Endemic and Highlighted Birds during Trip on Sumbawa island

Sumbawa island is part of the lesser sunda area, it’s located between Lombok, Flores and Sumba islands. In terms of birding activities, this island is often missed or skipped by most birders. Fortunately there are some local birders who are avid enough to explore and document the existence and diversity of birds. Surprisingly, almost all the endemic species are relatively easy to photograph, which was suitable for bird photography tours on Sumbawa island.

For six days (09 – 14 November 2017) we were in Bima, Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. Precisely in TWA Madapangga to attend the Pertemuan Pengamat Burung Indonesia VII (Indonesian Bird Watchers’ Meeting VII) on 10-12 November 2017 and extended two days to focus on birding in other locations.

Mega! The critically endengared Flores Hawk-eagle from our trips in Sumbawa island©Alkharim Yoshe

At the meeting there were birdwatchers from Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Malang, Bali, Lombok and from local birdwatchers of Bima. The Sindikat Fotografer Wildlife Bima-Dompu was the organizer and host of the meeting.

TWA Madapangga is located in the west of Bima city with a distance of about 45 Km or takes about 1 hour drive by car. The area of 232 Hectares is administratively in the village of Ndano, Bolo sub-district, Bima district, West Nusa Tenggara Province.

Forest and houses at Kaowa village, Bima, Sumbawa island.©Waskito K Wibowo

This nature park is a source of water for the dryness of the surrounding area. Residents around the area are very dependent on the river and its springs. In the morning and evening I could meet with residents who bathe or wash clothes in the river that is located exactly on the road which connects Bima with Sumbawa city. The topography of this location is generally hilly with a slope of 15 – 40 degrees, only a small part is a relatively flat area with varying heights from 200 to 600 m above sea level.

Birding spots are relatively easy to reach, such as following the loop-track of the camping ground, around the river, and garden of the pool. We tried all those spots while we were there.

After the meeting, we moved to Kaowa village, Lambitu sub-district, 2 hours heading to the east of central Bima city. In this hilly village is widely used as a garden or farm area by residents with the rest of the monsoon forest on each hilltop. Birding spots are located around the village water springs and the edge of forests after farm areas close enough to residents’ houses.

Juvenile Mollucan Scops Owl from Kaowa village, Bima, Sumbawa island


Swiss Winasis, Waskito K Wibowo, Ah Saiful Abid, Imam Taufiqurrahman, Alkharim Yoshe, Afran “Tpal Duablas”, Abdul “Gizan Hila” Azis. ITINERARY: 09/11/2017 – At the evening arrived in Airport and drive to TWA Madapangga. Overnight on the tents. 10/11/2017 – Morning birding until noon. Lunch and follow the meeting until 09.00 PM. Owling for one hour. Overnight on the tents. 11/11/2017same as above 12/11/2017 – Morning birding until noon. After lunch moved to Kaowa village. Arrived at 06.00 PM then dinner with local families. Owling until 10.00 PM. Overnight in local families. 13/11/2017 – Full day birding around the edge of forest and water spring. After dinner owling around water spring again until 10.00 PM. Overnight in local families. 14/11/2017 – Drive to the airport, birding on the way. At noon we flight home and birding trips in Bima, Sumbawa island was ends.

Pitta elegans concina from TWA Madapangga, Sumbawa.©Waskito K Wibowo

HIGHLIGHTS: Glittering or White-rumped Kingfisher – 2-3 birds seen at looping track at the TWA Madapangga. 2-3 birds seen at garden and around water spring of Kaowa village.

Elegant Pitta – 5-6 birds seen behind the camping ground and edge river of TWA Madapangga. 2 birds seen at water spring of Kaowa village. Relatively vocal during our visit.

Flores Hawk-eagle – A clear view of a single bird while perched near the road at the edge of Kaowa village. Mollucan Scops-owl – 30 minutes clear view of single perched bird behind the camping area of TWA Madapangga. 3 birds (two adult and one juvenile) seen at water spring of Kaowa village. Wallacean (Flores) Drongo – Two nest about 6-8 birds seen around the pool of TWA Madapangga. Two nests are also around the garden and water spring of Kaowa village. Flame-breasted Sunbird – Male and female birds at flowering Water rose apple tree around the pool of TWA Madapangga. 2 birds at garden of Kaowa village. Black-fronted Flowerpecker – 2 birds seen near river at fruiting tree’s TWA Madapangga. Yellow-spectacled White-eye – Common in all birding spots visited. Flores Minivet – A pair on the way to the Airport from Kaowa village. Brown-capped Fantail – Single bird at loop trek’s TWA Madapangga.

Other notable birds included – Spotted Dove, Barred Dove, Cave Swiftlet, Lesser Coucal, Black-winged Kite, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Oriental Dwarf-kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Spotted Kestrel, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Helmeted Friarbird, Black-naped Oriole, Rusty-breasted Whistler, White-shouldered Triller, White-breasted Woodswallow, Black-naped Monarch, House Swallow, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Brown-throated Sunbird, Scaly-breasted Munia, Eurasian Tree Sparrow.