26 November - 12 December 2023

by Dáni Balla

The tour visiting the Southern and Central Moluccas is one of the most endemic-rich ones put together in the region as it is visiting numerous islands. In 2023 we did our best to find the specialties of the following islands: Ambon, Haruku, Seram, Boano, Kai Kecil, Kai Besar with the extension reaching Yamdena (Tanimbars). The number of islands and a well-organized team supporting us, helped us finding an incredible number of endemic and special bird species.
The trip highlights in 2023 were the following: Moluccan Megapode, Seram Swiftlet, Pied Bronze Cuckoo, Moluccan Cuckoo, Amboyna and Tanimbar Cuckoo-Doves, Buru Green Pigeon, Wallace’s, Superb, Rose-crowned, White-bibbed and Claret-breasted Fruit Doves, Spectacled and Seram Imperial Pigeons, Buru and Seram Mountain Pigeons, Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk, Moluccan Masked Owl, Buru (only heard), Seram and Tanimbar Boobooks, Moluccan Scops Owl, Lazuli, Cinnamon-banded and Moluccan Dwarf Kingfishers, Spotted Kestrel, Tanimbar Corella, Salmon-crested Cockatoo, Moluccan King Parrot, Buru Racket-tail, Moluccan and Tanimbar Eclectus, Great Billed and Black-lored Parrots, Purple-naped, Blue-streaked, Blue-eared and Red Lorys, South Moluccan, Papuan and Banda Sea Pittas, Drab, Banda and Wakolo Myzomelas, Seram, Buru and Tanimbar Friarbirds, Scaly-breasted, Buru and Seram Honeyeaters, Buru, Wallacean and Moluccan Cuckooshrikes, Kai and Pale Cicadabirds, White-browed Triller, Island, Grey, Yellow-throated, Wallacean and Drab Whistlers, Grey-collared (Seram), Black-eared (Buru) and Tanimbar Orioles, Drongos of Seram, Buru, Tanimbar and Kai, Cinnamon-tailed, Streak-breasted, Tawny and Long-tailed Fantails, Kai, Buru and Seram forms of Northern Fantail, a great set of Monarchs including Black-bibbed, Boano, Moluccan, Kai, Buru, Island, White-naped and Tanimbar, Moluccan and Broad-billed Flycatcher, Violet Crow, Golden-bellied Flyrobin, Seram and Buru Golden Bulbuls, Tanimbar, Buru and Seram Bush Warblers, Kai, Seram and Buru forms of Island Leaf Warblers, a set of range restricted or endemic White-eyes such as Warbling, Buru, Seram, Ashy-bellied, Ambon, Perl-bellied and Golden-bellied, Tanimbar and Moluccan Starlings, Long-crested Myna, Fawn-breasted, Seram (only heard), Buru and Slaty-backed Thrush, Buru Jungle Flycatcher, Turquoise, Tanimbar and Cinnamon-chested Flycatchers, Buru and Ashy Flowerpecker and South Moluccan Sunbird.

We began our tour meeting in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province in the middle of the morning and were greeted by Ceisar and Vinno our guides and organizers. Though the best birding time of the day was behind us, we headed out birding to a local hotspot near Ewang Tulehu. The hillside still has some tiny patches of forest remaining between the gardens and the area is host to the only endemic bird to Ambon island, the Ambon White-eye. We heard the first White-eyes on arrival but they were too distantly calling to ‘catch’ so we started birding up the road. We heard several singing Seram Golden Bulbul (the song here is very different to the birds on Seram) and found our first Ashy Flowerpeckers and a nice male Black Sunbird. A few minutes further up we found a calling Lazuli Kingfisher pair as we continued collecting the endemics. Finally, we heard Ambon White-eyes again and this time they came closer and showed themselves well.
On the way back we visited a small wetland where we saw our first Seram Swiftlets of the tour, a few Eastern Yellow Wagtails, Red-throated Pipit, Tricoloured Grebes, a Little Pied Cormorant amongst the Little Black ones and some more common shorebirds.
In the afternoon we took a speedboat to the neighbouring island of Haruku. A short walk along the coast gave Seram Spangled Drongo before arriving at the dedicated spot where we hid in a small hut and waited for the Moluccan Megapodes to turn up. The hut was luckily acting as a shelter so we ended up being dry after a short rain. Before sunset we were already treated to the presence of the secretive Moluccan Megapodes – at least 10 individuals appeared at the sandy clearing and started scratching the ground on the edge of the forest.

After a morning flight to Kai Kecil, we did some short birding close to the airport and found Kai Kecil White-eye (a.k.a. Golden-bellied White-eye) and the first White-bibbed Fruit Doves soon. We birded the island two afternoons and on the last morning before flying out. A small patch of forest near Anabell lake produced Kai Coucal, we had an Orange-footed Scrubfowl chick feeding on the path and the star of the site being a Papuan Pitta which we had scope views for half an hour as it sang while perched up on a tree. Along the nearby road we saw a flock of Elegant Imperial Pigeons. Another site along the coast we found Island Whistler in the dry scrub, a Kai Cicadabird crossing above us, loud Tanimbar Friarbirds, Kai Monarch and Kai Fantail (a split from the Northern complex) all seen well.
We took a speedboat to cross the sea to Kai Besar early in the morning. A smooth ride enabled us to spot Streaked Shearwaters and Brown Boobies from the boat. On Kai Besar our local support team was waiting for us and we drove up to the hills for birding. An easily accessible track was our birding patch where Kai Monarch, Pacific Koel, Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove, Grey Whistler, Drab Whistler and Wallacean (Kai Spangled) Drongo were seen easily. A noisy flock of Red-flanked Lorikeets were hanging around and a Papuan Pitta showed itself for some of us after some time was spent luring it closer. Kai Besar (Pearl-bellied) White-eye was common and easily seen, unlike the Kai Leaf Warbler (still part of the Island Leaf Warbler complex) which needed more than average patience from us as the first bird slipped out of our grasp while calling and not responding. Heading back to our minibus and giving up on the pitta because of a thunderstorm was coming, we hoped for better weather and waited for the pouring rain to ease on us for one more try. Eventually the rain stopped and literally the first suitable trees along the track rewarded us with the Leaf Warbler – unbelievable.
Before departing from the Kai Islands, we checked the airport road on Kai Kecil where we saw Wallace’s Fruit Doves on a fruiting tree and got some flight views of Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrots.

Arriving back on Ambon we had a comfortable lunch and spent the hot hours of the day at a coffee shop before going out to Ewang Tulehu’s birding spot again later in the afternoon. This time the local Golden Bulbuls were more cooperative and we had great views of several individuals. Other new species to our list were a pair of Moluccan Monarch (a split from Spectacled), a cinerea Northern Fantail (a.k.a. Seram Fantail) and a wintering Arctic Warbler were seen here.

We took the overnight ferry from Ambon to Buru, disembarking before sunrise. We had a two-hour drive to our next hotel, where we had breakfast before going out birding to the nearby lowland forest. Soon after arriving a loose feeding flock had several Buru Golden Bulbul, a Pale Cicadabird, a Buru Monarch and Buru Flowerpeckers. Red Lories were loudly calling and passing by in the sky and we spotted a few feeding on a nearby tree ensuring everyone admiring their glowing red colour. Further in, a loud-calling Moluccan Cuckoo was coming closer and seen well. A nearby nest of Variable Goshawk had near-flying chicks and we also saw the parents coming and feeding them. Later on the way back we had better looks of the Buru Monarch and also found a Seram Fantail, Black Sunbird and Moluccan Flycatchers before heading back to the hotel.
We spent the afternoon and most of the upcoming two days on the higher elevation parts of the Wamlana logging road, which is reaching almost 1500m a.s.l. Weather conditions were rapidly changing sometimes as sunshine turned into pouring rain just in a few minutes but generally we were birding in a nice and comfortable climate here.
Our first main target was spotted early morning, when driving up, Buru Mountain Pigeons were spotted from the car and stopping in time gave us nice scope views of the birds sitting on a huge tree. Higher up the road, we made our first dedicated stop to try for the endemic Buru Thrush. It took some time to turn up, while we heard birds calling before the first showed itself. White-bibbed Fruit Doves were heard many times and a few seen well, we also saw our first Spectacled Imperial Pigeons here. At the top, a rapidly gliding Pygmy Eagle was sadly too quickly out of view for us, but a pair of Buru Green Pigeons gliding at the same pace were at least seen by a few of us. A pair of Spotted Kestrels were seen in their territory in the mornings before reaching the higher zone on the road. Buru Racket-tails were seen crossing above the road a few times in small flocks. Reaching the highest point on the road early morning we found the local form of Wakolo Myzomela (a.k.a. Buru Myzomela), a Buru Honeyeater moving rapidly on the top of the canopy level, a cooperative Black-eared (Buru) Oriole and several Buru Leaf Warblers (part of the Island Leaf Warbler complex). Buru White-eye and Warbling White-eyes were seen a few times, once together in a flock. The trail going higher up where Madanga was seen a few years back was closed this time since some local conflict of interest was not solved by the time we got there – what a pity.
Walking on the logging road we saw Grey-streaked Flycatchers in the tree top and it took us the second attempt to locate the Buru Jungle Flycatcher but – as it happens many times – after seeing the first one the second, the third and the fourth bird was giving itself away easily. Not like Buru Bush Warbler which we heard calling twice but remained unresponsive, fortunately we found a feeding bird near the road, skulking in the dense dry undergrowth vegetation limiting some of us to get on the bird. Another bird was surprisingly hard to see but eventually everyone got good views of the Tawny-backed Fantail. We only connected with one Buru Spangled Drongo while South Moluccan Pitta was heard several times but seeing one – as usual – was a different case. After struggling with the first two individuals we saw one early morning, lower down along the road in a nice patch of forest. While waiting for the Pitta to pop-up somewhere we spotted a Superb Fruit Dove sitting on its nest a few meters away from us.
On the lowlands of Buru, we did some roadside birding and visited a dry streambed in hope to find Buru Dwarf Kingfisher. We found beautiful Claret-breasted Fruit Dove singing on a treetop, had great views of Spectacled Imperial and Pied Imperial Pigeons while Red Lorys were calling and passing above us sometimes. A patch of grassland gave us a few tame Golden-headed Cisticolas, while the streambed only had a long-perching Moluccan Cuckoo and a skulking and shy Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler but unfortunately no Kingfishers.
Evenings and some early mornings on Buru were spent in search of nightbirds. Mostly targeting the higher elevation areas, we were grateful to find the enigmatic Black-lored Parrot the first night. We had outstanding looks on two individuals coming onto a tree and staying there until everyone had scope views and we quietly left the scene. Additional bonus on the same spot was a Moluccan Scops Owl which species we later connected again many times. Our first try on the Moluccan Masked Owl was fruitful and such views are so rare of these creatures that later many of us voted the bird as the no.1 of the trip. Our luck with Buru Boobook was less obvious and we had to leave the island with only one bird heard, despite the many hours we were searching for it.

We took a night ferry back to Ambon and had a nice breakfast at a nearby hotel before departing towards Seram with another ferry. After breakfast a rapid check in the hotel garden we added Chestnut Munia, Grey-tailed Tattler and Common Sandpiper to our list. From the ferry taking us to Seram we spotted a Brown Noddy, a Long-tailed Skua and a pod of Melon-headed Whales.

After reaching Seram we had a few hours’ drive ahead of us towards the northern coast. On the way we had a comfort stop where the incredible-looking Long-crested Mynas along the roadside trees were seen nicely.
We reached the higher elevation stretch of the road in the afternoon and between two rainfalls we managed some birding. One of the first birds spotted were a pair of Great-billed Parrots crossing above us, Moluccan Eclectus perched for scope views, a few Moluccan Starlings present on a higher tree, while the wintering Grey-streaked Flycatchers were seen here as well. On our last daytime spot a Metallic Pigeon crossing above us was a surprise and we found the first Seram White-eyes, Seram Leaf Warblers (part of the Island LW complex) and a few singing Turquoise Flycatchers. We stayed out until dark before descending down to our hotel. Some searching along the road at night we found Temminck’s Flying Foxes and some beautiful Tube-nosed Fruit Bats (sp) hanging under the vegetation. A strange roosting bird spotted turned out to be a sleeping Seram Bush Warbler before the aimed Seram Boobooks started calling. It took us a few minutes and two birds but finally every one of us had good views of the Boobooks.
The upcoming days we were spending with roadside birding in the Manusela National Park targeting the specialties of the area. It was tough birding as the birds were hard to find and see in the high trees and dense fog but we managed to collect most of the specialties including Seram White-eye, Rufescent Darkeye, Grey-hooded White-eye and the local form of Wakolo Myzomela. Apart from the smaller ones, we had nice views of the local form of Yellow-throated Whistler and Drab Whistler. A Seram Honeyeater was spotted in a morning feeding on a roadside flowering bush, behaving much nicer than its cousin on Buru. The endemic Streak-breasted Fantail was a gem seen a few times. Seram Mountain Pigeon was spotted only once but seen very well. Seram (Grey-collared) Oriole and Seram Friarbird were common and loud throughout.
The definite highlights parrots in the area. We had several great views of the huge Salmon-crested Cockatoos which now have a healthy population in the area after the conservation project aiming them was running successfully for years. Purple-naped Lorys were heard a few times and we had a lovely pair spotted on a tree providing excellent views. Coconut Lorikeets were seen several times crossing here and there and a few times we had some really nice looks on them even perched together with Seram Imperial Pigeons. The rarely seen Blue-eared Lorys were only seen briefly by a few of us who tried climbing up the last morning to try our luck with the Seram Thrush. We tried to reach the required elevation on a new path taking on a less steep but still challenging side of the mountain. We ended up hearing only a Seram Thrush and briefly seeing the Blue-eared Lorys and Moluccan Cuckooshrike during the walk.
We did a second night birding excursion and had even better looks on Seram Boobook, we found a roosting Cinnamon-breasted Flycatcher and several Northern Common Cuscus, a Spotted Cuscus and a Common Palm Civet as well.
A Common Palm Civet was also seen during an afternoon when a huge fruiting tree had a sleeping one, while Violet Crow and several Blyth’s Hornbills were loud around it.
On a morning, we took a speedboat to a nearby islet in search for Olive Honeyeater, unfortunately they were not present there this time, but we were treated with exceptional views of a Beach Stone-curlew pair hanging around. From the boat we investigated the nearby flocks of Greater Crested Terns and we were lucky enough to find an endangered Chinese Crested Tern amongst them. After enjoying the Terns, we took our time on Sawaii Island and waited for low tide in hope of some shorebirds appearing. The big flocks were staying away but managed to see a Far Eastern Curlew together with a flock of Whimbrels, a Great-billed Heron and a few Australian White Ibis. Norma flushed a Dusky Megapode which we couldn’t relocate and only heard later from around our hotel.
Our last highlight in the region were Moluccan Dwarf Kingfishers which we heard from the car on our last afternoon and tracked down after stopping immediately.
Leaving the highlands of Seram we drove to the western part of the island to spend a night in the city of Piru. A quick visit to the nearby forest patch at night we managed to spot a Moluccan Scops Owl of the nominate race.

Next morning we kicked of early to have a speed boat ride to the nearby island of Boano. A smooth sea was on our side and a rapid crossing made us hike up to the forest on the island in the morning before the heat kicked in. Though the heat was catching up on us we managed to reach the forest in time and heard our one and only target the Boano Monarch singing soon. It was a tough one but with much patience everyone had good views of this tiny distribution black-and-white endemic, while the supporting cast included Island Monarch, Moluccan Flycatcher and Seram Fantail (the local form of the Northern Fantail complex).

We took the speedboat back to Seram and spent the lunch in the hotel we stayed in where South Moluccan Sunbirds and Black Sunbird were feeding on a flowering tree in the garden. In the afternoon we took a bumpy speedboat ride back to Ambon where we said goodbye to our superb local team, Vinno and Ceisar and the main tour ended with a celebratory dinner in the hotel.

Next day morning we departed from Ambon airport to Yamdena, the main island of the Tanimbars, where our extension began. Landing in Saumlaki our drivers were waiting for us and we immediately drove to the nearby lake. Initial birding here resulted in the first White-browed (or Tanimbar) Trillers, Banda Myzomela, Wallacean Whistlers, a few Oriental Pratincoles and loads of Rose-crowned Fruit Doves of the xanthogaster race. On the water Radjah Shelduck, Green Pygmy Goose and the beautiful Spotted Whistling Ducks were highlights. A pair of Bonelli’s Eagle were soaring in the distance. Afternoon some roadside birding with great activity produced some Rufous-sided Gerygones, the first Scaly-breasted (Banda) Honeyeaters, Cinnamon-tailed and Arafura Fantails, Tanimbar Starlings. Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove, Wallace’s Fruit Doves, Elegant Imperial and Pink-headed Imperial Pigeons were all seen well. Staying out until dark we did our only night birding session and easily managed to see a nice pair of Tanimbar Boobook and with less pressure after seeing one on Buru, we glimpsed a Masked Owl and let it go away.
Our hotel lying next to the sea gave us the opportunity for some easy birding from the table where we saw Nankeen Night Heron, Pied Herons and dozens of Lesser and Greater Frigatebirds while Scaly-breasted Honeyeaters were visiting the flowers on the terrace.
The western half of the island was burned down recently and some of the forests still smoked which limited birding opportunities made us concentrate our efforts mainly on one trail along the main road heading north from Saumlaki. Before entering the forest, a short walk on more open habitats gave great views of passing Tanimbar Corellas. Roadside trees and bushes had some easily observable birds such as the beautiful Wallace’s Fruit Dove, Mistletoebirds, Rufous-sided Gerygones, Ashy-bellied White-eyes and White-browed Trillers. Inside the forest we had to search for some harder to find birds. The smart looking Slaty-backed Thrush showed itself nicely both days singing in the lower canopy, while Fawn-breasted Thrush gave much better opportunities the second morning as we saw a pair of them feeding on the ground. Focusing on our targets we found Wallacean Whistler, Long-tailed Fantail, Tanimbar and Black-bibbed (Banda Sea) Monarchs, Broad-billed Flycatcher, the lovely Tanimbar Flycatcher and Golden-bellied Flyrobin (Tanimbar Flyrobin) which felt to be quite common this time. The loud Tanimbar Eclectus were seen a few times flying above the canopy. We had to work for better views of Tanimbar Bush Warbler but finally we got it well. Tanimbar Megapode was silent this time and we had to trust only our luck if we found one, but unfortunately the only bird we connected with slipped away and was only glimpsed by the leader before it disappeared. We had a better time with Banda Sea Pitta (a split from the Elegant Pitta complex), it perched up to call for us after careful luring. Tanimbar Drongo (part of the Wallacean Drongo complex) was seen flying in the canopy only once.
A rainy afternoon we had an easy walk along a road crossing a patch of burned forest. We spotted several Tanimbar Starlings, had a female Kai Cicadabird passing above, Cinnamon-tailed Fantails, Ashy-bellied White-eyes were seen several times and finally found a Wallacean Cuckooshrike before giving up.
Our last morning, we visited the lake near the airport again and added Tawny-backed Grassbird, Lesser Coucal, Australasian Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen and the crassirostris race of Little Bronze Cuckoo (treated as a separate species – Pied Bronze Cuckoo by some) to our list before heading to the airport where our tour ended.



1st Moluccan Masked Owl

2nd Salmon-crested Cockatoo

3rd Black-lored Parrot

4th Buru Thrush

5th Purple-naped Lory







1st Slaty-backed Thrush

2nd Banda Sea Pitta

3rd Tanimbar Flycatcher

4th Wallace’s Fruit Dove

5th Fawn-breasted Thrush



Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).

The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2024. IOC World Bird List (v14.1) (this was the current version when the checklist for the tour report was created).



Spotted Whistling Duck ◊ Dendrocygna guttata

Radjah Shelduck (White-headed S) Radjah radjah

Green Pygmy Goose Nettapus pulchellus

Moluccan Megapode ◊ (M Scrubfowl) Eulipoa wallacei Endemic. Fantastic encounter with 10 individuals at a stakeout.

Tanimbar Megapode ◊ (T Scrubfowl) Megapodius tenimberensis Endemic. The only individual was glimpsed along the trail as it ran away into the dense undergrowth.

Dusky Megapode ◊ (Forsten’s M) Megapodius [freycinet] forsteni Heard-only. One of us flushed a bird at Sawaii.

Orange-footed Scrubfowl (O-f Megapode) Megapodius reinwardt

Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus

Moustached Treeswift Hemiprocne mystacea

Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta

Seram Swiftlet ◊ Aerodramus ceramensis Endemic.

Uniform Swiftlet Aerodramus vanikorensis

Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis

Kai Coucal ◊ Centropus spilopterus Endemic.

Asian Koel (Common K) Eudynamys scolopaceus Heard-only.

Pacific Koel (Australian K) Eudynamys orientalis

Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae

Little Bronze Cuckoo ◊ (Pied B C) Chrysococcyx [minutillus] crassirostris The very distinctive form endemic to the Tanimbars and Kai Islands.

Brush Cuckoo (Australian B C) Cacomantis variolosus

Moluccan Cuckoo ◊ (M Brush C) Cacomantis aeruginosus Endemic.

Rock Dove (introduced) Columba livia

Metallic Pigeon (White-throated P) Columba vitiensis

Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis

Amboyna Cuckoo-Dove (Amboina C-D) Macropygia amboinensis

Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove ◊ Macropygia timorlaoensis Endemic.

Common Emerald Dove (Asian E D) Chalcophaps indica

Pacific Emerald Dove (Green-winged Pigeon) Chalcophaps longirostris

Barred Dove ◊ Geopelia maugeus

Buru Green Pigeon ◊ Treron aromaticus Endemic. A pair seen crossing the sky in the highlands.

Wallace’s Fruit Dove ◊ Ptilinopus wallacii Near-endemic.

Superb Fruit Dove (Eastern S F D) Ptilinopus [superbus] superbus

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove Ptilinopus regina

White-bibbed Fruit Dove ◊ Ptilinopus rivoli

Claret-breasted Fruit Dove ◊ Ptilinopus viridis

Spectacled Imperial Pigeon ◊ (Moluccan I P, Buru I P) Ducula perspicillata Endemic.

Seram Imperial Pigeon ◊ Ducula neglecta Endemic.

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

Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon ◊ Ducula rosacea

Pied Imperial Pigeon Ducula bicolor

Buru Mountain Pigeon ◊ Gymnophaps mada Endemic. We stopped to have a look on a pair while driving up the logging road.

Seram Mountain Pigeon ◊ Gymnophaps stalkeri Endemic. A single bird seen perched in the open quite close to us.

Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa

Australasian Swamphen Porphyrio melanotus

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus

Tricolored Grebe Tachybaptus tricolor

Australasian Grebe (Black-throated Little G) Tachybaptus novaehollandiae

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

Grey Plover (Black-bellied P) Pluvialis squatarola

Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Far Eastern Curlew (Eastern C) Numenius madagascariensis

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus

Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii

Chinese Crested Tern ◊ Thalasseus bernsteini A single wintering individual was seen on this tour again amongst Greater Crested Terns N of Seram.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida

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

Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas A few birds seen from the speedboat when crossing between the Kai Islands.

Great Frigatebird Fregata minor

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Australasian Darter (Australian D) Anhinga novaehollandiae

Little Pied Cormorant Microcarbo melanoleucos

Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris

Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca

Nankeen Night Heron (Rufous N H) Nycticorax caledonicus

Striated Heron Butorides striata

Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus

Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea

Great Egret (Eastern G E) Ardea [alba] modesta

Plumed Egret Ardea plumifera Recent taxonomic changes split the Intermediate Egret into three species, the Plumed Egret seen on the tour.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea A single bird seen on Buru is a vagrant to the island.

Pied Heron Egretta picata

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Pacific Reef Heron (P R Egret) Egretta sacra

Osprey (Eastern O) Pandion [haliaetus] cristatus

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis

Pygmy Eagle ◊ Hieraaetus weiskei

Bonelli’s Eagle ◊ (Rensch’s E) Aquila [fasciata] renschi

Chinese Sparrowhawk (W) Accipiter soloensis

Variable Goshawk (Varied G) Accipiter hiogaster

Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk ◊ Accipiter erythrauchen Endemic. One seen well on Buru on the last morning on the island.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

White-bellied Sea Eagle Icthyophaga leucogaster

Moluccan Masked Owl ◊ (Lesser M O, Australasian M O) Tyto sororcula Fantastic looks of an individual on Buru (ssp.cayelii) and a glimpse on Yamdena (ssp. sororcula).

Moluccan Masked Owl ◊ (Seram M O) Tyto [sororcula] almae Heard-only.

Buru Boobook ◊ Ninox hantu Endemic. Heard-only after several try.

Seram Boobook ◊ Ninox squamipila Endemic. Seen twice in the higher zone of Seram.

Tanimbar Boobook ◊ Ninox forbesi Endemic. A cooperative pair seen nicely.

Moluccan Scops Owl ◊ Otus magicus Endemic. Several birds heard and a few seen. Ssp. magicus seen on Ambon and ssp.bouruensis on Buru.

Blyth’s Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus

Lazuli Kingfisher ◊ Todiramphus lazuli Endemic. A pair seen on Ambon.

Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris

Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus

Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher ◊ Todiramphus australasia Near-endemic. Ssp. odites seen on Yamdena.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

Moluccan Dwarf Kingfisher ◊ Ceyx lepidus Endemic. A pair of the nominate race seen on Seram.

Buru Dwarf Kingfisher ◊ Ceyx cajeli Endemic. Only glimpsed on Buru.

Spotted Kestrel ◊ (Indonesian K) Falco moluccensis Near-endemic.

Oriental Hobby Falco severus

Australian Hobby Falco longipennis

Tanimbar Corella ◊ (T Cockatoo) Cacatua goffiniana Endemic. Several seen on Yamdena.

Salmon-crested Cockatoo ◊ (Seram C) Cacatua moluccensis Endemic. A few seen very well in N Seram.

Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot ◊ Micropsitta keiensis Seen on Kai Kecil – ssp. keiensis.

Moluccan King Parrot ◊ Alisterus amboinensis Endemic.

Buru Racket-tail ◊ Prioniturus mada Endemic.

Moluccan Eclectus Eclectus roratus Endemic.

Tanimbar Eclectus Eclectus riedeli Endemic.

Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi

Great-billed Parrot ◊ Tanygnathus megalorynchos

Black-lored Parrot ◊ Tanygnathus gramineus Endemic. A pair seen at night on Buru.

Red-flanked Lorikeet Hypocharmosyna placentis

Purple-naped Lory ◊ Lorius domicella

Blue-streaked Lory ◊ Eos reticulata Endemic. Several seen on Yamdena.

Blue-eared Lory ◊ Eos semilarvata Endemic. Great views on Seram.

Red Lory ◊ (Moluccan R L) Eos bornea

Coconut Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

South Moluccan Pitta ◊ Erythropitta rubrinucha Endemic. Ssp. rubrinucha a.k.a. Buru Pitta seen after several attempts along the logging road on Buru.

Papuan Pitta ◊ Erythropitta macklotii Not just one seen well on Kai Kecil.

Banda Sea Pitta ◊ Pitta vigorsii A cooperative individual perched up for us on Yamdena.

Drab Myzomela ◊ (D Honeyeater) Myzomela blasii Endemic.

Banda Myzomela ◊ (Black-breasted M) Myzomela boiei Endemic.

Wakolo Myzomela ◊ (Buru M) Myzomela [wakoloensis] wakoloensis Endemic.

Wakolo Myzomela ◊ (Seram M) Myzomela [wakoloensis] elisabethae Endemic.

Seram Friarbird ◊ Philemon subcorniculatus Endemic.

Buru Friarbird ◊ (Buru F) Philemon moluccensis Endemic.

Tanimbar Friarbird ◊ Philemon plumigenis Endemic.

Scaly-breasted Honeyeater ◊ (Banda H, White-tufted H) Lichmera squamata Endemic.

Buru Honeyeater ◊ Lichmera deningeri Endemic. A single individual spotted moving in the top canopy on the higher part of Wamlana logging road.

Seram Honeyeater ◊ Lichmera monticola Endemic. Superb views of a feeding individual.

Rufous-sided Gerygone ◊ (Banda Sea G, R-s Fairy Warbler) Gerygone dorsalis Endemic. Seen on Yamdena.

White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus

Black-faced Cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae

Buru Cuckooshrike ◊ Coracina fortisEndemic.

Wallacean Cuckooshrike ◊ Coracina personata Near-endemic. One seen on Yamdena – ssp. unimoda.

Moluccan Cuckooshrike ◊ Coracina atriceps Endemic.

Kai Cicadabird ◊ Edolisoma dispar Endemic. A male seen on Kai Kecil and a female on Yamdena.

Pale Cicadabird ◊ Edolisoma ceramense Endemic.

Common Cicadabird Edolisoma tenuirostre

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

Varied Triller Lalage leucomela

Island Whistler ◊ Pachycephala phaionota

Grey Whistler ◊ (Grey-headed W, Brown W) Pachycephala [simplex] griseiceps

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊ (Moluccan W, Tanimbar W) Pachycephala [macrorhyncha] fuscoflava Endemic. Only a female seen and several heard singing.

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊ (Moluccan W, Banda Sea W, Seram W) Pachycephala [macrorhyncha] macrorhyncha Endemic.

Yellow-throated Whistler ◊ (Moluccan W, Buru W) Pachycephala [macrorhyncha] buruensis Endemic.

Wallacean Whistler ◊ Pachycephala arctitorquis Endemic. Seen on Yamdena.

Drab Whistler ◊ Pachycephala griseonota Endemic. First seen on Kai islands (ssp. kuehni), later seen on Buru (ssp. examinata) and Seram (ssp. griseonota).

Grey-collared Oriole ◊ (Seram O) Oriolus forsteni Endemic.

Black-eared Oriole ◊ (Buru O) Oriolus bouroensis Endemic.

Tanimbar Oriole ◊ Oriolus decipiens Endemic.

Spangled Drongo ◊ (Seram Spangled D) Dicrurus [bracteatus] amboinensis Endemic.

Spangled Drongo ◊ (Buru Spangled D) Dicrurus [bracteatus] buruensis Endemic.

Wallacean Drongo ◊ (Tanimbar Spangled D) Dicrurus [densus] kuehni Endemic.

Wallacean Drongo ◊ (Kai Spangled D) Dicrurus [densus] megalornis Endemic.

Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys

Cinnamon-tailed Fantail ◊ Rhipidura fuscorufa Endemic. Seen on Yamdena.

Northern Fantail ◊ (Kai F) Rhipidura [rufiventris] assimilis Endemic.

Northern Fantail ◊ (Buru F) Rhipidura [rufiventris] bouruensis Endemic.

Northern Fantail ◊ (Seram F) Rhipidura [rufiventris] cinerea Endemic.

Streak-breasted Fantail ◊ (Streaky-b F) Rhipidura dedemi Endemic.

Tawny-backed Fantail ◊ Rhipidura superflua Endemic.

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

Arafura Fantail ◊ (Supertramp F) Rhipidura [dryas] semicollaris

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

Boano Monarch ◊ Symposiachrus boanensis Endemic.

Moluccan Monarch ◊ Symposiachrus bimaculatus Endemic. The race nigrimentum was seen on Ambon of this recently recognised species, which was split from Spectacled Monarch.

Kai Monarch ◊ (Kai M) Symposiachrus leucurus Endemic.

Buru Monarch ◊ (Black-tipped M) Symposiachrus loricatus Endemic.

Island Monarch ◊ Monarcha cinerascens

White-naped Monarch ◊ (Loetoe M) Carterornis pileatus Endemic. The race buruensis was seen on Buru.

Tanimbar Monarch ◊ Carterornis castus Endemic.

Moluccan Flycatcher ◊ (M Monarch, Slaty F) Myiagra galeata Endemic. The race buruensis was seen on Buru and the race goramensis on Boano.

Broad-billed Flycatcher (B-b Monarch) Myiagra ruficollis

Violet Crow ◊ (Seram C) Corvus violaceus Endemic.

Golden-bellied Flyrobin ◊ (Tanimbar F, G-b Flycatcher) Microeca hemixantha Endemic.

Seram Golden Bulbul ◊ (Ambon G B) Hypsipetes affinis Endemic.

Buru Golden Bulbul ◊ Hypsipetes mysticalis Endemic.

Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster Heard-only.

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Mountain Tailorbird (M Leaftoiler) Phyllergates cucullatus

Tanimbar Bush Warbler ◊ Horornis carolinae Endemic.

Arctic Warbler (W) Phylloscopus borealis

Island Leaf Warbler ◊ (Kai L W) Phylloscopus [poliocephalus] avicola

Island Leaf Warbler ◊ (Seram L W) Phylloscopus [poliocephalus] ceramensis

Island Leaf Warbler ◊ (Buru L W) Phylloscopus [poliocephalus] everetti

Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler Helopsaltes fasciolatus

Seram Bush Warbler ◊ Locustella musculus Endemic.

Buru Bush Warbler ◊ Locustella disturbans Endemic.

Tawny Grassbird (Wallacean T G) Cincloramphus [timoriensis] timoriensis

Golden-headed Cisticola (Bright-capped C) Cisticola exilis

Grey-hooded White-eye ◊ (Binaia Heleia, G-h Dark-e) Heleia pinaiae Endemic.

Rufescent Darkeye ◊ (Bicoloured Heleia) Tephrozosterops stalkeri Endemic.

Warbling White-eye Zosterops japonicus

Buru White-eye ◊ Zosterops buruensis Endemic.

Seram White-eye ◊ Zosterops stalkeri Endemic.

Ashy-bellied White-eye ◊ Zosterops citrinella

Ambon White-eye ◊ Zosterops kuehni Endemic.

Pearl-bellied White-eye ◊ (Kai Besar W-e, Great Kai W-e) Zosterops grayi Endemic.

Golden-bellied White-eye ◊ (Kai Kecil W-e, Little Kai W-e) Zosterops uropygialis Endemic.

Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica

Tanimbar Starling ◊ Aplonis crassa Endemic.

Moluccan Starling ◊ Aplonis mysolensis Endemic.

Long-crested Myna ◊ Basilornis corythaix Endemic.

Fawn-breasted Thrush ◊ Zoothera machiki Endemic.

Buru Thrush ◊ Geokichla dumasi Endemic.

Seram Thrush ◊ Geokichla joiceyi Endemic. Heard-only.

Slaty-backed Thrush ◊ Geokichla schistacea Endemic.

Grey-streaked Flycatcher (W) Muscicapa griseisticta

Buru Jungle Flycatcher ◊ (Buru Warbling-flycatcher, Streaky-b J F) Eumyias additus Endemic.

Turquoise Flycatcher ◊ (Turquoise Warbling-flycatcher, Island Verditer F) Eumyias panayensis Endemic.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra

Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni

Tanimbar Flycatcher ◊ Ficedula riedeli Endemic.

Cinnamon-chested Flycatcher ◊ Ficedula buruensis Endemic.

Buru Flowerpecker ◊ Dicaeum erythrothorax Endemic.

Ashy Flowerpecker ◊ (Seram F) Dicaeum vulneratum Endemic.

Mistletoebird ◊ (Salvadori’s F) Dicaeum [hirundinaceum] keiense

Black Sunbird Leptocoma aspasia

South Moluccan Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris clementiae Endemic. The Olive-backed Sunbird complex split into several species. The nominate form seen on Boano, Ambon and Seram, buruensis on Buru and keiensis on the Kai Islands.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata

Black-faced Munia ◊ Lonchura molucca

Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla

Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Alaska W) Motacilla [tschutschensis] tschutschensis

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus


Northern Common Cuscus Phalanger orientalis

Common Spotted Cuscus Spilocuscus maculatus

Northern Palm Civet (Common P C) Paradoxurus hermaphroditus

Tube-nosed Fruit Bat sp. Nyctimenesp.

Black-bearded Flying Fox Pteropus melanopogon

Temminck’s Flying Fox Pteropus temminckii

Melon-headed Whale Peponocephala electra