Sunday, 30 September 2012

Tangkoko - 19th September

First light saw us carefully scanning the narrow creek in search of Ruddy Kingfisher which failed to materialise so we headed out on a long walk through the dry forest, getting a brief flyover from a pair of White-rumped Cuckooshrikes

Ochre-bellied Boobooks

Amazingly we came across a pair of roosting Ochre-bellied Boobooks which were totally unfazed by us. Another roosting Sulawesi Scops-owl was also found, just to make a mockery of our lengthy night-time attempts earlier in the trip.  One of the highlights of the morning was watching a male Knobbed Hornbill bringing fruit into its walled up female in a tall tree, and we could just about see her moving around in the narrow slit of dried mud… 

Knobbed Hornbill

Knobbed Hornbill

A pair of Purple-winged Rollers gave tantalising brief views flying over the canopy above, a White-necked Myna showed well, as did a confiding Yellow-breasted Racquet-tail and a Stephan’s Dove flew by. A troop of Sulawesi Crested Macaques provided some non-avian interest - and it was good to see Great Uncle Albert again! As we walked back down to the creek one of the park rangers found a pair of Ruddy Kingfishers which gave nice views, although to far to get a photo. It's a species i've always wanted to get a good photo of and must admit I was a bit disappointed to walk away empty handed on that score, but also relieved we'd finally got it on the list!  On the way back to the lodge we took a diversion and followed a new trail in search of Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher which we failed to locate, although a pair of Ivory-backed Woodswallows were rather nice. 

Ruddy Kingfisher

During lunch a Ruddy Kingfisher was found by one of the lodge’s staff along the narrow stream behind our bungalows and this one was very confiding and was absolutely beautiful, showing its lilac mantle to good effect in the shadows. I sneaked down during lunch as everybody else was rooted to their dining chair enjoying a fish and rice lunch - but not me! And amazingly it stayed on its perch whilst I hid behind some tall plants, and as the wind disturbed the leaves I could get a clear shot. Great!

After lunch we were back in the forest, this time nailing Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher, as well as having seconds of Red-backed Thrush. As usual there were numerous Green-backed and Lilac-cheeked Kingfishers to keep us occupied throughout the day. 

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