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.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Birds of Timor, Indonesia

Timor has the largest number of endemic and specialty bird species of the Lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia and we connected with all but two during our visit to the islands last month. All agreed that Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher was one of the best birds of the trip. This bird was roadside at Bipolo, not far from the West Timor capital of Kupang. Thanks to Barbara DeWitt for most of the images that follow.
Black-chested Myzomela was one of the Timor endemics that we saw. It was widespread in small numbers in the remnant lowland rainforest patches at Bipolo and Camplong.
The White-bellied or Timor Bushchat was another endemic in the lowland forests, where it was reasonable common. This is a male.
Its relative, the Pied Bush-Chat, frequents more open areas. Although widespread in the Lesser Sundas, distinctive races occur on the major islands with the females varying markedly in plumage, perhaps indicating future splits. This is the female of the Timor race.
We were surprised to encounter Oriental Honey-Buzzard, supposedly a scarce summer visitor to the Lesser Sundas, on two occasions on Timor, including this bird at Oenasi, as well as once on Flores.
The Broad-billed Flycatcher in Australia is a bird of coastal mangroves and paperbark forests but on Timor it occurs at the forest edge as well as in the mangroves. This one, a brightly coloured male, was at Bariti.
The Golden Whistler has more races than any other bird and is likely to be split one day into multiple species. This is the female of the Timor race.
Black-faced Munia was widespread in the Lesser Sundas, especially on Timor where on one occasion we found it with Five-coloured Munias. This image from Tim Burr.
Long-tailed Shrike is a widespread species, occurring in the Lesser Sundas at the eastern extremity of its range.
The rice paddies at Bipolo where we had some nice birds, including Timor Sparrow.

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