Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sulawesi - Lore Lindu National Park.

After only a few hours sleep, we were up well before dawn, birding around Tabang Lake. We were on the dirt road listening for Cinnabar Boobook, eventually we heard it call & managed to see it quite well, but I didn't get any photos, as I was too busy looking at this endemic Owl! As dawn unfolded around us, birds began to appear & the vast majority were new species, as they were endemic to this bird rich island!

 Dawn at Lore Lindu National Park.
Birding from the road.
Red-eared Fruit Dove.
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo.
Cerulean Cuckooshrike.
Pygmy Cuckooshrike.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
Blue-fronted Flycatcher.
Island Verditer Flycatcher.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
Citrine Canary Flycatcher.
 Lesser Sulawesi Honeyeater.

Sulawesi Hawk Eagle; Sunda Teal; White-breasted Waterhen; Brown (Slender-billed) Cuckoo Dove; a great & very lucky view of a Sulawesi Ground Dove, which flushed across the track, giving some of us excellent views; Red-eared Fruit Dove; large flocks of Yellow & green Lorikeets flying high over the treetops; Rusty-breasted Cuckoo; Grey-rumped Treeswift; both Sulawesi Pygmy & Ashy Woodpeckers; Pygmy & Cerulean Cuckooshrikes; groups of Malia; Blue-fronted Flycatcher; Rusty-bellied Fantail; Citrine Canary Flycatcher; Yellow-vented Whistler; Fiery-browed Myna; Lesser Sulawesi Honeyeater; Crimson-crowned & Grey-sided Flowerpeckers & no less than four species of white-eye: Mountain; Lemon-bellied; Black-fronted & Streak-headed.

Red-backed Buttonquail.
Grey-sided Flowerpecker.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.

It was now getting very hot, so we headed back to the guesthouse for lunch & a little sleep. It was while I was dozing, that I heard some scratching outside my door. Thinking it must be chickens, I at first ignored the sound, but it grew more incessant & eventually I staggered out into the sunlight to be greeted by a female Red-backed Buttonquail with three fluffy chicks! A bit of a result that one!

The start of the Anaso Trail, on the roadside.

In the afternoon we explored the lower reaches of the famous Anaso Trail & also further forest along the roadside. Our main reason for birding this area was the endemic Great Shortwing & eventually we saw a fine adult male.

Good, montane forest is still found along the trail.

Early morning views, high on the Anaso Trail.

If your idea of fun, is being woken up at 2.30 am, then being driven over rough tracks to the start of the Anaso Trail & starting the climb in the pitch dark, then read on! It is quite steep in some places & a bit of a pull, but we had to get quite high for a couple of tough species.

The forest is thick, but in a few places
 the limestone rocks can be seen. 
This is where Diabolical Nightjar may be found
 at its daytime roost.

This is the spot!

 What a bird!
 Diabolical Nightjar

We continued to climb higher.
We were after Geomalia 
& I have just seen it!

Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
 The track continues for over 60 kms!
Fiery-browed Myna.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
 Greater Sulawesi Honeyeater.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
The wonderful, Purple-bearded Bee-eater.
Purple-bearded Bee-eater
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.
Yellow-vented Whistler.
Photo courtesy of Andy Livermore.

Birding is quite difficult in these conditions & although we recorded some notable species, it was difficult to get photographs. 
Sombre Pigeon; flocks totaling 75 Golden-mantled Racquet-tail; Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler; Sulawesi Leaf Warbler; Greater Sulawesi Honeyeater; Hylocitrea (Olive-flanked Whistler) & the very frustrating Mountain Serin, which kept flying overhead but without landing, to give us good views! 
We enjoyed the climb so much, that we went back the next day! Eventually seeing all the star birds.

 Population increase means there is always more
 agricultural areas needed.

Further down the valley we birded some more open, agricultural areas. Some species are benefiting from the more open areas & certainly birding is a lot easier in this habitat!

 Spotted Kestrel
 Red-backed Buttonquail - female.
Red-backed Buttonquail - male.

 A day roosting Savanna Nightjar.
 Blue-tailed Bee-eater.
 Pacific Swallow
Golden-headed Cisticola.

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