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Saturday, March 16, 2024

Birdwatching in Minahasa Highland

Recently I visited Sonder, a small town in Minahasa highland. I was there for around 1 week. I did birding walks around the forest of the surrounding hills and rice fields, I also went to a mountain near the town. It was an interesting trip. 

Black-naped Oriole, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker
Some Birds in Minahasa Highland

I stayed at a homestay in Tounelet village and watched birds in the nearby forest. Most of the photograph of birds that I took were taken from the forest. I was surprised to see that there were a lot of species of birds that lived in that small forest. I saw Sooty-headed Bulbul, Sahul Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Chestnut Munia, Eurasian Treesparrow, Black-naped Oriole, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Barred Rail, Cattle Egret, Black-crowned White-eye, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Sulawesi Swiftlet, White-nest Swiftlet, and Slender-billed Crow.

birdwatching trip in Sonder of North Sulawesi
Yellow-billed Malkoha, Collared Kingfisher, Warbling White-eye, and Hair-crested Drongo

In the rice field area, I saw White-breasted Woodswallow, Collared Kingfisher, Cattle Egret, White-browed Crake, Grey Wagtail, Chestnut Munia, Collared Kingfisher, and Scaly-breasted Munia. 

Another interesting birdwatching site in Minahasa higland is Mount Lengkoan. I saw some unique birds there including White-faced Cuckoo Dove, Black-faced Munia,  Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker (Picoides temminckii), Crimson Sunbird, Sulawesi Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia albicapilla), and Warbling White-eye, Collared Kingfisher, and Hair-crested Drongo (which James Eaton's Birds of Indonesian Archipelago names it, White-eyed Spangled Drongo). 

Lake Linow and Lake Lahendong are also good for birdwatching. We could see Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata),  Sunda Teal, Barn Swallow, Gray-rumped Treeswift, Collared Kingfisher, Cattle Egret, and etc. 

Blanchard's Ghost, Manado Yellow Tiger and Blanchard's Wood Nymph Butterflies

In addition to birds, I also saw various species of butterflies including the Helena Birdwing, Blanchard's Ghost, and Blandchard's Wood Nymph (Ideopsis vitrea) butterflies that like to feed on nectar of flowers in the mornings. 

Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia)
Bamboo Orchid

Sonder town

Sonder is a small town in Minahasa regency. It is a nice destination for nature lovers who are interested in seeing mountains, farmlands, ricefields, hotsprings, and forests while watching birds, butterflies and other wildlife in the region. 

Sonder town
Sonder town in Minahasa highland of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

How to get to Minahasa?

Manado city is the main gate to visit Minahasa.

  • It is very easy to visit Minahasa. First, you need to fly from your country to Singapore. After that you could take a direct flight by Scoot Air to Manado city
  • If you fly to Jakarta, Surabaya, or Denpasar, you could continue your trip by taking domestic airline to fly to Manado city.
  • There is also daily flight between Sorong city and Manado city.

traveling to Minahasa
Flying Route to Manado City
Minahasa highland map
Sonder is a small town in the highland of Minahasa

I could meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Minahasa or other regencies in North Sulawesi.

If you are interested in taking a nature tour in Indonesia by combining West Papua and North Sulawesi regions and want me to organize your trip, you could contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

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