7D/6N Komodo – West Flores Birding

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One week birding tour in Komodo and Flores is our most popular birding program. This is the best opportunity to discover all the island endemic species and meet the legendary giant, Varanus komodoensis.

Day 1: Labuan Bajo – Ruteng

Our clients was a humorous couple from the Netherlands. They are Johanes Flemming (Hans) and Aline Lindhout. We picked them up at Komodo airport in Labuan Bajo at midday. It was a sunny day, the temperature was 30 -33 degrees. From the airport we drove eastward about 130 km, to Ruteng, a town at 1300 masl.

All the way from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng, we didn’t make any stops. However, we drove slowly at some areas, such as  when passing through the huge rice fields in Lembor. We saw a large group of Cattle Egrets and Wooly-necked storks.

Left Lembor, the rain began to fall. The official plan to stop at Nteér, one of the best spots to see Flores Lorikeet was finally canceled. We arrived in Ruteng when it was bit dark. After stopping at the restaurant for dinner, we went directly to the hotel at MBC Guest House.

Day 2: Ranamese – Mbeang Ledas

The tour started ‘not too early’. Departed from hotel at 05:00 am, driven to Ranamese lake, a part of Ruteng Nature Reserve. The first spot today is my favorite stop, on the side of road 2 km before the lake. This is the area where usually see Flores scops-owl closely. But, today we don’t plan to meet Flores Scops-owl. Our main target at this location was Bare-throated Whistler. As a nesting place, here they are easily found and possible to see them in the eye level view. Other birds we met were  Pygmy Cupwing, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Mountain tailorbird, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon and Flores leaf Warbler

After 1.5 hours birding, we moved to the Ranamese lake area. We entered the area of forestry department buildings which is also the formally gateway to the lake. In the office yard we did soft birding while enjoying the coffee and fried noodle as a simple breakfast that we provide.

We continued birding around the lake to the waterfall. Several target species was encountered in the are; Flores Minivet, Flores Jungle Flycatcher, Rusty breasted Cuckoo, Flores Spangled Drongo, Crested Heleia, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker (nesting on low branches), 16 Pacific Black Duck, a pair of Red-cheeked Parrot, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Golden-bellied Gerygone, WarblingWhite-eye, Ashy-bellied White-eye, Black Backed Fruit-dove and heard the loud call of Green Junglefowl.

Finished at the area, we drove back to Ruteng and turned to the rice fields before the town, a spot for Flores Hawk-eagle. As usual, it’s hard see this critically endangered raptor.  Spent two hours at the area, the hawk-eagle wasn’t shown. However, we still saw Pied Bushchat, Black-faced and Scaly-breasted Munia, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, and heard several times of Chestnut-backed Thrush. Actually we saw a pair of raptor soaring, but was too far away to identify.

Returned to the town and had lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, we visited Golo Lusang, another part of Nature Reserve. It was bit cloudy, but we still tried to find our luck. First stop was at an easiest spot to see Flores Flowerpecker. We were right, only need less than 10 minutes, we finally encountered the flowerpecker. Drove forwards 1 km, we stopped at the spot for Flores Shortwing. Walked on the dried stream about 200m off  of the road a pair of Flores Shortwing playing on the forest floor, showed us the clear view.

We finished the day with Little pied Flycatcher, Cream-browed Heleia, Flores Jungle Flycacther, Yellow-breasted Warbler, Flores Lorikeet, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Short-tailed Starling, and Mountain Tailorbird. Backed to the town and had an early dinner before drop to the hotel.

Day 3: Pocondeki 

Our main target for the day was Flores Green Pigeon. Pocondeki forest is the most potential site to meet them. We drove  75km to the east. We just arriving at the area, a pair of Flores Green Pigeon perching on the top of dried tree. The great start for the day. At the area we encountered Spotted Dove, Barred Dove, Flores Green Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit Dove, Tenggara Swiftlet, Collared Kingfisher, White-rumped Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Elegant Pitta, Helmeted Friarbird, Tenggara Whistler, Arafura Fantail, Flores Spangled Drongo, Flores Crow, Pacific Swallow, Russet-capped Tesia, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Yellow-spectacled Heleia, Tenggara Flowerpecker, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Brown-throated Sunbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Flame-breasted Sunbird and Timor Zebra Finch.

Had lunch at local restaurant in Borong then directly driven to Ruteng.

Day 4: Ruteng – Puarlolo – Sanonggoang

 

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