5 Days Customized Birding Tours around Malang, East Java

On March 16 – 20th 2018 we managed to arrange bird photography trips for our clients from Hong Kong. This custom-tailor trip only has a few targets, Banded Kingfisher and Javan Banded Pitta. Visited five birding locations around Malang, East Java. We Met up in the afternoon in Juanda international airport, Surabaya on March 16th (Day 1) then we drove to a Hotel in Malang, while having dinner on the way.

Group photo with clients

Start birding on day two, at 5.00 am we drive to a coffee plantation in Jabung village, Malang to take shots of Javan Banded Pitta. Sadly, we failed because three different nests were empty. Maybe, taken by predators or the chicks already fledged.

Then we changed direction to Piket Nol, Lumajang in search of the main target, Banded Kingfisher. We hang out near it’s nest from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. Lucky to see and get the pictures of the female, but we missed the male until afternoon. So, we drove to Hotel Cakra, Malang and tried another chance the next morning.

Frontal view of female Banded Kingfisher

Start driving at 5.00 am (March 18th) and reach the same location as yesterday at 7.00 am. We waited in a camouflage tent until 10.00 am with no presence of male birds. Then our friends in different spots called us via handy-talky that they saw the male.

Quickly we packed our gear and moved. For 45 minutes we enjoyed and shot many pictures of colorful male birds. Also present the Javan Broadbill that managed to save on our camera’s card.

Eye level with male Banded Kingfisher

At 12.30 pm we drove to Pasirian, Lumajang while having lunch in a small cafeteria on the way. at 2.00 pm we arrived, built the tent next to small fish-ponds waiting for Cerulean Kingfisher. How lucky we are, one family of 2 adults and 1 immature managed to get the pictures. We enjoyed moving from the area in the afternoon.

One grup family of Cerulean Kingfisher

We had a long drive on day four (March 19th), six hours driving from Pasirian, Lumajang (our clients want to take Cerulean Kingfisher in early daylight) to Apple Farm in Batu city. When we arrived, the weather was a little rainy. Worried the Javan Kingfisher would not show, but we tried first.

Just waited for 10 minutes, the birds were coming. Perched on a small branch, we had a super close and clear view!

Super close and clear with Javan Kingfisher

On the last day, we have two hours to get another chance to shoot Javan Banded Pitta in Prigen, Pasuruan before we leave the area. At 9.00 am we finished the tour then dropped off our clients at the airport in frustration of the Pitta!

Fun-Birding on Bima, Sumbawa Island

Reports from Gizan Hila on his latest birding trip in Sumbawa island.

Two days birding was done on February 28th 2018 and March 1st 2018 at two locations in Sumbawa island, West Nusa Tenggara part of Lesser Sunda archipelago. This trip was more like fun birding. We enjoyed the landscape while the birds showed up to complete the panorama.

Nisa Nawi beach from Nanga Nur, Sumbawa island
  • Day One – Feb 28th 2018

We visited Nisa Wawi beach at Nanga Nur peninsula, administered in Sangia village, Sape sub-district, Bima regency. To reach this small island we had to drive for 40 minutes from Bima city (boat trip for 20 minutes from Sape harbor).

Only tamarinds which is a big tree on this island, in addition reeds, Lote trees and shrubs that grow around beaches and limestone peninsulas. Finish enjoyed the “beach watching” then we start birding on 8.00 pm, focused for owling until 10.00 pm.

  • Day Two – Mar 1st 2018

Drive west for 30 minutes from Sape harbor to reach a river which is surrounded by dense vegetation in Diwu Konca (an hour from Sultan Muhammad Salahuddin Airport) . Administered in Sari village Sape sub-district, Bima regency.

We also visited other habitats such as terraced rice fields and bamboo clusters for afternoon birding starting from 3.00 pm until 6.00 pm.

Mollucan Scops Owl from Nisa Wawi, Bima, Sumbawa island

17 participants were joining this party. Managed to see 20 bird species. Here with the highlights such as:

Mollucan Scops Owl, 5 individuals seen at Nisa Wawi

– 30 individuals White-shouldered Triller at Nisa Wawi – Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, 10 individuals seen at Diwu Konca – Two pairs of Rusty-breasted Whistler at Diwu Konca – A single Grey-capped Emerald Dove at Diwu Konca

Other notable birds included:

Scaly-breasted Munia, Black-naped Monarch, Zitting Cisticola, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Cave Swiftlet, Lemon-bellied White-eye, Yellow-ringed White-eye, Olive-backed Sunbird, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Collared Kingfisher, Lesser Coucal, Spotted Dove, Red Junglefowl, Long-tailed Shrike.


2 Days Birding Tours in Jogja

Managed to arrange two days birding tours for Sarah Hammarlund from the United States of America during her trips in Yogyakarta (or simply Jogja). This birding tour was run by our local partner birdtour operator, named Loontour Jogja and led by Imam Taufiqqurrahman. Indonesia, especially Jogja, is new for our clients, so almost all the birds she has seen become her lifers. The fruitful trip listed 50 bird species!

At gate Telogo Nirmolo, Gunung Merapi National Park, Jogja

On the first day February 26th 2018, we visited Gunung Merapi National Park. While waiting for the gate to open, scanning birds around Plunyon, Kaliurang until 8.00 am. Then move to Plawangan hill via Telogo Nirmolo. At 12.00 am I managed to see 22 bird species. Next, drive for 45 minutes to Jogja city at Melia Purosani hotel in search of Java Sparrow.

Scanning around pines tree at west part of the hotel, quickly pairs of the birds catch by our scopes as close the day.

The trip continued on March 2nd 2018, the first stop was Jatimulyo village as part of Menoreh Mountains (an hour drive west of Jogja city). Searching lowland birds around this agroforest ecosystem. At noon we drive for an hour to Trisik beach and Kali Progo estuary for shorebirds. Visited three habitats such as paddy field, beach and estuary.

Fun! 30 birds on the second day. She was very excited with things beyond, such as the village situation, knowing the plantations that become popular products: coffee, chocolate, sugar palm. Even requested to see the ‘shy princess’ plant 😀

Imam and Sarah scanning shorebirds at Kali Progo estuary, Jogja

Finished the trip at afternoon with some highlights:

– 2 individuals of White-flanked Sunbird at Telogo Nirmolo, Gunung Merapi NP as her favorite

Javan Whistling Thrush at Telogo Nirmolo, Gunung Merapi NP

– Small flock of Javan Fulvetta at Telogo Nirmolo, Gunung Merapi NP

– 5 individuals of Pink-headed Fruitdove at Telogo Nirmolo, Gunung Merapi NP

– 5 individuals of Java Sparrow at Melia Purosani hotel

Ruby-throated Bulbul at Jatimulyo village

Streaky-breasted (Javan) Spiderhunter at Jatimulyo village

– 4 individuals of Cerulean Kingfisher at Kali Progo esturary

Javan Plover at Kali Progo estuary

Other notable birds included:

Slender-billed Crow, Javan Myna, Asian Glossy Starling, Striated Grassbird, Red-breasted Parakeet, Long-tailed Shrike, Ashy Drongo, Oriental White-eye, Ashy Tailorbird, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-babbler, Sunda Bulbul, Barred Cuckoo-dove, Spotted Dove, Crested Honey Buzzard, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Black-capped Babbler, Crested Goshawk, Cave Swiftlet, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Common Iora, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Hordfield’s Babbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Brown-throated Sunbird, Little Spiderhunter, Javan Munia, Peregrine Falcon, Little Egret, Eastern Cattle Egret, Javan Pond Heron, Yellow Bittern, Barred Buttonquail, Pacific Golden Plover, Common Sandpiper, Greater Crested Tern, Barn Swallow, Zitting Cisticola, Plain Prinia, Olive-backed Sunbird.