Sunday, 30 September 2012

Tangkoko - 20th September

We headed over to the mangroves this morning which made for a pleasant change from forest birding and passed a Sulawesi Goshawk and Osprey along the way. 

On route to the mangroves

Upon entering a narrow channel into the mangroves, several Pink-necked Green-pigeons were seen, along with Dollarbird and for some people a Small Sulawesi Hanging-parrot

Inside the mangroves - note bad fashion choices!

It took a couple of trips along the channel before we nailed Great-billed Kingfisher, a hulking Sulawesi endemic. After a very fast flypast we had two views of a perched bird, giving great looks and much appreciated by everyone.

Great-billed Kingfisher

Leaving here we sailed back to the forest, passing a Blue Rock Thrush along the way and then spent the next couple of hours searching for Red-bellied Pitta, but there just weren’t any about. A fine Red-backed Thrush was outshone by a pair of Purple-winged Rollers but apart from that the forest was very quiet. A brief stab at Sulawesi Nightjar on the way back to the lodge resulted in a quick flight view but by late morning the temperature was soaring and we were in need of some cold drinks!

We spent the afternoon at the viewpoint scanning the treetops across the valley which were literally brimming with birds. Exceptionally confiding Golden-mantled and Yellow-breasted Racquet-tails were feeding in some close trees, whilst flocks of Ornate Lorikeets wheeled around below us. A Moluccan Red Lory was something of a surprise and was undoubtedly an escape, but a Blue-backed Parrot was more at home here. There were lots of fruiting trees attracting numerous Green, Grey-headed, White-bellied and Silver-tipped Imperial-pigeons, and a fine adult Rufous-bellied Eagle was seen. But it wasn’t until late afternoon that we eventually found a group of 6 Sulawesi Black Pigeons feeding quietly in a fruiting tree. As the light fell a Sulawesi Nightjar began calling and gave another brief flyby.

In the evening we had a celebratory beer, some birthday cake for myself and David and even a little dancing. The less said the better!

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