04 August 2013

Kingfishers “on Special” at Tangkoko!…(Sulawesi) 24th July

With two lifer kingfishers, plus a nighttime Ruddy the day before quickly proving what a great place for kingfishers Tangkoko National Park is you’d think we were done with this group? Far from it. A gaping hole remained on our kingfisher quest, where the endemic Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher should sit, so we set about in earnest to find this on this morning. However, before we scoured the forest for that beauty we spent the early hours of the morning racking up lifers at a scenic lookout over the forest. Lifebirds came thick and fast, with the endemic Spot-tailed Goshawk and 2 species of Hanging-parrots (Large Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot and Small Sulawesi Hanging-Parrots) being standouts. Then, after picking up a Pale-blue Monarch, we finally tracked down a Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher sitting quietly in the forest understory.
The rest of the morning was fairly quiet, although we did have the surreal experience of birding from within a troop of macaques, and an impressive one at that, the endemic Celebes Crested Macaque; which were all around us (including babies), for some time. However, we were gutted to find that, again, the Ochre-bellied Boobooks (an endemic owl), were not at their regular daytime roost site.

In the afternoon we took a side trip into the mangroves for yet another lifer kingfisher, and although the tide made us wait impatiently before we could enter their favored creek, we managed to track down three separate Great-billed Kingfishers as hoped, along with the scarce White-rumped Cuckooshrike too, and an ever so obliging Great-billed Heron perched on an offshore boat. The evening closed with us watching a pair of Sulawesi Nightjars hawking overhead.

 Next up: the Spice Island of Halmahera…

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