The Indonesian Archipelago is the most varied and interesting group of islands on earth. With its 1,600+ species of birds, Indonesia has one of the largest and most diverse avifaunas in the world. The area known as Wallacea, i.e., those islands sandwiched between the Greater Sundas (Java, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo) and New Guinea, contains about 700 bird species, over 260 of them endemic. Wallacea consists of three island groups, Sulawesi, the Maluku (Moluccas, including Halmahera and Seram), and the Lesser Sundas.
The Lesser Sundas have a remarkable variety of terrain, from rain forest to desert-like, from tropical seashore and mangroves to cloud or moss forest, from rice paddy to bamboo thicket. These varied habitats will give us a splendid group of birds: 10 or 11 diurnal birds of prey, 1 scrubfowl, 2 junglefowl, some fine cuckoo-doves, fruit doves and imperial-pigeons, about 8 parrots, 4 cuckoos, 6 owls, 3 nightjars, 4 kingfishers, a hornbill, a pitta, 3 cuckooshrikes, 10 thrushes, some nice flycatchers and monarchs, 3 whistlers, 5 flowerpeckers, 4 sunbirds, 8 white-eyes, 8 honeyeaters, and several munias. Our total list of species will be about 240±, with a liberal sprinkling of endemics. Those who've birded other parts of Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia will add 50-60 lifers. Those who haven't will add more.
BEN KING, the president of KingBird Tours, is one of the most experienced bird tour leaders in the world, having led 144 tours to various parts of Asia. He has written A Field Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia and Checklist of the Birds of Eurasia. He has seen over 2,100 species of birds in Asia, believed to be a record. His over two years of birding experience in Indonesia includes leading our 28 tours there, in addition to visiting most parts of the archipelago. His knowledge of the birds, their habits and how to find them assures you of the best possible birding experience in Indonesia.
THE BIRDING SITES
This exquisite island is all that has ever been said or written about it. In spite of the fact that it has been largely deforested, it remains one of the most idyllic spots on earth. We'll have time for some relaxed birding to look for: Javan Plover (split from Kentish Plover), a few shorebirds, Island Collared-Dove, Cave Swiftlet (split from Glossy Swiftlet), Cerulean Kingfisher, Bar-winged Prinia, Ashy Tailorbird, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, and Javan and White-headed Munias.Those who would like to precede the group to Bali by a few days or remain on Bali a few days after the tour should do so. The Cathay Pacific flights are daily. We can arrange hotel accommodations for you.
Depending on the flight schedule, we may have time to look into the dry and pretty beat-up forests near Bima. Likely species are Green Junglefowl, Sunda Woodpecker, Little Minivet, Golden Whistler, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Black-naped Oriole, and Wallacean Drongo.
The pelagic trip to and from Komodo could get us Bulwer's Petrel, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Lesser Frigatebird, Brown Booby, Great-billed Heron, Pacific Reef-Egret, a jaeger, and Black-naped, Bridled, and Great Crested Terns.
Komodo is the last stronghold of the Komodo Dragon, at nearly 4 meters (12 ft.), the largest lizard in the world. They are easily seen and we'll get good views of them. Komodo is now the only good place on our tour for Yellow-crested Cockatoo, as they've been nearly extirpated on the other islands we visit. They are fairly common on Komodo. Other species we are likely to see are: White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Green Junglefowl, Barred Buttonquail (maybe), Emerald Dove, Barred Dove, Green and Pied (maybe) Imperial Pigeons, Savanna Nightjar, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Orange-fronted White-eye, Helmeted Friarbird, Zebra Finch, Black-faced Munia, and White-breasted Wood-Swallow. Accommodation for our one night will be on our boat.
This fascinating island offers very fine forest birding in pleasant surroundings, with very hospitable people. We'll drive nearly the entire length of the island, giving us a good look at the island's varied terrain. Our birding will range from sea level to 2,100 meters (7,000 ft.) elevation. Some of the birds we should see are: Sunda Teal (split from Grey Teal), Short-toed Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Spotted Kestrel, Malaysian Plover, Barred and Ruddy Cuckoo-Doves, Black-backed and Black-naped Fruit-Doves, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Rainbow Lorikeet, Sunda and Rusty-breasted Cuckoos, Moluccan and Wallace's Scops-Owls, White-rumped Kingfisher, Elegant Pitta, Russet-capped Tesia, Timor Leaf-Warbler, Flores Flycatcher, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Spectacled Monarch, Brown-capped and Rufous Fantails, Bare-throated Whistler, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Eye-browed, Dark-crowned, and Pale-fronted Ibons, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Red Avadavat, Five-colored and Pale-headed Munias, Short-tailed Starling, and Flores Crow. With luck, we might see a Flores Hawk-Eagle, Flores Green Pigeon, Great-billed Parrot, Wallace's Hanging-Parrot, Flores Scops-Owl, Chestnut-capped Thrush, Flores Monarch, or Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch.
Timor is quite different from Flores, being much drier and looking more like Australia than Indonesia. We'll bird from sea level to 1,800 meters (6,000 ft.) in dry scrub and some nice remnant patches of forest for a few days of really excellent birding with: Australian Pelican, White-faced Heron, Red-capped Plover, Beach Thick-knee, Australian Pratincole, Metallic Pigeon, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Olive-headed Lorikeet, Streaked Boobook, Large-tailed Nightjar, Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher, Wallacean Cuckooshrike, White-shouldered Triller, White-bellied Bushchat, Orange-banded and Island Thrushes, Timor Stubtail, Sunda Bush-Warbler, Buff-banded Bushbird, Black-banded and Timor Blue Flycatchers, Plain Gerygone, Broad-billed Flycatcher, Fawn-breasted Whistler, Thick-billed, Red-chested and Blood-breasted Flowerpeckers, Ashy-bellied White-eye, Streak-breasted Ibon, Sunda, Yellow-eared and Streak-breasted Honeyeaters, Red-naped Myzomela, Timor Friarbird, Timor Sparrow, Timor Oriole, Timor Figbird, and Black-faced Woodswallow. More difficult are: Bar-necked and Slaty Cuckoo-Doves, Pink-headed and Timor Imperial Pigeons, Iris Lorikeet, Olive-shouldered Parrot, and Tricolored Parrotfinch.
Sumba is a very dry island, almost stripped of its forest. We'll spend our time in patches of remnant forest where there are still a few of the severely endangered Sumba Hornbills, which we may see if we're lucky. Other species we hope to see are: Spotted Harrier, Brown Goshawk, Sumba Buttonquail, Brown Quail, Little Cuckoo-Dove, Sumba Green Pigeon, Red-naped Fruit-Dove, Red-cheeked Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Sumba and Small (Ninox sumbaensis) Boobooks, Sunda Nightjar (Caprimulgus meesi), Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (maybe), Elegant Pitta, Sumba Cuckooshrike, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Sumba Brown Flycatcher, Sumba Flycatcher (maybe), Apricot-breasted Sunbird, and Sumba Myzomela
Arrive Denpasar. Overnight Santika Beach Hotel.
AM birding Bali. Depart Denpasar.
AIR CONSIDERATIONS: The tour begins and ends in Denpasar, Bali. We will purchase your internal Indonesia air tickets in order to keep the group together. Please plan to arrive in Denpasar a day or two early to ensure timely arrival and allow some time to get over jet lag.
PARTICIPANT LIMIT: 10 persons, plus the leader.
LAND PRICE BASIS: Land price is based on the number of participants.
LAND PRICE INCLUDES: Land price includes all ground transportation, double occupancy hotel rooms, all meals, bottled water at meals (where available), guides, tips, fees, and airport taxes when accompanied by the leader. NOT INCLUDED are airport taxes when not accompanied by the leader, passports, visas, service charges for obtaining visas, excess baggage charges, medical examinations or treatment, meal or other charges incurred which are not part of the itinerary (caused by unforeseen delay beyond our control), laundry, personal tips, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, fruit juices (except at breakfast), mineral waters, room service charges, items not on menu of included meals, personal items, souvenirs, sightseeing not included in the itinerary, insurance of any kind, and telephone calls.
LAND AND AIR RATES: All prices are based on tariff and exchange rates in effect for this tour. Price changes, due either to alterations in tariffs or exchange rates, will be reflected in the prices charged for the tour. KingBird Tours' planning, promotional and operating costs are included in all tour rates.
TRANSPORTATION: Surface transportation will be by minibus, cars or 4-wheel drive vehicles.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Based on 2 persons sharing a twin-bedded room. Single rooms will be available at the supplement charge quoted. In some of the more remote areas, however, single rooms are unavailable. We'll supply roommates where possible, but cannot guarantee to find roommates for all desiring them. If no roommate is available, the single supplement will be charged for any person utilizing single accommodation. First class or best available hotels with private bath and air-conditioning are provided where available. However, some accommodation will be quite basic.
MEALS: All meals are included in the tour price. This will be breakfast, table d'hote lunch and dinner. A la carte meals will be provided at some hotels. Box lunches will be utilized on some days. For those joining only a segment of the tour, meals are normally not included when you are not with the main tour group (prior to joining or after leaving).
TOUR ESCORT: The leader of your tour, Ben King, the president of KingBird Tours, will be with you during the entire tour from the time you reach Denpasar until you depart from Indonesia.
TAXES AND GRATUITIES: All necessary gratuities to hotel staff, waiters, local guides, drivers, etc., are included in the tour price. Your tour leader is paid a salary and does not expect tips. Thus it is not necessary to tip anyone on the entire tour. However, if you wish to tip anyone for special services or because you like them, it is quite all right. All local government taxes are included in the tour price.
AIRPORT TAXES: These will be paid by your tour leader when he is accompanying you. When he is not with you, these taxes are your own responsibility.
BAGGAGE: International flight baggage allowance from Los Angeles to Denpasar to Los Angeles is two pieces with a maximum total dimension (length, width, height of both pieces added up) of 107 inches. Most USA-based airlines now have a 23 kg. (50 lb.) limit on each bag—there will be a surcharge on any excess up to 70 lbs. (32 kg.). However, many foreign airlines still have a 32 kg. (70 lb.) weight limit on each bag. Check with your airline. On internal flights in Indonesia you are allowed a maximum of 20 kg. (44 lbs.). They are likely to weigh your luggage carefully at least once or twice and perhaps each time. You will be responsible for any excess baggage charges (these charges are reasonable, however, so bring what you want to have with you). You are allowed one carry-on bag on all flights. Air carrier's liability for baggage loss is limited and therefore baggage insurance is recommended and available at nominal rates. Baggage insurance forms will be included along with your interim invoice.
(1) NO smoking in vehicles.
(2) NO smoking at meal tables.
(3) NO smoking in bedrooms if your roommate does not smoke.
(4) The smoker is expected to see that his smoke does not move toward other tour members at all times.(5) Anyone smoking will be last in line on single-file paths or trails.