Lesser Sundas Tour Report 2013
5th July to 23rd July 2013
Either for rarity value, excellent views or simply a group favourite.
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This was the first ZOOTHERA tour to the endemic-rich, tropical paradise that is collectively known as The Lesser Sundas. We visited Timor, Sumba, Flores and Komodo in search of Indonesia’s rarest and least known species, ending up on Bali in search of the famous starlings. These islands are relatively undeveloped, thinly populated and seldom visited by birders but they gave us access to some of the rarest birds on the planet. Starting on the largest island, Timor with its dry grassland, acacia scrub and montane forest, it is home to the greatest number of endemics. We had to split our time here in two due to a last-minute rescheduling of our internal flights and this did affect our success here a little but we still managed to see most of what the island has to offer. Then we flew across to the arid island of Sumba which is the most isolated and least often visited. The elongated island of Flores was next on our itinerary, and is certainly one of the most beautiful and idyllic in all of Indonesia, Many of the rugged mountains of Flores are still covered with humid rainforest dotted by rumbling volcano’s, and bisected by deep wooded valley. A day visit to the island of Komodo proved fruitful with close-range views of several Komodo Dragons and some excellent snorkelling, before we flew back to Bali and visited Bali Barat National Park where we were lucky to see Bali Starling, one of the rarest birds on the planet.