Monday, 17 September 2012

Karaenta Forest to Kota Mobagu

A short drive saw us reach Karaenta Forest at first light and it wasn’t long before the object of this twitch to the south of Sulawesi was found - a bit crazy really to come all this way but it was worthwhile (i think) to get the extremely localised endemic Black-ringed White-eye.

Black-ringed White-eye

Black-ringed White-eye

It was really nice to get the target bird so quickly and have prolonged and close views which was much appreciated by everyone. Leaving here we called into the Makassar Fish Ponds where we spent an enjoyable couple of hours scanning the area for waders. Pride of place went to a Broad-billed Sandpiper and Grey-tailed Tattler, but there was also 20+ Long-toed Stints and lots of Red-necked Stints, White-headed Stilts, both Greater and Lesser Sandplovers, and a few Terek Sandpipers. Unfortunately there weren't any Javan Plovers around though and I must admit I felt a bit gutted. Several Clamorous Reed-warblers and flocks of Whiskered Terns provided a distraction before we left and drove to an area for Javan Sparrow and then a mad dash to the airport for an early afternoon flight to Manado and then a 5 hour drive to Kota Mobagu where we would be staying for the next 3 nights. 

As we were on this long drive I was thinking that you don't really read between the lines about these tours - you read previous trip reports and compare other tour companies results but can't possibly imagine the blood, sweat, tears, chigger bites and 5 hours a night sleep required to get around this big island and get the endemics......... But the next few days would make it all worthwhile, so read on!

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