East Java Bird Photography Trip Report August 2017

We are so happy finishing our three days (30 July – 01 August 2017) bird photography trip in Tretes Nature Tourism Park , Raden Soerjo GP Forestry and Batu Apple Farm with a Chinese group that series of Bird Photography tour Surabaya-Makassar-West Papua.

In this delightful trip cooperated with Sulawesi Bird and Wildlife Photography Tour and Malang Birding Tour.

The main target birds are Javan Banded Pitta Pitta guajana and Javan Kingfisher Halcyon cyanoventris, also the other that we might find on the site.

Meeting point in the International Airport of Juanda, Surabaya on the afternoon 30 July then we drove to a hotel near Tretes Nature Tourism Park, Pasuruan for staying at night.

At 31 July morning we started looking for Javan Banded Pitta at it birdhide. We spent fullday birding there and got photo of birds such as Horsfield’s Babbler Malacocincla sepiarium, Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus and the first target male and female of Javan Banded Pitta.

Click here to display content from YouTube.
Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy.

In the afternoon we changed location into Raden Soerjo Greater Park Forestry at Malang, East Java. We were looking for Javan Hawk Eagle Nisaetus bartelsi and the other montane birds. After looking for 1,5 hours the Javan Hawk Eagle did not appear, but we successfully photographed Javan (Sunda / White rumped) Warbler Seicercus grammiceps. We met the birds when an adult was feeding the juvenile. We finished there at 05.00 PM then we moved to the Hotel at Batu city.

In the early morning (05.00 AM) on 01 August we must quickly reach the Javan Kingfisher site at Batu Apple farm. We saw about 6 birds around the site. The birds have just started their activity by singing from a perch. When the weather is clear they start flying around the site.

We waited until the birds perched near us. Definitely at 08.00 AM it perched in front of us for about 7 meters away. Then we shot it. Satisfied with Javan Kingfisher, then we must head to the airport.
On the way we stopped for a while at Raden Soerjo GP Forestry for 30 minutes. Directly we saw and shot two individuals, Indigo Flycatcher Eumyas indigo. The birds were foraging, after we got the photo of it, we continued to the airport and the bird photography trip in East Java ended.

Duet Song of Indigo Flycatchers

On January 28th- February 04th 2017 about one week I had birding in Raden Soeryo GP Forestry. There are a few birding sites in the area that I have visited such as the hot spring “Cangar”, Watu Ondo Bridge, Gajah Mungkur, and Sendi.

Many birds are interesting and beautiful that I can see on these premises, especially in the hot spring “Cangar” and Watu Ondo Bridge. Compared to other places I have visited before, the birds in Raden Soeryo GP Forestry are much more easily found and approachable.

While I was drinking and eating fried foods, the birds would come by themselves around the stall near the hot spring. Javan Flameback Chrysocolaptes strictus, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis, White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti, Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni, Indigo Flycatcher Eumyas indigo and other birds, often small insect foraging on trees near stall.

However, out of all of the birds, Indigo Flycatcher (Eumyas indigo indigo) is one bird that caught my attention. When I was eating “Sempol” (typical food of this place) on the edge of the road bridge Watu Ondo, four individuals of Indigo Flycatcher approached me.

Click here to display content from YouTube.
Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy.

Two birds were perched close together on Casuarina junghuhniana. The distance of approximately two meters away from where I was standing was very obvious and very beautiful. And the shiny metallic blue when exposed to sunlight.

The two birds were chirping softly, a very beautiful done repeatedly. When one individual chirps, other individuals will replay with a chirp while slightly bowed head. This behavior is observed for about five minutes, before the birds fly away.

The two birds are male and female which will perform the courtship display of its preliminary breeding cycle. It is based on breeding information of Indigo Flycatcher that are known in February-August and December.

Indigo Flycatcher found only in Montane and submontane primary and moss forests, from 900 m to 3000 m; generally less frequent above 2600 m. of Java island, Indonesia.Beautiful moment I have rarely encountered before. A perfect birding and delicious food!