Sulawesi Endemic Bird Tours .. volcanoes, culture & wonderful meals

When Alfred Russel Wallace journeyed and wrote about the mysterious islands he has rediscovered, the world was amazed..intrigued. A whole area with unique creatures not known to outside world, endemic! It was called aptly, Wallacea.

Nothing has changed today. I am proud to have experienced North Sulawesi and found a new home where the people are friends, the wildlife simply amazing and the mix of culture (and food) so amazing that I have to go back for more. It is now home, a place on the earth that is breathtaking and so special. Truth be told; I also tell people about the rampant poaching and forest clearing issues in Sulawesi, I worry about the  future of its wildlife and for now promote Sulawesi as a must visit site-before- its too late place. Have also an idea for conservation/ecotourism for friends in North Sulawesi..let’s see how that pans out!  Malaysia and its birds (and enviro issues) can wait for now!!

So, leading bird tours for friends here is an easy fit. Touring with a budget and with a free & easy pace to enjoy the journey is the name of the game. My group of wonderful Hong Kong friends was my first test case for the new route/accommodation/guides that I was trying..we spent 7 days – 3 to 8th April 2015 and had a wonderful time. We laughed, we ate, we clicked away and slept in interesting chalets and hotels but most importantly, we caught a glimpse of Sulawesi, that leaves us wanting more.

The verdict (for me at least), 98 species with 48 endemics ! Super for a 6 day, slow pace count! The list includes the Maleo, Sulawesi Pitta, Red backed Thrush, Matinan Flycatcher, 2 species of owls in their day roost –  just to name drop a few :). We also got specials such as Tarsiers, Sulawesi Crested Macaque, a nesting Green Turtle.

Here’s the list :

Sulawesi Black Pigeon
Ashy woodpecker
Asian starling (also Asian Glossy Starling)
Barn swallow
Barred rail
Bay coucal
Black fronted white-eye (west new guinea only)
Black naped monarch
Black naped oriole
Black sunbird
Blue faced rail
Brahminy kite
Brown cuckoo dove
Brown throated sunbird
Buff-banded rail
Cattle egret
Channel billed cuckoo
Chestnut Munia
Citrine flycatcher
Collared kingfisher
Common kingfisher
Common koel
Common sandpiper
Crimson crowned flowerpecker
Crimson sunbird
Glossy swiftlet
Golden Manteled Racquet Tail
Great eared nightjar
Great egret
Green backed kingfisher
Green Imperial Pigeon
Grey cheeked green pigeon (Bali only, Indonesia endemic)
Grey rumped treeswift
Grey sided flowerpecker
Grey streaked flycatcher
Grosbeak starling (Finch-billed)
Hairy crested drongo
Island verditer flycatcher
Ivory backed wood swallow
Javan heron
Large Sulawesi Hanging Prrot
Lesser coucal
Lilac cheeked kingfisher
Little egret
Matinan flycatcher
Moluccan swiftlet
Mountain white-eye (south Philippines only)
Ochre bellied boobook
Olive backed sunbird
Ornate lorikeet
Pacific swallow
Pacific Golden Plover
Pied Imperial Pigeon
Purple bearded bee eater
Purple heron
Purple winged roller
Rainbow beeeater
Red backed thrush
Red knobbed Hornbill
Richards pipit
Rock pigeon
Rufous breasted cuckoo (south Philippines)
Rusty bellied fantail
Silver tipped imperial pigeon
Slender billed crow
Sooty headed bulbul
Spotted dove
Stephans dove
Sulawesi babbler
Sulawesi cicadabird
Sulawesi drongo
Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher
Sulawesi ground dove
Sulawesi hawk eagle
Sulawesi pitta (blue breasted)
Sulawesi Pygmy woodpecker
Sulawesi Scops Owl
Sulawesi serpeant eagle
Sulawesi triller
Sulawesi warbler
Superb fruit dove
Brown Shrike
Tree sparrow
Uniform swiftlet
White bellied imperial pigeon
White bellied sea eagle
White breasted waterhen
White breasted wood swallow
wood sandpiper
White rumped cuckoo shrike
White necked myna
Yellow and green lorikeet
Yellow billed malkoha
Yellow sided flowerpecker
Yellow vented whistler
Zebra dove

Next report / adventure in July 2015 with other ‘family members’ across the world coming up next..and below are my close friends from Hong Kong who made this journey special (they have been on tours with me for the 3rd time in Malaysia now).. Maggie, Keung, Kaman, Mei Ling, Carmen & Angela. Bobby and Sulawesi Jack – my thanks, my Sulawesi brothers!

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