Saturday, 26 August 2017

Indonesia Trip 2017 Day 16

Indonesia Trip Day 16 - Sunday 6th August 2017

Halmahera with Mike Nelson from Bird Tour Asia.

The second part of our 6 week Indonesian trip was birding the island of Halmahera. Today we were in South East  Hamahera in the mountains near the city of Weda.

We had crossed Weber's Line and so were into the Australasia avifauna region.

On the morning of Sunday 6th August 2017 we had breakfast st 4.30 am before leaving for one of the highlights of our trip. By 6.00 am we were in place deep in the forest hoping to see male Wallace's Standard-wing. These are birds of paradise with the funniest mating dance.  The males perform together in a lek.

We were lucky enough to see two males lekking for a prolonged period as well as seeing another bird from the road. The males danced and jumped on branches hoping to attract a female with their fancy grooves. This was bound to be bird of the trip.

We then spent the rest of the morning birding from the road until 11.30 am. Lunch was back at the lodge (with some sea watching). It rained in the afternoon so we didn't got out until the later time of 4 pm. This was followed by more roadside birding until 9.00 pm as we did some night birding.

When we got back, I had a quick dinner and then went back to our rooms to go to bed. As I opened the door, a huge plate-sized spider came scuttling out of the room, running over my flip-flop cladden foot.   Needless to say I screamed very loudly. A guard who was patrolling the beach ran up to me very quickly but I was too embarrassed to say what had happened. In the knowledge that the spider was outside, I jumped into bed which my mum had helpfully tucked in with a mosquito net, so nothing could get in or out.

The best birds of the day were Wallace's Standard-Wing, Sultan's & Great Cuckoo Doves, Blue-capped Fruit Dove, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Umbrella Cockatoo, Moluccan Hanging Parrot, Lesser Frigatebird, Molluccan Owlet-Nightjar, Large-tailed Nightjar and Halmahera Boobook. Many of these were island or Moluccan endemics.

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