2 tanggapan untuk “Birding on Halmahera

  • Oktober 18, 2015 pada 11:30 am

    Contrary to what trip reports from a few years back state, it is not expensive to travel to Binagara. It is actually, until now, one the cheapest top birding sites in the region where you can still get a feel of exploration…
    The following blends information that was passed along to me with my own experience.

    Access from Ternate: First you need to cross the channel between Ternate and Sofifi. The public ferry departs from Bastiong-ferry jetty, but your best bet is the shared speedboats that depart (when full) from Kota Baru jetty, which is significantly closer to the airport. In Sofifi harbour, I immediately found an ojek to take me to the Aketajawe-Lolobata NP headquarters. There, various park staff helped me getting my (expensive) permit, contacted Roji in Binagara to let him know about my arrival so that he could pick me up at the roadside, and phoned car owners until they found one that was going my way the same afternoon (IDR50k per seat). I was very impressed & relieved as this was the part of the trip I was most worried about logistic-wise. In case you have to find a car by yourself the shared-taxi terminal is just by the ferry jetty in Sofifi. You can also try the large gas station where any car going out is likely to stop.
    Useful contact: Pak Roji 081244332929 (speaks perfect English)

    Accommodation: In Binagara birders usually sleep on a mattress on the floor in Roji’s very simple house. This is part of the experience but certainly is not for everybody. Eni (Roji’s wife) cooks good meals and would certainly be happy to blend in any ingredients you’d bring along (bring enough for your party plus four or five other people). They do not have any fixed price for the many services they offer.

    Birds: There are four main areas to visit. Immediately behind Roji’s house you find a small, slow river with inundated forest. This is the habitat of the Invisible Rail which Roji has seen on occasion while taking a shower! Roji or his family can show you the best spots where to wait and hope that a rail will exit the impenetrable swamp vegetation.

    Second there is a trail into the park. About 3 hours in, there is a Standardwing lek where the park had Roji and a team build a canopy tower affording exceptional views of the birds. Add 1h30 and you reach a hilly area where Purple Dollarbird are found along the ridges (however expect subpar views since the birds are atop the trees and you are on the forest floor). All along the trail, Ivory-breasted Pitta is amazingly common (I had three birds in views minutes after playing a bout of tape!!). Also notable are flocks of Chattering Lories (this bird has been trapped out closer to the village), quite a few White Cockatoo, a range of fruit-doves (but not the hoped for Scarlet-breasted for me), Moluccan Goshawk, Halmahera Oriole and H. Cuckooshrike, Dusky Scrubfowl, North Moluccan Dwarf-KF, Common Paradise-KF, North Moluccan Golden-Whistler (or whatever they are called), and North Moluccan Spectacled-monarch (or whatever they are called).

    Third, the cultivated valley immediately around Roji’s house is good to spot doves, pigeons, lories, parrots, and hornbills in the end of the day, as well as Cream-throated WE, Halmahera Flowerpecker (stake out any berry-bearing tree and ask Roji for recent sightings), Moluccan Goshawk, Chestnut-bellied Triller, and more. The hornbills actually roost at night immediately behind the house. At night I heard Barking Owl but it does not respond to tape. More importantly, Roji had a very reliable and easy to reach spot for Moluccan Owlet-nightjar where I got super views on my second attempt.

    Fourth, Eni’s parents live in a house about 15 minutes away by motorcycle. The house is close to the shore (they are from a fishing community and also work in coconut groves). In the mangrove we quickly located Beach KF, Sombre KF (using tape), and had excellent views of Violet-necked Lories, and fleeting views of several individuals of something that looked like a Drab Whistler (in a very different habitat than expected though). The coconut grove produced good views of Red-flanked Lory. Go there at high tide (whoever is guiding you there should be able to tell you when that would be).

    Special sighting: Invisible Rail! I had three individuals crossing the track one after the other at about 17:15 going from the swamp into the forest presumably to feed and possibly as part of a daily routine. This is the track going from Roji’s house to the reservoir.

  • September 15, 2016 pada 2:39 am

    I was about to post re Pak Roji at Binagara; see Guillaume has added much info.
    Just to add a little:

    Even sitting on tiny balcony of Pak Roji’s place, maybe for breakfast, could see variety of birds nearby and passing over: Blue-and-white Kingfishers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Scrub Cuckoo, Blyth’s Hornbill, Gurney’s Eagle and more…
    Missed Invisible Rail, but got v close views and photos of Ivory-breasted Pitta from simple hide in the “garden”. Talked w Pak Roji about maybe making better hide, and trying some bird feeding, so may improve things re pitta etc photography [wonder if Invisible Rails would come to mealworms?!]
    Pak Roji loves exploring forest; learned lots re birds, leading to also some consultancy work on Obi, and West Papua.
    Went to the mangrove area with him, too; don’t have to stay there, but good, tho a thick n gloppy mudflats walk for us before found Beach Kingfisher; fun outing.

    Walked up a river in the national park to a Standardwing lek; maybe this was Tayawi. To us, tough going walking along beside and several times crossing river; superb forest alongside but saw few birds. About 11am by time we got to lek; surprisingly still one bird there, but good job we’d been to lek on Bacan [and later to the one near Pak Roji’s place, where had better views]

    Pak Roji also on FB: https://www.facebook.com/mahroji.akejawe?fref=ts
    Top man; also great family to stay with. He’s lately built small guest house by his place; v simple, but to me superb location.
    He can also help with things like car w driver on Halmahera; and Ternate too if you wish. I’d think also Obi; we went to Bacan w Roji, too.


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