After a great few days birding in Sulawesi in early September (details here) I took a short flight from Manado to Ternate in the North Moluccas. Ternate is a small island dominated by a huge volcano, it's really impressive, as are the adjacent volcanoes when flying in to the island (the ones around Manado are good to be fair too!). After getting bags I took a short (c10 minute) ride to Ternate Port and boarded a speedboat for c30 minutes to Sofifi on the island of Halhamera. After catching up with my driver and local guide we commenced the c4/5 hour 4x4 drive to our accommodation in Weda Bay (it was a slow ride as we did stop to check out a few birds along the way - the best being a really photogenic pair of Blyth's Hornbills). We didn't stop to bird on the way back a few days later and did the journey in about 3 hours.
I had a few birds I really wanted to see in Halmahera, those being Wallace's Standardwing, a restricted-range bird-of-paradise, Ivory-breasted Pitta, and North Moluccan Pitta. All three dropped into place rather nicely and I had great views of all three and even managed to get some photos.
I only did two morning birding sessions and one one-hour evening session to look for owls (which was very successful before the rain came down). Full sighting details can be found on my eBird profile here.
There were plenty of other great birds around the area too, such as (Halmahera) Paradise-crow (another bird-of-paradise), Goliath Coucal, Invisible Rail, Blue-and-white Kingfisher, Sombre Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Beach Kingfisher, Halmahera Boobook, Moluccan Scops Owl, Moluccan Owlet-nightjar, Cream-throated (Halmahera) White-eye, Gurney's Eagle, Halmahera Flowerpecker, Halmahera Swiftlet, and lots more. Several fruit doves, cuckooshirkes, and other great birds too.
Can't wait to go back and spend longer here on my tour in July next year. Details here.
Here are some photos of the one I managed to get shots of!
North Moluccan Pitta