Birding on Sumba
Sumba is part of East Nusa Tenggara, famous for its megalithic traditions, one of which is Pasola. On this island, grassland and monsoon forest are still well preserved place for various animal species. Approximately ± 200 species of birds, ± 110 species of butterflies, ± 35 species of herpetofauna and ± 23 species of mammals. In particular, Sumba island has 36 endemic species and about 14 species of islands endemic.
For birdwatchers, Lewa, Yumbu-bridge and Manurara are mandatory locations to seek endemics. In August 2017 we found a new birding site in Sumba island. In the area of the only national park on the island, named Billa. This location is a better than Lewa especially for bird-photography. Almost all endemic species with a very close distance and can be accessed by foot. Yet, by far the best location to see Sumba Buttonquail, is the grassland around Yumbu.
The following information on the birding site in Sumba:
Billa, Praingkareha Resort
It is part of Manupeu Tana Daru and Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park, located in the southern of the island. Administratively entered into District Tabundung East Sumba, Nusa Tenggara province. To get to Billa from Waingapu is about 4-5 hours (110 Km).
Almost all endemic can be found (except for Sumba Buttonquail) without moving from one site to another. Paradise for bird-photographer especially in August - October when the river dries up until the remaining small pools.
All passerine like Spectacled Monarch, Sumba Brown Flycatcher, Sumba Jungle Flycatcher, Sumba Flycatcher, Orange-backed Thrush, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Arafura Fantail, Oriental-dwarf Kingfisher, Paradise-flycatcher and Elegant Pitta Paradise will come for a drink, easy to taking a photo. On the edge of the river can be found Red-naped Fruitdove, Sumba Green Pigeon, Sumba Cicadabird.
There is a hill called Laibola, about 30 minutes from the camping area to its peak. The best location in the morning to see Billa landscape along with the rising of the Sun, the birds will start actively looking for perch such as dozens of Sumba Hornbill before the breeding period, Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Electus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Great-billed Parrot and Marigold Lorikeet.