Day 1 Ambon - Kai - 4th October
Overnight flight to Ambon to catch our next flight to Tual on Kai Kecil (Langgur Airport) where we will begin birding. Night at Kai Kecil.
Day 2 Kai Kecil - Kai Besar
Speedboat crossing to Kai Besar for Great Kai (Pearl-bellied) White-eye and Kai Leaf Warbler. Our birding exploration of Kai Besar and the other Kai Island gives us opportunities to see the local race of Wallacean Drongo which is a potential split as Kai Drongo. There's also more taxonomic conundrums in the distinctive local races of Wallacean Cuckooshrike and both Northern and Arafura Fantails. as well as Kai Cicadabird, a small island specialist that is restricted to Kai, Tanimbar and a few other small islands.
Other more widespread species present in the Kai islands include Pacific Baza, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Barking Owl, White-bibbed Fruit-Dove, Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Barred Dove, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Common Dollarbird, Varied Triller, Island Monarch, Australasian Figbird and both Grey-headed & Island Whistlers. Night at Kai Kecil.
Day 3 Kai Kecil - Ambon
Catching our morning flight to Ambon from Kai Kecil, continue with birding around Ambon for Ambon White-eye. Other species present on Ambon include Australasian Grebe, Variable Goshawk, Rufous-tailed Bushhen, Common Emerald Dove, Seram Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Uniform Swiftlet, Lazuli Kingfisher, Seram Golden Bulbul (the subspecies on this island is a potential split), Seram Drongo, Spectacled Monarch, Metallic Starling and Ashy Flowerpecker.In the late afternoon we will go via speedboat to Haruku for Moluccan or Dusky Scrubfowl. Night at Ambon
Days 4 - 7 Seram
Morning speedboat to the largest of the Moluccan islands of Seram (3027m) and drive to Sawai, which gives us easy access to Manusela National Park. Seram has at least 15 strictly endemic bird species and shares a number of Moluccan specialities with the nearby islands of Buru and Ambon, as well as Halmahera, Bacan and Obi.
Endemics to find in the vast forests: Seram Boobook, Salmon-crested Cockatoo, Blue-eared Lory, Seram Mountain-Pigeon, Seram Imperial-Pigeon, Streak-breasted Fantail, Seram Friarbird, Seram Honeyeater, Seram Leaf Warbler, Seram Bush Warbler, Seram Thrush, Seram Oriole, Rufescent Dark-eye, Grey-hooded White-eye and Long-crested Myna,
Other birds include Dusky (Forsten’s) Scrubfowl, Australian White Ibis, Great-billed Heron, Spotted Whistling-Duck, the smallest eagle in the world - Pygmy Eagle, Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk ( Moluccan endemic), Blyth's Hornbill, Red Lory (Moluccan endemic), Purple-naped Lory (endemic to Seram, Ambon, and perhaps also Haruku and Saparua), Moluccan King Parrot, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Great Cuckoo-Dove, Little Kingfisher, Moluccan Dwarf Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Turquoise Flycatcher, Moluccan Cuckooshrike, Seram Swiftlet, Seram Myzomela (also known as Drab Myzomela & restricted to Seram, Boano, and Ambon islands), Wakolo Myzomela (only on Buru and Seram), Seram Golden Bulbul (confined to the islands of Seram and Ambon) and Olive Honeyeater (confined to islets in the Moluccas & West Papua). 3 nights at Sawai and final night at Piru.
Day 8 Boano - Ambon
Crossing to Boano Island to look for Boano Monarch. Then drive to Waipirit Port for a ferry back to Ambon. Night at Ambon.
Days 9 - 13 Ambon - Buru
We will fly to Namlea on Buru and begin our exploration of this mountainous island, whose highest peak reaches (2429m), and has some impressive primary forested on its upper slopes holding 9depending on taxonomy) 22 endemic birds: Buru Boobook, Buru Racket-tail, Black-lored Parrot (rare), Blue-fronted Lorikeet (rare), Buru Green-Pigeon, Buru Imperial Pigeon, Black-tipped Monarch, Buru White-eye, Buru Golden Bulbul, Buru Drongo, Buru (Black-faced) Friarbird, Buru Flowerpecker, Buru Mountain Pigeon, Buru Cuckooshrike, Buru Bush Warbler, Buru Leaf Warbler, Tawny-backed Fantail, Buru Oriole, Buruj gvcfc Jungle Flycatcher, Buru Thrush, Buru Honeyeater, and the very rare Madanga (Rufous-throated Dark-eye) - formerly considered a white-eye, but now thought to be an abnormal, arboreal pipit.
Other species here include Red-footed Booby, White-browed Crake, Buff-banded Rail, Black Eagle, Lesser Masked Owl (confined to Buru & Tanimbar), Moluccan Scops-Owl, Pacific Koel, Amboyna Cuckoo-Dove, Superb Fruit-Dove, White-bibbed and Claret-breasted Fruit-Doves, Red (Moluccan Red) Lory (endemic to the southern Moluccas), Great-billed Parrot, Moluccan King Parrot, Coconut Lory, Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Spotted Kestrel, Oriental Hobby, Moluccan Cuckoo, Lesser Coucal, Seram Swiftlet, Moustached Treeswift, Collared Kingfisher, Pale Cicadabird (Moluccan endemic), South Moluccan Pitta (endemic race), Northern Fantail, White-naped Monarch (Moluccan endemic), Moluccan (Slaty) Flycatcher (Moluccan endemic), Cinnamon-chested Flycatcher, Drab Whistler (endemic to Moluccas and Sula island), Gray’s Grasshopper-Warbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Common Golden Whistler, Black Sunbird, Wakolo Myzomela (only found on Buru & Seram), Mountain White-eye, Black-breasted Sunbird (Moluccan endemic) and Chestnut & Black-faced Munias.
Day 14 Buru - Ambon - End of Tour - 17th October
Morning flight back to Ambon, where we can chase any species still needed. Night at Ambon
********************************** TANIMBAR EXTENSION **********************************************
EXTENSION Days 1 - 3 Ambon - Tanimbar 18th - 20th October
We will take the morning flight from Ambon to Saumlaki and then have at least 2 full days to try and see as many target species as possible as we fully explore the Yamdena area. Strictly speaking the Tanimbar Islands are the easternmost group of the Lesser Sundas (Nusa Tenggara) and are not part of the Moluccas. However, there are at least 14 endemics restricted to this archipelago, as well as several other regional endemics to find.
There's a network of logging trails giving access to good forest where we will look for the endemics: Tanimbar Megapode, Tanimbar Boobook, Tanimbar Corella, Blue-streaked Lorie, Tanimbar Cuckoo-dove, Tanimbar Friarbird, Fawn-breasted Thrush, Slaty-backed Thrush, Tanimbar Bush Warbler, Long-tailed Fantail, Loetoe Monarch (split from White-naped Monarch), Tanimbar Flycatcher (split from Rufous-chested Flycatcher), Golden-bellied Flyrobin, Tanimbar Oriole, Tanimbar Starlings and White-browed (Tanimbar) Triller.
Other species include Little Black and Little Pied Cormorants, Australian Pelican, Bonelli’s Eagle (the renschi race here is known as Rensch’s Eagle), Lesser Masked Owl, Elegant and Pink-headed Imperial Pigeons, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Wallace’s Fruit-Dove (near endemic), Bar-necked Cuckoo-Dove, Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, Little (Pied) Bronze-Cuckoo, Wallacean Cuckooshrike, Broad-billed Flycatcher, Rufous-sided Gerygone, Cinnamon-tailed Fantail, Arafura Fantail, Ashy-bellied White-eye, Wallacean Whistler, Mistletoebird (potential split), Scaly-breasted Honeyeater, Banda Myzomela (near endemic), Five-coloured Munia and Tricoloured Parrotfinch.
Day 4 Tanimbar - Ambon - End of Extension - 21st October
We will take a morning flight back to Ambon, where this marvelous endemic-filled tour ends..