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A Report from

Sumba, Indonesia 27/8 - 1/9/04,

David Milton and Sandra Harding

Brisbane, Australia     Email:

The objective of the trip was to see the potential new birds of Sumba.  We had the 'Birding Indonesia', book and several previous trip reports.  While we did not know whether we would find accommodation outside of Waingapu, and in reasonable proximity to forest, we did end up staying at Waikabubak.  Our driver made the suggestion and it seemed a practical thing to do.  Also our driver did have knowledge of the sites to look for birds and this was helpful.  We were pleased with our views of the Elegant Pitta and Sumba Hornbill, both of which we were keen to see.


27/8/04 Arrived Waingapu, Sumba from Denpasar, Bali at 11.30 am, arranged to go to Merlin Hotel, which has free pick-up.  88,000 Rp/night for room with fan, located on main road, so tends to be noisy, includes free breakfast.  Went to mud flats, about 20 minute walk to north-east.  Arranged car hire plus driver from hotel for the next four days RP 35,000/day including fuel.

28/8/04 Left at 5.30 am to drive towards Lewa.  Driver (Agus Hati) knew some English and knew to look for birds.  Stopped along the way at fruiting trees where we say Black-napped Fruit-dove and Green Imperial Pigeon.  Arrived at Km 51 about 7 am.  Looked for birds around the patches of degraded forest until 11.30 am.  Had lunch at warung in Lewa.  Went to a patch of forest about 8 km west of Lewa, saw a Russet-backed Jungle Flycatcher.  Continued on to Langgaliru National Park, about another 5 km.  Walked along tracks on the left at a down-hill right hand crash barrier.  Tracks went steeply up hill to clearing.  Left at 5.15 pm to drive to Waikabubak, arrived at about 7 pm.  Stayed overnight at Hotel Artha, Rp110,000/night for fan room.

29/8/04 Left at 5.30 am, 1 hour drive back to Manupeu-Tanadaru National Park.  Stopped at first suspension bridge across river at the western edge of the park and walked up stream along the southern bank of river then having heard the call of the Elegant Pitta crossed the river and up to road.  Birded eastwards along the road, then took a vehicular track on right (south side) to river where we saw the Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher.  Walked up river for 2 km until came to a fence on track about 10 am.  Turned back to return to car at 11.00 am.  Drove to top of hill and birded the last section of forest and the start of the plantation.  Drove back to Lewa for lunch.  Arrived back at Merlin Hotel at 3 pm.  Drove to Yumbu at 3.30 pm to look for Button-quail, arrived 4 pm and birded until 5.30 pm, returned to Merlin Hotel.

30/8/04 Left at 5.30 am drove west to Km 49 and turned south to Tarimbung.  Birded along road in forest from 8.30 am to 10.00, Elegant Pitta near village.  Drove to Laputi (waterfall) arrived at 12.15, near Praingkareha.  Walked to base of falls about 15 minute-walk.  Drove on to the top of falls and continued on to Langgaliru-Wangameti National Park.  Birded a section of road (2 km) of primary forest along stream.  Drove on a short way and saw Yellow-crested Cockatoo.  Went back to forest and walked the road again.  Got back to car at 3.30 pm and drove to Tarimbung, arrived about 5.30 pm.  Stayed at Martin's Place for Rp 50,000/person/night including dinner and breakfast.  Looked for owls in beach forest, only say a couple of bats.

31/8/04 Birded the coastal beach forest from 6-7 am and relaxed on beach for morning.  After lunch left at 12.45 to drive back to Waingapu.  Birded the forest at the Tarimbung junction for about an hour.  Arrived back at Waingapu and drove straight to Kadumbul wetland, south-east of Yumbu on Melolo Road.  Left at 6 pm and drove to Merlin Hotel.

1/9/04 Went back to the mud flats for an hour from 9.30 to 11.00.  Check-in was at 2 pm for a 3.30 flight to Denpasar, Bali.  

Bird List for Sumba trip 27/8 - 1/9/04

For species that were only seen on one occasion, I have given that site.

Red-throated Little Grebe    Tachybaptus ruficollis    Kadumbul
Great-crested Grebe     Podiceps crisatus     Kadumbul
Australian Pelican    Pelecanus conspicillatus  Kadumbul
Little Pied Cormorant   Phalacrocorax melanoleucos     Kadumbul
Great Cormorant     Phalacro carba  Kadumbul
Darter  Anhinga melanogaster    Kadumbul
Lesser Frigatebird    Fregata ariel Tarimbung
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea    Kadumbul
Purple Heron    Ardea purpurea Kadumbul
Great Egret  Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret   Egretta intermedia   Kadumbul
White-faced Heron  Egretta novaehollandiae
Little Egret        Egretta garzetta
Javan Pond-Heron   Ardeola speciosa
Cattle Egret      Bubulcus ibis     Kadumbul
Wandering Whistling-Duck  Dendrocygna arcuata    Kadumbul
Sunda Teal       Anas gibberifrons    Waingupu
Pacific Black Duck       Anas superciliosa    Kadumbul
Black Kite   Milvus migrans
Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus
White-bellied Sea-Eagle      Haliaeetus leucogaster   Tarimbung
Short-toed Eagle     Circaetus gallicus
Spotted Kestrel  Falco moluccensis
Peregrine Falcon      Falco peregrinus     Yumba
Orange-footed Scrubfowl    Megapodius reinwardt
Brown Quail     Coturnix ypsilophora Yumba
Green Junglefowl     Gallus varius
Red-backed Buttonquail      Turnix maculosa  Yumba
Sumba Buttonquail   Turnix everetti    Yumba
Purple Swamphen    Porphyrio porphyrio     Kadumbul
Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus  Laputi & Kadumbul
Common Coot Fulica atra  Kadumbul
White-headed Stilt   Himantopus leucocephalus  Kadumbul
Beach Thick-knee   Burhinus magnirostris     Tarimbung
Pacific Golden-Plover   Pluvialis fulva
Little Ringed Plover      Charadrius dubius   Waingupu
Malaysian Plover     Charadrius peronii  Tarimbung
Lesser Sandplover   Charadrius mongolus
Greater Sandplover      Charadrius leschenaultii
Bar-tailed Godwit    Limosa lapponica    Waingupu
Whimbrel    Numenius phaeopus
Far Eastern Curlew       Numenius madagascariensis
Common Greenshank   Tringa nebularia Kadumbul
Wood Sandpiper     Tringa glareola   Waingupu
Terek Sandpiper      Xenus cinereus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone     Arenaria interpres
Red-necked Stint     Calidris ruficollis
Great Crested Tern       Sterna bergii
Spotted Dove   Streptopelia chinensis
Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove   Macropygia emiliana
Emerald Dove  Chalcophaps indica
Zebra Dove      Geopelia striata
Sumba Green-Pigeon    Treron teysmannii    Manupeu-Tanadaru NP
Red-naped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus dohertyi
Black-naped Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus melanospila
Green Imperial-Pigeon  Ducula aenea
Rock Pigeon     Columba livia
Yellow-crested Cockatoo    Cacatua sulphurea   Langgaliru-Wangameti NP
Rainbow Lorikeet    Trichoglossus haematodus
Red-cheeked Parrot     Geoffroyus geoffroyi
Great-billed Parrot   Tanygnathus megalorynchos
Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo  Cacomantis sepulcralis
Australian Koel Eudynamys cyanocephala
Lesser Coucal  Centropus bengalensis
Glossy Swiftlet  Collocalia esculenta
Edible-nest Swiftlet  Aerodramus fuciphagus
Common Kingfisher      Alcedo atthis     Manupeu-Tanadaru NP
Rufous-backed Kingfisher    Ceyx rufidorsa  Manupeu-Tanadaru NP
Collared Kingfisher       Todirhamphus chloris
Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher    Todirhamphus australasia     Manupeu-Tanadaru NP
Sacred Kingfisher    Todirhamphus sanctus
Blue-tailed Bee-eater    Merops philippinus
Rainbow Bee-eater       Merops ornatus
Sumba Hornbill Aceros everetti
Elegant Pitta     Pitta elegans
Australasian Bushlark    Mirafra javanica
Wallacean Cuckoo-shrike    Coracina personata
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae
Sumba Cuckoo-shrike (Pale-shouldered cicadabird)     Coracina dohertyi
White-shouldered Triller      Lalage sueurii
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Flores Jungle-Flycatcher (Russett-backed)        Rhinomyias oscillans
Sumba Brown Flycatcher     Muscicapa segregata
Sumba Flycatcher    Ficedula harterti
Gray-headed Canary-flycatcher       Culicicapa ceylonensis
Pied Bushchat   Saxicola caprata
Rufous Fantail   Rhipidura rufifrons
Spectacled Monarch     Monarcha trivirgatus
Golden Whistler  Pachycephala pectoralis
Plain-throated Sunbird  Anthreptes malacensis
Apricot-breasted Sunbird    Cinnyris buettikoferi
Blood-breasted Flowerpecker  Dicaeum sanguinolentum
Ashy-bellied White-eye  Zosterops citrinellus
Yellow-spectacled White-eye   Zosterops wallacei
Indonesian Honeyeater Lichmera limbata
Sumba Myzomela    Myzomela dammermani  Pine plantation eastern end of Manupeu-Tanadaru NP
Helmeted Friarbird       Philemon buceroides
Black-naped Oriole      Oriolus chinensis
Wallacean Drongo   Dicrurus densus
Large-billed Crow   Corvus macrorhynchos
Short-tailed Starling      Aplonis minor
Red Avadavat  Amandava amandava
Black-faced Munia       Lonchura molucca
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus


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