Monday, 20 December 2021

Birding North Sulawesi, Indonesia - November 2021

Following on from my previous post on Central Sulawesi, which you can read all about here (feat. Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Sulawesi Woodcock, Hylocitrea etc.), this post covers my couple of days birding in North Sulawesi, or more specifically, at the incredible Tangkoko National Park. I'd covered this site last year, but since I was so close with my trip to Palu and Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi I couldn't resist another trip north...

The always spectacular Knobbed Hornbill put on a great show, as too did their smaller cousins, the Sulawesi Hornbill. Parrots were very obvious with Yellow-breasted (Minahassa) Racket-tail, Blue-backed (Azure-rumped) Parrot, Ornate Lorikeet, and Pygmy (Small Sulawesi) Hanging Parrot all seen. The area is full of kingfishers and I enjoyed close views of Green-backed Kingfisher, (Sulawesi) Lilac Kingfisher, and Ruddy Kingfisher, along with excellent looks at Purple-winged (Sulawesi) Roller, Ashy Woodpecker, and Sulawesi Pitta, (Sulawesi) Crimson Sunbird, and excellent Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk.

Philippine Megapode (Tabon Scrubfowl), Bay Coucal, Hair-crested (White-eyed Spangled) Drongo, Slender-billed (Sulawesi) Crow, Red-backed Thrush, Yellow-billed (Sulawesi) Malkoha, Black-billed Koel, and Grosbeak Starling (Finch-billed Myna) were all seen too, as were a pair of Pied Cuckooshrike. Doves and pigeons are always plentiful here and I enjoyed watching Sultan's (Sulawesi) Cuckoo-Dove, White-faced Cuckoo-Dove (Sulawesi Black Pigeon), Black-naped Fruit Dove, Green (Paulina's) Imperial Pigeon, and Silver-tipped Imperial Pigeon. One of the highlights was how well Isabelline (Sulawesi) Bush-hen showed as it called out in the open.

A bit of birding at night yielded Minahassa Masked Owl, Sulaswesi Scops Owl, and Great Eared Nightjar, while during the day Ochre-bellied Boobook and Sulawesi Nightjar were both seen.

Interestingly while driving in towards Tangkoko from Manado in the evening, a random stop for a bakery resulted in the finding of a roost or probably 5,000 Barn Swallows right in a town center along the main road, all on the power lines, a pretty spectacular sight!

You can see more specifics about this trip on my eBird account where I've used the new "Trip Report" tool to put some details together,  see that here

Knobbed Hornbill

Knobbed Hornbill

Ashy Woodpecker

Green-backed Kingfisher

Hair-crested (White-eyed Spangled) Drongo

Isabelline (Sulawesi) Bush-hen

(Sulawesi) Lilac Kingfisher

Ochre-bellied Boobook

Pied Cuckooshrike

Purple-winged (Sulawesi) Roller

Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk

Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk

Sulawesi Hornbill (male)

Sulawesi Hornbill (female)

(Sulawesi) Crimson Sunbird

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