One-day Birding Trips in Baluran National Park

This was a one-day birding trip that planned suddenly when we were still on a trip to Probolinggo. Our British clients asked to do so in Baluran NP on January 24, 2019.

The trip started at 06.00 am by meeting up at their accommodation next to the national park. We drove into the national park and stop-by for look at the birds. In the morning the weather was bright even though it’s in the rainy season. Baluran is famous for its dryness with yellowish vegetation but on this trip, it all looks green and dense.

As planned we stopped in the middle of the journey to Bekol, where there was a bird perched on a tree. Rushed out of the vehicle then saw binoculars to identify it. The bird is an Orange-breasted Fruit-dove. Then from behind us, there were 3 birds that were the same as the ones we saw at the beginning. Slowly the sounds of the birds around us were heard and one by one began to appear.

Sooty-headed Bulbul, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Island Collared Dove, Long-tailed Shrike, Cave Swiftlet, Common Tailorbird, Black Drongo and Racket-tailed Treepie nailed to identify.

Before the birds get low, we continue to drive in. Not long after, a Green Junglefowl crossed the road in front. We really got a clear view from this striking male. The Green Junglefowl is plenty and easy to find in Baluran, while the Red Junglefowl is less frequent, but we managed to see a male who was scavenging the ground in a roadside bush.

At 08.30 am we arrived in Bekol savanna or at this moment better to mention the Bekol grassland. Not too many visitors around, also birds begin to quiet as the intense sun. We only saw Spotted Dove flying and noisy Common Iora. Slowly head towards Bama beach.

In the middle of the Bekol-Bama road, we stopped to look around. On the north side, there is a dead Gebang tree and there are several holes in the top. Suddenly there was a medium-sized black-and-white bird coming out of the hole. Moments later the object landed on the tree for a long time, we managed to recognize the bird was Grey-backed Myna.

Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler in Baluran NP. It is endemic to Java island.

Our clients were very happy to meet this critically endangered species after encountering the Junglefowl earlier. Satisfied with the Myna, the journey continues until Bama beach.

Before entering the Bama coastal forest, stop in the small canteen for coffee and tea. At 9:30 a.m., I began to walk into the Bama beach forest bird watching trail. Slowly one by one we saw the Oriental-pied Hornbill. Its size is quite large, noisy, in groups making it easy to see at the dense canopy of the Bama beach forest.

Suddenly the dominant red-sized small object flew around us and then landed 300 meters in the bush right after us. When it’s perched, it’s clearly visible through binoculars and scope, birds with long; straight and dagger-like bill; short legs. An Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, another delightful sighting that day.

Other birds we saw here were Grey-cheeked Tit-Babbler, Green Imperial Pigeon, Cerulean Kingfisher, and Olive-backed Tailorbird.

The sky began to turn into black clouds at 1:00 p.m. With 23 bird species on record we decided to end this trip and rush out of the national park to our clients’ lodging with satisfaction.

Delightful view of pair Oriental-pied Hornbill