November 22, 2015: Lore Lindu, Sulawesi — Wow, where to start? Practically every bird I saw today was a lifer! Monal and I, along with the company of two locals called Herson and Papa Ain, spent the whole day in the highlands of Lore Lindu National Park, racking up endemic birds.
Lore Lindu is a huge park and UNESCO world biosphere reserve protecting more than 2,000 square kilometers in central Sulawesi. It hosts some awesome birds, notably the Hylocitrea, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, and Maroon-backed Whistler, all of which we found this morning. The forest here is lush and cool, and we lucked out with good weather. All in all, a fantastic day in the field.
I just missed one bird I’d hoped for, and it wasn’t in today’s cards. Lore Lindu is home to a bird whose official name is the Diabolical Nightjar (sometimes called the Satanic Nightjar)—one of the best bird names on the planet! Unfortunately, the mountain track where it can be found is currently closed because of an Indonesian military operation against some suspected terrorists hiding in this forest. Not even the locals can go up there right now, so the Diabolical Nightjar is, for the moment, inaccessible. They say the forest should be safely cleared out by January. Next time…
Meanwhile, 36 new birds makes the best day I’ve had in quite a while. It’s good to be across Wallace’s Line and into some new territory!
New birds today: 36
Year list: 5353