10 August 2013

Dollarbirding...INDONESIA (27th July)

Our birding adventure in the Spice Island of Halmahera continued, as we made our way south towards a fancy diving resort (quite the relief after several days in squalor in Sidangoli). As we journeyed towards our next destination the cloves for which this island is famous for were seen being dried out along the roadsides. After admiring our new surroundings at check-in, we were out in the field again, this time checking the first dead snags we saw for our main quarry, the endemic Purple Dollarbird, which remarkably was found on this first snag-check! A beautiful bird of the deepest purple, in contrast to its most striking feature: a bright carrot orange bill. Dollarbirds are named as such for their wings have markings within them that are said to resemble a dollar shape (although you might require a lot of faith and some significant imagination for this!). With the dollarbird in the bag we continued finding two Oriental Dollarbirds too, and a further Purple Dollarbird also, as well as our first Goliath Coucals feeding, rather clumsily, in a large palm, and with their immense size making us feel a little David-like below! Other notable finds were Moluccan (Spectacled) Imperial-Pigeon and (yet) another Sombre Kingfisher.

More spectacular finds to come from Halmahera yet…

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