The Ultimate In Birding Tours

A Banda Sea Epic Adventure

October 14, 2022

Our Banda Sea expedition this September-October was a stunning success! It was one of the most successful Banda Sea cruises ever, with an unsurpassed number of specialities recorded.

Not only did we see every single endemic possible in Tanimbar and the islands visited during Banda Sea cruises (by both IOC taxonomy and the taxonomy used by Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago), but we also recorded every likely potential future split, including both the isolated local forms of the Southern Boobook.

We also had a remarkable selection of regional specialities including ‘Eucalypt’ Cuckoo-Dove, Flores Green Pigeon, Timor Imperial Pigeon, ‘Timor’ and Mees’s Nightjars, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Moluccan Masked Owl, Iris and Marigold Lorikeets, Yellow-crested Cockatoo and Javan Bush Warbler (much better called Sunda Grasshopper Warbler)!

Seabirds were the icing on the cake for the expedition and included no fewer than 11 Heinroth’s Shearwaters, Aleutian Tern, Matsudaira’s Storm Petrel, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Tahiti Petrel, Masked Booby and even a lone Abbott’s Booby among a flock of Red-footed Boobies!

Cetaceans were outstanding and highlights included two Blue Whales (one sounding just 30 metres from our boat!), Dwarf Sperm Whale and jumping Risso’s and Spinner Dolphins.

And all this without even mentioning the stunning snorkelling (or diving) on pristine coral reefs with myriads of tropical fish, the joys of visiting islands that foreigners have rarely set foot on, our wonderful and comfortable schooner, the ever-friendly crew who greeted us with cool towels and welcome drinks when we returned from birding, the diverse and excellent food prepared by our chefs, the hours sprawling on the deck as we crossed the endlessly calm equatorial seas, the amazing sunsets and the flying fish skimming away into the distance. We could go on and on… This is truly an Indonesian birding adventure with a difference!

The tour report will be published in November but in the meantime, we still have some space available on our 2023 Remote Islands of the Banda Sea cruise and Tanimbar extension. In 2023 our Banda Sea cruise can be combined with our tour to the Southern & Central Moluccas if desired.