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, 18 February 2012

Birding Flores in Indonesia

Flores is well-known for the mysterious "hobbit" prehistoric man but the birds are noteworthy as well. We flew from Kupang to Labuan Bajo and were soon in a remnant patch of rainforest at Puarlolo, where we scored the endangered Flores Monarch along with Thick-billed Dark-eye, Crested Dark-eye and other island specialties. We drove on to the highlands town of Ruteng. The first day saw us on the Pagal road, pictured above. Nice birds included White-rumped Kingfisher, Black-fronted Flowerpecker and Wallace's Hanging-Parrot.
One of our group, Marie, gets up close and personal with the locals.
We had three days in the nice highlands rainforest around Ruteng, visiting Lake Ranamese, pictured here, and Poko Ranaka. Highland specialties such as Dark-backed Imperial-Pigeon and Yellow-browed Dark-eye showed but the Bare-throated Whistler was a struggle as it wasn't calling; it took three efforts and many hours to score the bird. Barbara and I came close to seeing Flores Scops-Owl but a vocal pair kept out of sight.
Long-tailed Macaques were a regular presence on the Trans-Flores Highway which cuts through the Ruteng forests.
We moved on to the lowland centre of Kisol where we did well, with owls, scoring Wallace's and Moluccan Scops-Owls as well as brief views of the quaint Flores Crow.

This great gecko was the only saving grace of the otherwise grotty seminary we stayed in at Kisol.
However, the staff here redeemed themselves by making this nice banner to welcome us.

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