Indonesia: The Lesser Sunda Islands Trip Report, June 2022

Go to Indonesia bird tour page | Asia bird tours | Asia trip reports| All our birding tours


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 NameScientific Name
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Wandering Whistling DuckDendrocygna arcuata
Pacific Black DuckAnas superciliosa
Sunda TealAnas gibberifrons
Megapodes (Megapodiidae)
Orange-footed ScrubfowlMegapodius reinwardt
Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)
Green JunglefowlGallus varius
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
Mees’s NightjarCaprimulgus meesi
Savanna NightjarCaprimulgus affinis
Swifts (Apodidae)
Tenggara SwiftletCollocalia sumbawae
Drab SwiftletCollocalia neglecta
Edible-nest SwiftletAerodramus fuciphagus
House SwiftApus nipalensis
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Lesser CoucalCentropus bengalensis
Asian Koel (H)Eudynamys scolopaceus
Horsfield’s Bronze CuckooChrysococcyx basalis
Shining Bronze CuckooChrysococcyx lucidus
Brush CuckooCacomantis variolosus
Rusty-breasted CuckooCacomantis sepulcralis
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock DoveColumba livia
Sunda Collared DoveStreptopelia bitorquata
Spotted DoveSpilopelia chinensis
Ruddy Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia emiliana
Timor Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia magna
Little Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia ruficeps
Black Cuckoo-DoveTuracoena modesta
Common Emerald DoveChalcophaps indica
Barred DoveGeopelia maugeus
Nicobar PigeonCaloenas nicobarica
Sumba Green PigeonTreron teysmannii
Flores Green Pigeon – VUTreron floris
Banded Fruit DovePtilinopus cinctus
Red-naped Fruit Dove – VUPtilinopus dohertyi
Rose-crowned Fruit DovePtilinopus regina
Black-naped Fruit DovePtilinopus melanospilus
Green Imperial PigeonDucula aenea
Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon (H)Ducula rosacea
Dark-backed Imperial PigeonDucula lacernulata
Timor Imperial PigeonDucula cineracea
Pied Imperial PigeonDucula bicolor
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Buff-banded RailHypotaenidia philippensis
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Australasian SwamphenPorphyrio melanotus
Ruddy-breasted CrakeZapornia fusca
White-browed CrakePoliolimnas cinereus
White-breasted WaterhenAmaurornis phoenicurus
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Tricolored GrebeTachybaptus tricolor
Buttonquail (Turnicidae)
Red-backed ButtonquailTurnix maculosus
Sumba Buttonquail – VUTurnix everetti
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Pied StiltHimantopus leucocephalus
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Masked LapwingVanellus miles
Kentish PloverCharadrius alexandrinus
Javan PloverCharadrius javanicus
Red-capped PloverCharadrius ruficapillus
Greater Sand PloverCharadrius leschenaultii
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Eurasian WhimbrelNumenius phaeopus
Grey-tailed TattlerTringa brevipes
Common RedshankTringa totanus
Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)
Australian PratincoleStiltia isabella
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Australian TernGelochelidon macrotarsa
Greater Crested TernThalasseus bergii
Lesser Crested TernThalasseus bengalensis
Little TernSternula albifrons
Bridled TernOnychoprion anaethetus
Black-naped TernSterna sumatrana
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)
Lesser FrigatebirdFregata ariel
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Little Pied CormorantMicrocarbo melanoleucos
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
Striated HeronButorides striata
Javan Pond HeronArdeola speciosa
Eastern Cattle EgretBubulcus coromandus
Great-billed HeronArdea sumatrana
Purple HeronArdea purpurea
Great EgretArdea alba
Intermediate EgretArdea intermedia
White-faced HeronEgretta novaehollandiae
Little EgretEgretta garzetta
Pacific Reef HeronEgretta sacra
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged KiteElanus caeruleus
Short-toed Snake EagleCircaetus gallicus
Flores Hawk-Eagle – CRNisaetus floris
Bonelli’s EagleAquila fasciata
Brown GoshawkAccipiter fasciatus
Spotted HarrierCircus assimilis
Black KiteMilvus migrans
Brahminy KiteHaliastur indus
White-bellied Sea EagleHaliaeetus leucogaster
Owls (Strigidae)
Sumba BoobookNinox rudolfi
Rote BoobookNinox rotiensis
Timor BoobookNinox fusca
Alor Boobook (H)Ninox plesseni
Little Sumba Hawk-Owl – ENNinox sumbaensis
Flores Scops Owl – ENOtus alfredi
Moluccan Scops OwlOtus magicus
Wallace’s Scops Owl (H)Otus silvicola
Hornbills (Bucerotidae)
Sumba Hornbill – ENRhyticeros everetti
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Glittering KingfisherCaridonax fulgidus
Stork-billed KingfisherPelargopsis capensis
Collared KingfisherTodiramphus chloris
Sacred KingfisherTodiramphus sanctus
Cinnamon-banded KingfisherTodiramphus australasia
Cerulean KingfisherAlcedo coerulescens
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthis
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Blue-tailed Bee-eaterMerops philippinus
Rainbow Bee-eaterMerops ornatus
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Sunda Pygmy WoodpeckerYungipicus moluccensis
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Spotted KestrelFalco moluccensis
Australian HobbyFalco longipennis
Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)
Yellow-crested CockatooCacatua sulphurea
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Jonquil Parrot (H)Aprosmictus jonquillaceus
Eclectus ParrotEclectus roratus
Red-cheeked ParrotGeoffroyus geoffroyi
Great-billed ParrotTanygnathus megalorynchos
Olive-headed LorikeetTrichoglossus euteles
Marigold LorikeetTrichoglossus capistratus
Leaf LorikeetTrichoglossus weberi
Wallace’s Hanging Parrot – VULoriculus flosculus
Pittas (Pittidae)
Ornate PittaPitta concinna
Elegant PittaPitta elegans
Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)
Scaly-crowned HoneyeaterSugomel lombokius
Alor MyzomelaMyzomela prawiradilagae
Sumba MyzomelaMyzomela dammermani
Rote Myzomela – VUMyzomela irianawidodoae
Black-breasted MyzomelaMyzomela vulnerata
Timor FriarbirdPhilemon inornatus
Helmeted FriarbirdPhilemon buceroides
Brown HoneyeaterLichmera indistincta
Flame-eared HoneyeaterLichmera flavicans
Streak-breasted HoneyeaterTerritornis reticulata
Australasian Warblers (Acanthizidae)
Golden-bellied GerygoneGerygone sulphurea
Plain GerygoneGerygone inornata
Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies (Artamidae)
White-breasted WoodswallowArtamus leucorynchus
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Little MinivetPericrocotus lansbergei
Wallacean CuckooshrikeCoracina personata
Pale-shouldered CicadabirdEdolisoma dohertyi
Common CicadabirdEdolisoma tenuirostre
White-shouldered TrillerLalage sueurii
Whistlers & Allies (Pachycephalidae)
Fawn-breasted WhistlerPachycephala orpheus
Rusty-breasted WhistlerPachycephala fulvotincta
Yellow-throated WhistlerPachycephala macrorhyncha
Bare-throated WhistlerPachycephala nudigula
Figbirds, Orioles, Turnagra (Oriolidae)
Black-naped OrioleOriolus chinensis
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Wallacean DrongoDicrurus densus
Fantails (Rhipiduridae)
Brown-capped FantailRhipidura diluta
Northern FantailRhipidura rufiventris
Arafura FantailRhipidura dryas
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
Black-naped MonarchHypothymis azurea
Tenggara Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone floris
Flores Monarch – ENSymposiachrus sacerdotum
Spectacled MonarchSymposiachrus trivirgatus
Broad-billed FlycatcherMyiagra ruficollis
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Flores Crow – ENCorvus florensis
Large-billed CrowCorvus macrorhynchos
Fairy Flycatchers (Stenostiridae)
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcherCulicicapa ceylonensis
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)
Cinereous TitParus cinereus
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
Sooty-headed BulbulPycnonotus aurigaster
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Pacific SwallowHirundo tahitica
Striated SwallowCecropis striolata
Tree MartinPetrochelidon nigricans
Cupwings (Pnoepygidae)
Pygmy Cupwing (H)Pnoepyga pusilla
Cettia Bush Warblers & Allies (Cettiidae)
Sunda Bush WarblerHorornis vulcanius
Russet-capped TesiaTesia everetti
Timor StubtailUrosphena subulata
Leaf Warblers & Allies (Phylloscopidae)
Flores Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus floresianus
Timor Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus presbytes
Rote Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus rotiensis
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Buff-banded ThicketbirdCincloramphus bivittatus
Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)
Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
Golden-headed CisticolaCisticola exilis
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Cream-browed White-eyeHeleia superciliaris
Crested White-eyeHeleia dohertyi
Spot-breasted HeleiaHeleia muelleri
Thick-billed HeleiaHeleia crassirostris
Yellow-ringed White-eyeHeleia wallacei
Warbling White-eyeZosterops japonicus
Lemon-bellied White-eyeZosterops chloris
Ashy-bellied White-eyeZosterops citrinella
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)
Short-tailed StarlingAplonis minor
Javan Myna – VUAcridotheres javanicus
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Orange-sided ThrushGeokichla peronii
Chestnut-capped Thrush – ENGeokichla interpres
Chestnut-backed ThrushGeokichla dohertyi
Island ThrushTurdus poliocephalus
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Sumba Brown FlycatcherMuscicapa segregata
Timor Blue FlycatcherCyornis hyacinthinus
Flores Jungle FlycatcherCyornis oscillans
Sumba Jungle FlycatcherCyornis stresemanni
Lesser Shortwing (H)Brachypteryx leucophris
White-browed ShortwingBrachypteryx montana
Little Pied FlycatcherFicedula westermanni
Snowy-browed FlycatcherFicedula hyperythra
Rufous-chested FlycatcherFicedula dumetoria
Sumba FlycatcherFicedula harterti
Black-banded FlycatcherFicedula timorensis
Pied Bush ChatSaxicola caprata
White-bellied Bush ChatSaxicola gutturalis
Flowerpeckers (Dicaeidae)
Golden-rumped FlowerpeckerDicaeum annae
Thick-billed FlowerpeckerDicaeum agile
Black-fronted FlowerpeckerDicaeum igniferum
Blue-cheeked FlowerpeckerDicaeum maugei
Blood-breasted FlowerpeckerDicaeum sanguinolentum
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Brown-throated SunbirdAnthreptes malacensis
Olive-backed SunbirdCinnyris jugularis
Apricot-breasted SunbirdCinnyris buettikoferi
Flame-breasted SunbirdCinnyris solaris
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Sunda Zebra FinchTaeniopygia guttata
Timor SparrowPadda fuscata
Scaly-breasted MuniaLonchura punctulata
Black-faced MuniaLonchura molucca
Javan MuniaLonchura leucogastroides
Pale-headed MuniaLonchura pallida
Five-colored MuniaLonchura quinticolor
Tricolored ParrotfinchErythrura tricolor
“Mount Mutis” Parrotfinch (undescribed)Erythrura sp. nov.
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Paddyfield PipitAnthus rufulus


Total seen208
Total heard only7
Total recorded215


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 NameScientific Name
Old World Fruit Bats (Pteropodidae)
Sunda Fruit Bat (Flying Fox)Acerodon mackloti
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Common Long-tailed MacaqueMacaca fascicularis
Deer (Cervidae)
Javan (Timor) DeerRusa timorensis
Pigs (Suidae)
Wild BoarSus scrofa


Total 4


Reptile List


Common NameScientific Name
Agamids (Agamidae)
Boschma’s Flying LizardDraco boschmai
Geckos (Gekkonidae)
Common House GeckoHemidactylus frenatus
Tokay GeckoGekko gecko
Monitors (Varanidae)
Komodo DragonVaranius komodoensis
Skinks (Scincidae)
Lesser Sunda Dark-throated SkinkSphenomorphus melanopogon
Sea Turtles (Cheloniidae)
Green TurtleChelonia mydas


Total 6


Notable Insects List


Common NameScientific Name
Stag Beetles (Lucanidae)
Giraffe Stag BeetleProsopocoilus giraffa


Total 1



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

Birding Ecotours