Lesser Sundas - East Java Birding 24 Days 23 Nights

Makassar – Lompobattang – Karaenta – Lore Lindu – Manado – Dumoga Bone n.p - Tangkoko n.p. – Halmahera (Foli & Tobelo) – Minahasa (Mt.Mahawu).

Day 1: Arrival Denpasar – Bali
Arrival into Denpasar International Airport, BALI for overnight stay.

Day 2: We take a morning flight to SUMBA and drive to small village of Lewa for our base in a small accommodation. After settle up our things and lunch in our friendly homestay, we begin birding in the nearby forest at Langgaliru National Park. We should see our first Sumba endemics; Apricot-breasted Sunbird, Wallace’s Heleia, and Sumba Warbling-flycatcher. We will also encounter Marigold Lorikeet, and hopefully a difficult pigeon, Sumba Green. Some of the widespread Lesser Sundas endemics such as Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher is also possible to encounter in this park and Mees’s Nightjar as dusk approaches. After dusk we will track down the two distinctive calls of the two Sumba’s endemics Sumba Boobook and the recently described Little Sumba Hawk-owl. Nights in a basic home stay in Lewa.

Days 3-4: Birding in Langgaliru National Park.
We will spend birding along the road through forest patches in Langgaliru National Park in search of Sumba’s rare endemics such Sumba Hornbill – the endangered hornbill of Sumba, Sumba Myzomela, Sumba Brown Flycatcher, Sumba Warbling-flycatcher, and Red-naped Fruit-dove.  Though the forest is small but there are still more bird species inhabit these bird-rich forests include a variety of spectacular parrots, Marigold’s Lorikeet, Red-cheeked Parrot, Eclectus Parrot and Great-billed Parrot. Orange Crested Cockatoo , the endemic of Sumba is threatened species nowdays and become more hard to see any as people collect it as pet birds but we still have chance to see them in small forest petch of the national park. Other species that inhabit in this forest are such Chestnut-backed Thrush, Elegant Pitta, Green Junglefowl and Orange-footed Scrubfowl, and some more.

Day 5: This morning we will birdwatch in the grasslands of Yumbu in search of the elusive Sumba Buttonquail which we are normally able to see it glimpse. Other species present here are Brown Quail, Indonesian Honeyeater, Spotted Kestrel, Sunda Zebra Finch, and Five-coloured Munia. Driving further along the coast we may encounter such Australian Pratincole, Zebra Finch, Wandering Whistling-duck, Pacific Black Duck, Long-toed Stint, White-headed Stilt, and Australian Reed Warbler.

Take a short flight to Kupang on the west coast of Timor. Night in Kupang.

Day 6: Rote island
We will travel by ferry to Rote island, a small island situated off the south-west costs of Timor. Despite Rote (Roti) is close to Timor but Rote holds four endemics subspecies  –  Rote Fantail, Rote Boobook which is split from Southern Boobook  and two undescribed species – Rote Myzomela and Rote Leaf Warbler. In the afternoon till in the evening we will go birding to a nearby forest in search of those four endemic birds species which become our main targets including some others such Timor Stubtail, Timor Oriole, Timor Warbling-flycatcher, and another Timor endemic species seems to be more easy to find it on Rote rather than on Timor is Olive-shouldered Parrot (Jonquil Parrot). Night on Rote.

Day 7: Birding Rote and Bipolo on Timor
Early morning we will go birding again on Rote before returning back by ferry to Kupang on Timor.

Arrival on Timor we will spend the afternoon exploring a wooden area close to Kupang. The forest is small and dominated by a highly pecular palm (Corypha utan). When the palms die after locals having produced a mass of fruit, the dead palms are often used as perches by a variety of bird species including Barn Owl. Despite the forest is small but holds a remarkable number of birds such several species of pigeon, including Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon, Banded (Black-backed) Fruitdoves  and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove. The forest is also home to Orange-banded Thrush, and Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher. Other birds species which we may also encounter here are Northern Fantail, Plain Gerygone, Fawn-breasted Whistler, Timor Friarbird, Timor Figbird, Olive-brown Oriole, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, the dazzling Flame-breasted Sunbird and Pacific Emerald Doves, a split from Common Emerald Dove which sometimes across the track.

Day 8: This morning we will spend birding in Camplong which holds some Timor endemics that can still be found here including Timor Oriole, Timor Friarbird, Orange-banded Thrush and Fawn-breasted Whistler. But we should focus to the birds which more difficult to find in Bipolo – Black-banded Flycatcher, Timor Stubtail, Timor Thickbird, and Timor Heleia, amongsts other. We will also birding along the road and some trails though the forest. From here we will return to Bipolo and birding to the nearby shrimp ponds where Sunda Teal, Red-capped Plover, Royal Spoonbill, Far Eastern Curlew and Marsh Sandpiper, Striated (or Little) Heron and Whiskered Tern often occur.

In the rice-fields we will search a rare Timor Sparrows with large numbers of munias, including small numbers of Five-coloured and Pale-headed. Two migrant birds Black-faced Cuckooshrike and Black-faced Woodswallow are sometimes present in this area. In the evening we shall not only listen the characteristic song of the endemic Timor Boobook, a split from the Southern Boobook but hopefully be able to lure it into view. Night in Kupang.

Day 9: This morning we will birding in Bipolo or Camplong in search of birds we missed then continue to Soe. After check in our hotel in Soe we will go birding in the afternoon at a nearby forest near Soe in search of Black Cuckoo Dove and Timor Cuckoo Dove which might be possible to find here. In this area we still have back-up to find Black-banded Flycatcher, Timor Bushchat , Black-banded Fruit Dove and Timor Sparrow. In the eveninng we still have another chance of Timor Boobook, and hopefully the undescribed nightjar which is endemic to Timor and Wetar. Night in Soe.

Day 10: Today we will spend birding in Gunung Mutis (2427m), the highest mountain in West Timor and the unique montane forests which are dominated by Eucalyptus urophylla near endemic to Timor. We will search to the difficult, rare and endemic Timor Imperial Pigeon.  Here we may also see such Metallic Pigeon, Island Thrush,  Mountain White-eyes, Timor Leaf Warbler, Pygmy Cupwing, Sunda Bushwarbler, Olive-headed Lorikeets fly over the ridge here, and occasionally perch momentarily and some rare species include include Jonquil Parrot, Iris Lorikeet and hopefully Tricolourred Parrotfinch and Chestnut-backed Thrush, amongsts other. Night in Soe

Day 11: This morning we will birding at Oelnasi again, a nearby forest to Soe in search of any species we missed. After lunch we will return to Kupang. Birding en route. Night in Kupang.

Day 12: We take an early flight to Ruteng, in the highlands of FLORES then travel to Kisol. We will stop birding en route to introduce us to some of the common Flores endemics such Flores Leaf Warbler, Crested Heleia, Eyebrowed Heleia, Russet-capped Tesia, amongsts other. Afternoon we will probably have a late lunch in Kisol then birding at Kisol in search of some Flores endemics such Flores Green Pigeon and Flores Crow in more open, Thick-billed Heleia, Black-fronted Flowerpecker and White-rumped Kingfisher. With luck we might find Chestnut-capped Thrush which becomes more difficult to find it nowdays as more locals catch it to be a bird-trade. We will birding here until dusk for Mees’s Nightjar. Both Moluccan and Wallace’s Scops Owls are also possible here. Night in Kisol.

Day 13:: We will spend birding this morning at Kisol again in search of birds we still missed in lowland forest such Flores Hawk Eagle, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Thick-billed Dark-eye, Elegant Pitta, White-rumped Kingfisher  and with luck we might find Chestnut-capped Thrush. After lunch we will birding around Lake Ranamese. Night in Ruteng.

Days 14-15: We will spend two days birding in the highlands around Lake Ranamese and surrounding area including Gololusang in search of birds such Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Flores Leaf Warbler, Flores Warbling Flycatcher, Flores Flowerpecker, Brown-capped Fantail, Russet-capped Tesia,  Crested Heleia, Eyebrowed Heleia, Flores Shortwing, the superb and powerful song Bare-throated Whistler, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Black-backed Fruit Dove, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Parzudaki’s Cuckoo Dove, Flores Hawk Eagle and Bonelli’s Eagle, amongsts other. In the evening we still have opportunity for Wallace’s and Flores Scops Owls. 

Day 16: This morning we will spend birding at Pagal in search of our main target Wallace’s Hanging-Parrot. Pale-shouldered Cicadabird, Leaf Lorikeet, and the three endemic heleias  – Thick-billed, Crested, and eyebrowed, are also present here. Afternoon is more flexible to go birding. Night in Ruteng.

Day 17: We will leave early to Labuan Bajo and make some birding at Puarlolo for our main target Flores Monarch, a rare and endemic to Flores. We also still have opportunities in this area to see Elegant Pitta, Chestnut-capped Thrush and Rufous-chested Flycatcher. Afternoon is more realaxing and birding along the coastal scrub, fields and some mangroves near our hotel where we might possible to see Beach Thick-knee, Javan Plover, Lemon-bellied White-eye and some commoner shorebirds.

Day 18: We will travel by speedboat to Komodo island, home of the biggest Lizard on the planet – the legendary Komodo Dragons which is everage 2 – 3 meters length but can also reach over than 3 meters length. Weight can reach over than 100 kg. Birding on Komodo we will see such Yellow-crested Cockatoo, a critically endangered species, Barred Dove, Sunda Collared Dove, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Wallace’s Heleia, Flame-breasted Sunbird and Black-fronted Flowerpecker. Walking furtther will have more chances to see Orange-footed Scrubfowls and Green Junglefowls. Lunch picnic will be served on the boat. Night in Labuanbajo.

Day 19: We will be relaxing in the hotel before transfer to the airporti or we might spend the morning at Potawangka for Wallace’s Hanging Parrot if we still need it. Other birds Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Great-billed Parrot and Red-cheeked Parrot including Elegant Pitta are also present here. We will take midday flight from Labuanbajo back to Denpasar, Bali and overnight at a hotel.

Day 20: Morning we will go birding at the nearby Benoa Harbour area. If low tide a variety of shorebirds are normally present here such the restricted range Javan Plover, near-threatened Far Eastern Curlew, Pacific Golden Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Black-bellied Plover and Mongolian Plover. Some more commoner birds including Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common and Terek Sandpipers, Grey-tailed Tattler, Terek Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Curlew Sandpiper are also present here whilest Great Knot need luck to see it here.Other species in manroves Bar-winged Prinia, Plain Prinias, Malaysian Pied Fantail, Javan Myna, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Cave (or Linchi) Swiftlet, White-shouldered Triller, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Golden-bellied Gerygone, White-breasted Wood-Swallow, and Olive-backed Sunbird.

Later we will drive to Bali Barat. On the way we might see the magnificent Javan Kingfisher endemic to Java and Bali. The rest of the time we will birding at Bali barat in search of Crescent-chested Babbler endemic to Java and Bali, Lemon-bellied White-eye,Black-thighed Falconet, Asian Palm Swift, Edible-nest Swiftlet, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Chestnut-headed and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Lineated Barbet,  Common Iora, Black and Ashy Drongos, Grey Tit split from Great, Crescent-chested Babbler, the uncommon Black-naped Monarch, Mangrove Whistler, and some more.

Day 21: Birding in the morning in search of Javan Banded Pitta and some others then drive to nearby Gilimanuk harbour to catch the ferry across the narrow strait to Banyuwangi in eastern Java. We will continue driving to Baluran National Park for an overnight stay. 

Day 22: Birding in Baluran National Park in east Java in search of such Green Peafowl, Red Junglefowl, the endemic Grey-cheeked Tit-Babbler, Javan Flameback split from Greater, and we also still have a good chance of seeing the endemic Javan Banded Pitta. Other opportunity birds to see here are Brahminy Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Spotted Kestrel, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Blue-eared and Coppersmith Barbets, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Plaintive Cuckoo, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Common Flameback, Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Small Minivet, Scarlet Minivets and Olive-backed Tailorbird

Day 23: We will drive up towards the Ijen Plateau which is is situated in the centre of the Ijen-Merapi Maelang Reserve. Ijen Merapi, the volcano in east Java lies above about 1000 metres (3281ft). Here, we will spend the whole day birding along this road and its side trails in search of our main target White-faced Partridge and Javan Bush Warbler. Both are endemic to eastern Java and Bali including White-bellied Fantail endemic to Java is very hard bird to see elsewhere. Other birds are such Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Pink-headed Fruit-Dove, the restless endemic Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot and the endemic Black-banded Barbet are possible to see here inclusing some more commoner birds Sunda Bush Warblers, Sunda Minivet, Orange-spotted Bulbul and Sunda Bulbul, and amongsts other.

There still more birds present here such White-bibbed Babbler, Javan Whistling Thrush, White-flanked Sunbird, Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter and Mees’s (Javan Grey-throated) White-eye, Red-billed Malkoha, Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike, Sunda Warbler, Wreathed Hornbill, Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Pied and Trilling Shrike-Babblers, Lesser Shortwing and Mountain Tailorbird.

Day 24: Make a short birding again then return to Denpasar. End of the tour in the late afternoon. 

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