Sulawesi and Halmahera

G’day all

Another overseas plug.

I’m just back from 3 weeks in Sulawesi and Halmahera with www.exploreisoindonesia.com. This is a one man company – Royke Mananta from Palu, Sulawesi is the owner.

Despite an earthquake, tsunami and the Lion Air plane crash in the weeks before we left our trip was a great success with about 250 species seen and 158 lifers for me. My companions were a family of three from se Qld. I hadn’t met them before but they were excellent company and skilful, generous birders. We visited central, southern and northern Sulawesi and northern Halmahera.

We missed 2-3 extreme skulkers but scored with Ivory-breasted Pitta, Gurney’s Eagle, Maleo, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Satanic Nightjar, 20 pigeons, 13 Kingfishers, 16 parrots/cockatoos, 19 raptors and the amazing Standardwing Bird of Paradise.

The highlight was a Bat Hawk taking a bat from a huge swarm at our hotel in south-west Sulawesi – an unexpected record on this island apparently.

Our guide Royke was tireless in his efforts to get us ‘his’ birds. The pace was sometimes tough but the rewards were always worthwhile. Royke’s organisation was faultless and all our accommodation, transport and meals were faultless.

Another bonus of this trip was the fact that every rupee we spent stays in Indonesia.

Highly recommended.

Cheers
Steve Clark
Hamilton, Victoria



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