Indonesia Trip 2017 Day 3

Indonesia Trip Day 3 – Monday 24th July 2017

Sulawesi with Mike Nelson from Bird Tour Asia.

The first part of our 6-week Indonesian trip was birding the island of Sulawesi. We started our trip from the southern city of Makassar.

Our first day of birding on Monday 24th July was a 4 am start. We spent the morning birding along the roadside, into the limestone karst forest at Karaenta. The key target we saw here was the very localised endemic Black-Ringed White-eye as well at Sulawesi Hornbill, Piping Crow, White-necked Myna.

We then birded around some shops along the road but dipped the recently described endemic Sulawesi Brown Flycatcher, the only opportunity on our trip to see this. We did see an endemic macaque.

We stopped for lunch in Makassar at a roadside restaurant where our delicious Indonesian meal was ready and waiting for us.

It was then a 3-hour drive to the town of Malino, in the mountains east of Makassar where we arrived at 4 pm. We had the afternoon chatting and then went for dinner at a local restaurant. After the bird list, we got an early night. The bathroom had a stand-up loo and buckets in a tiny area, so I decided to pass on the bathing.

The next morning on Tuesday 25th July we started out at 4.30 am and headed for the Lompobattang mountains. Here we saw Lompobattang Flycatcher, Lompobattang Leaf Warbler, Red-eared Fruit Dove, Hylocitrea, Sulawesi Thrush, Sulawesi Heleia, Sulawesi Fanrail and Lesser Myza.

In the afternoon we headed back to Makassar and stayed in the same plush hotel, Makassar Dalton, enjoying the western loo and shower. Luxury!

We had dinner in the hotel, before the bird list and another early night.

In the morning, Wednesday 26th July we left the hotel at 5 am and birded at Makassar fish ponds. It’s was interesting to see the modern factories with traditional stilt houses next door. Here we saw Javan Plover, Wandering Whistling-duck, Sunda Teal, Buff-banded Rail and Far Eastern Curlew.

We were then back to the hotel to grab our bags and get to the airport. There we went straight to a restaurant where again lunch was waiting whilst Mike and team went to check in our bags.

Our 1.30 pm flight to Palu in Central Sulawesi was delayed by an hour, so Mum and I got another power nap in whilst we waited.

After arriving in Palu mid-afternoon we had a 4-hour drive to the tiny village of Waesa, where we had 4 nights at Sendy Guesthouse to bird the world-famous Lora Lindu National Park in the mountains.

The first morning at Lore Lindu on Thursday 27th July, we had a late start at 5 am. It was a 40-minute drive, for some extra sleep. We had breakfast (of Nutella chocolate sandwiches for me) in the car park of the national park centre before walking in the area of a lake. Here there were a couple of Indonesian young birders camping with their wives, who Idris, our local guide, gave some gen to. That was encouraging to see.

We spent the day birding the roads and trails before night birding at the lodge.

Some of the birds of the day were

After dinner and the bird list, we were in bed by 9.30 pm, as we had a long day the next day.

There had been an earthquake in that part of Indonesia just 2 weeks before. The school and village centre was distorted and the lodge restaurant went from being on stilts to being a ground floor building.

On Friday 28th July it was Mum’s birthday. We were up at 3.15 am to meet at 4 am. We were at the Anasso Trail. We hiked up the mountainside to try and be in place for the endemic G, but things were stacked up against us. Firstly, a couple of guys went past on a motorbike (probably up to no good), then there was a lot of water around, meaning it would not need to come to the path to grub for worms. We had an amazing day birding with loads of new birds including a whopping 7 Satanic Nightjar, what a fantastic name.

We birded from the road and saw the stunning Purple-bearded Bee-eater, my 4500th bird in the world.

We then did more owling seeing Sulawesi Masked Owl and Cinnebar Bubbok.

The next day and a half we carried on birding Lori Lindu NP, seeing

On 30th July, it was Dad’s birthday with a few new birds for Dad. We birder the mountain in the morning and stopped en route on the way back to Palu including Makassar Miner and Savannah Nightjar. Palu is the biggest city in Central Sulawesi and is right on the sea with a population of 200,000.

Tomorrow we fly via Makassar to Milando, with no birding planned.

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