Returned to the forest this morning and well and truly nailed White-rumped kingfisher although didnt get any photos. In afternoon we drove back to Danau Rana Mese and saw Crested Dark-eye, Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo and further up in hills had Flores Jungle-flycatcher and a brief Pygmy Wren-babbler. We also got very close to Wallace’s and Flores Scops-owls without seeing them..
The following day we were treated to one of the best mornings of the tour so far as we arrived at the pass at Golo Lusang just before daybreak and began walking down the road. It was lovely as there were no noisy cars or mopeds beeping at us every five minutes like on our last visit. The dawn chorus was just beginning and as it became lighter White-browed Shortwing and Pygmy Wren-babbler began calling from the densely vegetated hillside. The cool mountain air was a refreshing change from the hot, sweaty lowlands we’d become accustomed to and pretty soon new birds were being found, beginning with a pair of Dark-backed Imperial-pigeons perched up nicely, and continuing the theme we also had a pair of Ruddy Cuckoo-doves fly across the road in front of us, followed by a cracking perched view of a Barred Cuckoo-dove.
As it got lighter still we began hearing the first Bare-throated Whistlers and what an amazing sound it made. After a bit of a search Brian P spotted our first one which flew up into a tall, dead tree and we were very privileged to be able to watch it sing, at leisure, through the scopes. The whole experience of seeing this amazing-looking bird with its bare throat patch and the incredible song made this the undoubted highlight of the tour so far. The sheer loudness of its song was awesome and enhanced by the curve of the hillside making an amphitheatre of noise emanating from this moss-encrusted ancient forest. In fact we saw several more birds throughout the morning, some singing, others feeding on the numerous berry bushes along the road.
There was also Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Scale-crowned Honeyeater, Flores Leaf-warbler, Sunda Cuckoo, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Crested and Yellow-browed Dark-eyes and other previously seen species. It certainly was a lively morning but by 11am activity had died down dramatically so we returned to the hotel for a nice siesta.
In the afternoon we visited a beautiful forest and walked along the road and although it was predictably quiet to begin with, our perseverance paid off with a few goodies. A Sunda Cuckoo flew by, whilst Royke spotted a Yellow-breasted Warbler feeding in the canopy of a roadside tree and its rufous head and golden yellow underparts literally shone. A Rufous-chested Flycatcher was a nice surprise, whilst Dark-backed Imperial-pigeon, Barred Cuckoo-dove, Metallic Pigeon and a few others were also seen. Once dusk settled and after a nice cup of tea we drove to another forest patch and found a rather cooperative Wallace’s Scops-owl that we spotlighted flying around us from one large tree to another and we had it perched twice, although not close, which was kind of neat in the binoculars. So a great end to a very good day....