Flores is an island in Lesser Sunda, lies on east of Komodo National Park and west of Lembata island. There are many birding sites where to visit and meet endemic birds of Flores, Lesser Sunda and Wallacea. Here we introduce bird sites on west Flores and Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is home of Komodo Dragon. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km2 (603 km2 of it land). Birding in Komodo National Park is separated on two main habitats; sea habitats and land habitats.
To discover sea habitat you should be ready when start sailing from Port of Komodo in Labuan Bajo. By wooden boat, the trip will run slowly and it will give you time to see some seabirds. Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana), White-bellied Sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), White tern (Gygis alba), Pacific reef heron (Egretta sacra), Beach Thick-knee (Esacus magnirostris) and many more.
On land habitat, there are three main island that you could do intensive birding; Rinca Island, Padar Island and Komodo Island. Komodo Island is the most popular site for birding, based on number of bird species. Bird targets on Komodo Island and Rinca; Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), Black naped Oriole ((Oriolus chinensis), Orange-footed scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt), Variable goshawk (Accipiter hiogaster), Rusty-breasted whistler (Pachycephala fulvotincta), Moluccan Scops-owl (Otus magicus), Flores Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus floris), Green Imperial Pigeon (Ducula aenea) and more.
Nanga Nae – Labuan Bajo
Nanga Nae is an easy accessed bird site at south of Labuan Bajo. Birding location is lies on 2 km to 8 km south of the town. Combination of Rice fields, unexploited wetland, rivers, Mangrove and shrubs. Only need a half day birding to explores this area and better to put night birding on the plan to see Moluccan scops-owl, Wallace’s scops owl (Otus silvicola), Mees’s Nightjar (Caprimulgus meesi) and Savanna nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis). Many of targets on this area; Rusty breasted Whistler, Flores crow (Corvus florensis), Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), Javan pond heron (Ardeola speciosa), Variable goshawk, Blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus), Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis), Munias (Black-faced, Scaly breasted, Five coloured and Pale headed) and more.
Pota Wangka is one of the most popular and acceded bird sites on west Flores because of the location is close to Labuan Bajo, about 10 km on east of the town. Many targets can be found here; Flores hawk-eagle, Rusty breasted Whistler, Wallace’s Hanging Parrot, Flores crow, Wallace’s scops-owl, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Variable goshawk, Flores Green Pigeon (Treron floris), White-rumped / Glittering kingfisher (Caridonax fulgidus) and more.
Puarlolo is a small forest on side of Flores highway, it’s about 40 km from Labuan Bajo. The forest is the best spot to meet highlight of West Flores, Flores Monarch (Symposiachrus sacerdotum). A small trek across the forest as a birding trek, gives an access to deepest of the site. Many birds at the site; Flores Monarch, Thick-billed Heleia (Heleia crassirostris), Red-cheeked Parrot, Elegant pitta (Pitta elegans), Crested Heleia (Heleia dohertyi), Chestnut-backed thrush (Geokichla dohertyi) and more.
Sanonggoang is a name of crater lake on East-south of Labuan Bajo. The lake is surrounded by tropical dry forest and farms. There is the best place to keep closer to some of Flores Endemic Birds such as Flores Crow, Flores / Wallace’s Hanging Parrot, Leaf / Flores Lorikeet, Thick-billed Heleia, Flores Hawk Eagle. Many other target; Black naped Monarch, Variable Goshawk, Moluccan Scops-owl, Black naped Oriole, White-rumped Kingfisher, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Nusatenggara Paradise Flycatcher, Black fronted flowerpecker and more.
Golo Lusang is a part of Ruteng Nature Reserve, located on 5 km south of Ruteng. Lies on 1500 – 1700 MASL, the site is one of the best place to see high elevated Flores endemic Birds birds such as Flores Shortwing (Brachypteryx floris) and Flores Flowerpecker (Dicaeum rhodopygiale). The forest surrounded by shrubs at the edge as the best place to find ground birds; Pygmy wren babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla), Flores Shortwing and Tawny breasted Parrotfinch (Erythrura hyperythra).
Another targets at Golo Lusang; Flores Lorikeet, Flores Scops-owl (Otus alfredi), Yellow-breasted warbler (Phylloscopus montis), Cream-browed Heleia (Heleia superciliaris), Thick-billed Heleia, Mountain Leaftoiler (Phyllergates cuculatus), Flores Leaf warbler (Seicercus floris), Bare-throated Whistler (Pachycephala nudigula), Flores Warbling-flycatcher (Eumyias oscillans), Asian brown Flycacther (Muscicapa dauurica), Wallace’s Scops-owl and more.