Trip report: Java and Bali, Indonesia (21/07/2019 – 03/08/2019)

Summary

Downloadable pdf.

Together with a friend I embarked on a trip covering the typical sites in west and east Java (independently) and ended off with a guided day at Bali. This trip report will try to focus on the logistical aspects of my trip since I dipped many target species. (Please contact me directly for information such as quoted rates etc.)

Main Locations Birded

West Java: Gunung Halimun, Gunung Gede

East Java: Gunung Ijen, Baluran National Park

Bali: Bali Barat National Park, Bukit Batakaru

Itinerary

20 July Arrive at Jakarta, Java, via Soekarno-Hatta Airport

Travel to Cikaniki Research Station, Gunung Halimun

21,22 July Birding at Gunung Halimun
23 July Morning birding at Gunung Halimun

Travel to Cibodas (Gunung Gede)

24 July Birding at Gunung Gede
25, 26 July Birding at Gunung Gede
27 July Birding at Cibodas Botanic Gardens
28 July Travel from Cibodas to Soekarno-Hatta Airport
29 July Morning flight from Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta) to Banyuwangi (Udara Banyuwangi)

Afternoon birding at Gunung Ijen

30 July Birding at Gunung Ijen
31 July Morning birding at Gunung Ijen

Afternoon birding at Baluran National Park

1 August Birding at Baluran National Park

Travel from Banyuwangi to Bali

2 August Guided birding at Bali
3 August Depart via Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport

Planning the trip

“The 100 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia” by Yong Ding Li and Low Bing Wen was a great book that helped form the backbone of the plan.

Detailed information from Burung Nusantasa was also extremely useful.

Massive thanks to the authors of the following trip reports.

West Java: Grundsten (2013) (I did a separate birding trip to Gunung Gede in March 2018 and was hence more familiar with the site).

East Java: Gregory (2010), Smith (2011), Hottola (2015), Yann Muzika (2012)

Field Guide used: Eaton, J. A., van Balen, S., Brickle, N. W., & Rheindt, F. E. (2016). Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago: Greater Sundas and Wallacea. Lynx.

General Logistics

Language

Almost all the locals we spoke to in Java could not speak English, and we could not speak their language at all either. The Google Translate mobile application was therefore a life saver. At Bali, our limited interactions with the locals in the town of Denpasar were smoother as many could speak English.

Weather

We visited during the dry season (typically around April to October) as opposed to the wet season (typically November to March). However, at Gunung Halimun, we were unlucky as the weather was very gloomy on both afternoons. Elsewhere, we experienced pretty good and dry weather.

West Java

Guide

We wanted to engage our friend, Khaleb Yordan, who is likely the best guide around today when it comes to birding in west Java. He was unfortunately unavailable due to schedule clashes. However, we fortuitously met him in the field as our plans were similar, during which he very generously provided us various tips. Khaleb, who I highly recommend, is contactable via Facebook.

Transport

Jakarta to Cikaniki, and Cikaniki to Cibodas

For the west Java section, Khaleb offered us a massive helping hand by arranging the logistics (driver and accommodation) for us. The first section of the journey from the airport to Bogor (another major town in Java) was about 1 hour 40 minutes. After a short lunch at Bogor, the journey to Cikaniki Research Station was another 4 hour 40 minutes, with the delay mostly due to horrible traffic in towns, and terrible roads after getting out of town. It took 5 hours 40 minutes to get from Cikaniki to Cibodas. Due to the very remote nature of Cikaniki it might be best for independent birders to arrange a vehicle.

Cibodas to Soekarno-Hatta Airport (Jakarta)

We travelled by public transport from Cibodas to the airport.

All around the towns of Indonesia, there are city transportations called Ankots. These are vans with fixed routes (usually displayed at the front of the vehicles). Flag the van down to board and alight anywhere along the route by informing the driver (we didn’t really how to do that, so we just tapped the driver’s shoulders and showed him our Google Translate screen). The Ankots are apparently about 10,000 IDR per person per ride, but cost seemed variable.

Note: The Ankots in Cibodas are quite useful as the steep walk from town to the entrance of Gunung Gede can take up to 20 minutes.

On our travel day, we departed our accommodation in Cibodas at 0930, took the Ankot  (yellow) heading downhill and alighted at the town of Cipanas (around GPS: -6.737441, 107.043924). The journey was just 15 minutes and was 5,000 IDR per person.

There, we communicated to the locals that we wanted to take public transport to the town of Bogor. Several men told us that it was impossible and insisted that we take their “taxi” services instead. One man offered 500,000 IDR, then reduced the price to 300,000 IDR, but we did not bother with him. (Not only was his vehicle tiny, the duration would really not have changed because traffic was a standstill more than 80% of the time).

We eventually received advice from other locals and walked a short distance to GPS: -6.732052, 107.038465. Here, we took another Ankot (yellow on pink) to the town of Puncak (where we alighted at GPS: -6.700598,106.987132). This journey took 30 minutes and was 15,000 IDR per person.

There we took a blue Ankot to the town of Ciawi (just a few kilometres from Bogor). The traffic was terrible and the journey took 3 hours. The cost was 30,000 IDR per person. The location we alighted at (GPS: -6.655816, 106.847107) was a bus terminal and there we looked for buses heading to the airport. We were told by local who spoke English that the buses heading directly to the airport departed from Ramayana Mall instead.

Thus, we took our last Ankot (green on blue) to Ramayana Mall (GPS: -6.643984, 106.838932), a short 6 minutes journey for 5,000 IDR per person.

At Ramayana Mall, there were several buses queued up and the drivers were just hanging around the area. Our bus departed at 1500 and the journey to the airport was 2 hours, for 50,000 IDR per person.

From To Ankot Duration IDR/pax
Cibodas Cipanas
(-6.737441, 107.043924)
Yellow 15 mins 5,000
Cipanas
(-6.737441, 107.043924)
Puncak
(-6.700598,106.987132)
Yellow on pink 30 mins 15,000
Puncak (same spot) Ciawi ( = Bogor)

(-6.655816, 106.847107)

Blue 3 hours

(bad traffic)

30,000
Ciawi (same spot) Ramayana Mall in Ciawi

(-6.643984, 106.838932)

Green on blue 6 mins 5,000
Ramayana Mall Soekarno-Hatta Airport Big bus 2 hours 50,000
TOTAL Departed Cibodas at 0930, reached airport at 1700 105,000

Note 1: During my previous trip in March 2018, travelling from Cibodas to Jakarta was less complicated. After taking the Ankot from Cibodas, we alighted at the foot of the slope at GPS: -6.719851, 107.031653 in Cipanas, and from there boarded a blue Ankot (probably the same route as the Puncak-Ciawi section) that headed straight to the bus terminal at Ciawi. At Ciawi, we just repeated “Jakarta” to the staffs and eventually boarded a bus that brought us to somewhere in Jakarta city (which location I cannot remember) and from there took a short Uber (now replaced by Grab) to our Airbnb.

Note 2: For those planning to travelling from the airport to Cibodas independently, there are buses from the airport to the town of Bogor. After exiting the airport, ask around and look for buses, but don’t trust the taxi drivers as every single one of them will tell you that there are no buses available. During my previous trip, we boarded a bus that departed the airport past midnight. From Bogor, it should be possible to take the Ankot to Cipanas, and from there straight up to Cibodas.

Jakarta to Banyuwangi (east Java)

An early morning (0515) direct flight via Citilink, with 20kg of free check-in luggage. The journey was 2 hours.

Accommodation

20 – 23 July, Gunung Halimun: Cikaniki Research Station

250,000 IDR per night. A simple room with two beds, bathtub and toilet attached.

23 – 28 July, Cibodas (Gunung Gede): RedDoorz near Kebun Raya Cibodas

884,000 IDR for 5 nights, final cost 804,440 IDR for “early payment benefit” (whatever that means) via booking.com. This hotel used to be an independent one called Mon Bel previously but has since then been taken over by the RedDoorz chain. The room was very stuffy and had no fan, so we left our windows open. As there was no laundry service, we hung our washed clothes with strings we brought at the small balcony in the room. The toilet flush was barely working (we had to manually fill it up with the shower) and the shower door was faulty.

28-29 July, Soekarno-Hatta Airport

As our flight was scheduled to depart at 0530 the next morning, we spent the night at the airport.

Food

Gunung Halimun: Cikaniki Research Station

We purchased bottles of water and snacks at a random town on the way (there is an endless supply of convenience stores in Java) before heading to Gunung Halimun. Dinners were provided at the accommodation. The food was similar throughout the three nights but were pretty good.

Cibodas (Gunung Gede)

The town of Cibodas had convenience stores and many Warungs (roadside stalls), some of them open until late at night (past 2200) and we hence did not have any problems finding food. The Nasi Padang (rice with a custom selection of side dishes) was enjoyable. The cost was usually up to about 35,000 IDR per person. There is nowhere to procure food nor (distilled) water at Gunung Gede itself.

East Java

Guide

We birded East Java independently.

Transport

Within East Java

We engaged Sekar Ayu Tours by contacting Haribo at +62 852-five-eight-one-five-8997. A driver was assigned to us throughout the trip from Banyuwangi airport to Ketapang Harbour. We provided the meals for our driver. Since majority of our own food was settled by snacks, we passed him a sum of money and he had his own meals while we birded. Sekar Ayu Tours was reliable and I recommend them.

East Java to Bali

We took a ferry across from Ketapang Harbour in Banyuwangi to Gilimanuk Harbour in Bali. When we initially asked for a ticket, we were quoted 400,000 IDR per person for some “mandatory” pass. After repeated haggling we eventually managed to purchase the ticket alone for 8,000 IDR per person. We were also told that a ferry departed from the harbour every seven minutes, which obviously did not happen. The ferry we boarded had toilets and a small stall. The journey was about 50 minutes in total. Take note that the time zone in Bali is one hour ahead of Java.

photo_2020-04-25_20-46-09 (3)

Accommodation

29 – 31 July: Hadi Homestay

360,000 IDR for 2 nights. Booked via booking.com. Located in the town of Licin which is at the foot of Gunung Ijen. A very nice homestay. Breakfast is provided, but not early enough for pre-dawn birders.

31 July – 1 August: Baluran National Park

150,000 IDR per night. There are several rooms in the “town” of Bekol in Baluran National Park. We contacted Tri, the park ranger, at +62 819-three-four-eight-two-4434 to arrange our accommodation. Water supply stopped at 2030 at night and started around 0500 in the morning.

Food

East Java: Ijen

The Pos Paltuding area at Gunung Ijen had a small stall where water and food were available. We only visited the area during lunch time and are not sure of the opening and closing hours.

At Licin, food choices were limited but there were several stalls at the entrance of Gunung Ijen that were open late at night (past 2100).

East Java: Baluran

There was a convenience store right outside Baluran National Park where we stocked up on food (one dinner and one breakfast), water and snacks. The drive out is not short so purchase enough supplies before entering. Within Baluran National Park itself, there was one stall at Bekol and two at Bama. We were told that the Bekol canteen was open from 0800 to 1750 but never visited it as we spent more time in Bama. One of the canteens at Bama did not open at all during our two days there, while the other was open at least for lunch.

Bali

Guide

We engaged Hery Kusumanegara (+62 813-three-eight-zero-seven-8010). He was familiar with the fruiting trees in the area for the target species. There were many birds that we tried for and dipped, but such is birding. Most importantly, he showed us the Bali Myna and the Black-winged Starling.

Transport

Gilimanuk Harbour to Accommodation at Bama

We contacted Haribo (from Sekar Ayu Tours in east Java), who connected us with a local called Samson at +62 822-three-six-eight-zero-1043. Samson then helped arranged a driver for us. The name of the driver was Muji, who can be directly contacted at +62 823-three-four-one-seven-5840. The journey from Gilimanuk harbour to the accommodation was about 30 minutes.

Birding day

As we engaged Hery, transport for the next day was fully managed by him. He picked us up from our accommodation near Bali Barat and dropped us off at our hotel in Denpasar at the end of the day.

Accommodation

1 – 2 August – The Local Menjangan Homestay

240,000 IDR per night. Booked via booking.com. Great breakfast was available and early enough for birders (at 0530!).

2 – 3 August – RedDoorz @ Raya Kuta

198,000 IDR per night. A pretty normal hotel room.

Food

At Gilimanuk, we packed food from a nearby stall while we waited for our transport. For the birding day, lunch was paid for by Hery. There were plenty of dinner choices in Denpasar.

Birding

West Java

Gunung Halimun

Halimun Map
General area we birded: Tea Plantation Road in Blue; Loop Trail in Yellow;  and “Roadside Trail” in Green. Yellow and green trails are not entirely accurate.

There were three main area around in Gunung Halimun that we birded. The main road which is on Google maps from Citalahab village to Cikaniki Research station that cuts through a tea plantation (blue), a “loop trail” that runs through the forest from the back of Cikaniki Research Station to Citalahab Village (yellow), and the roadside forest trail that connects to another village on the eastern fringe of the national park (green). The green track on the map was taken from my wonky phone GPS and is probably not very accurate, but it doesn’t really matter since it’s one unmistakable dirt track.

There were very few people in the entire area and the only locals we met were those on motorcycles travelling along the roadside forest trail, and those who lived in Citalahab village. The loop trail had nobody at all.

Cikaniki Research Station

The small and unmissable pond in Cikaniki Research Station is the well-known site for the (Javan) Blue-banded Kingfisher. We spent several hours waiting at the platform overlooking the pond but the bird was extremely skittish – always appearing silently and then disappearing as soon as we made some movement. My friend was the only one who managed to get a good look. The park ranger had some fantastic back-of-the-camera photographs of the bird so those with time to spare should invest some in this soon to be gone taxon. A very friendly (Javan) Blue Whistling Thrush was also here and canopy mixed flocks consisting of Sunda Minivets and (Javan) Blue-winged Leafbirds, both common species throughout Gunung Halimun, entertained us while we waited.

Roadside Forest Trail (green)

During both the early morning and night-time birding along this trail we managed to hear a Javan Scops Owl and a pair of Javan Frogmouth about 200-300 metres from the Cikaniki Research Station. We never succeeded in seeing them. We did not hear any Salvadori’s Nightjar.

Bird activity consisting of many of the lowland forest birds was considerably high in the morning. Horsfield’s Babbler was abundant we found both the White-crowned and Sunda Forktails running around the puddles on the road. Pygmy Cupwing was another common species. White-bibbed Babbler took a while to find, while White-breasted Babbler and Javan Fulvetta participated in understorey to mid-canopy mixed flocks. On one occasion they were accompanied, unexpectedly (to me), by a Flame-fronted Barbet. We were hoping to find the White-bellied Fantail just like others in previous trip reports did, but Khaleb told us that they have not been seen here since around 2017. We had glimpses of the Orange-breasted Trogon along the road as well. The occasional canopy mixed flocks contained huge numbers of Sunda Minivets accompanied by species including Cinereous Tits, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Trilling Shrike-vireo, Blyth’s Shrike-vireo, Ashy Drongo, Blue Nuthatches among others.

Tea Plantation Road (blue)

The open habitat of the Tea Plantation Road was where we saw our only Javan Hawk-eagle of the trip. The main target here was the Deignan’s Prinia that were common by call but difficult to see. Uncaged Sooty-headed Bulbuls and Long-tailed Shrikes were also around, but this site was otherwise rather unproductive. I did see a treron pigeon fly by which was probably a Sumatran Green Pigeon. The forest edge (around GPS: -6.744792, 106.539560) is apparently a good site for the Salvadori’s Nightjar but we did not have any luck with one.

Loop Trail (yellow)

The loop trail is accessed from the back of Cikaniki Research Station (follow the path that starts from the platform overlooking the pond). This trail first passes by a canopy walkway, which key can be obtained from the ranger (we did so, but it was a complete waste of time from a birding perspective). After the canopy walkway, there are several side trails that lead to the stream, but just keep walking straight until an obvious y-junction. Take the path on the right and there will be a small stream crossing at GPS: -6.743889, 106.535972. The trail is very straightforward after the stream and eventually leads to Citalahab village around GPS: -6.739835, 106.530750. To head to the Tea Plantation Road from the trail exit, walk across the field and cross a small wooden bridge at GPS: -6.739084, 106.531414. Directions after that are roads displayed on Google Maps. The only notable wild bird we saw in Citalahab village was a Besra.

Bird activity along the Loop Trail was a lot higher compared to Roadside Forest Trail. While most of the species overlapped, we did not see any White-breasted Babblers here. Views of the canopy mixed flocks were much better and we had a fantastic one consisting of the Checker-throated, Crimson-winged and Grey-and-buff Woodpecker and a Grey-cheeked Bulbul among others. Other species such as the Eyebrowed Wren-babbler was easier here too and among the highlights of this trail was a Spotted Crocias. We also walked into ground dwelling species such as the Javan Banded Pitta and heard the Chestnut-bellied Partridge.

Gunung Gede

Our trip to Gunung Gede was during the peak season and it was hence quite crowded despite it being the weekdays. The following statement has probably been included in many other trip reports but is worth repeating – avoid birding at Gunung Gede during the weekends at all cost.

The bird life at Gunung Gede can be partitioned according to the altitudes that are conveniently demarcated by obvious landmarks.

From entrance to Blue Lake area

Following Khaleb’s fantastic advice, we waited at the flight of stairs before the ranger station one morning around 0530. About 10 minutes before 0600, we were rewarded with a beautiful Sunda Thrush – an enigmatic bird usually only seen around dawn and dusk.

Although there were many lowland species at this general section, we barely spent any time as our focus was on the montane species. There was a friendly (Javan) Sunda Blue Robin on the way up and the only species that I otherwise chased was a flock of Crescent-chested Babblers. We also heard Javan Frogmouths but did not succeed in seeing any.

Blue Lake area to Campsite 1

After passing by the Blue Lake, there will be a long and elevated boardwalk along a grassy/marshy patch, followed by a junction. The left path continues up towards the summit while the right path leads to a waterfall. Again, we did not spend much time at this lower section other than for nocturnals. There were three shelters along the way from the junction towards Campsite 1. Right before Campsite 1 was a hot spring called Air Panas (which means “hot water” in Indonesian) which required a short (<50 metres) walk over slippery rocks with, you guessed it, hot water running through.

There was a Javan Trogon (apparently nesting) near Shelter Rawa Denok 1. Right after Shelter Rawa Denok 2 (second shelter from junction), a splendid looking Pink-headed Fruit Dove (a species that was mostly heard during my trip) and just 50 metres later a pair of unbelievably friendly Mountain Serins (cover photo). The small clearing before the Air Panas crossing is supposed to be a good site for the Javan Cochoa, but we were unable to connect with this bird although Khaleb shared with me his sighting of a juvenile being fed just one day before my attempt.

We heard many Javan Scops Owls from the Blue Lake onwards but could not see any. The open boardwalk area is supposedly a good site for the Javan Frogmouth too, but again, heard only. We did not encounter a single Salvadori’s Nightjar.

Waterfall Area

We only visited the Waterfall on one late evening in hope to find the Spotted Kestrels along the cliffs. I managed to find them during my previous visit but did not see them this time round.

Campsite 1

A nice lone Chestnut-bellied Partridge was at Campsite 1. There was also Javan Cochoa, but our encounter with this species followed the recurring and frustrating theme of this report – heard only. There was also a Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch and another pair of Mountain Serins at the scrubby section right after the campsite (before the climb up the steep and crumbed path). I previously saw a nesting pair of Javan Trogons in the campsite but did not see them here during this trip.

Campsite 1 to Campsite 2

The general set of species around the Campsite 1 area and beyond were more or less consistent, comprising the typical montane species of Gunung Gede including the Mountain Leaf Warbler, White-flanked Sunbird, Javan Tesia, Mee’s White-eye, Rufous-tailed Fantail and others. The calling Javan Cochoas were the bane of my existence but none of these weird thrushes showed.

Campsite 2

There were several species enjoying the food scraps in the rubbish-saturated campsite. These included more Tawny-breasted Parrotfinches, Chestnut-bellied Partridges and White-browed Shortwings. A Javan Cochoa called here quite consistently and I once saw a flash of what-must-have-been-it, but I chose to relegate this memory to the darkest corner of my heart. Javan Scops Owls called at night but none showed.

Beyond Campsite 2 to the crater

The crater is where most people tick their Volcano Swiftlet off, because soaring above a crater is obviously an unmistakable and diagnostic feature of the Aerodramus swiftlet. I decided to embark on this pilgrimage up as well just to see a flying brown blob. The climb up had no clearly demarcated trail but the splitting paths somehow joined back to the same general direction. There was one obvious junction with a big green sign “Jalan Alternatif”. The path to the right was an ordinary climb while that on the left was a literal cliff climb using ropes. The reason why I know that is because I ended up down-climbing the cliff while carrying my gear during my downward journey. It was honestly quite fun but was probably unsafe.

I spent a full two hours at the crater and scanned the sky like the deranged man I am, but there were no swiftlets. No swiftlets. None. Zero. The sharp eyes I thought I possessed were absolutely useless. The only bird flying above the crater was a Peregrine Falcon, but I think that it should definitely be split off as a West Javan endemic, Volcano Falcon, instead. Watching a juvenile Island Thrush being fed was a nice consolation.

Cibodas Botanic Gardens

photo_2020-04-25_20-46-00
Cibodas Botanic Gardens Map

The official opening time of the Botanic Gardens is 0800. The entrance fee was 16,500 IDR per person. During my previous visit, the guards allowed us to enter the gardens early, but they did not this time round. Hence, we walked around the paddyfields of Cibodas and found a Javan Kingfisher at GPS: -6.732616, 107.006439.

The Botanic Gardens was packed because we visited on a weekend, but we did manage to find some nice birds including Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, (Javan) Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Pygmy Bushtit and a Giant Swiftlet.

East Java

Gunung Ijen

Just like Gunung Gede, Gunung Ijen is well demarcated altitudinally by four prominent shelters (detailed information on Burung Nusantara), until the highest area at Pos Paltuding. There is an entrance fee to take the path beyond Pos Paltuding towards the crater that we considered going when planning the trip in case we missed the Scaly Thrush, but there wasn’t a need to. There were plenty of accessible wooded area around Pos Paltuding to search for this species.

Since we had a driver with us, we simply walked down the path slowly and requested him to pick us up at a designated spot rather than to walk back up. Birding here was mostly roadside and while the birds were superb, the experience was tiring. Ear birding was painful as tour vans and convoys of trucks ascended the mountain during morning birding hours and these same vehicles descended during evening birding hours. There were several side trails at random places along the road but all of them were very short and not worth including in the report.

Entrance area to Shelter 2

Birds here comprised the submontane and lowland species of Java. We did not spend much time here as most of our time was spent higher searching for the Grey-breasted Partridge. There were several Striated Grassbirds in the plantations at foot of the mountain. Higher up (near shelter 1) had nice views of a striking Orange-breasted Trogon. Black-banded Barbets were calling all over but we failed to see them, though while scanning the tall trees we instead found a Banded Kingfisher. Wreathed Hornbills flew over once in a while, and a Checker-throated Woodpecker responding to playbacks from the Malaysian subspecies was quite interesting.

Shelter 2 to Pos Paltuding Area

We found the montane birds of Gunung Ijen throughout this general area. White-bellied Fantail, one of our key targets, was relatively easy and we saw them in mixed flocks. Indigo Flycatchers and Little Cuckoo Doves were abundant, as were Dark-backed Imperial Pigeons. Orange-spotted and Sunda Bulbuls were easy too. Crescent-chested Babblers foraged in the shrubs and a family of Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler was quite a magnificent sight. Sunda Cuckooshrikes were also present.

We heard multiple Grey-breasted Partridges from around Shelter 2 all the way to the Pos Paltuding area. The birds were responsive but we did not manage to see any of them in the end despite putting in a lot of effort. (This tick can be purchased at Erek Erek Jungle Park).

Pos Paltuding Area

The main targets here were the Javan Bush Warbler and (Horsfield’s) Scaly Thrush. We heard multiple individuals of the former from the scrubs of the general area, and eventually had good views of both species at a wooded patch around GPS: -8.072767, 114.222866.

Baluran National Park

Baluran, advertised as “Africa in Java”, was indeed remarkably different from the other sites. The savanna habitat was splendid. Here, the sun wanted to be our best friend and was getting a little too touchy, so our hats and sunblock defended us.

The entrance fee was as follows. Hari kerja = weekdays, hari libur = weekends. Nusantara = Indonesian citizens, mancanegara = foreigners. Rest are vehicle fees.

There are two “towns” in Baluran National Park – Bekol (where the accommodation was) and Bama. We birded along the stretch between the two area (once by car and once by foot), as well as at the trails around Bama. Between the entrance and Bekol, there is a short section of wetter wooded patch called the “evergreen” which we visited twice.

Bekol – Bama

There were a lot of unmissable Green Peafowls throughout the national park in the mornings and evenings. Black Drongos were abundant and other open habitat species such as Sooty-headed Bulbul were present. Grey-cheeked Green Pigeons and Island Collared Doves also made regular flybys.

At the mangrove/wet forest patch in Bama (there was one obvious entrance at the carpark around GPS: -7.844922, 114.460267 and another less official looking one on the right side of the road slightly before the carpark) there were Oriental Pied Hornbills and Horsfield’s Babblers. Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler is supposed to be easy here (and at the evergreen area) but we somehow only heard one bird throughout our stay. Along the coast we also saw Greater Crested Terns and a Great-billed Heron.

Our main target at Baluran was the Black-winged Starling. The staffs mentioned that the birds could be anywhere in the Savanna, and so we searched extensively along the trail system near Bama (starting around GPS: -7.842966, 114.461892). We did not venture far and along the trail easily found Small Minivets, Plain Prinias and a Sacred Kingfisher. We eventually had unsatisfying views of a pair of Black-winged Starlings flyby near the first y-junction of the trail.

On the drive back from Bama to Bekol, I heard a Common Myna-like call just 600 metres from the Bama carpark. Upon jumping out of the vehicle there was a solitary Black-winged Starling on a dead stump. The bird was rather skittish and vanished less than a minute after we found it.

We found out later from our Bali guide Hery that Javan Sparrows are found at the foot of the observation tower in Bekol “every evening”, but we unfortunately did not visit the site.

Evergreen

This short (~400 metres) patch around GPS: -7.854891, 114.422520 was surprisingly productive, with Banded Broadbill, Mangrove Whistler, Racket-tailed Treepie and multiple Javan Banded Pittas calling.

Bali

Birding in Bali was entirely managed by Hery. Black-winged Starlings were in the National Park and we had better views of Bali Mynas at a random wooded patch behind someone’s house rather than in the National Park itself. At the saltpans there were Javan Plovers among other assorted Asian waders, but Beach Thick-knees were missing because the tide was high. We later went to the slopes of Mount Batakaru (roadside birding about 200 metres before “Pura Pengubengan Batukaru” on Google Maps) and heard several Javan Owlets but did not see any.

Systematic List of Birds

184 species seen, 19 heard only

Nomenclature and taxonomy follows Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen  (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.1). doi :  10.14344/IOC.ML.10.1.

1 = Seen, HO = Heard Only

GH = Gunung Halimun, GG = Gunung Gede (including Cibodas Botanic Gardens), GI = Gunung Ijen
B = Baluran, Ba = Bali

No. English Name Latin Name GH GG GI B Ba
1 Grey-breasted Partridge Arborophila orientalis HO
2 Chestnut-bellied Partridge Arborophila javanica HO 1
3 Green Junglefowl Gallus varius 1
4 Green Peafowl Pavo muticus 1
5 Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons 1
6 Javan Frogmouth Batrachostomus javensis HO HO
7 Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis 1
8 Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis 1 1 1
9 Giant Swiftlet Hydrochous gigas 1
10 Cave Swiftlet Collocalia linchi 1 1 1 1 1
11 Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus 1 1
12 House Swift Apus nipalensis 1 1
13 Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris 1 1 1
14 Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus HO
15 Rusty-breasted cuckoo Cacomantis sepulcralis HO 1 HO HO
16 Sunda Cuckoo Cuculus lepidus 1 HO HO
17 Rock Dove Columba livia 1
18 Island Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata 1
19 Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis HO 1 1 1
20 Ruddy Cuckoo-dove Macropygia emiliana HO
21 Little Cuckoo-dove Macropygia ruficeps 1
22 Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica 1 1
23 Zebra Dove Geopelia striata 1 1
24 Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans 1 1
25 Orange-breasted Green Pigeon Treron bicinctus 1
26 Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon Treron griseicauda 1 1 1
27 Pink-headed Fruit Dove Ptilinopus porphyreus 1 1
28 Black-naped Fruit Dove Ptilinopus melanospilus 1
29 Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea 1
30 Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon Ducula lacernulata HO 1 HO
31 Pied Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus 1
32 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 1
33 Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus 1
34 Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii 1
35 Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
36 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 1
37 Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis 1
38 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1
39 Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes 1
40 Common Redshank Tringa totanus 1
41 Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii 1 1
42 Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus 1
43 Striated Heron Butorides striata 1
44 Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosa 1 1
45 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1
46 Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana 1
47 Great Egret Ardea alba 1
48 Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1
49 Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela 1 HO 1
50 Changeable Hawk-eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus 1 1
51 Javan Hawk-eagle Nisaetus bartelsi 1
52 Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis 1
53 Besra Accipiter virgatus 1 1
54 Javan Scops Owl Otus angelinae HO HO
55 Javan Owlet Glaucidium castanopterum HO
56 Javan Trogon Apalharpactes reinwardtii 1
57 Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios 1 1
58 Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris 1
59 Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus 1
60 Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 1
61 Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella HO 1
62 Javan Kingfisher Halcyon cyanoventris 1
63 Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris 1 1 1 1
64 Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus 1 1
65 Cerulean Kingfisher Alcedo coerulescens 1
66 Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting 1
67 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti 1 1
68 Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus 1
69 Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus HO
70 Brown-throated Barbet Psilopogon corvinus HO HO
71 Black-banded Barbet Psilopogon javensis HO
72 Flame-fronted Barbet Psilopogon armillaris 1 1 1 1
73 Blue-eared Barbet Psilopogon duvaucelii 1
74 Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus HO 1
75 Grey-and-buff Woodpecker Hemicircus concretus 1
76 Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus moluccensis 1
77 Freckle-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos analis 1
78 Banded Woodpecker Chrysophlegma miniaceum HO
79 Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale 1 1
80 Crimson-winged Woodpecker Picus puniceus 1
81 Laced Woodpecker Picus vittatus 1
82 Common Flameback Dinopium javanense HO 1
83 Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius 1 1
84 Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis 1
85 Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 1
86 Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot Loriculus pusillus 1 1
87 Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus HO HO HO 1
88 Javan Banded Pitta Hydrornis guajanus 1 HO HO 1
89 Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea 1
90 Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus 1 1 1 1
91 White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus 1
92 Common Iora Aegithina tiphia 1 1
93 Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus 1
94 Sunda Minivet Pericrocotus miniatus 1 1 1
95 Javan Cuckooshrike Coracina javensis 1
96 Sunda Cuckooshrike Coracina larvata 1
97 Pied Triller Lalage nigra 1 1
98 Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerea 1
99 Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 1 1 1 HO
100 Pied Shrike-babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis 1 1 1
101 Trilling Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aenobarbus 1
102 Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1 1
103 Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus 1 1 1 1
104 Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer 1 HO
105 Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus 1 1
106 White-bellied Fantail Rhipidura euryura 1
107 Malaysian Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica 1 1
108 Rufous-tailed Fantail Rhipidura phoenicura 1
109 Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea 1
110 Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia 1
111 Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 1
112 Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis 1 HO HO
113 Cinereous Tit Parus cinereus 1 1 1 1
114 Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster 1 1 1 1 1
115 Orange-spotted Bulbul Pycnonotus bimaculatus 1 1
116 Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier 1 1
117 Olive-winged Bulbul Pycnonotus plumosus 1
118 Grey-cheeked Bulbul Alophoixus bres 1
119 Sunda Bulbul Ixos virescens 1
120 Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica 1 1
121 Striated Swallow Cecropis striolata 1 1 1
122 Pygmy Cupwing Pnoepyga pusilla 1 1
123 Mountain Tailorbird Phyllergates cucullatus 1 HO
124 Sunda Bush Warbler Horornis vulcanius 1 1
125 Javan Tesia Tesia superciliaris 1
126 Pygmy Bushtit Aegithalos exilis 1
127 Sunda Warbler Phylloscopus grammiceps 1 1
128 Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus 1 1
129 Javan Bush Warbler Locustella montis 1
130 Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris 1
131 Deignan’s Prinia Prinia polychroa
132 Bar-winged Prinia Prinia familiaris 1
133 Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 1 1
134 Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius 1
135 Olive-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus sepium HO 1 HO
136 Chestnut-backed
Scimitar Babbler
Pomatorhinus montanus 1
137 White-breasted Babbler Stachyris grammiceps 1
138 White-bibbed Babbler Stachyris thoracica 1
139 Crescent-chested Babbler Stachyris melanothorax 1 1 1
140 Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler Macronus flavicollis HO
141 Javan Fulvetta Alcippe pyrrhoptera 1 1
142 Large Wren-babbler Napothera macrodactyla HO
143 Eyebrowed Wren-babbler Napothera epilepidota 1 HO
144 Horsfield’s Babbler Malacocincla sepiaria HO 1 1 1
145 Spotted Crocias Laniellus albonotatus 1
146 Mees’s White-eye Lophozosterops javanicus 1 1
147 Warbling White-eye Zosterops japonicus 1
148 Sangkar White-eye Zosterops melanurus 1
149 Blue Nuthatch Sitta azurea 1 1
150 Short-tailed Starling Aplonis minor 1
151 Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus 1
152 Black-winged Starling Acridotheres melanopterus 1 1
153 Bali Myna Leucopsar rothschildi 1
154 Sunda Thrush Zoothera andromedae 1
155 Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma 1
156 Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus 1
157 Javan Cochoa Cochoa azurea HO
158 Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor 1
159 Indigo Flycatcher Eumyias indigo 1 1
160 Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophris 1 HO HO
161 White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana 1
162 Sunda Robin Myiomela diana 1
163 Sunda Forktail Enicurus velatus 1
164 White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti 1 1
165 Javan Whistling Thrush Myophonus glaucinus 1 1
166 Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus 1
167 Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra 1 1
168 Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni HO 1 1
169 Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis 1
170 Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus 1
171 Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma 1 HO HO
172 Blood-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum sanguinolentum 1 1
173 Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker Dicaeum trochileum 1
174 Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis 1
175 Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis 1
176 Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis 1
177 White-flanked Sunbird Aethopyga eximia 1 1
178 Javan Sunbird Aethopyga mystacalis 1
179 Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter Arachnothera affinis 1
180 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 1 1
181 Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch Erythrura hyperythra 1
182 Javan Munia Lonchura leucogastroides 1 1 1
183 Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata 1
184 Mountain Serin Chrysocorythus estherae 1

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