Ashy Woodpecker, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi Beach at Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi Chestnut Munia, Manado, Sulawesi Dianne and the Maleo Chick, Dumoga NP, Great-billed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi Green-backed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi Mangrove Boat Trip, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi Ochre-bellied Boobook, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Ashy Woodpecker, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Beach at Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Chestnut Munia, Manado, Sulawesi
  • Dianne and the Maleo Chick, Dumoga NP,
  • Great-billed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Green-backed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Mangrove Boat Trip, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi
  • Ochre-bellied Boobook, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi


Trip Report

Trip Report for Sulawesi, Indonesia

December 14 - 21, 2015


Ashy Woodpecker, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi


    Arriving in the early evening in Jakarta airport on Dec 13, part of our group sat waiting for our flight to Manado, Sulawesi. After an uneventful flight we were met by Monal, our excellent local guide, and settled in for the night at the Novotel Hotel just 10 minutes from the airport. A late text indicated that the rest of the group would be late arriving the next day.Ochre-bellied Boobook, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi


    The next morning, several of us explored the hotel grounds and independently got several good species including the beautiful Buff-banded Rail. After breakfast we departed for Tongkoko National Park - our destination for the next three nights. Approaching the NP we got our first views of both endemic hornbills; Red-knobbed and Sulawesi Dwarf, Silver-tipped Imperial Pigeon, Gray-cheeked Green-Pigeon, distant glimpses of Golden-mantled Racquet-tails, endemic White-necked and Finch-billed Mynas, several Barred Rails and the beautiful Purple-winged Roller among others. In the late afternoon we walked farther into the park and picked up additional species including Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot, Slender-billed Crow, great views of Yellow-billed Malkoha, Sulawesi Black Pigeon (White-faced Cuckoo-Dove), Isabelline Bush-hen and Sulawesi Babbler. Late that evening the rest of the group joined us!


Chestnut Munia, Manado, Sulawesi

    The 15th was spent exploring Tongkoko. Hiking deep into the park we got crippling views of three of the five endemic kingfishers: the Sulawesi Dwarf, Lilac and Green-backed Kingfishers. Wow! Just before leaving the road/trail we also got a Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Ornate Lorikeet and a pair of the immense Ashy Woodpecker. We also got a pair of Tabon Scrub-fowl, Ruddy Kingfisher, and 2 beautiful endemic Rusty-backed Thrush. In the afternoon a wonderful slow boat-ride into the mangroves rewarded us with Great-billed Heron (on the beach), Gray-tailed Tattler, Pacific Reef-Egret, White-rumped Cuckooshrike, and crippling views of the endemic Great-billed Kingfisher.


     The next day saw us return to the NP and we were rewarded with great scoped views of Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Sulawesi (Red-bellied) Pitta, Pale-blue Monarch, and two endemic owls; Sulawesi Scops-Owl and the amazing Ochre-bellied Boobook. After 3 pm we again returned to the NP and got Bay Coucal, two Isabelline Bush-hens that most of the group managed to see, 100s of Gray-rumped Treeswifts flying along the beach, and both Great Eared Nightjar and Sulawesi Nightjar. The latter was heard only.


     Dec 17 we departed the Tongkoko area, but not before a stop above the reserve to get some birds Green-backed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesifor the late arrivals (Ron, Terry and Kay). We got the three Imperial-Pigeon species, and both hornbills and much, much more. We also got our last possible Myna in the area - Sulawesi Crested Myna. A Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher (just new to science) was sitting atop a close tree and Black-fronted White-eye, Sulawesi Woodpecker, distant views of two Ivory-backed Woodswallows and a Sulawesi Triller added to make a great morning. From there it was onto Lake Tomohon. At the lake and roadside rice paddies we got Wandering Whistling-duck, Chestnut Munia, Javan Pond-Heron, Yellow Bittern, Dusky Moorhen and the lovely White-browed Crake.


     The next morning, Dec 18, found us up and early in the higher elevation forests on Mahawu Mountain where we got Sulawesi Myzomela, Yellow-sided and Sulawesi (Crimson-crowned) Flowerpeckers (all endemic), Superb Fruit-Dove, Speckled Boobook, Black-faced Munias, Collared Kingfisher and several Gray Wagtails. From here we drove on into Sulawesi toward the town of Kotamobagu.


Great-billed Kingfisher, Tangkoko NP, North Sulawesi

     The next day, Dec 19, after an extremely early rise at 4 am found us at the Maleo site – Dumoga Nani Wartabone. After patiently waiting for the Maleo that did not turn up, we headed down the river and found a recently excavated nest site which we obtained a freshly-laid egg. We then headed to the incubator where a freshly-hatched Maleo had just dug its way to the surface. Leaving there we disturbed an adult Maleo walking along the riverbank. Further along the river we flushed five Sunda Teal, a Blue-breasted Quail, a distant Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle, Striated Heron and 2 Spotted Harrier.


    On our last full day, Dec 20, we visited Gunung Ambang Reserve and our long walk in and out yielded some great birds. We got a Fly-eater (Yellow-bellied Gerygone), three endemic Fiery-browed Mynas, a Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Rusty-bellied Fantail, a pair of the beautiful Purple-bellied Bee-eater, Sulawesi Drongo, a Lesser Sulawesi Honeyeater, two strange Malias, Martinan Flycatcher, Streak-headed Dark-eye, a Sulawesi Leaf-Warbler, a beautiful Cerulean Cuckoo-shrike and a Rusty-bellied Cuckoo. Sadly, although protected, the reserve is being selectively cut and how long this great site remains for birders is anybody’s guess.


Thanks to Monal and his guides during our stay on Sulawesi - we will be back.

Mark Welford

Birds (Seen and heard) and other wildlife seen on our tour to Sulawesi, Indonesia

December 14 - 21, 2015



Lesser Frigatebird
Wandering Whistling-Duck
Sunda Teal
Little Egret
Pacific Reef-Egret
Intermediate Egret
Great-billed Heron
Purple Heron
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Yellow Bittern
Black Kite
Brahminy Kite
Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle
Spotted Harrier
Sulawesi Goshawk
Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk
Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle
Tabon Scrubfowl
Blue-breasted Quail
Barred Rail
Buff-banded Rail
Isabelline Waterhen
White-browed Crake
Dusky Moorhen
Wood Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Gray-tailed Tattler
Pacific Golden-Plover
Rock Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Brown Cuckoo-Dove
Stephan's Dove
White-faced (Sulawesi Black) Dove
Gray-cheeked Pigeon
Superb Fruit-Dove

Black-naped Fruit-Dove



Silver-winged Imperial-Pigeon
Green Imperial-Pigeon
Pied Imperial-Pigeon
Golden-mantled Racquet-tail
Azure-rumped Parrot
Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot
Ornate Lorikeet
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo
Black-billed Koel
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Malkoha
Lesser Coucal
Bay Coucal
Sulawesi Scops-Owl  
Ochre-bellied Hawk-Owl
Speckled Hawk-Owl
Great Eared-Nightjar
Sulawesi Nightjar
Gray-rumped Treeswift
Glossy Swiftlet
Uniform Swiftlet
Common Kingfisher
Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher
Lilac Kingfisher
Black-billed Kingfisher
Ruddy Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Green-backed Kingfisher
Purple-bearded Bee-eater
Sulawesi (Dwarf) Hornbill
(Red) Knobbed Hornbill
Sulawesi Woodpecker
Ashy Woodpecker
Sulawesi Pitta
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Sulawesi Myzomela
Greater Streaked Honeyeater
Sulphur-bellied Whistler
Rusty-flanked Fantail

Pale-blue Monarch



Island Monarch
Hair-crested Drongo
Sulawesi Drongo
Slender-billed Crow
White-breasted Woodswallow
White-(Ivory) backed Woodswallow
Black-naped Oriole
Cerulean Cuckoo-shrike
White-rumped Cuckoo-shrike
White-rumped Triller
Rusty-backed Thrush
Sulawesi Myna
White-necked Myna
Fiery-browed Myna
Finch-billed Myna
Gray-spotted (-streaked) Flycatcher
Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher
Island Flycatcher
Matinan Flycatcher
Citrine Canary-flycatcher
Sulawesi White-eye
Black-fronted White-eye
Streak-headed White-eye
Mountain Tailorbird
Sulawesi Leaf-Warbler
Sulawesi Babbler
Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Black-faced Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia
Chestnut Munia
Yellow Wagtail
Gray Wagtail
Yellow-sided Flowerpecker
Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker
Plain-throated Sunbird
Black Sunbird

Olive-backed Sunbird



Mammals & Reptiles etc.:

Sulawesi Black Macaque
Spectral Tarsier
Bear Cuscus
Sulawesi Dwarf Squirrel

Asian Monitor Lizard
House Gecko
Toad sp