Indonesia: The Lesser Sunda Islands Trip Report, June 2022

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20 JUNE – 10 JULY 2022

By Andrew Walker

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Sumba Boobook was one of several endemic owls found during our Lesser Sunda Islands tour.­


This Indonesian bird tour covered a wide selection of Lesser Sunda islands, starting and ending in Bali and visiting Sumba, Rote, Timor, Alor, Flores, and Komodo. The tour focused on the regional endemic and special birds, with plenty of highlights along the way. We recorded 215 species on the tour (seven of these heard only). The taxonomy of the region still requires a lot of work and we saw many subspecies during the tour that could be elevated to full species status in the future. The list of highlights was very long and included Flores Scops Owl, Sumba Boobook, Little Sumba Hawk-Owl, Rote Boobook, Timor Boobook, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Sumba Hornbill, Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Elegant Pitta, Ornate Pitta, Red-naped Fruit Dove, Timor Imperial Pigeon, Timor Cuckoo-Dove, Bare-throated Whistler, Buff-banded Thicketbird, Flores Monarch, Little (Flores) Minivet, Rote Leaf Warbler, Timor Leaf Warbler, Flores Leaf Warbler, White-browed (Flores) Shortwing, Black-banded Flycatcher, Timor Blue Flycatcher, Sumba Myzomela, Rote Myzomela, Black-breasted (Timor) Myzomela, Alor Myzomela, and Timor Sparrow. Non-avian highlight was easily Komodo Dragon!

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022We enjoyed excellent views of a pair of Sumba Hornbills early in the tour.

Detailed Report

Day 1, 20th June 2022.
Arrival in Bali, Indonesia

An arrival day in Denpasar, Bali. For those that arrived a little earlier a trip to Bedugul Botanical Gardens was the order of the morning with plenty of interesting birds found, including Blood-breasted (Javan) Flowerpecker, Mees’s White-eye, Flame-fronted Barbet, and Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike (birds from this day are not included in the trip list but can be seen on eBird, here). By late afternoon the whole group had arrived and we enjoyed our welcome dinner together on the beach as the sun set, with the sound of Savanna Nightjars calling overhead.

Day 2, 21st June 2022. Travel to Tambolaka, Sumba

After a leisurely breakfast we took the short drive from our beachside Bali resort to the airport in Denpasar where we checked in for our flight to Tambolaka, Sumba. All went smoothly and we even had a couple of Australian Pratincole on the runway! After our arrival in Tambolaka we met our local guide Yovie and commenced our journey to Waikabubak. Nearby, a roadside birding session yielded Blood-breasted (Sumba) Flowerpecker, Black-naped Fruit Dove, Apricot-breasted Sunbird, Yellow-ringed White-eye, and Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher which provided a great introduction to birding on the island.

Day 3, 22nd June 2022. Birding Sumba

An early start walking along a ridgeline near Waikabubak provided some early highlights, with some of the group getting excellent views of Mees’s Nightjar. Several parrot species were flying around, and included Great-billed Parrot, Marigold Lorikeet, Red-cheeked Parrot, and a distant Yellow-crested (Orange-crested) Cockatoo which perched briefly. A pair of Pale-shouldered Cicadabirds moved through, the male giving some excellent close views, while Helmeted (Tenggara) Friarbirds teased us as they moved around in shady spots. Flowerpeckers and sunbirds were abundant, and we got excellent views of Thick-billed (Tenggara) Flowerpecker, Blood-breasted (Sumba) Flowerpecker, and Apricot-breasted Sunbird.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Sumba Myzomela was the first of several island-endemic myzomelas enjoyed on the tour.

We had some excellent and prolonged views of a singing male Sumba Brown Flycatcher, which was a real treat. While watching the flycatcher we had displaying and perched Green Imperial Pigeons, and Sumba Green Pigeon. Frustratingly, Nicobar Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit Dove, and Common Emerald Dove views were very brief and not seen by everyone. A few singing Elegant Pittas were heard, and we got great looks at Arafura (Supertramp) Fantail, Rusty-breasted Whistler, Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Wallacean (Sumba Spangled) Drongo, and Yellow-ringed White-eye.

White-faced Heron, Eastern Cattle Egret, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Brahminy Kite, and Brown Goshawk were all noted flying overhead, as were Tenggara Swiftlet and Edible-nest Swiftlet.

Our afternoon birding session took us to a slightly different area, and we were rewarded with simply excellent views of Red-naped Fruit Dove, followed by Sumba Myzomela, Marigold Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, and on dusk, Little Sumba Hawk-Owl which gave great views.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Red-naped Fruit Dove is one attractive endemic bird from Sumba, and we got great views.

Day 4, 23rd June 2022. Birding Sumba

A very long day today, as we made our way from the western to eastern side of the island, but one that was packed full of amazing Sumba endemics. The day started with us staking out a viewpoint where we were rewarded with excellent views of a pair of stunning Sumba Hornbills.

Here we also found several other goodies, such as Red-naped Fruit Dove, Sumba Green Pigeon, Marigold Lorikeet, Red-cheeked Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Spectacled Monarch, Ashy-bellied White-eye, and Rusty-breasted Whistler. Moving around the general area we found Sumba Flycatcher, Sumba Jungle Flycatcher, Sumba Myzomela, Wallacean (Sumba) Cuckooshrike, Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher, and everyone got to see Elegant Pitta.

Our lunch and rest stop over the middle of the day proved to be an excellent raptor-watching spot and we saw Bonelli’s Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Spotted Harrier, Brown Goshawk, and Spotted Kestrel.

Our birding ended with a roadside stop where we were rewarded with excellent views of Sumba Boobook, the final endemic species we needed on the island!

Day 5, 24th June 2022. Birding Sumba

A relaxing day after the long day yesterday. We had a late breakfast and followed that with some morning birding in some wetlands near our hotel. Here we found Javan Plover, Wandering Whistling Duck, Australian Swamphen, Intermediate Egret, Javan Pond Heron, Purple Heron, Javan Munia, Pale-headed Munia, Sunda Zebra Finch, and several other common and widespread species.

The afternoon was spent at leisure around our beachside resort.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The pretty (and recently split) Sunda Zebra Finch was around our hotel garden.

Day 6, 25th June 2022. Waingapu (Sumba) to Kupang (Timor) to Onotali (Rote)

Essentially a travel day as we made our way from Sumba to Rote, via Kupang in Timor. An early start from Waingapu saw us arriving and grabbing breakfast in Kupang. Some rice paddies and coastal birding in the late morning near Kupang provided us with views of Tree Martin, Drab Swiftlet, Pale-headed Munia, Australian Pratincole, Australian Tern, Greater Crested Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Little Tern, Greater Sand Plover, and Grey-tailed Tattler.

After a very nice lunch we headed back to the airport for our short hop across to the small island of Rote where we were to spend the next two nights. The sight of over 100 Australian Pratincoles on the airfield on arrival in Rote was impressive.


Day 7, 26th June 2022. Birding Rote

A relaxed start to the day saw us heading to a small patch of forest in the north of the island where we immediately found some great endemic birds. Rote Myzomela was the first to show, and then Rote Leaf Warbler came quickly afterwards, then followed Northern (Rote) Fantail, Plain (Timor) Gerygone, White-bellied (Timor) Bush Chat, Fawn-breasted Whistler, and then the stunning quartet of Orange-sided Thrush, Timor Blue Flycatcher, Flame-breasted Sunbird, and Blue-cheeked (Red-chested) Flowerpecker.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Rote Leaf Warbler was recently elevated to full-species status and is only found on the island of Rote. It is an interesting-looking bird with a distinctly oversized bill.

In the afternoon we took a drive to the north of the island where a couple of stops near some lakes provided views of Red-capped Plover, Pied Stilt, Wandering Whistling Duck, Sunda Teal, Tricolored Grebe, White-browed Crake, Whiskered Tern, Rainbow Bee-eater, Sacred Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, and several passerines such as White-bellied (Timor) Bush Chat, Arafura (Supertramp) Fantail, Broad-billed Flycatcher, and Five-colored Munia.

As dusk approached, we made our way to the forest to look for our final Rote endemic, and after a bit of cat-and-mouse we were rewarded with great views of Rote Boobook, one very impressive bird.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The stunning Rote Boobook eventually gave us some good views and was a fitting end to our time on the island.

 Day 8, 27th June 2022. Rote to Kupang (Timor) then on to Soé, Timor

An early flight saw us at Rote airport at dawn, complete with a Savanna Nightjar and flock of Australian Pratincoles on the runway. We arrived in Kupang, Timor and had breakfast before driving east across Timor to the town of Soé. In the afternoon we visited a forest, where we found Black-breasted (Timor) Myzomela, Timor Imperial Pigeon, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Northern (Timor) Fantail, Buff-banded (Timor) Thicketbird, Streak-breasted Honeyeater, Plain (Timor) Gerygone, Spot-breasted (Timor) Heleia, and Tricolored Parrotfinch.


Day 9, 28th June 2022. Birding Gunung Mutis

We headed up Gunung (Mount) Mutis in the morning but were greeted by strong wind, cold temperatures, and impending rain (which after a while did come). It was not as productive as usual at the site due to the weather conditions, compounded by a local guy hunting birds throughout the site too. The undescribed “Mt. Mutis” Parrotfinch was seen by a few but, unfortunately, not everyone. During our morning birding we also found Timor Leaf Warbler, Flame-eared Honeyeater, Warbling White-eye, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Timor Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Whistler, Plain (Timor) Gerygone, Northern (Timor) Fantail, White-bellied (Timor) Bush Chat, and Black-breasted (Timor) Myzomela.

In the afternoon we visited a forest patch near our accommodation and heard several Buff-banded (Timor) Thicketbirds, but none would show. The highlight of the afternoon came in the form of a stunning Black-banded Flycatcher, one of the best-looking Ficedula flycatchers in the world and an uncommon Timor endemic. One of the final exciting birds of the day was a pair of territorial Cinnamon-banded Kingfishers.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The gorgeous Black-banded Flycatcher was a highlight while birding in Timor.

 Day 10, 29th June 2022. Soé to Camplong to Kupang

We headed back to the forest near our accommodation but were greeted by further rain showers, but at least the wind had died down. We found some fruiting and flowering trees, complete with Streak-breasted Honeyeater, Black-breasted (Sumba) Myzomela, Short-tailed Starling, and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove. The rain increased and became persistent and continued for the rest of the morning, making birding very difficult. A few in the group managed to get their eyes on Buff-banded (Timor) Thicketbird, Timor Stubtail, and Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, but conditions were very tough! In the afternoon we drove from Soé down to Kupang calling in at Camplong along the way. Luckily, we finally got a break in the rain for an hour and enjoyed a few birds, including Orange-sided Thrush, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Buff-banded (Timor) Thicketbird (finally seen!), Rainbow Bee-eater, Little Pied Flycatcher, and a few other species.

Day 11, 30th June 2022. Kupang to Mali (Alor)

A travel and cultural rain-affected day. We enjoyed a relaxed breakfast in our comfortable hotel in Kupang before flying north from Timor to Mali, on the island of Alor. After lunch enjoying great views of the bay, we made our way to a local traditional village for some cultural activities however a heavy rain deluge resulted in a premature end to the day.


Day 12, 1st July 2022. Birding Alor

A long and tiring day with an early start and late finish, but our first dry one in a few days. We took the long and bumpy road from our accommodation on the coast up into the little-visited mountains of Alor, where we searched for and found our main target bird, Alor Myzomela, a scarce single-island endemic, and an attractive one at that. We also enjoyed amazing looks at Flores Hawk-Eagle as one flew low overhead in the morning sun.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The single-island endemic Alor Myzomela was enjoyed by all.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Flores Hawk-Eagle gave us an amazing flyover and then we enjoyed another bird perched later in the day. An impressive, now Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) species.

Other birds noted during our time birding in the mountains of Alor included Timor Cuckoo-Dove, Wallacean (Alor) Cuckooshrike, Wallacean (Flores Spangled) Drongo, Olive-headed Lorikeet, Helmeted (Tenggara) Friarbird, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Red-backed Buttonquail, and further looks at perched Flores Hawk-Eagle, first distantly then much closer giving great views. In the evening we tried for Alor Boobook, a couple of birds were heard but just as one appeared to be coming close to us a convoy of noisy motorbikes went past and the opportunity seemed to go as the bird wouldn’t come back in. Frustratingly, it remained “heard only” apart from a possible fly through seen by a couple in the party.

Day 13, 2nd July 2022. Alor to Kupang, birding Bipolo Forest

A travel morning as we flew from Mali, Alor back to Kupang, Timor. In the afternoon we headed out to Bipolo Forest, where a gentle late-afternoon stroll yielded Timor Friarbird, Streak-breasted Honeyeater, Olive-headed Lorikeet, Northern (Timor) Fantail, and Arafura (Supertramp) Fantail. While scanning the nearby rice paddies and enjoying a large number of foraging Rainbow Bee-eaters, we picked up Black-faced Munia, Sunda Zebra Finch, and best of all, a single Timor Sparrow. Both Brown Goshawk and White-bellied Sea Eagle flew over as the sun was fading away and shortly after we were watching a fine-looking Timor Boobook, a great end to the day.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022We had some excellent views of Timor Boobook in Bipolo Forest!

Day 14, 3rd July 2022. Kupang to Bajawa (Flores)

We enjoyed a relaxed breakfast in our hotel in Kupang before making our way the short distance to the airport for our morning flight to Bajawa in Flores, however the flight was delayed by an hour or so, meaning we eventually arrived later than planned. After lunch in Bajawa, we made our way to our new accommodation for the night before fitting in a short birding session in the late afternoon, which was actually quite rewarding (despite the low cloud). Here we found Leaf Lorikeet, Wallacean (Flores) Cuckooshrike, Thick-billed Heleia, Yellow-ringed White-eye (Wallace’s Heleia), Lemon-bellied White-eye, Ashy-bellied (Flores) White-eye, Warbling White-eye, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Flame-breasted Sunbird, and Little (Flores) Minivet.

Day 15, 4th July 2022. Bajawa to Ruteng, via Kisol and Taman Wisata Alam Rana Mese

We left Bajawa early to drive towards Kisol on the south coast of Flores. We spent the morning birding a patch of forest that was promising but birds were hard to see, moving quickly through the area, but included Glittering (White-rumped) Kingfisher, Spectacled Monarch, Rusty-breasted Whistler, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Helmeted (Tenggara) Friarbird, Little (Flores) Minivet, Wallacean (Flores Spangled) Drongo, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, and Sunda Zebra Finch. Three of the better birds included Ornate Pitta, which perched up allowing nice eye-level views, a pair of vocal Flores Crows, and a few in the group got another sighting of Flores Hawk-Eagle.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022Hiding in the forest we found the stunning Ornate Pitta.

We took our lunch in a restaurant in the rice paddies and while waiting for our food we took in views of Black-faced Munia, Pale-headed Munia, Sacred Kingfisher, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Striated Swallow, Intermediate Egret, Eastern Cattle Egret, Javan Pond Heron, and Little Egret.

During the afternoon we completed our drive to Ruteng, our base of the next two nights, but along the way we called in at Taman Wisata Alam Rana Mese where we found Pacific Black Duck and Tricolored Grebe on the lake. The trees around the lake were holding a mixed flock that included Thick-billed Heleia, Crested White-eye, Ashy-bellied (Flores) White-eye, Warbling White-eye, Little (Flores) Minivet, Wallacean (Flores Spangled) Drongo, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Flores Jungle Flycatcher, Brown-capped (Trumpeting) Fantail, and Scaly-crowned Honeyeater. Wallace’s Scops Owls were making noise outside our rooms overnight for those still awake!

Day 16, 5th July 2022. Ruteng Birding including Golo Lusang

We spent the morning birding at Golo Lusang near Ruteng, where we found many great birds in a beautiful mountain setting. One of the most-popular birds of the morning was the male, singing, Bare-throated Whistler, what an absolutely stunning bird, and we had excellent views at eye-level too. Another highlight was the views we had of the usually secretive White-browed (Flores) Shortwing which also gave great views. Other goodies from the morning included Cream-browed White-eye (Heleia), Chestnut-backed Thrush, Little (Flores) Minivet, Flores Leaf Warbler, and Blood-breasted (Flores) Flowerpecker. Russet-capped Tesia and Pygmy Cupwings were heard but remained hidden.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022We enjoyed excellent views of a singing male Bare-throated Whistler.

Afternoon birding near to Ruteng was also good, and we enjoyed seeing a Ruddy-breasted Crake walking across a track and improved our views of the attractive Glittering (White-rumped) Kingfisher while Russet-capped Tesia proved rather furtive again, just offering glimpses to a few of the group. A large fruiting tree and a mixed flock nearby gave some excitement with good looks at Chestnut-backed Thrush, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Crested White-eye (Heleia), and Golden-rumped Flowerpecker. After dinner we tried our luck with the tough and scarce Flores Scops Owl, and we were rewarded with exceptional views after some patience listening to its insect/frog-like call.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022After a bit of searching and waiting in the mountains we were handsomely rewarded with this Flores Scops Owl, a species thought extinct for nearly 100 years!

Day 17, 6th July 2022. Ruteng to Puarlolo

Leaving our accommodation in Ruteng after breakfast we drove out along a road with some decent adjacent forest and spent the morning working an area for a few targets. Two of the top birds seen here during the morning included the now rare Flores Green Pigeon and enigmatic Wallace’s Hanging Parrot. Plenty of other great birds were seen too, and included Ruddy (Parzudaki’s) Cuckoo-Dove, Red-cheeked Parrot, Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher, Wallacean (Flores Spangled) Drongo, Rufous-chested Flycatcher, Black-naped (Tenggara Golden) Oriole, Rusty-breasted Whistler, Little (Flores) Minivet, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Crested White-eye (Heleia), Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, and we finally all saw (well) Russet-capped Tesia.

We dropped back in to Ruteng for lunch at our favorite restaurant of the tour and afterwards we commenced our drive to the Puarlolo area. Along the way we noted Black-winged Kite and Spotted Kestrel.

Arriving late in the afternoon, we had an hour birding at Puarlolo, here we got to grips with one of the tougher island endemics, Flores Monarch. Here too we saw a couple of secretive Chestnut-capped Thrushes, another showy Russet-capped Tesia, Little (Flores) Minivet, and a few more common species.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The extremely local Flores Monarch gave tantalizing views as it busily moved around the undergrowth.

Day 18, 7th July 2022. Puarlolo to Labuan Bajo and on to Komodo Island

We spent the morning birding around the Puarlolo area where we got further views of the rapidly moving Flores Monarch, most of us getting better views than the previous evening. While we were trying to improve our views of the monarch, we found plenty of other good birds, which included Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher – a couple of stunning males chasing each other around, as well as Thick-billed Heleia, Yellow-ringed White-eye (Wallace’s Heleia), Crested White-eye (Heleia), Russet-capped Tesia, and Sunda PygmyWoodpecker.

In the late morning we drove down off the mountains into Labuan Bajo where we boarded our cabin boat for our overnight trip to Komodo Island. We enjoyed lunch on the boat in Labuan Bajo harbor before we commenced our rather relaxing four-hour journey to the island. Along the way we noted White-bellied Sea Eagle, Lesser Frigatebird, and Black-naped Tern as well as soaking in some impressive volcanic landscape.

Day 19, 8th July 2022. Komodo Island dragons and birding

After the night on our boat, we were up at first light to enjoy sunrise over Komodo Island. After a quick breakfast (the first of two breakfasts today!) we took a speedboat across to Komodo Island full of excitement at the prospects of what we might see. On arrival at the pier, we were greeted by a flock of around 100 Striated Swallows with a few Pacific Swallows thrown in too. After enjoying these, we met our local guides at the national park entrance and commenced our trek across part of the island. Our two main targets for the morning were Yellow-crested (Yellow-crested) Cockatoo and Komodo Dragon, and we got great views of both. Cockatoos were vocal and sitting in the tops of bare trees, showing their yellow crests. Our first dragon was a female, she didn’t show too well, moving through vegetation and away, though her size was impressive. Shortly after we found a huge male Komodo Dragon sunbathing, what a sight!

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022It was great to see the rare Yellow-crested (Yellow-crested) Cockatoo on Komodo Island.

Lesser Sunda Islands trip report 2022The star animal of the trip, Komodo Dragon, gave great views sunbathing in the early morning sunlight. What an amazing sight.

It was noticeable how differently the birds and wildlife behaved on the island, compared to the rest of Indonesia, with large birds sitting out unconcerned about getting shot at. We enjoyed watching Pied Imperial Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Sunda Collared Dove, Barred Dove, and (Eastern) Spotted Dove at close range, as well as getting great views of Wallacean (Flores) Cuckooshrike, Wallacean (Flores Spangled) Drongo, Black-naped (Tenggara Golden) Oriole, Helmeted (Tenggara) Friarbird, Green Junglefowl, and Orange-footed Scrubfowl along with plenty more.

After returning to our boat, we enjoyed second breakfast and set off back towards Labuan Bajo, stopping for some snorkeling and lunch along the way, before continuing our journey to the city, noting Bridled Tern, Black-naped Tern, and Great-billed Heron along the way. We then checked in to our beachside resort for the final two nights of the tour and spent some time relaxing, before a short owling session, where we saw Moluccan Scops Owl.

Day 20, 9th July 2022. Birding Labuan Bajo

We spent some time during the morning birding in a patch of forest near Labuan Bajo where we saw Red-cheeked Parrot, Black-naped Fruit Dove, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped (Tenggara Golden) Oriole, and assorted other common birds of the area such as Wallacean (Flores) Drongo, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, and Rusty-breasted Whistler.

We spent some time relaxing around our resort where the gardens were alive with birds, and included Lemon-bellied White-eye, Sunda Zebra Finch, Black-faced Munia, Common Emerald Dove, Sacred Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, and Golden-bellied Gerygone.

In the late afternoon we visited some shrimp ponds and rice paddies near our accommodation and there was quite a lot of activity with Cerulean Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, and Collared Kingfisher all seen, with other highlights including Buff-banded Rail, White-browed Crake, Australasian Swamphen, Bonelli’s Eagle, Sunda Teal, Black-faced Munia, and Blue-tailed Bee-eater.

Day 21, 10th July 2022. Labuan Bajo to Denpasar (Bali)

After a relaxing morning around our beachside resort grounds enjoying the many birds in the garden, we flew from Labuan Bajo back to Denpasar, Bali where the tour concluded.

A huge thank you to Yovie for his excellent guiding on the tour in sometimes difficult and unseasonable weather situations (the effects of La Niña were felt in Timor and Alor particularly) and an equally huge thank you to all participants for making the trip so enjoyable. Look forward to the next time!

For the first time ever on a tour of mine everyone had a different “Bird of the Trip”, these being Flores Monarch, Sumba Hornbill, Flores Scops Owl, Bare-throated Whistler, Red-naped Fruit Dove, and Ornate Pitta, a fine selection of birds and goes to show the number of top quality birds we saw!

The bird and animal trip lists are given below, along with taxonomic notes on the birds following the bird list.

Bird ListFollowing IOC (12.1)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen. Please also refer to taxonomic notes below the bird list for further information.

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: CR = Critically Endangered, EN = Endangered, and VU = Vulnerable.

Common Name Scientific Name
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa
Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons
Megapodes (Megapodiidae)
Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt
Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)
Green Junglefowl Gallus varius
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
Mees’s Nightjar Caprimulgus meesi
Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
Swifts (Apodidae)
Tenggara Swiftlet Collocalia sumbawae
Drab Swiftlet Collocalia neglecta
Edible-nest Swiftlet Aerodramus fuciphagus
House Swift Apus nipalensis
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
Asian Koel (H) Eudynamys scolopaceus
Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis
Shining Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus
Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo Cacomantis sepulcralis
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock Dove Columba livia
Sunda Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia emiliana
Timor Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia magna
Little Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia ruficeps
Black Cuckoo-Dove Turacoena modesta
Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
Barred Dove Geopelia maugeus
Nicobar Pigeon Caloenas nicobarica
Sumba Green Pigeon Treron teysmannii
Flores Green Pigeon – VU Treron floris
Banded Fruit Dove Ptilinopus cinctus
Red-naped Fruit Dove – VU Ptilinopus dohertyi
Rose-crowned Fruit Dove Ptilinopus regina
Black-naped Fruit Dove Ptilinopus melanospilus
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea
Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon (H) Ducula rosacea
Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon Ducula lacernulata
Timor Imperial Pigeon Ducula cineracea
Pied Imperial Pigeon Ducula bicolor
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Buff-banded Rail Hypotaenidia philippensis
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Australasian Swamphen Porphyrio melanotus
Ruddy-breasted Crake Zapornia fusca
White-browed Crake Poliolimnas cinereus
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Tricolored Grebe Tachybaptus tricolor
Buttonquail (Turnicidae)
Red-backed Buttonquail Turnix maculosus
Sumba Buttonquail – VU Turnix everetti
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Pied Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus
Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)
Australian Pratincole Stiltia isabella
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Australian Tern Gelochelidon macrotarsa
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Little Tern Sternula albifrons
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)
Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Little Pied Cormorant Microcarbo melanoleucos
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosa
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Flores Hawk-Eagle – CR Nisaetus floris
Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
Spotted Harrier Circus assimilis
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Owls (Strigidae)
Sumba Boobook Ninox rudolfi
Rote Boobook Ninox rotiensis
Timor Boobook Ninox fusca
Alor Boobook (H) Ninox plesseni
Little Sumba Hawk-Owl – EN Ninox sumbaensis
Flores Scops Owl – EN Otus alfredi
Moluccan Scops Owl Otus magicus
Wallace’s Scops Owl (H) Otus silvicola
Hornbills (Bucerotidae)
Sumba Hornbill – EN Rhyticeros everetti
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Glittering Kingfisher Caridonax fulgidus
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus
Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher Todiramphus australasia
Cerulean Kingfisher Alcedo coerulescens
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus moluccensis
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis
Australian Hobby Falco longipennis
Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)
Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Jonquil Parrot (H) Aprosmictus jonquillaceus
Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus
Red-cheeked Parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi
Great-billed Parrot Tanygnathus megalorynchos
Olive-headed Lorikeet Trichoglossus euteles
Marigold Lorikeet Trichoglossus capistratus
Leaf Lorikeet Trichoglossus weberi
Wallace’s Hanging Parrot – VU Loriculus flosculus
Pittas (Pittidae)
Ornate Pitta Pitta concinna
Elegant Pitta Pitta elegans
Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)
Scaly-crowned Honeyeater Sugomel lombokius
Alor Myzomela Myzomela prawiradilagae
Sumba Myzomela Myzomela dammermani
Rote Myzomela – VU Myzomela irianawidodoae
Black-breasted Myzomela Myzomela vulnerata
Timor Friarbird Philemon inornatus
Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides
Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
Flame-eared Honeyeater Lichmera flavicans
Streak-breasted Honeyeater Territornis reticulata
Australasian Warblers (Acanthizidae)
Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea
Plain Gerygone Gerygone inornata
Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies (Artamidae)
White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Little Minivet Pericrocotus lansbergei
Wallacean Cuckooshrike Coracina personata
Pale-shouldered Cicadabird Edolisoma dohertyi
Common Cicadabird Edolisoma tenuirostre
White-shouldered Triller Lalage sueurii
Whistlers & Allies (Pachycephalidae)
Fawn-breasted Whistler Pachycephala orpheus
Rusty-breasted Whistler Pachycephala fulvotincta
Yellow-throated Whistler Pachycephala macrorhyncha
Bare-throated Whistler Pachycephala nudigula
Figbirds, Orioles, Turnagra (Oriolidae)
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Wallacean Drongo Dicrurus densus
Fantails (Rhipiduridae)
Brown-capped Fantail Rhipidura diluta
Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris
Arafura Fantail Rhipidura dryas
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
Tenggara Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone floris
Flores Monarch – EN Symposiachrus sacerdotum
Spectacled Monarch Symposiachrus trivirgatus
Broad-billed Flycatcher Myiagra ruficollis
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Flores Crow – EN Corvus florensis
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Fairy Flycatchers (Stenostiridae)
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)
Cinereous Tit Parus cinereus
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Striated Swallow Cecropis striolata
Tree Martin Petrochelidon nigricans
Cupwings (Pnoepygidae)
Pygmy Cupwing (H) Pnoepyga pusilla
Cettia Bush Warblers & Allies (Cettiidae)
Sunda Bush Warbler Horornis vulcanius
Russet-capped Tesia Tesia everetti
Timor Stubtail Urosphena subulata
Leaf Warblers & Allies (Phylloscopidae)
Flores Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus floresianus
Timor Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus presbytes
Rote Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus rotiensis
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Buff-banded Thicketbird Cincloramphus bivittatus
Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Cream-browed White-eye Heleia superciliaris
Crested White-eye Heleia dohertyi
Spot-breasted Heleia Heleia muelleri
Thick-billed Heleia Heleia crassirostris
Yellow-ringed White-eye Heleia wallacei
Warbling White-eye Zosterops japonicus
Lemon-bellied White-eye Zosterops chloris
Ashy-bellied White-eye Zosterops citrinella
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)
Short-tailed Starling Aplonis minor
Javan Myna – VU Acridotheres javanicus
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Orange-sided Thrush Geokichla peronii
Chestnut-capped Thrush – EN Geokichla interpres
Chestnut-backed Thrush Geokichla dohertyi
Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Sumba Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa segregata
Timor Blue Flycatcher Cyornis hyacinthinus
Flores Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis oscillans
Sumba Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis stresemanni
Lesser Shortwing (H) Brachypteryx leucophris
White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni
Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
Rufous-chested Flycatcher Ficedula dumetoria
Sumba Flycatcher Ficedula harterti
Black-banded Flycatcher Ficedula timorensis
Pied Bush Chat Saxicola caprata
White-bellied Bush Chat Saxicola gutturalis
Flowerpeckers (Dicaeidae)
Golden-rumped Flowerpecker Dicaeum annae
Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
Black-fronted Flowerpecker Dicaeum igniferum
Blue-cheeked Flowerpecker Dicaeum maugei
Blood-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum sanguinolentum
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
Apricot-breasted Sunbird Cinnyris buettikoferi
Flame-breasted Sunbird Cinnyris solaris
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Sunda Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata
Timor Sparrow Padda fuscata
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
Black-faced Munia Lonchura molucca
Javan Munia Lonchura leucogastroides
Pale-headed Munia Lonchura pallida
Five-colored Munia Lonchura quinticolor
Tricolored Parrotfinch Erythrura tricolor
“Mount Mutis” Parrotfinch (undescribed) Erythrura sp. nov.
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Total seen 208
Total heard only 7
Total recorded 215

Taxonomic Notes for Bird List:

  1. Brush Cuckoo, Cacomantis variolosus tymbonomus also known as “Australian Brush Cuckoo”. Seen on Timor.
  2. Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Cacomantis sepulcralis sepulcralis also known as “Sunda Bush Cuckoo”. Seen on Sumba, Alor, and Flores.
  3. Spotted Dove, Spilopelia chinensis also known as “Eastern Spotted Dove”. Seen on Sumba, Rote, Flores, and Komodo.
  4. Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia emiliana also known as “Parzudaki’s Cuckoo-Dove”. Seen on Timor and Flores.
  5. Little Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia sp. also known “Eucalypt Cuckoo-Dove”. Seen on Sumba.
  6. Sumba Boobook, Ninox rudolfi also known as “Great Sumba Boobook”. Seen on Sumba.
  7. Little Sumba Hawk-Owl, Ninox sumbaensis also known as “Little Sumba Boobook”. Seen on Sumba.
  8. Banded Fruit Dove, Ptilinopus cinctus albocinctus also known as “Black-backed Fruit Dove”. Seen on Flores.
  9. Moluccan Scops Owl, Otus magicus albiventris. Seen on Flores.
  10. Glittering Kingfisher, Caridonax fulgidus also known as “White-rumped Kingfisher”. Seen on Flores.
  11. Spotted Kestrel, Falco moluccensis also known as “Indonesian Kestrel”. Seen on Sumba, Timor, and Flores.
  12. Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata also known as “Orange-crested/Citron-crested Cockatoo”. Seen on Sumba.
  13. Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua sulphurea occidentalis also known as “Yellow-crested Cockatoo”. Seen on Komodo.
  14. Ornate Pitta, Pitta concinna also known as “Wallace’s Elegant Pitta”. Seen on Flores.
  15. Elegant Pitta, Pitta elegans maria also known as “Temminck’s Elegant Pitta”. Seen on Sumba.
  16. Black-breasted Myzomela, Myzomela vulnerata also known as “Timor Myzomela”. Seen on Timor.
  17. Helmeted Friarbird, Philemon buceroides neglectus also known as “Tenggara Friarbird”. Seen on Sumba, Flores, and Komodo
  18. Helmeted Friarbird, Philemon buceroides buceroides also known as “Tenggara Friarbird”. Seen on Alor.
  19. Flame-eared Honeyeater, Lichmera flavicans also known as “Yellow-eared Honeyeater”. Seen on Timor.
  20. Streak-breasted Honeyeater, Territornis reticulata also known as “Timor Meliphaga”. Seen on Timor.
  21. Plain Gerygone, Gerygone inornata also known as “Timor Gerygone”. Seen on Rote and Timor.
  22. Little Minivet, Pericrocotus lansbergei also known as “Flores Minivet”. Seen on Flores.
  23. Wallacean Cuckooshrike, Coracina personata sumbensis also known as “Sumba Cuckooshrike”. Seen on Sumba.
  24. Wallacean Cuckooshrike, Coracina personata personata also known as “Timor Cuckooshrike”. Seen on Timor.
  25. Wallacean Cuckooshrike, Coracina personata alfrediana also known as “Alor Cuckooshrike”. Seen on Alor.
  26. Wallacean Cuckooshrike, Coracina personata floris also known as “Flores Cuckooshrike”. Seen on Flores and Komodo.
  27. Common Cicadabird, Edolisoma tenuirostre timoriense also known as “Tenggara Cicadabird”. Seen on Timor.
  28. White-shouldered Triller, Lalage sueurii also known as “Lesueur’s Triller”. Seen on Sumba, Alor, Rote, and Komodo.
  29. Rusty-breasted Whistler, Pachycephala fulvotincta fulviventris. Seen on Sumba.
  30. Rusty-breasted Whistler, Pachycephala fulvotincta fulvotincta. Seen on Alor, Flores, and Komodo.
  31. Yellow-throated Whistler, Pachycephala macrorhyncha calliope. Seen on Timor.
  32. Black-naped Oriole, Oriolus chinensis broderipi also known as “Tenggara Golden Oriole”. Seen on Sumba, Flores, and Komodo.
  33. Wallacean Drongo, Dicrurus densus sumbae also known as “Sumba Spangled Drongo”. Seen on Sumba.
  34. Wallacean Drongo, Dicrurus densus bimaensis also known as “Flores Spangled Drongo”. Seen on Flores and Komodo.
  35. Brown-capped Fantail, Rhipidura diluta diluta also known as “Trumpeting Fantail”. Seen on Flores.
  36. Northern Fantail, Rhipidura rufiventris tenkatei also known as “Rote Fantail”. Seen on Rote.
  37. Northern Fantail, Rhipidura rufiventris rufiventris also known as “Timor Fantail”. Seen on Timor.
  38. Arafura Fantail, Rhipidura dryas sumbensis also known as “Supertramp Fantail”. Seen on Sumba.
  39. Arafura Fantail, Rhipidura dryas semicollaris also known as “Supertramp Fantail”. Seen on Rote, Timor, and Alor.
  40. Spectacled Monarch, Symposiachrus trivirgatus trivirgatus. Seen on Sumba and Flores.
  41. Buff-banded Thicketbird, Cincloramphus bivittatus also known as Timor Thicketbird. Seen on Timor.
  42. Cream-browed White-eye, Heleia superciliaris also known as “Eyebrowed Heleia, Apalopteron superciliare”. Seen on Flores.
  43. Crested White-eye, Heleia dohertyi also known as “Crested Heleia, Apalopteron dohertyi”. Seen on Flores.
  44. Spot-breasted Heleia, Heleia muelleri also known as “Timor Heleia, Apalopteron muelleri”. Seen on Timor.
  45. Yellow-ringed White-eye, Heleia wallacei also known as “Wallace’s Heleia, Apalopteron wallacei”. Seen on Sumba and Flores.
  46. Ashy-bellied White-eye, Zosterops citronella citronella also known as “Ashy-bellied White-eye”. Seen on Sumba and Rote.
  47. Ashy-bellied White-eye, Zosterops citronella harterti also known as “Ashy-bellied White-eye”. Seen on Alor.
  48. Ashy-bellied White-eye, Zosterops citronella unicus also known as “Flores White-eye”. Seen on Flores.
  49. Orange-sided Thrush, Geokichla peronii also known as “Orange-banded Thrush”. Seen on Rote and Timor.
  50. Island Thrush, Turdus poliocephalus schlegelii also known as “Schlegel’s Island Thrush”. Seen on Timor.
  51. Timor Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis hyacinthinus also known as “Timor Warbling-flycatcher, Eumyias hyacinthinus”. Seen on Rote and Timor.
  52. Flores Jungle Flycatcher, Cyornis oscillans also known as “Flores Warbling-flycatcher, Eumyias oscillans”. Seen on Flores.
  53. Sumba Jungle Flycatcher, Cyornis stresemanni also known as “Sumba Warbling-flycatcher, Eumyias stresemanni”. Seen on Sumba.
  54. White-browed Shortwing, Brachypteryx montana floris also known as “Flores Shortwing”. Seen on Flores.
  55. White-bellied Bush Chat, Saxicola gutturalis also known as “Timor Bushchat”. Seen on Rote and Timor.
  56. Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Dicaeum agile tinctum also known as “Tenggara Flowerpecker”. Seen on Sumba and Flores.
  57. Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Dicaeum agile obsoletum also known as “Tenggara Flowerpecker”. Seen on Timor.
  58. Blue-cheeked Flowerpecker, Dicaeum maugei also known as “Red-chested Flowerpecker”. Seen on Timor and Rote.
  59. Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Dicaeum sanguinolentum wilhelminae also known as “Sumba Flowerpecker”. Seen on Sumba.
  60. Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Dicaeum sanguinolentum rhodopygiale also known as “Flores Flowerpecker”. Seen on Flores.
  61. Olive-backed Sunbird, Cinnyris jugularis ornatus also known as “Ornate Sunbird”. Seen on Flores.
  62. “Mount Mutis” Parrotfinch, Erythrura sp. Undescribed parrotfinch species seen on Timor.

Mammal List

Common Name Scientific Name
Old World Fruit Bats (Pteropodidae)
Sunda Fruit Bat (Flying Fox) Acerodon mackloti
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Common Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis
Deer (Cervidae)
Javan (Timor) Deer Rusa timorensis
Pigs (Suidae)
Wild Boar Sus scrofa
Total 4

Reptile List

Common Name Scientific Name
Agamids (Agamidae)
Boschma’s Flying Lizard Draco boschmai
Geckos (Gekkonidae)
Common House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus
Tokay Gecko Gekko gecko
Monitors (Varanidae)
Komodo Dragon Varanius komodoensis
Skinks (Scincidae)
Lesser Sunda Dark-throated Skink Sphenomorphus melanopogon
Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)
Green Turtle Chelonia mydas
Total 6

Notable Insects List

Common Name Scientific Name
Stag Beetles (Lucanidae)
Giraffe Stag Beetle Prosopocoilus giraffa
Total 1


This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

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