Endemic and Highlighted Birds during Trip on Sumbawa island

Sumbawa island is part of the lesser sunda area, it’s located between Lombok, Flores and Sumba islands. In terms of birding activities, this island is often missed or skipped by most birders. Fortunately there are some local birders who are avid enough to explore and document the existence and diversity of birds. Surprisingly, almost all the endemic species are relatively easy to photograph, which was suitable for bird photography tours on Sumbawa island.

For six days (09 – 14 November 2017) we were in Bima, Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. Precisely in TWA Madapangga to attend the Pertemuan Pengamat Burung Indonesia VII (Indonesian Bird Watchers’ Meeting VII) on 10-12 November 2017 and extended two days to focus on birding in other locations.

Mega! The critically endengared Flores Hawk-eagle from our trips in Sumbawa island©Alkharim Yoshe

At the meeting there were birdwatchers from Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Malang, Bali, Lombok and from local birdwatchers of Bima. The Sindikat Fotografer Wildlife Bima-Dompu was the organizer and host of the meeting.

TWA Madapangga is located in the west of Bima city with a distance of about 45 Km or takes about 1 hour drive by car. The area of 232 Hectares is administratively in the village of Ndano, Bolo sub-district, Bima district, West Nusa Tenggara Province.

Forest and houses at Kaowa village, Bima, Sumbawa island.©Waskito K Wibowo

This nature park is a source of water for the dryness of the surrounding area. Residents around the area are very dependent on the river and its springs. In the morning and evening I could meet with residents who bathe or wash clothes in the river that is located exactly on the road which connects Bima with Sumbawa city. The topography of this location is generally hilly with a slope of 15 – 40 degrees, only a small part is a relatively flat area with varying heights from 200 to 600 m above sea level.

Birding spots are relatively easy to reach, such as following the loop-track of the camping ground, around the river, and garden of the pool. We tried all those spots while we were there.

After the meeting, we moved to Kaowa village, Lambitu sub-district, 2 hours heading to the east of central Bima city. In this hilly village is widely used as a garden or farm area by residents with the rest of the monsoon forest on each hilltop. Birding spots are located around the village water springs and the edge of forests after farm areas close enough to residents’ houses.

Juvenile Mollucan Scops Owl from Kaowa village, Bima, Sumbawa island


Swiss Winasis, Waskito K Wibowo, Ah Saiful Abid, Imam Taufiqurrahman, Alkharim Yoshe, Afran “Tpal Duablas”, Abdul “Gizan Hila” Azis. ITINERARY: 09/11/2017 – At the evening arrived in Airport and drive to TWA Madapangga. Overnight on the tents. 10/11/2017 – Morning birding until noon. Lunch and follow the meeting until 09.00 PM. Owling for one hour. Overnight on the tents. 11/11/2017same as above 12/11/2017 – Morning birding until noon. After lunch moved to Kaowa village. Arrived at 06.00 PM then dinner with local families. Owling until 10.00 PM. Overnight in local families. 13/11/2017 – Full day birding around the edge of forest and water spring. After dinner owling around water spring again until 10.00 PM. Overnight in local families. 14/11/2017 – Drive to the airport, birding on the way. At noon we flight home and birding trips in Bima, Sumbawa island was ends.

Pitta elegans concina from TWA Madapangga, Sumbawa.©Waskito K Wibowo

HIGHLIGHTS: Glittering or White-rumped Kingfisher – 2-3 birds seen at looping track at the TWA Madapangga. 2-3 birds seen at garden and around water spring of Kaowa village.

Elegant Pitta – 5-6 birds seen behind the camping ground and edge river of TWA Madapangga. 2 birds seen at water spring of Kaowa village. Relatively vocal during our visit.

Flores Hawk-eagle – A clear view of a single bird while perched near the road at the edge of Kaowa village. Mollucan Scops-owl – 30 minutes clear view of single perched bird behind the camping area of TWA Madapangga. 3 birds (two adult and one juvenile) seen at water spring of Kaowa village. Wallacean (Flores) Drongo – Two nest about 6-8 birds seen around the pool of TWA Madapangga. Two nests are also around the garden and water spring of Kaowa village. Flame-breasted Sunbird – Male and female birds at flowering Water rose apple tree around the pool of TWA Madapangga. 2 birds at garden of Kaowa village. Black-fronted Flowerpecker – 2 birds seen near river at fruiting tree’s TWA Madapangga. Yellow-spectacled White-eye – Common in all birding spots visited. Flores Minivet – A pair on the way to the Airport from Kaowa village. Brown-capped Fantail – Single bird at loop trek’s TWA Madapangga.

Other notable birds included – Spotted Dove, Barred Dove, Cave Swiftlet, Lesser Coucal, Black-winged Kite, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Oriental Dwarf-kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Spotted Kestrel, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Helmeted Friarbird, Black-naped Oriole, Rusty-breasted Whistler, White-shouldered Triller, White-breasted Woodswallow, Black-naped Monarch, House Swallow, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Brown-throated Sunbird, Scaly-breasted Munia, Eurasian Tree Sparrow.


Wonorejo Wetland, Best Site to Birding in Surabaya

Birding in Wonorejo wetland, located at the Surabaya south east-coast, with a total area of approximately 50 hectares and consists of fishpond (locally called tambak), scrub and mangrove areas affected by tidal, provides a broad mudflat for feeding grounds to resident and migratory birds in estuary area. This site is important for migratory seabirds and shorebirds/waders in East Asia-Australia Fly Away, also birdlife listed Wonorejo as Important Bird Area.

Administratively in Wonorejo village, Rungkut sub district, Surabaya City, East Java. The area became the best locations for birding and bird photography in the Metropolitan Surabaya. Easy driving distance for 15 km from city centre (45 minutes). The nearest airport is Juanda International Airport (45 minutes).

Three major paths or spot to explore approximately 150 birds species in the area, read below:

1. Parking Area (Near Canteen “Mbok Rum”)

Start from around the parking area, walk and observe some birds may you see here are Collared Kingfisher, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, White-browed Crake, Common Moorhen, Plain Prinia, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Brown-throated Sunbirds.

Canteen Mbok Rum, parking area is behind it

Some endemic birds such as Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Small-blue or Cerulean Kingfisher, Javan Munia and Javan Plover. And during the migration season of the North Hemisphere, various migratory birds might be seen such as Red-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Common Sandpiper, Greater Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover and more.

2. Fish Pond

From the parking area walk to the east towards the fishpond area. Along the paths the birds might can be seen are White-headed (pied) Stilt, Lesser Crested Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Australian Grebe, Little Cormorant, Spotted Dove, Common Iora, Javan Pond Heron. If lucky, some endemic and rare birds such as Javan Coucal and Java Sparrow. There are several fishponds where the specific shorebirds prefer presents such as Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Knot, Whimbrel, Far-eastern Curlew, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, and more.

Indonesia endemic, Small-blue or Cerulean Kingfisher

3. Mangrove track and Estuary

Continue walk in the east direction to explore the last birding-site, at mangrove track. Hang and walk around the mangrove until 5pm to meet Golden-bellied Gerygone, Racket-tailed Treepie, Malaysian Pied Fantail, Mangrove Whistler, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Cinnamon Bittern, Yellow Bittern, Striated Heron. With some luck the endemic Javan White-eye might be able to be seen, recently the species is hard to find because of massive poaching.

Javan White-eye, recently become rare and hard to find in this area

Access and Accomodation Many good quality hotels around Surabaya city and ask the receptionist to arrange a taxi or ojek to get to Wonorejo wetland. If you are confused to determine the birding spot, ask local guides to accompany you in the field.

Notes: We advise you to write down in the Guest Book and add some extra money for conservation donation at Canteen “Mbok Rum”. Take a scope, sun tan lotion and hat to get the most out of the site!