INDONESIE – 2005: Noord-Sulawesi, maart | by Marc Argeloo

From March 05 to 19 2005 I guided a tour of six persons from The Netherlands. The tour was a tailor-made trip as originally set up for tour operator called Natura Aragon. The trip was set up for people with an above average interest in nature and wildlife and was not aiming at the die-hard twitchers. We certainly missed species, but also saw some real ´most wanted`. From each visited site I will summarise the species observed. A complete list of observations is included at the end of this report.

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Highlights

Snoring rail 1, path to the waterfall (Lombongo) at the western (Gorontalo) entrance of Bogani Nani Wartabone Rufous-throated flycatcher 2 or 3, in a small patch of forest remnants along the path to the Mahawu volcano Oriental honey-buzzard 1, passing by Santika hotel, Manado Black bittern 2, Lake Limboto Greater painted snipe 1, Lake Limboto Peregrine falcon (calidus) the many birds seen around Lake Limboto

Guides, accommodation, transportation

Oji from the Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park accompanied us for most of the time (except for Tangkoko, Pulisan, Mahawu and Santika). Additional National Park or Forestry Department rangers were present at the excursions to Tulabolo and Hungayono (Kusman), Tambun (Max Lela) and Gunung Ambang (Ernes). Oji is by no means the best birding guide (in particular now he has received a new pair of binoculars from this group…). However, each particular Park post has it`s own guide / ranger. Visitors are obliged to make use of this guide. In our case this guide was added to Oji.

Manado Santika Hotel, 4*, mangrove nearby, 12 km out of town (north) Pulisan Beach & Jungle Resort: 2 hrs. drive from Manado, from Pulisan village a 15 minutes walk, basic, but clean, well organised, very relaxing place, involved in community work for the local people, Tangkoko can be reached by boat or car (+ the 15 minutes walk to the car / village), both take 40 minutes, www.pulisanresort-sulawesi.com Gorontalo, Melati Hotel well-known place in Gorontalo, showing signs of a lack of maintanance and cleaning, though still a recommended site, prices on the website (www.sulawesi-info.com/melati) went up marginally (certainly to Western standards) Kotamobagu, Patra Jasa recently opened (December 2004), looks like a huge house, spacious rooms, very clean, excellent service, owners however, are seemingly not (yet) familiar with the needs of (western) visitors, can be noisy, highly recommended though

Transportation was arranged through Manado Safari Tours and Travel (see www.north- sulawesi.com/travel.html). An 11-seater for max. 9 persons, incl. driver, was okay (luggage!). Fairly new car with well functioning AC and superb leg and head space. Good driver (Yantje)!

Visited sites

* Santika Hotel, Molas (Manado), March 5/6, 9/12

A four star accommodation with some nice mangrove nearby and a dive operator (Thalassa) for the not to be missed marine treasures of North Sulawesi. The jetty to the boats offers good opportunities for birding.

Flyeater common, heard and seen in the mangrove Pied imperial pigeon some birds seen, often pair wise White-breasted wood-swallow common, 2-5 seen daily Sulawesi triller 1 seen in the mangroves Brown-throated sunbird several birds, male and female, in the mangoves Collared kingfisher 2-3 seen daily Green-backed heron 1-2 seen daily Oriental honey-buzzard 1 flying low over hotel premises 10 March, ´large` honey- buzzard, 3/4 tail bands well seen, typical honey-buzzard flight, reminiscent of Eurasian honey-buzzard, underwing (primaries/secondaries light with barring, protruding head, but heavier compared to Eurasian counterpart, long tail Japanese sparrowhawk ad. male (orangebrown barring underside clearly visible), hiding in a tree at the hotel grounds Pink-necked green pigeon several around hotel

* Boat trip Santika hotel to Pulisan, March 6 (around northern tip)

Brown booby 5 Red-necked phalarope several tens Bridled tern 15 Greater crested tern 3 Lesser frigatebird 20 Brahmany kite 1

* Pulisan Beach & Jungle Resort / Tangkoko-Batuangus, March 6/9

* Around the resort (incl. tough hike upmountain, secondary forest, open):

Yellow-billed malkoha 1 upmountain Knobbed hornbill 2 upmountain Golden-headed cisticola 1 upmountain Brown cuckoo-dove 1 upmountain on nest at 1.5 m height in palm leaf Large Sulawesi hanging parrot several upmountain Pink-necked green pigeon several upmountain Green imperial pigeon several upmountain Sulawesi babbler 1 Black-naped oriole 2 upmountain Grey-rumped tree-swift 10 + upmountain Sulawesi scops owl 1 bird calling evening March 7

* Along the path leading to Pulisan village (1 km from the coast, through some dense bamboo and a few big trees).

Green-backed kingfisher 1 male Black-naped monarch 1 male, 1 female Emerald dove 1 Green imperial pigeon several Sulawesi babbler 2 Buff-banded rail 2 Sulawesi serpent-eagle 1 subadult Japanese sparrowhawk / Chinese goshawk group appr. 20 birds high in northwestern direction, March 9

* Two excursions were made in Tangkoko-Batuangus, March 7 in the lowlands with the Black crested macaques, March 8 as far as we could get with the group upmountain (ultimately 430 m above sea level). From Pulisan it is a 40 minutes boattrip to the park. Combined, the following species were observed.

White-bellied sea-eagle 1 (from the boat) Common tern (longipennis) 10 (from the boat) Brown booby 1 (from the boat) Manta ray 1 (from the boat) dolphin spec. 10 (from the boat) Brahmany kite 1 Sulawesi serpent-eagle 1 Finch-billed myna several tens Lilac-cheeked kingfisher 5 Knobbed hornbill several tens Large Sulawesi hanging parrot 3 Ornate lory several Black-naped oriole 1 Black-naped fruit-dove 1 Ivory-backed wood-swallow 1 Sulawesi triller 2 Black-naped monarch 3 Sulawesi cicadebird 2 (calling) Ashy woodpecker 5 Blue-breasted pitta 1 (calling) Blue-backed parrot 1 (calling) Sulawesi dwarf hornbill several (calling) Flying lizard 1 Black crested macaque several tens (often as close as 3 meters) Bear kuskus 5 Tarsius 6 (excursion to well-known tree, as close as 3 meters at eye-level)

* Lake Tondano, March 9 and 11

We visited the lake from the southeastern tip of Tondano town. Simply leaving the town and took the road that got nearest the lake (appr. 200 meters away), walked through the rice fields and ducks towards the lake.

Osprey 1 Black kite 3 Brahmany kite 4 Wandering whistling duck tens Javan pond heron tens Little egret tens Cattle egret tens Cinnamon bittern 1 Yellow bittern 5 Purple heron 10 White-browed crake 6 Purple swamphen 6 Yellow wagtail (tshutschensis) tens, very much alike flava, ear-coverts often darker grey than forehead and crown, clear whitish supercilium Zitting cisticola 1 Eastern great reed-warbler several, birds identified based on brown-grey upperparts, no trace of warm brown, ´shaded` area on chest, very clear grey-white supercilium Lesser coucal 1

* Gunung Mahawu, 11 March

A well-known track to the crater of the Mahawu volcano, starting at appr. 1000+ meter above sea-level, crater at 1300+. A relatively easy-going walk that partly goes through degraded primary forest. An interesting excursion at close distance from Manado (1 hour drive to Tomohon, subsequently to Rurukan, a clear sign along this narrow road points out the track to the volcano). Not recommended during the weekend, in particular on Sundays, unless you welcome hundreds of mainly young Minahassans that accompany you to the top.

Yellow-sided flowerpecker 8 Rufous-throated flycatcher 2 or 3, splendid views along the appr. 1 km stretch that goes through the forest remnants Citrine flycatcher 1 Black-fronted white-eye 1 Black kite 3 Black eagle 1 Black sunbird 1 male Peregrine falcon (ernesti) 1, very dark, near black from above with dense dark blackish barring from below, at the crater mouth Scarlet honeyeater 1 male, 1 female Mountain white-eye several

* Restaurant Bambu Mas, Batu Merah village, a few km west of Maelang along the north coast, March 12 and 16

´Just` a restaurant along the Trans Sulawesi ´high way`. Mangrove bordering the restaurant, with forest at close distance in the back, good spot to relax while traveling. Some interesting species were only seen here while enjoying a lunch.

Wooly-necked stork 3 Sulawesi triller 2 Pied cuckoo-shrike 2 Pink-necked green pigeon 3 Green-backed heron 4 Great-billed heron 2 Great-billed kingfisher 1 Pacific reef-egret 3

* Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park (west, Gorontalo), March 12/16

We included this part of the national park since the other (eastern) site is under heavy pressure from logging and gold mining. Not to say that this area is quiet, but there is certainly a difference with the Duloduo area. Next, the rarely birded Lake Limboto is nearby which offers good birding opportunities.

* track from Tulabolo village to the Hungayono maleo nesting ground, March 13

A 30 minutes drive from Gorontalo, the track starting at the bridge crossing the Bone river in Tulabolo. The first nearly 5 km goes through gardens after which the forest begins (slightly uphill, 1 hr+ walk). An early start is highly recommended. After the forest begins it takes less than 1 hour to the maleo nesting ground (not recommended to see maleos). While birding, this strech may consume as much as 4 hours, forest continues after the maleo nesting ground.

Black-naped monarch 1 (gardens) Sulawesi serpent-eagle 1 (gardens) Sulawesi hawk-eagle 2 (gardens) Finch-billed myna tens, incl. nesting tree (gardens) Green-backed kingfisher 1 female Lilac-cheeked kingfisher 1 (calling) Red-backed thrush 1, magnificent view of a bird on top of a palm leave above the track we followed Ashy woodpecker 5 Maroon-chinned fruit-dove 1 (seen), 3 (calling)

* track from Lombongo (swimming pool) to the (first) waterfall, March 15

A 30 minutes drive from Gorontalo, the track starting behind the swimming pool after the park`s office. This recreation area is being renovated with new cottages, more pools, restaurants etc. During the weekend, in particular Sundays, to be avoided.

Ashy woodpecker 4 Crimson sunbird 1 male, 1 female Black-naped monarch several Black sunbird 1 male Yellow-sided flowerpecker 10 Hair-crested drongo 2 Sulawesi drongo 2, clearly smaller than Hair-crested, dark eye, shorter tail, silent, except for a sound as described in Birds of Wallacea (Coates et al, 1997, ´clear, hollow note`), sympatric with Hair-crested at an elevation of appr. 250 m. above sea level Sulawesi babbler 2 Snoring rail 1, excellent views of a bird bathing in the river, distance appr. 50 m., barred underside good visible, clear orange-brown hindneck, bird appearing clearly bigger than in Birds of Wallacea (Coates et al, 1997), bill looking longer and with reddish base, head greyish, drawing in Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 3 (Del Hoyo et al, 1996) gives a better impression of what we saw, could be observed for more than 2 minutes, habitat: ligthly degraded primary forest with 5-10 m. broad river Grey wagtail 2 Lilac-cheeked kingfisher 1 (calling) Maroon-chinned fruit-dove 1 (seen), 1 (calling) Brown cuckoo-dove 2 Brown-throated sunbird 1

* Lake Limboto, March 14

Lake Limboto is a fresh water lake (appr. 2 x 4 km, guestimate, no accurate maps and water level fluctuating) immediately west of the provincial capitol Gorontalo. I visited the lake in 1991 and 2000. Some species observed then where White-headed stilt (breeding), waders (Pacific golden plover, Greenhank, Pintail/Swinhoe`s snipe, etc.), 200+ Glossy ibis and hundreds of Whiskered tern. The lake is surrounded by broad marshy areas and, locally, reedbeds. Access is not difficult, but merely a matter of finding the right tracks and roads. We drove around the lake starting from Gorontala following the road south of the lake and returning along the northern road (Limboto town). The following sites were visited.

* Iluta village (south side), appr. 11 km from Gorontalo, 5 km before Batudaa, small stony road to the right, appr. 200 m., at lake side, swampy area.

Buff-banded rail 1 ad, 3 young (less than 1 week old) Black bittern 1 White-browed crake 1 juv. Common moorhen 1 Yellow bittern 1 Whiskered tern hundreds Brahmany kite 15-20 Black kite 7 Osprey 2 Zitting cisticola 2 Eastern great reed-warbler several

* Huntu – Payunga (south side), road of appr. 500 m. to the right, no access to the lake

Yellow bittern 2 Cinnamon bittern 1 Rainbow bee-eater 9 Sand martin (?) 3 (+), clearly brownish above, off-white below, under the difficult light conditions a breast band was hard to see, but seemed present, in comparison with the common barn swallows, these birds were obviously brown, a little smaller and stockier, more clearly white below, when seeing these birds back home I would simply have said ´Sand martin`, the difficult light conditions made it impossible to judge the breast band, still, Sand martin is the most logic option (and new to Sulawesi)

* Pentadio timor (north side), direction Gorontalo, at the border sign of the village (leaving the village) an asphalt road to the right, crossing the first bridge a dirt track immediately right, from this track a 10 minutes walk to the marshy borders of the lake

Pacific golden plover several tens Greenshank tens Pintail/Swinhoe`s snipe several birds flushed, all giving a short rasping ´khok`, not repeated, suggesting Pintail snipe Glossy ibis 1 group off appr. 180 birds Greater painted snipe 1 bird (male or young bird) flushed together with the snipes, observed three times from a short distance (10 – 150 m.), rounded wings, slightly drooping, thick bill, shorter than bill off snipes, bold striped pattern on the back clearly visible (´golden bracelets`), second observation for Sulawesi Peregrine falcon 1 (see next site) Spotted harrier 1 juv., a ´fresh` looking bird, sandy-brown upper/forewing, similar from below, slightly lighter rump patch

* Hutadaa village, access to the lake behind the old market (pasar tua), direct access to the lake, some reed marshes around

Black bittern 1 Blue-tailed bee-eater 5 ad. Wood sandpiper several tens Cinnamon bittern 1 Peregrine falcon altogether 3 or 4 birds observed, on two occasions the birds were seen well from above: blue-grey back and upperwings, 2 birds appeared big and heavy, all birds were relatively light below, differing from the very dark subspecies ernesti, knowing the difficulties of observing the local subspecies ernesti, I was surprised to see 3 or 4 different Peregrine falcons, the most logic explanation for this is that they were all migrating calidus, attracted by the many birds present at Lake Limboto

* Gunung Ambang Nature Reserve (Kotamobagu), March 17

We entered the Gunung Ambang Reserve through Bongkudai Baru village, a 30 minutes drive from Kotamobagu, while in the village we went straight on (remains of a once paved road), where the main road turns right (90?), near the church, park the car well behind the last houses where a small foot path goes uphill through the gardens, we were lucky this day; no chainsaws!

* gardens

Yellow wagtail (tshutschensis) tens Golden-headed cisticola 1 Lesser coucal 2 Barred buttonquail 2

* forest (or better: the remnants of it)

Crimson-crowned flowerpecker 3 males Citrine flycatcher 2 Sulawesi leafwarbler 3 Chestnut-backed bush-warbler 4 Fiery-browed myna tens, often in small groups (5-10) Snowy-browed flycatcher 1 male, 1 female, 1 juv. Island verditer flycatcher 1 male Rusty-bellied fantail 2 Yellow-vented whistler 2 Yellow-flanked whistler 1 male Brown cuckoo-dove 1 fledgling Superb fruit-dove 1 male Red-eared fruit-dove 1 Black-billed koel several (calling) Eye-browed thrush 3, on 3 occasions this elusive thrush was seen well while hiding between the leaves (clear eye-brow, grey head, brownish below, size and posture Song thrush), small groups of thrushes were seen flying through the forest, almost certainly this species, probably 15-20 birds, according to Birds of Wallacea (Coates et al, 1997) this is the second sighting of this ´to be expected` species Black-fronted white-eye 1 Mountain white-eye 10 Scarlet honey-eater 1 male, 1 female Small sparrowhawk 1 or 2 Lesser Sulawesi honeyeater 2 Greater Sulawesi honey-eater 1

* Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park (east, Duloduo), March 18/24

We stayed in Kosinggolan village with Pak Wido (home stay), things have gotten worse and worse here over the past 10-15 years, illegal gold-mining and timber and rattan collecting has increased significantly, traditional well-known birdwatching sites such as Toraut are no longer a logic option due to 24 hrs. logging, but also because of tensions between the park rangers, I could only stay for 1 night and was not able to continue the trip with the group for another 4 days

* Dumoga village, bridge over the river

Peregrine falcon 1, light blue-grey bird, subspecies calidus

* Kosinggolan wetland, March 18

A late afternoon walk was made to the former head office of the national park with nice views of the artificial lake, the once well-functioning offices and houses are more or less abandoned, my former house , the old guest house ,, above the offices has completely disappeared, the lake is getting smaller and smaller and is slowly loosing its function as reservoir for a great part of the Dumoga valley, it still holds sufficient water for interesting birding, the best views are obtained by crossing the sluice immediately in front of the dam and continue walking to the old park head quarters, limited time (day light) was spent here

Spotted harrier 1 ad Finch-billed myna several tens in small groups Flyeater 1

* Tambun maleo nesting ground and surroundings, March 19

We birded the final two kilometers to the nesting ground while walking along the road, behind the nesting ground in the degraded forest and a marshy area next to the road a few hunderd meters after the nesting ground

White-faced cuckoo-dove 2 Sulawesi serpent-eagle 2 Grey-sided flowerpecker 1 male Brahmany kite 2 adult birds Rufous night-heron 12 juvenile birds Maleo 2 pairs observed at the Tambun nesting ground Cinnamon bittern 1 Asian glossy starling 4

* Molibagu, track to Matayangan, rice fields, March 20/23

I wasn`t able to continue with the group and left the National Park Saterday March 18. Oki, from the National Park guided the group to various locations near Kosinggolan. Additional sigthings were:

Lesser fish-eagle 1 Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher 1 Sulawesi dwarf hornbill several Sulawesi crested myna few White-necked myna few

* Complete list

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel Observed on one occasion, March 6, 20 birds, boat trip from Santika / Manado to Pulisan (norhern tip) Oriental darter Anhinga melanogaster 1 bird along the Trans Sulawesi Road, north coast, Boroko Brown booby Sula leucogaster regularly on variouis boat trips, 1 to 5 birds, also observed from the main land (Santika Hotel, Manado) Great-billed heron Ardea sumatrana 2 birds, along the Trans Sulawesi Road, north coast, Batu Merah Purple heron Ardea purpurea common in small numbers in suitable habitat Great egret Casmerodius alba common in small numbers in suitable habitat Little egret Egretta garzetta common in small numbers in suitable habitat Pacific reef-egret Egretta sacra common in small numbers along the coast Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis (very) common in suitable habitat Javan pond-heron Ardeola speciosa (very) common in suitable habitat Green-backed / Striated heron Butorides striatus common inland and along the coast in smnall numbers (1 – 3 birds) Rufous night-heron Nycticorax caledonicus uncommon, observed once, near Tambun maleo nesting ground, March 19 Yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis common in small numbers in suitable habitat (1 – 3 birds) Cinnamon bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus common in small numbers in suitable habitat (1 – 3 birds) Black bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis 2 birds observed Lake Limboto, March 14 Woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus 3 birds observed near Maelang, March 12 and 16 Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus 180 birds Lake Limboto, March 14 Osprey Pandion haliaetus common in small numbers in suitable habitat (1 – 3 birds, coastal and inland) Oriental honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus 1 bird observed from Santika hotel Manado, March 10 Black kite Milvus migrans several birds observed near Lake Limboto (March 14) and Lake Tondano (March 9 and 11) Brahmany kite Haliastur indus (very) common in suitable habitat (1 – 20 birds) White-bellied sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster 1 bird near the coast at Batu Putih, March 7 Lesser fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis 1 near Kosinggolan, March 20 Sulawesi serpent-eagle Spilornis rufipectus not uncommon wherever (remains of) forest still present (1-2 birds) Spotted harrier Circus assimilis 2 birds observed, 1 Lake Limboto (March 14), 1 Kosinggolan (March 18) Japanese sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis 1 male garden Santika hotel Manado (March 6), possibly migrating group Pulisan (March 9) Small sparrowhawk Accipiter nanus 1 or 2 birds observed, forest Gunung Ambang, March 17 Black eagle Ictinaetus malayensis 1 bird Gunung Mahawu, March 11 Sulawesi hawk-eagle Spizaetus lanceolatus 2 birds, walk to Tulabolo / Hungayono, March 13 Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus 1 of ssp. ernesti Gunung Mahawu (March 11), several birds of ssp. calidus (March 14, March 18), near Lolak, northcoast, March 16 Wandering whistling-duck Dendrocygna arcuata common in suitable habitat, sometimes in big numbers (tens, hundreds) Maleo Macrocephalon maleo 2 birds observed Tambun nesting ground, March 19 Barred buttonquail Turnix suscitator 2 birds flushed gardens near Gunung Ambang, March 17 Buff-banded rail Gallirallus philippensis common in suitable habitat, often next to the road Barred rail Gallirallus torquatus common in suitable habitat, often next to the road Snoring rail Aramidopsis plateni 1 bird in Bogani Nani Wartabone, river leading to the waterfall from the Lombongo entrance, March 15 White-browed crake Poliolimnas cinerea (very) common in suitable habitat, not a road side bird Isabelline bush-hen Amaurornis isabellinus common, often difficult to observe, noisy, sometimes next to the road White-breasted waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 2 birds observed Kosinggolan wetland, March 18 Common moorhen Gallinula chloropus common in small numbers in suitable habitat (1 – 3 birds) Purple swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio common in small numbers in suitable habitat (3 – 5 birds) Greater painted snipe Rostratula benghalensis 1 bird flushed Lake Limboto, March 14 Pacific golden plover Pluvialis fulva common in suitable habitat, sometimes in big numbers (tens) Whimbrel Numenius phaeops common along the coast, in small numbers (3 – 5 birds) Greenshank Tringa nebularia observed once, Lake Limboto, March 14 Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus common in suitable habitat, incl. rice fields, sometimes in small groups (5 – 10 birds) Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos common in suitable habitat in small numbers Grey-tailed tattler Heteroscelus brevipes common in suitable habitat in small numbers Pintail snipe (?) Gallinago stenura common in suitable habitat, also in rice fields, ´needs to be` flushed Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus common at sea, sometimes in groups Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybridus several hundred observed at Lake Limboto, March 14 Common tern Sterna hirundo longipennis on several boat trips a few birds observed Bridled tern Sterna anaethetus a few birds from Manado to Pulisan, March 6 Great crested tern Sterna bergii a few birds from Manado to Pulisan, March 6 Spotted dove Streptopelia chinensis irregularly observed in agricultural land Pink-necked green pigeon Treron vernans regularly observed, mainly along the coast in mangrove Red-eared fruit-dove Ptilinopus fischeri 1bird observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Maroon-chinned fruit-dove Ptilinopus subgularis irregularly observed at forest walks Superb fruit-dove Ptilinopus superbus 1 male Gunung Ambang, March 17 Black-naped fruit-dove Ptilinopus melanospila 1 bird Tangkoko Batuangus, March 8 Green imperial pigeon Ducula aenea paulina regularly observed in (remains of) forest, sometimes in small groups of up to 15 birds Pied imperial pigeon Ducula bicolor irregularly observed Sulawesi black pigeon Turacoena manadensis 2 birds at Tambun maleo nesting ground, March 19 Brown cuckoo-dove Macropygia amboinensis common in suitable (forested) habitat Emerald dove Chalcophaps indica 2 birds observed, 1 Pulisan (March 7), 1 Tulabolo (March 13) Ornate lorikeet Trichoglossus ornatus several birds Tangkoko Batuangus, March 7 Golden-mantled racquet-tail Prioniturus platurus 1 bird Tambun maleo nesting ground, March 19 Blue-backed parrot Tanygnathus sumatranus calling bird Tangkoko Batuangus, March 7

Large sulawesi hanging-parrot Loriculus stigmatus common wherever forest remains, big trees needed Plaintive cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus regularly calling birds Black-billed koel Eudynamys melanorhyncha common, calling birds at dawn can`t be missed, some remains of forest needed Channel-billed cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae on 2 occasions observed, 2 birds Molas (March 12), 2 birds Gorontalo (March 13) Yellow-billed malkoha Phaenicophaeus calyohynchus common in small numbers wherever (remains of) forest present Lesser coucal Centropus bengalensis common in small numbers in scrub, often next to the road Sulawesi scops owl Otus manadensis 1 bird calling, Pulisan, March 7 Uniform swiftlet Collocalia vanikorensis common, seemingly more common in hilly and more natural / forested habitat Glossy/White-bellied swiftlet Collocalia esculenta common in small numbers, in particular in towns and agricultural land Grey-rumped tree-swift Hemiprocne longipennis irregularly observed, often near forested areas Green-backed kingfisher Actenoides monachus 1 bird Pulisan (March 7), 1 bird Hungayono (March 13) Lilac-cheeked kingfisher Cittura cyanotis common in forest, several excursions observed, e.g. 4 on 1 excursion to Tangkoko Batuangus, March 8 Great-billed kingfisher Halcyon melanorhyncha 1 bird observed along coast Maelang / Batu Merah, restaurant Bambu Mas Collared kingfisher Halcyon chloris common in disturbed habitat (agricultural land, gardens, towns) Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher Ceyx fallax 1 bird track to Matayangan, March 21 Common kingfisher Alcedo atthis uncommon, coastel and inland, be careful with blue-eared kingfisher Blue-tailed bee-eater Merops superciliosus 5 birds Lake Limboto, March 14 Rainbow bee-eater Merops ornatus 9 birds Lake Limboto, March 14 Purple-winged roller Coracias temminckii 1 bird along the road north coast between Lolak and Maelang Sulawesi dwarf hornbill Penelopides exarhatus several calling birds Tangkoko Batuangus (March 8), several road to Molibagu (March 22) (Red-)Knobbed hornbill Rhyticeros cassidix common wherever forest remains, often in big groups (tens) Ashy woodpecker Mulleripicus fulvus common in small numbers in forest Blue-breasted pitta Pitta erythrogaster common in forest, only calling birds observed Barn swallow Hirundo rustica very common wintering bird and migrant Pacific swallow Hirundo tahitica very common resident Yellow wagtail Motacilla flava tschutschensis common wintering bird and migrant, sometimes in groups of several tens Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea common in small numbers in suitable habitat (rivers in forest) Pied cuckoo-shrike Coracina bicolor 3 birds observed along coast Maelang / Batu Merah, restaurant Bambu Mas Sulawesi cicadabird Coracina morio 2 birds calling Tangkoko Batuangus, March 8 Sulawesi triller Lalage leucopygialis 2 birds observed, 1 bird Santika hotel Molas (March 6), 1 bird along coast Maelang / Batu Merah, restaurant Bambu Mas Sulawesi drongo Dicrurus montanus few birds observed in forest to Lombongo waterfall, March 13 Hair-crested drongo Dicrurus hottentottus common wherever some forest remains Black-naped oriole Oriolus chinensis common in small numbers wherever some forest remains Slender-billed crow Corvus enca common in small numbers wherever some forest remains Sulawesi babbler Trichastoma celebense common wherever some forest remains, often near streams Red-backed thrush Zoothera erythronata 1 bird observed in forest to Hungayono, March 15 Flyeater Gerygone sulphurea common in small numbers in various habitats (mangrove, big gardens, scrub) Eastern great reed-warbler Acrocephalus orientalis common in suitable habitat (reed beds along lakes) Sulawesi leaf-warbler Phylloscopus sarasinorum 3 birds observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Zitting cisticola Cisticola juncidis common in small numbers around lakes Golden-headed cisticola Cisticola exilis 2 birds observed in dry grassy habitat, 1 bird near Pulisan (March 6), 1 bird near Gunung Ambang (March 17) Island verditer flycatcher Eumyias panayensis 1 bird observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Snowy-browed flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra 1 male, 1 female, 1 juvenile Gunung Ambang, March 17 Rufous-throated flycatcher Ficedula rufigula 2 or 3 birds observed Gunung Mahawu, March 11 Black-naped monarch Hypothymis azurea common in small numbers wherever some forest remains Rusty-bellied fantail Rhipidura teysmanni 2 birds observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Citrine flycatcher Culicicapa helianthea 3 birds observed, 1 bird Gunung Mahawu (March 11), 2 birds Gunung Ambang (March 17) Yellow-flanked whistler Hylocitrea bonensis 1 male observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Yellow-vented whistler Pachycephala sulfuriventer 1 bird observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 White-breasted wood-swallow Artamus leucorynchus common in agricultural fields, degraded forest, towns, etc. Ivory-backed wood-swallow Artamus monachus 1 bird observed Tangkoko Batuangus, March 8 Asian glossy starling Aplonis panayensis common, but apparantly absent in the Minahasa Sulawesi crested myna Basilornis celebensis few birds, Kosinggolan (March 20), track to Matayangan (March 21) White-necked myna Streptocitta albicollis few birds, Kosinggolan (March 20), road to Molibagu (March 22) Fiery-browed starling Enodes erythrophris several tens Gunung Ambang, March 17 Grosbeak starling Scissirostrum dubium common wherever forested, also at forest edge Lesser sulawesi honeyeater Myza celebensis 1 bird observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Greater sulawesi honeyeater Myza sarasinorum 2 birds observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Scarlet honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta chloroptera 4 birds observed, 1 male, 1 female Gunung Mahawu (March 11), 1 male, 1 female Gunung Ambang (March 17) Brown-throated sunbird Anthreptes malacensis uncommon, at various sites observed (mangroves Santika Hotel, March 6; Bogani Nani Wartabone, Lombongo, March 15) Black sunbird Nectarinia aspasia grayi uncommon, at various sites observed, seemingly easily overlooked Olive-backed sunbird Nectarinia jugularis plateni common in agricultural field, towns, gardens, etc. Crimson sunbird Aethopyga siparaja 1 male, 1 female observed in forest to Lombongo waterfall, March 13 Yellow-sided flowerpecker Dicaeum aureolimbatum various birds observed on two occasions, Gunung Mahawu, 8 birds (March 11), Lombongo waterfall track, 10 birds (March 15) Crimson-crowned flowerpecker Dicaeum nehrkorni 3 males observed Gunung Ambang, March 17 Grey-sided flowerpecker Dicaeum celebicum celebicum 1 male Tambun maleo nesting ground, March 19 Mountain white-eye Zosterops montanus several birds observed Gunung Mahawu (March 11) and Gunung Ambang (March 17) Black-fronted white-eye Zosterops atrifrons two times 1 bird seen, Gunung Mahawu (March 11) and Gunung Ambang (March 17) Tree sparrow Passer montanus very common in agricultural areas, villages, towns, cities Black-faced munia Lonchura molucca regularly observed, but small numbers Scaly-breasted munia Lonchura punctulata 10 birds observed Manado, March 19 Chestnut munia Lonchura malacca very common in agricultural areas, villages, towns, cities.