Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Birding Indonesia's Sumba Island

Our group of four Australian and three American birders had a fine four days birding on Indonesia's Sumba Island in the Lesser Sundas. Our group scored 11of the island's 12 endemic species and a good smattering of other Lesser Sunda specialties. We stayed at the People's House in Lewa, our base for birding at various points along the main road transecting Sumba through remnant forest patches which have been cobbled together to form the Langgalin National Park. Bird pictures will be posted later.
The staff at the People's House were top-rate, happily getting up at ungodly hours to meet the needs of birders. Nice species recorded on Sumba included Apricot-breasted Sunbird, Lesser Wallacean Drongo, Sumba Green Pigeon, Sumba Flycatcher, Pale-shouldered Cicadabird, Citron-crested Cockatoo, Red-naped Fruit-Dove, Great-billed Parrot, Elegant Pitta, and in the dry grasslands near Wainpapu, Sumba Button-quail. The only endemic that we  missed was Sumba Brown Flycatcher.

We were ably helped along the way by our Indonesian crew including local guide Freddie, left in the foreground, and to his right Darwin Sumang, highly recommended to organise your visit to Indonesia.

Just to disprove the theory that birders only care about birds, a touch of culture. We stopped by some rice paddies on Sumba, west of Lewa, when the women workers in the field suddenly started up some sort of traditional dance, singing and chanting with considerable vigor and rhythm to match as they moved through the rice. Very nice.

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