic

Long-tailed Fantail ◊ (Charming Fantail)  Rhipidura opistherythra  Endemic

Arafura Fantail (Supertramp Fantail)  Rhipidura dryas  Subspecies celebensis was seen on Tanahjampea and Kalao, mimosae on Kalaotoa, semicollaris on Wetar and Alor, elegantula on Damar and Leti, reichenowi on Babar and hamadryas in Tanimbar.

Cinnamon-tailed Fantail ◊  Rhipidura fuscorufa  Endemic

Northern Fantail ◊ [Timor Fantail]  Rhipidura [rufiventris] pallidiceps  This form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago.

Northern Fantail ◊ [Banda Sea Fantail]  Rhipidura [rufiventris] hoedti  Endemic. This form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago.

Wallacean Drongo ◊ [Flores Drongo]  Dicrurus [densus] bimaensis  This form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago.

Wallacean Drongo ◊ [Timor Drongo]  Dicrurus [densus] densus This form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago.

Wallacean Drongo ◊ [Tanimbar Drongo]  Dicrurus [densus] kuehni  Endemic. This form is treated as a full species in Birds of the Indonesia Archipelago.

Black-bibbed Monarch ◊ (Banda Sea Monarch)  Symposiachrus mundus  Endemic

Spectacled Monarch (Australian Spectacled Monarch) [Wallacean Monarch]  Symposiachrus [trivirgatus] trivirgatus  The Lesser Sundas nominate form may perhaps be treated as distinct from the forms found in NE Australia and adjacent New Guinea in future.

Tanahjampea Monarch ◊ (White-tipped Monarch)  Symposiachrus everetti  Endemic

Island Monarch ◊  Monarcha cinerascens cinerascens

Tanimbar Monarch ◊ (Loetoe Monarch)  Carterornis castus  Endemic

Broad-billed Flycatcher (Broad-billed Monarch)  Myiagra ruficollis  Subspecies ruficollis was seen on Damar and Wetar and fulviventris (an endemic subspecies) on Tanimbar.

Shining Flycatcher (Shining Monarch)  Myiagra alecto longirostris  Endemic subspecies

Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius shach bentet

Large-billed Crow  Corvus macrorhynchus macrorhynchus  heard-only

Torresian Crow  Corvus orru latirostris  Endemic subspecies

Cinereous Tit  Parus cinereus cinereus

Sooty-headed Bulbul  Pycnonotus aurigaster

Golden-bellied Flyrobin ◊ (Tanimbar F)  Microeca hemixantha  Endemic

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica gutturalis

Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica javanica

Tree Martin  Petrochelidon nigricans  Subspecies timoriensis was seen on Alor and the migrant nigricans in Tanimbar.

Lemon-ringed White-eye ◊ (Lemon-spectacled White-eye, Wallace’s Heleia)  Heleia wallacei

Lemon-bellied White-eye ◊  Zosterops chloris intermedius

Ashy-bellied White-eye ◊  Zosterops citrinella harterti  Subspecies harterti was seen on Alor and albiventris from Babar to Wetar.

Timor Leaf Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus presbytes presbytes

Timor Stubtail ◊  Urosphena subulata subulata  Subspecies subulata was seen on Wetar and Alor and advena on Babar.

Tanimbar Bush Warbler ◊  Horornis carolinae  Endemic

Sunda Bush Warbler  Horornis vulcanius kolichisi

Tawny Grassbird  Megalurus timoriensis

Javan Bush Warbler ◊ (Sunda Grasshopper Warbler)  Locustella montis timorensis  Javan Bush Warbler is not a good name for a Locustella!

Golden-headed Cisticola  Cisticola exilis lineocapilla

Violet-hooded Starling ◊  Aplonis circumscripta  Endemic. Lumped in Metallic Starling A.metallica in Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Tanimbar Starling ◊  Aplonis crassa  Endemic.

Short-tailed Starling  Aplonis minor minor

Sunda Thrush  Zoothera andromedae

Fawn-breasted Thrush ◊  Zoothera machiki  Endemic

Slaty-backed Thrush ◊  Geokichla schistacea  Endemic

Orange-sided Thrush ◊ (Orange-banded Thrush)  Geokichla peronii audacis

Mangrove Blue Flycatcher ◊ [Kalao Blue Flycatcher, Kalao Jungle Flycatcher]  Cyornis [rufigastra] kalaoensis  Endemic. Placing this distinctive form in Mangrove Blue Flycatcher as the IOC does is plain wrong. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago treats it as a full species.

Tanahjampea Blue Flycatcher ◊ (Tanahjampea Jungle Flycatcher)  Cyornis djampeanus  Endemic

Timor Blue Flycatcher ◊ (Timor Warbling-flycatcher)  Cyornis hyacinthina kuehni

Lesser Shortwing  Brachypteryx leucophris leucophris

Little Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula westermanni hasselti

Snowy-browed Flycatcher  Ficedula hyperythra audacis  Endemic subspecies on Babar.

Tanimbar Flycatcher ◊  Ficedula riedeli  Endemic

Damar Flycatcher ◊  Ficedula henrici  Endemic

Pied Bush Chat  Saxicola caprata  Subspecies fruticola was seen on Alor, pyrrhonotus on Wetar and cognatus (an endemic subspecies) on Babar.

Black-fronted Flowerpecker ◊  Dicaeum igniferum

Blue-cheeked Flowerpecker ◊ (Red-chested Flowerpecker)  Dicaeum maugei  Subspecies splendidum was seen on Tanahjampea, maugei on Damar and Wetar and salvadorii on Babar.

Mistletoebird ◊ [Salvadori’s Flowerpecker]  Dicaeum [hirundinaceum] fulgidum  Endemic. This distinctive form is treated as a distinct species by Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago and we felt this was an appropriate treatment.

Brown-throated Sunbird  Anthreptes malacensis convergens

Olive-backed Sunbird [Ornate Sunbird]  Cinnyris [jugularis] ornatus  This form is split by Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Olive-backed Sunbird ◊ (Flores Sea Sunbird)  Cinnyris jugularis teysmanni  This form is considered part of Sahul Sunbird C. clementiae by Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Flame-breasted Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris solaris  Subspecies exquisitus (an endemic subspecies) was seen on Wetar and solaris on Alor.

Sunda Zebra Finch ◊  Taeniopygia guttata

Scaly-breasted Munia  Lonchura punctulata blasii

Black-faced Munia ◊  Lonchura molucca  Subspecies molucca was seen on Kalaotoa and Tanahjampea and propinqua on Damar, Leti and Alor.

Pale-headed Munia ◊  Lonchura pallida

Five-coloured Munia ◊  Lonchura quinticolor

Tricoloured Parrotfinch ◊  Erythrura tricolor

Red Avadavat  Amandava amandava flavidiventris

Eurasian Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus malaccensis

Eastern Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla tschutschensis tschutschensis

Paddyfield Pipit  Anthus rufulus medius

 

MAMMALS

Asian Palm Civet (Common Palm Civet) (introduced)  Paradoxurus hermaphroditus

Grey Flying Fox  Pteropus griseus

Black-bearded Flying Fox  Pteropus melanopogon

Long-tailed Macaque (introduced)  Macaca fascicularis

Blue Whale  Balaenoptera musculus

Humpback Whale  Megaptera novaeangliae

Great Sperm Whale (Sperm Whale)  Physeter macrocephalus

Dwarf Sperm Whale  Kogia sima

Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphin  Tursiops aduncus

Fraser’s Dolphin  Lagenodelphis hosei

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin  Stenella attenuata

Spinner Dolphin  Stenella longirostris

Risso’s Dolphin  Grampus griseus

Pygmy Killer Whale  Feresa attenuata