The ultimate birding trip: stunning destinations, endemics galore, cruising through the Raja Ampats and Maluku on a lovely wooden boat with wonderful crew and great food, gorgeous sunsets, awesome snorkelling and two of the best Rockjumper guides – Keith and Glen Valentine. And to top it off, Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise!!!!!!!!!
As a result of the remarkable biogeography of the region, our Highlights of the Eastern Indonesian archipelago provides very little overlap in bird species to our Highlights of Western Indonesia, with a phenomenal number of special and endemic birds. We begin by exploring the prime highland site of Lore Lindu National Park on the island of Sulawesi. Boasting over 70 endemic species, the exceptional range of highly desirable birds we will seek include the endemic Hylocitrea, now placed in its own monotypic family, the indescribable Purple-bearded Bee-eater, bizarre Geomalia, Fiery-browed Starling, Green-backed Kingfisher (one of many endemic kingfishers), Purple-winged Roller, Satanic Nightjar and the impressive Knobbed Hornbill.
We then wing our way to the nearby island of Halmahera, where we visit a lekking site for the highly sought-after Standardwing, surely one of the most bizarre birds-of-paradise! Here we also seek a mindboggling number of Mollucan endemics including the spectacular Ivory-breasted Pitta and Moluccan Owlet-nightjar. Moving further eastwards we again enter a completely new biological zone as we arrive in Sorong, on the extreme western tip of New Guinea. Here we bird the famous Vogelkop, a veritable feast of incredible highlights may include up to seven birds-of-paradise including Magnificent, King, Lesser and Twelve-wired as well as numerous pigeons (Wompoo, Superb and Pink-spotted Fruit Doves to name a few), parrots (including the localized Black Lory) and kingfishers (Red-breasted Paradise being one of the prime targets.) We conclude our tour on the Raja Ampat Island of Waigeo, famed for the best snorkeling in the world! Here our targets in this tropical island paradise include Red Bird-of-paradise, the incredible Western Crowned Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Lowland Peltops and much besides. And as a way of celebrating the finale of this remarkable tour we will visit the display ground of quite possibly the most beautiful bird on Earth – Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise!
Lesser, King, Twelve-wired, Red & Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise, Trumpet & Glossy-mantled Manucode, Standardwing, Paradise-crow, Moluccan Dwarf, Papuan Dwarf, Blue‐and‐white, Lilac, Little, Azure, Yellow-billed, Green-backed, Hook-billed, Beach, Sacred, Red-breasted Paradise & Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Scarlet‐breasted, Blue‐capped, Grey‐headed, Wompoo, Superb, Pink-spotted, Orange-fronted, Beautiful, Dwarf, Orange-bellied & Coroneted Fruit Dove, White‐bellied, Purple-tailed, Pinon’s, Zoe’s & Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon, New Guinea Bronzewing, Cinnamon Ground Dove, Pheasant Pigeon, Western Crowned Pigeon, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Orange-breasted Fig Parrot, Emperor & Broad-billed Fairywren, Black Berrypecker, Hooded Butcherbird, Southern Variable & Rusty Pitohui, Lowland Peltops, Spot-winged, Golden and Frilled Monarch, Pale-bellied, Sulawesi & White-necked Myna, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Crimson-crowned & Halmahera Flowerpecker, Fiery-browed, Moluccan & Grosbeak Starling, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Golden-mantled Racket-tail, Malia, Black-billed Koel, Black Lory, Sulawesi Myzomela, Lemon‐bellied, Mountain, Streak-headed, Cream-throated & Black-crowned White‐eye, Sulawesi Blue, Blue-fronted Blue, Rufous-throated & Turquoise Flycatcher, Great Hanging Parrot, Sulawesi Cicadabird, Purple-winged Roller, Cinnabar Boobook, Great Shortwing, Pygmy, Halmahera, Golden, Yellow-eyed, New Guinea & Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Sulphur-vented & Maroon-backed Whistler, Rusty-bellied Fantail, Citrine Canary-flycatcher, Sulawesi Leaf Warbler, Dark-eared & White-eared Myza, Satanic Nightjar, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, Mountain Serin, Geomalia, Citrine, Red-flanked & Ornate Lorikeet, Barred Honey Buzzard, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Hylocitrea, Sulawesi Thrush, Blue-faced & Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Sulawesi Cuckoo, Sulawesi Woodcock, Ivory-breasted & Red-billed Pitta, Azure Dollarbird, Red‐cheeked, Eclectus & Great‐billed Parrots, White & Palm Cockatoo, Dusky Megapode, Moluccan Goshawk, Dusky Friarbird, Invisible Rail, Goliath Coucal, Long‐billed Crow, Moustached Treeswift, Gurney’s Eagle, Yellow‐billed Malkoha, Sulawesi Pygmy & Ashy Woodpecker, Spot-tailed, Vinous-breasted & Dwarf Sparrowhawk, Red-billed & Waigeo Brushturkey.
montane and lowland forests, volcanic mountains, rice paddies, rivers, islands, beaches
mostly hot to humid with cooler nights and mornings in the highlands
relaxed pace with some longer hikes
Day 1: Jakarta to Lore Lindu National Park via Palu
We depart Jakarta for the small town of Palu, where we begin our transfer to Lore Lindu National Park with birding stops en route. Our first stop will be at a rather unassuming tract of grassy scrubland, scattered with the odd shrub. While it make not look like much, this is one of the best areas in Sulawesi to find the rare and endemic Pale-bellied Myna! Aside from the myna, we may also find a number of other interesting species including Savanna Nightjar on their day roosts, Barred Buttonquail, the localized Pale-headed Munia, Spotted Harrier, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and White-shouldered Triller.
As we move deeper into the mountains and closer to Lore Lindu National Park, the habitat changes from dry savanna and grassland to a mixture of virgin forest and exotic plantations. Stops along the way may provide Sulawesi Serpent Eagle soaring high over the forested ridges, migrant Purple Needletails whizzing overhead, pairs of the stunning White-necked Myna and even the very scarce Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker.
Shortly before reaching the village of Wuasa, a final afternoon birding stop on a road cutting may yield a plethora of endemics, including Fiery-browed Starling, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Golden-mantled Racket-tail or taxonomically confusing Malia. After what promises to be an explosive start to our tour of Sulawesi, we shall settle into our guesthouse, home for the next three nights of our Indonesia birding tour.
Days 2 & 3: Lore Lindu National Park
This superb reserve, the largest of the islands’ national parks, supports most of Sulawesi’s montane species and we can look forward to some really fabulous Indonesia birding! Our accommodation at Wuasa is located in the mid-elevations where, although degraded by agriculture and logging, we have a better chance of finding the lovely Ivory-backed Woodswallow, White‐bellied Imperial Pigeon with its unique booming call, Black-billed Koel, Sulawesi Myzomela, Lemon‐bellied White‐eye, Barred Buttonquail, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher and the outrageous Sulawesi Myna. The furtive Rufous‐throated Flycatcher sings from dense vegetation, often near water courses, and we can also watch out for Great Hanging Parrot possibly visiting a fruiting tree, Sulawesi Cicadabird and the colorful Purple-winged Roller, plus chances for Speckled Boobook in the daytime.
Lore Lindu National Park is also the only accessible site for the rare and frustratingly difficult Hylocitrea. This is a highland specialty that is quiet and reclusive in the moss-laden montane forest. It is not a bird that can be coaxed into view, but rather needs to be found while it is relaxed or feeding; the problem, apart from being so scarce, is its lethargic habits. Nonetheless, we do stand a reasonably good chance of success.
At twilight one morning we will start birding in montane forest for the scarce Cinnabar Boobook; and although uncommon, one of the first songs at dawn might be the vocal but secretive Great Shortwing that lurks in the thick understory. Near Lake Tambing we will search for feeding flocks given away by the sharp calls of Malia, a unique species of bulbul that forages on the moss-covered branches along with attending species such as Pygmy and Cerulean Cuckooshrikes, Sulawesi Drongo, Sulphur-vented Whistler, Rusty-bellied Fantail, Mountain and Black-crowned White-eyes, Turquoise Flycatcher, Citrine Canary-flycatcher and Sulawesi Leaf Warbler. Further searching should produce loose groups of Streak-headed White-eye, the brightly colored Blue-fronted Blue Flycatcher singing from vine tangles, our first Fiery-browed Starlings, Sulawesi Myzomela and Dark-eared Myza.
The extensive upper montane forest inside the reserve is mostly inaccessible due to the area’s ruggedness, but the Anaso track climbs the slopes of Gunung Rorekatimbu, the highest peak in the park at just over 2,500 meters, allowing us to search for high montane specialties. Before dawn we will drive as far as possible up this bumpy track, likely finding Satanic Nightjar hawking insects along the way; although we have a fair chance of locating this richly patterned species later in the day at one of its roosting sites. Because of heavy rains in recent years, the bridge here has completely washed out so we will need to hike the remainder of the track to reach the highest elevations possible. Red-eared Fruit Dove and Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon sometimes sit out in the early morning, and our first Purple-bearded Bee-eater is likely to be found near its breeding areas along exposed earthen embankments. We will undoubtedly be constantly serenaded by the timid Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler, although it may take a few tries to be sure everyone sees this surprisingly attractive species. Other species to keep an eye out for here include White-eared Myza and the flighty Mountain Serin. It will take a bit of luck, but we will keep our eyes peeled to the trail for subtle movements in the hope of finding the bizarre Geomalia that can sometimes be found hopping along the path, a large disproportionate bird somewhat reminiscent of Madagascar’s ground rollers!
Overhead in Lore Lindu National Park we can watch for Citrine and Ornate Lorikeets, while noisy Golden-mantled Racket-tails shoot by overhead and, with time in this habitat, we have a good chance of finding this species perched at flowering trees. Vibrant Grosbeak Starlings can also be found nesting colonially in tower-block fashion in the trunks of dead trees. As the days warm up we can also watch for raptors such as Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Barred Honey Buzzard and Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle soaring above the forest.
Day 4: Morning in Lore Lindu National Park and return to Palu
This morning of our Indonesia birding tour, we continue birding through Lore Lindu National Park. A number of scarcer species are possible during our visit and we will make concerted efforts to catch up with the sluggish Hylocitrea, a species that has been elevated to monotypic family status. Fruiting trees sometimes produce views of the shy Sulawesi Thrush as well as the uncommon Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, and we should be on the lookout for the gigantic Sombre Pigeon, Blue-faced and Tawny-breasted Parrotfinche and the distinctive song of Maroon-backed Whistler. Sulawesi Cuckoo is also a poorly-known resident in this forest, but even rarer is the near mythical Sulawesi Woodcock. In the afternoon we will take the return journey to Palu, stopping en route to bird a few open country sites before checking into our comfortable hotel.
Day 5: Palu to Manado, birding Gunung Mahawu
Departing in the morning, we will transfer to the airport in Palu to catch a flight to Manado via Makassar. Having checked into our lodgings and freshen up, we shall head out to Gunung Mahawu for the remainder of the afternoon. Our time here will be spent searching stake outs for the tricky Scaly-breasted Kingfisher while being entertained by Mountain and Black-fronted White-eye, perhaps some Barred Rails and the endemic Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher. We also have good chances of finding White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Citrine Flycatcher, Rusty-backed Thrush, Sulawesi Myzomela, Isabelline Bush-hen, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Malkoha and the recently split Sultan’s Cuckoo-dove. After an invigorating afternoon, we shall head back to Manado for the night, passing through agricultural fields where the mega Blue-faced Rail has been spotted previously – while highly improbable, we shall keep our eyes peeled anyway.
Day 6: Manado to Buli via Ternate and transfer to Subaim
Departing in the morning, we will transfer to the airport in Manado to catch a flight to the island of Halmahera, landing first at Ternate, before a second short flight to the town of Buli. The flights are rather spectacular since Ternate is located on an imposing cone-shaped volcanic island, rising over 1,700m above the surrounding sea.
The largest island of the Moluccan Archipelago, Halmahera was once a vital part of the historical trade of cloves, nutmeg and mace that gave this region the nickname ‘Spice Islands.’ Today, expanding human populations and agricultural pressure for coconut and sago palm plantations have sadly destroyed much of the pristine rainforest that once cloaked the hillsides.
After arriving in Buli, we will drive northwards to Subaim making several birding stops en route. At one of our stops we’ll search for Northern Golden Bulbul and the beautiful Common Paradise Kingfisher. Other possibilities here on our Indonesia birding tour include Cream-throated White-eye, Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove and we may even be lucky to see the elusive Ivory-breasted Pitta. Continuing onwards, we’ll also keep a lookout for Azure Dollarbird, an increasingly rare find in this area.
Day 7: Foli
Halmahera lies further to the east of Wallace’s Line than Sulawesi, and consequently its avifauna contains a higher proportion of Australasian elements such as the sprightly Willie Wagtail, Shining Flycatcher and Spangled Drongo. Parrots occur in abundance with possibilities including Violet-necked and Chattering Lory, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Red‐cheeked, Eclectus and the extremely handsome Great‐billed Parrots, and White Cockatoo, which still remains fairly common despite the ongoing forest clearance. Pigeons are in close competition and we will be searching for Scarlet‐breasted, Blue‐capped and Grey‐headed Fruit Doves, Spectacled and Pied Imperial Pigeons, as well as very small chances of Great Cuckoo-Dove and Nicobar Pigeon.
Perhaps the most remarkable bird on Halmahera is the magnificent Standardwing, an exceptional bird-of-paradise that performs a whimsical canopy display in the early morning. Setting out well before dawn, we will be in position under the display tree by first light and will likely hear the harsh calls of this species even before it becomes completely visible. As the light improves the male’s flamboyant white standards and metallic green epaulettes become brighter, and if a female arrives to check out the lek site we will be in for a real exhibition of spectacular leaps and wing folding!
Another very exciting species we will be targeting in the surroundings is the sensational Ivory‐breasted Pitta that is encountered in these forests. Its distinctive call will hopefully allow us to track down this most impressive species decorated with red, black, white and turquoise. Rustling in the undergrowth might reveal the presence of the scarce Dusky Megapode and, with luck, we may bump into the rare Moluccan Goshawk, Dusky Friarbird, or the almost unknown & aptly named Invisible Rail.
Day 8: Gunung Uni-uni
The air whooshing through the mighty wings of Blyth’s Hornbill will be a regular sound as we continue searching through the forest patches for Dusky-brown Oriole, Rufous-bellied Triller, Spectacled and White-naped Monarchs and the furtive Paradise-crow, which, despite its English name, is actually a bird-of-paradise! The booming sound of Goliath Coucal will eventually give away its presence, while we will also scan through the treetops for several cuckooshrike species including Moluccan, White‐bellied and the endemic Halmahera Cuckooshrikes. It will likely take some coaxing to produce the exquisite Common Paradise Kingfisher that tends to stay in thicker forested areas, and we will also be targeting the Moluccan Dwarf and Blue‐and‐white Kingfishers here on our Indonesia birding tour. Other possibilities during our time here include Northern Golden Bulbul, Variable Goshawk, the delightful Long‐billed Crow, Moustached Treeswift, Moluccan Starling among the more numerous Metallic, White-streaked Friarbird, Drab Whistler, Cream-throated White-eye, Halmahera Flowerpecker and Gurney’s Eagle soaring overhead. If we are very fortunate we may even see the scarce Moluccan King Parrot.
Day 9: Subaim to Buli, flight to Manado via Ternate
Today on our Indonesia birding tour, we will have further chances to search for any species we may not yet have seen near Subaim before transferring to Buli for our flight to Ternate and onwards to Manado. Depending on out time of arrival in Manado, we may have the opportunity to bird during the afternoon, or have some down time before tomorrow’s flight to West Papua.
Day 10: Manado to Sorong
Departing in the morning, we will transfer to the airport in Manado to catch our onward flight to Sorong. Time permitting we shall attempt to get into the field this afternoon where the surrounding lowland forest is home to a number of interesting and sought after species including Red-billed Brush Turkey, Dwarf, Orange-fronted, Pink-spotted, Coroneted and Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Red-throated Myzomela, Golden and Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-cheeked and Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Blyth’s Hornbill, Scrub Meliphaga, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Hooded and Black Butcherbird, Lowland Peltops, Golden Monarch, Grey and Torresian Crow, Glossy Manucode, Black-sided Robin and Spangled Drongo. Later in the afternoon, we shall venture to a vantage point near Sorong from which Black Lory can occasionally be seen.
Day 11: Birding Sorong
This morning on our Indonesia birding tour, we head out before dawn along the north coast, having an entire days birding exploration of the Vogelkop (Bird’s Head) area. Here we will encounter a spectrum of wooded habitats ranging from scrub and secondary woodland to primary moist lowland and hill forest. Most of our birding will be from an easily drivable road that bisects the birding habitat, thus affording us an opportunity to encounter a fair selection of mainland New Guinea species. It should however be noted that large scale habitat degradation and high levels of trapping for the cage bird trade have resulted in a few species become quite rare. We will however still have excellent chances at finding a great selection of typical New Guinea species.
Some of the birds we may encounter include Pacific Baza, Grey-headed Goshawk, Bar-tailed Cuckoo-Dove, Red-billed Brushturkey (always tough!) and a wonderful range of fruit doves including Wompoo, Superb, Pink-spotted, Orange-fronted, Beautiful, Dwarf, Orange-bellied and perhaps even Coroneted, as well as Purple-tailed, Pinon’s and Zoe’s Imperial Pigeons, Blyth’s Hornbill, Palm Cockatoo, Black Lory (virtually endemic to Vogelkop), Eclectus and Red-cheeked Parrots, Moluccan King Parrot, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Orange-breasted Fig Parrot, White-crowned Cuckoo, Papuan Spine-tailed Swift, perhaps Red-breasted Paradise and Yellow-billed Kingfishers, the local form of Red-bellied Pitta, Rusty Mouse-warbler and the sumptuous Emperor Fairywren.
Then there is also the very poorly-known Broad-billed Fairywren, Tawny Straightbill (most often seen as a very active member of mixed flocks), a wide range of honeyeaters, Black Berrypecker, the wonderfully vocal Hooded Butcherbird, Golden Cuckooshrike, the recently split Southern Variable Pitohui, Shining Flycatcher, Spot-winged Monarch, the rather elusive Rufous Monarch, Rufous-backed Fantail, Trumpet and Glossy-mantled Manucodes (birds-of-paradise indeed!), Grey Crow, Magnificent Riflebird, Lesser and King Bird-of-paradise and, if we are very fortunate, the bizarre swamp specialist, Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise, the localized Black-chinned Robin, Golden Myna and Streak-headed Mannikin.
Day 12: Ferry from Sorong to Waigeo
After a pre-dawn breakfast in our Sorong hotel, we shall set out first light on the three hours speedboat ride to the mouth of the Orobiai River on Waigeo. Here, water birds like Raja Shelduck, Little Pied Cormorant, Great-billed and Striated Heron, Australian Ibis and Little Kingfisher are regularly seen on tidal mudflats and in secondary mangroves. The remainder of the morning will be spent birding along the river to our camp in riparian lowland forest at roughly 50 m in elevation. Blyth’s Hornbills and a host of parrots that include Black-capped Lory, Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked, Great-billed and Eclectus Parrot, fly overhead as we acquaint ourselves with the more conspicuous forest species such as Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Brush Cuckoo, Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove, Stephan’s Emerald Dove, Superb and Beautiful Fruit Dove, Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon, Mimic and Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, New Guinea Friarbird, Southern Variable and Rusty Pitohui, Hooded and Black Butcherbird, Brown Oriole, Northern Fantail and Yellow-faced Myna.
Following lunch at camp we shall bird along the river where we will look for species such as Azure Kingfisher, Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, New Guinea Bronzewing, Pink-spotted, Claret-breasted, Orange-bellied and Dwarf Fruit Dove, Red-necked Crake, Grey and Grey-headed Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, White-eared Catbird, Red-throated Myzomela, Spotted, Brown-backed and Green-backed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Crow, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Red Bird-of- Paradise, and Yellow-eyed and New Guinea Cuckooshrike. Incubation mounds of the Dusky Megapode are scattered everywhere throughout the flat bottom-valley lowland forests here, and it should not take long before we feast our eyes on a couple of huge Western Crowned Pigeons as they break the relative silence with their clapping wing beats to alight in nearby tall forest trees. Papuan Boobook and Marbled Frogmouth are nocturnal possibilities here.
Days 13 & 14: Birding Waigeo
We have the next two full days of our Indonesia birding tour to explore the riches of this wonderful island. The dawn chorus in this area usually includes species that we will look for near camp including Hook-billed Kingfisher, Rusty Mouse-warbler, Olive Flyrobin, Black-sided Robin as well as Southern Variable and Rusty Pitohui amongst others. We shall watch one of several display courts of the fabulous Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise from a hide, hoping to witness the remarkable display of this endemic species. This is mind-blowing enough, but we should still have time to observe the beautifully adorned males of another restricted-range endemic, the Red Bird-of-paradise. To boot, Cinnamon Ground Dove, Pheasant Pigeon and skulkers like Red-bellied Pitta are all possible in the vicinity of this court. Other specials in the area include Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Moluccan King Parrot, Long-tailed Buzzard, White-eared Catbird, Red-throated Myzomela, Long-billed and Puff-backed Honeyeater, Fairy and Yellow-bellied Gerygone, Grey Whistler, Little Shrikethrush, Brown-headed Crow, Lowland Peltops, Black-shouldered Cicadabird, Sooty Thicket Fantail, Spot-winged, Golden and Frilled Monarch, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Black Berrypecker as well as Green-crowned, Plumed and Pygmy Longbill. Time spent slightly higher up in the karst terrain above our camp will give us an opportunity to see the enigmatic Waigeo Brushturkey.
Day 15: Waigeo to Sorong
Following a pre-dawn breakfast, we shall bird all morning along the river toward its mouth again. After lunch here we shall transfer to a tiny islet in the Dampier Strait where we shall have a relaxed afternoon’s birding in search of regional small island specialists like the prasinorrhous race of White-bibbed Fruit Dove, Olive Honeyeater, Island Whistler, Rufous Fantail, Island Monarch, Moluccan Starling and Lemon-bellied White-eye. Other noteworthy birds present here include Dusky Megapode, Beach Kingfisher, Violet-necked Lory, Spice and Bicolored Imperial Pigeon, Great-billed Heron, Varied Honeyeater, and Metallic Starling. In the mid-afternoon we shall catch the ferry back to Sorong for a final celebratory dinner and a good night’s rest before our international flights in the morning.
Day 16: Sorong and final departures
This morning our Indonesia birding tour will conclude at Sorong Airport where we shall embark on our international flights home.
What our clients say about tours to Indonesia
- SL, Remote Indonesian Islands Cruise 2017
Glen and Keith Valentine worked seamlessly together to make this one of the best Rockjumper trips! The logistics went well, local guides were great, and the boat was quite comfortable and offered good food and variety. Best of all, the birds were plentiful and everyone got lifers galore. The bros Valentine did everything possible to be sure that everyone got onto the birds and they worked tirelessly doing so. I would travel with either or both of them anywhere, thanks guys!RB, Remote West Papuan Islands 2017
David Erterius was a really fantastic guide, like all the Rockjumper guides have been. He certainly maintained the high bar set by all my Rockjumper guides. He was organised and friendly and was onto birds in near-mythical speed. I didn’t have any problems on the tour, but if I did, I would be confident that he would be able to assist.SL, Sulawesi & Halmahera 2017
As expected, I had a fabulous time on the Sulawesi and Halmahera trip. It was everything I wanted – amazing birds, fantastic guide, great tour participants, highly organised logistics and wonderful forests. I particularly appreciated that for one morning the group was split into two so some participants had the chance to head part-way back up the Anaso track while the others birded less strenuous areas.SL, Sulawesi & Halmahera 2017
David Ertrius is above all patient, with the birds, with the participants and the local guides. He very modestly shares his incredible knowledge of the birds.LG, Sulawessi & Halmehera
David was notable in his high level of enthusiasm, how careful he is with identifications and how quick he is at spotting things. Our group was quite mixed in age and skills, and David was patient with members whose eyesight was not so good, and quick to get a spotting scope onto even difficult forest birds. I’d happily travel elsewhere with him and is every bit of what I could hope for in a guide. The overall group felt well run and there was always a plan B if one was needed. David’s knowledge and sense of humor also made him fun to travel with.MH, Lesser Sundas
I have been on birding trips for many years, but this is the first time with Rockjumper. The trip was easily the best birding trip I have ever been on. In particular, both David and Glen made life so easy and their birding knowledge was remarkable. Other members of the group were very easy to get on with. The birding was quite remarkable and it is difficult to pick out a highlight from the Birds of Paradise, the Chinese Crested Tern or the Madanga. There is no doubt that I will travel with Rockjumper again.NH, Indonesia – West Papua Cruise 2016
My thanks to Keith and Glen Valentine for taking so much time in getting me on the birds. They are so patient and really nice.MM, Remote Indonesian Islands Cruise 2017
David Erterius is an excellent birder and a great tour leader. Unfailing enthusiasm while birding, and a great manner during non-birding time. The combination of the birders and the guides made this probably the most enjoyable trip I have been on.BB, Sulawessi & Halmahera