Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 18, 2020

Manado to Sandakan

Filed under: General — Tags: , — admin @ 12:04 pm

Tourist Photos from Indonesia to Malaysia

All these photos came from my phone. I lost the charger on my el cheapo point and shoot automatic camera, so I decided to chuck it away and just use my phone. I cannot see much difference. The image quality is probably a bit better but it is still pretty crap taking photos with the phone. I started off in Manado, in the north of Sulawesi.

Boat off Manado
Boat off Manado

I flew from Manado to Tarakan in Kalimantan, and then hopped on a speedboat to Nunukan, which is close to the border of Malaysian Sabah.

 Seaweed farming in Nunukan
Seaweed farming in Nunukan

Houses on water
Houses on water

This village was built over the water. I guess they have easy access to their boats.

Semporna public wharf
Semporna public wharf

These are the local taxis for the people who live on the islands nearby or in the villages built over the water along the shore.

Sunset at Pulau Mabul
Sunset at Pulau Mabul

Bajau traders
Bajau traders

These are Bajau, or sea gypsies. They live on their boats and travel between Sabah, Sulawesi and Mindanao. They are selling seafood.

Market at Lahad Datu
Market at Lahad Datu

Boat ride on the Kinabatangan River
Boat ride on the Kinabatangan River

I spent about four days on the Kinabatangan River and took lots of photos of monkeys and birds.

mal200130p

January 9, 2020

Makassar to Manado

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 1:45 pm

Sulawesi Tourist Photos

I took all these photos on my phone. I lost the charger for my point and shoot camera and it has some dust on the chip so I might just chuck it. I have had it nearly ten years and it cost me twenty bucks so I am not too worried about it. I got my money’s worth. So these photos start from Makassar. This girl was at the warung where I was dropped off to catch the mikrolet to Malino. I waited there for more than an hour and she wanted me to take her photo. So I obliged.

Beautiful Girl
Beautiful Girl

I rented a motorbike and rode up into the hills surrounding Rantepao for a few days.

Tana Toraja houses
Tana Toraja houses

I took this shot in Ampana. I had sated chicken one night and took this photo of the boy cooking the meat. It was delicious.

Cooking Sate
Cooking Sate

These were the villagers from the outlying islands coming into town to do some shopping at Wakai.

Villagers' Boat
Villagers’ Boat

This was the fast boat from Salakan going back to Luwuk.

Fast boat to the Banggai Islands
Fast boat to the Banggai Islands

And this is the sleeping arrangements on the slow boat to the Banggai Islands.

Fun on the boat
Fun on the boat

This is Manado harbour and these boats will take out supplies to the big boats heading to the outer islands.

Loading the lighters
Loading the lighters

And this is the boat to Lataud, an island way up north, just near Mindanao in the Philippines.

Boat to Lataud
Boat to Lataud

And one of the mangrove beaches at Bunaken Island, just off Manado.

Bunaken beach
Bunaken beach

indo200109p

December 31, 2019

Tomohon and Bunaken

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:29 am

To Bunaken Island

I had a few shots left in the camera from my trip to Lake Tondano, just below Tomohon. There was very little to see on the side of the lake that I rode past. Just lots of weed.

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

After five days in Tomohon, I grabbed a shared taxi to Manado and the next day caught the boat to Bunaken Island. The next morning I went for a walk along the track and found some good birds, but nothing spectacular.

Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)

Black-naped Fruit-dove
Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)

Gray-streaked Flycatcher
Gray-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta)

White-breasted Woodswallow
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)

Asian Glossy Starling  - adult
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) – adult

Asian Glossy Starling  - juvenile
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) – juvenile

Brown-throated Sunbird  - female
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) – female

Sulawesi Utara bird list

Black Kite
Barred Rail
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)
Olive-backed Sunbird
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)
Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)
Gray-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta)
Glosssy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta)
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Barn Swallow

indo191231

December 28, 2019

Makassar to Manado

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 8:13 am

Sulawesi Tourist Photos

So I will start at Makassar where I stayed for a few days, then went up into the hills to Malino. I spent one night in Pare Pare because I wanted to break the journey north to Toraja country.

Pare Pare Harbour
Pare Pare Harbour

This boat was going to Kalimantan.

Dead Cat in the Water
Dead Cat in the Water

This cat was just floating around in the harbour. It freaked me out a bit.

Toraja Buffalo
Toraja Buffalo

After a winding road through the hills, I made it to Toraja where I rented a bike for a few days and drove around through the mountains above Rantepao.

Rice Fields
Rice Fields

Traditional Toraja houses
Traditional Toraja houses

On the way to Tentena I stopped at Masamba hoping to break up the journey. But the journey to Tentena still lasted about ten hours through winding hills and the worst roads ever.

Danau Poso
Danau Poso

I got a lift up into the Bada Valley, where I stayed in this hut for a few days by myself.

My hut
My hut

Fishing boat
Fishing boat

These fishermen were pushing out the net boat at Ampana.

Pulling in the net
Pulling in the net

Bajo Village
Bajo Village

This was a bajo village in the Togian Islands.

Kadidiri Island
Kadidiri Island

This is where I stayed in the Togian Islands, at Black Marlin Dive Resort.

coconut crab
Coconut Crab

The next resort had one of these Coconut Crabs in a drum. “The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons ” (wikipedia) They are related to the hermit crab.

Luwuk panorama
Luwuk

I went to Luwuk from Ampana, then grabbed a ferry to the Banggai Islands to stay in the town of Salakan.

Ferry to Salakan
Ferry to Salakan

This was the slow ferry which took three hours. Our boat only took two hours.

Gunung Api Lokon
Gunung Api Lokon

This is the Lokon volcano which last erupted in 2012, and is expected to erupt every ten years. This was the view from my homestay in Kakaskasen, just north of Tomohon.

indo191228p

December 27, 2019

Gunung Mahawu Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:19 am

Tomohon Birding Day Four

Yesterday afternoon, I went back to the Fish Ponds at the back of Kakaskasen. I happened to spot a Yellow Bittern but the photos are all blurry, so I will not post them. This morning I rented a motor-bike and went up to Mount Mahawu. I parked down the car park and climbed to the top of the crater. There was a lot of cloud coming in so I could not see much. After that, I stopped off at Taman Kota. Not much there either. The final stop was Bukit Doa. I had to pay to get in! But I got a free coffee from the cafe there.

Turquoise Flycatcher
Turquoise Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis)

“The Turquoise Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis), also known as the island flycatcher, is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.” (wikipedia)

Grey-faced Buzzard
Chinese sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis) – juvenile

“The Chinese sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis) is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. Also called Chinese goshawk or grey frog hawk.” (wikipedia). Thanks to Khaleb Yordan for the ID.

Bay Coucal
Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis)

Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)

Slender-billed Crow
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)

Tomohon Bird List

Chinese sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis)
Turquoise Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis)
Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis)
Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis)
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)
Sulawesi Myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera)
Brahminy Kite

indo191227

December 26, 2019

Tomohon Birding Day Three

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:19 pm

Tomohon Birding Day Three

This morning I got up early again and headed up the hill through the fields wooded areas of Kakaskasen, north of Tomohon in Northern Sulawesi. I was not not expecting much but I got some really nice photos and a couple of new birds.

Barred Rail
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus)

This is a better photo than the ones I got yesterday. He was in a garden next to the Buddhist Monastery. I was really happy with these shots.

Barred Rail
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus)

Sulawesi Myzomela
Sulawesi Myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera)

Bad shot but just a record.

Black Sunbird
Black Sunbird ( Leptocoma sericea)

Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)

Brown Shrike
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

Chestnut Munia
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

Baby Chestnut Munia getting fed.

Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

Black-crowned White-eye
Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons)

Cattle Egret on Cattle
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Cattle Egret on a cattle.

Tomohon bird list

Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus)
Sulawesi Myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera)
Black Sunbird ( Leptocoma sericea)
Olive-backed Sunbird
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Black-headed Munia
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
Eurasian Tree-sparrow
Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons)
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Lesser Coucal

indo191226

December 25, 2019

Tomohon Birding Day Two

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:50 am

Tomohon Birding Day Two

This morning I got up early and wandered the back streets of Kakaskasen, just north of Tomohon. It was quite productive. After a big christmas dinner with some family of my homestay I went up in the hills out the back, near the Cecak Resort. And then found some fish ponds behind town.

Barred Rail
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus)

Barred Rail  - juvenile maybe
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus) – juvenile

Cinnamon Bittern
Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)

Black Sunbird
Black Sunbird ( Leptocoma sericea)

Grey-rumped Treeswift
Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis) 8198

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Gray-sided Flowerpecker
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)

Black-naped Fruit-dove - male
Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)

frog or toad
Sulawesian toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis)

“The Sulawesian toad or Celebes toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis) is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is a common and abundant species found in a wide range of habitats, including primary rainforest, secondary forest, plantations, cultivated land and towns.” (wikipedia). Thanks to Nathan Rusli for the ID.

Tomohon bird list

Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus)
Black Sunbird ( Leptocoma sericea)
Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)
Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis)
Collared Kingfisher
zebra dove
Little Egret
Eurasian Tree-sparrow
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Chestnut Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia
Black-headed Munia
Black-crowned White-eye
Olive-backed Sunbird
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)
Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)

indo191225

December 24, 2019

Tomohon Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:33 pm

Mount Mahawu

I had to go to Manado to buy a new camera. I ended up getting the same model but a newer build. It was easier than I expected to find a camera. There a whole mall with a floor with lots of camera shops. I was lucky to choose a shop with a person who knew what they were talking about unlike a lot of the others. I jumped on a shared taxi this morning to Tomohon and am staying at a homestay to the north of the city. I took an ojek (rental motorbike) to the top of Mount Mahawahu. I was lucky that I got at least one good bird. There was not much around. Afternoons are not my favourite times for looking for birds.

Superb Fruit-Dove
Superb Fruit-Dove ( Ptilinopus superbus)

The Superb Fruit-Dove is also known as the purple-crowned fruit dove. “Native to Australasia, the superb fruit dove lives in the rainforests of New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Sulawesi of Indonesia… The superb fruit-dove feeds primarily upon fruits and berries. ” (wikipedia)

Superb Fruit-Dove
Superb Fruit-Dove ( Ptilinopus superbus)

Gray-sided Flowerpecker
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)

Yellow-billed Malkoha
Yellow-billed Malkoha ( Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus)

Getting ready to take off. I caught this one at Taman Kota, on the way up the hill to Gunung Mahawu.

Black-crowned White-eye - maybe
Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus montanus)

I am a bit suss of this as it does not have a black crown. Edit: It might be a Warbling White-eye
(Zosterops japonicus). Edit 2: Yes it is. Thanks Manoli for the ID.

Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove
Sultan’s Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia doreya)

Super bad photo but it is the best I could get. I hate it when they hide behind all the leaves and branches.

Slender-billed Crow
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)

I made this into a black and white because it was massively backlit. I have no idea how to process black and white, doh!

Unknown so far.
Sulawesi streaked flycatcher (Muscicapa sodhii)

Thanks to Khaleb Yordan for the ID.

Tomohon bird list

Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus montanus)
Sulawesi streaked flycatcher (Muscicapa sodhii)
Superb Fruit-Dove ( Ptilinopus superbus)
Sultan’s Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia doreya)
Yellow-billed Malkoha ( Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus)
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)
olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis),
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Collared Kingfisher
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca)

indo191224

December 21, 2019

Salakan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:27 am

Banggai Islands

I got a shared taxi from Ampana to Luwuk straight after I got off the boat from the Togian Islands. Then I had to wait five hours for the taxi to leave and then it took six hours to get to Luwuk. Naturally I was exhausted so I stayed in Luwuk for two nights and then jumped on the car ferry to Salakan, the port of the Banggai Islands. In the morning I walked up the hill to the Monumen Trikora Salakan. Luckily there were a few birds up the top.

Banggai Golden Bulbul
Banggai Golden Bulbul (Thapsinillas harterti)

Or Golden Bulbul (Thapsinillas affinis harterti). I am not sure if this is a full species or not. There is not much information about this bird.

Black-naped Monarch
Black-naped Monarch(Hypothymis azurea)

This is also called the black-naped blue flycatcher.

Citrine Canary-flycatcher
Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)

Not a Citrine Canary-flycatcher as I earlier thought. Thanks to Khaleb Yordan for the correction. doh!

Citrine Canary-flycatcher
Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)

Black-crowned White-eye
Black-crowned White-eye ( Zosterops atrifrons)

Gray-sided Flowerpecker
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)

Sulawesi Drongo
Sulawesi Drongo (Dicrurus montanus)

I found some identification tips – “Strongly bluish-black plumage with purple iridescence.
Short neck hackles, relatively small and narrow breast spangles.
Long and deeply forked tail, tips of outer rectrices curving upwards.
Brown or dark brown-red eye.
Straight black bill” (birdforum.net)

Banggai Islands bird list

Golden Bulbul (Thapsinillas affinis harterti) or Banggai Golden Bulbul (Thapsinillas harterti)
Black-naped Monarch(Hypothymis azurea)
Black-crowned White-eye ( Zosterops atrifrons)
Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)
Sulawesi Drongo (Dicrurus montanus)
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum)
Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca)
brown-throated sunbird

indo191220

December 18, 2019

Togian Islands

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:30 pm

Black Marlin Dive Resort

The Track to Barracuda Beach. This morning it was sunny so I had a look around the waterfront and spied the kingfisher I have been trying to photograph for days. Still elusive but I have got some record shots at least. Then I climbed up the hill behind the Pondok Lestari Resort and proceeded to look for birds in the interior jungle. It was pretty damn pathetic. I could hear lots of calls but could see nothing because of the dense under-story. Most of the birds were in the canopy but I could not see them. It was very frustrating. I had seen more the day before when it had been raining.

Great-billed Kingfisher
Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha)

Great-billed Kingfisher
Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha)

Ashy Woodpecker
Ashy Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fulvus)

Ashy Woodpecker   - female maybe
Ashy Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fulvus) – female ??

Knobbed Hornbill - male
Knobbed Hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix) – male

Pale Blue Monarch
Pale Blue Monarch

Great-billed Heron
Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana)

Togian Islands bird list

Ashy Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fulvus)
Knobbed Hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix)
Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha)
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Pale Blue Monarch
Drongo
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)

indo191214

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