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.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Birding Indonesia's Yandema Island in the Tanimbars, Lesser Sundas

Arafura Fantail  
After our highly successful visit to Buru Island in Indonesia's southern Moluccas, we flew to the Tanimbars in the far east of the country, where for three days we were based in the town of Saumlaki on the island of Yamdena. While Buru is in the Moluccas, the Tanimbars are at the eastern extremity of the Lesser Sundas. We birded remnant patches of primary and secondary forest not too far from town, on sometimes wet and muddy walking trails.

Cinnamon-tailed Fantail
We succeeded in seeing all the Tanimbar endemics and specialties except for the scrubfowl, which is extremely difficult these days; we didn't try for it. Cinnamon-tailed Fantail was one of the more common endemics and local races of species such as Arafura Fantail were good to add to the list.

Five-coloured Munia
It was nice to catch up with species some of us had seen in the Lesser Sundas during our 2012 trip, like Five-coloured Munia and Tricoloured Parrotfinch.

Golden-bellied Flycatcher
Dusky Cuckoo-Dove
Tanimbar Oriole
Tanimbar specialties seen included Tanimbar Corella, Tanimbar Triller, Rufous-sided Gerygone, Tanimbar Flycatcher, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Wallacean Whistler, Loetoe Monarch, Tanimbar Friarbird, Scaly-breasted Honeyeater, Tanimbar Oriole, Tanimbar Starling, Black-bibbed Monarch and Tanimbar Bush-Warbler. Tanimbar Boobook was seen very well on two occasions. It took a bit of time to track down some of the skulkier specialties such as Long-tailed Fantail, Slaty-backed thrush and Fawn-breasted Thrush.

Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
Some races of more widespread species are so distinctive that they are likely to be elevated to species status. These include Dusky Cuckoo-Dove, Greater Wallacean Drongo and Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove.

Tanimbar Starling

Yellow-eyed Imperial-Pigeon
Greater Wallacean Drongo

Scaly-breasted Honeyeater

The group in transit from Saumlaki

Tanimbar Corella