Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Birding in North Sulawesi

Last year I guided a Dutch lady on a birding, wildlife watching, and sightseeing tour in North Sulawesi. This is a province in Indonesia. We spent around two weeks exploring the rainforest of the region. The first place that we visited was a waterfall in the suburban area of Manado city. We walked on the concrete path that was quite slippery to the waterfall and admired its beauty. After that we walked slowly back to the main road while watching birds. Blue-tailed Bee-eater was the one that we saw flying around the open space near the cliff of  the waterfall. 
birding in North Sulawesi
Birding in North Sulawesi

As we walk along the roadside, we began to see more interesting birds such as Oriental Dollardbird, Green Imperial Pigeon, and Black-naped Fuit Dove. We also saw Sulawesi Spangled Drongo, Sulawesi Crow, Collared-Kingfisher, Little Egret, and Cattle Egret. There were a small group of crake that were walking up a slope across from us. They were quite far. I could not see in details about their feather. They could be Buff-banded Rail or Slaty-legged Crake. The Dutch lady wanted to visit Bunaken. So, I organized a trip to the island. 
Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca)
Black-faced Munia
Returning to Manado city, we continued our trip to Doloduo by public bus where we stayed in Tante Mien's homestay. It was far from Manado and took a few hours to reach it.
We walked along the roadsides, around the rice field and saw a lot of Domestic Pigeon, Red-collared Dove, Sahul Sunbird, Chestnut/ Black-headed Munia, Pacific Swallow near a water dam. There were some Black-faced Munia moving inside the branches of a shrub plant. I carefully aimed my camera at those birds and shot one of them. 
We continued our trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve and spent a few days watching birds in the region. I was able to take pictures of Sulawesi Hornbill, Ashy Woodpecker, Ruddy Kingfisher, Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Finch-billed Myna, White-eyed Spangled Drongo, Spotted Dove, White-rumped Triller, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Knobbed Hornbill and a lot more. In Tangkoko's forest, we saw mammals such as Celebes Crested Macaque and Spectral Tarsier. The trip to Tangkoko is a prolific birding experience.
The highland of Minahasa was in our list of places to visit. By another public bus, we went to Tomohon and stayed in a hotel for a few nights. We went hiking to the crater of Mount Mahawu, enjoyed tea and watching birds in Lake Linow of Tomohon and visited extreme traditional market near the bus station. People sell and buy dogs, snake, fruit bats, mouse as meat. 
At the last leg of the tour, we visited Pal beach in North Minahasa regency. The scenery was beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not bring my snorkeling mask, and fins. So, I could not explore its coral reef.
Pal Beach in North Sulawesi
A White Sandy Beach in North Sulawesi

I still had a separate birding walk in District Sonder where I saw Sulawesi Scops Owl (Otus manadensis), Turquoise Warbling-flycatcher (Eumyas panayensis), Sooty-headed Bulbul, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Malkoha, Black-naped Oriole, Black-crowned White-eye, Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus), female Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), Sulawesi Hanging Parrot (Loriculus stigmatus), and a lot more.
At the airport, before flying back to her country, she and I saw Sulawesi Cuckoo Dove. 
Flight Route to Manado City
There are daily flights from major city in Indonesia to Manado city served by such airlines as Garuda, Citilink, Batik Air and Lion Air. There is direct flight between Singapore and Manado city served by Scoot Air. From Guangzhou to Manado city, the flight is served by China Southern Airlines.
Flight route to Manado city
Flight routes from major cities in Indonesia to Manado

Birdwatching sites in Manado
Land route from Manado city to Tomohon and Sonder that are surrounded by birding sites
If you are interested in visiting the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, and want me to organize your trip and guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: -6281332245180.

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