Observing Black-winged Kite Nest in Baluran National Park

Luckily, our short visit to Baluran National Park at the end of last May managed to find Black-winged Kite’s nest. In Indonesia, records of nesting of this bird are very rare. Without waiting for a long time, we set up blind hiding. With this blind hiding, we hope to be able to observe the kite’s nesting behavior without disturbing it.

Like other small eagles, Black-winged Kite nests are placed on trees that are not too high. About 7 meters from the ground. Placed on the Acacia nilotica tree, where almost the entire trunk of the tree is filled with thorns and densely thorny small branches. It seems that no predator can reach the nest position with the tree conditions like that.

Both parents look have great communication each other in guarding the nest and caring for the chicks. The female males take turns entering the nest to feed, dispose of pellets and/or monitor the condition of the chicks. Both of them are often seen perched away from the nest tree to monitor from a distance while distracting intruders, including us. As the name suggests, the main food that is brought into the nest is mice. We haven’t encountered any prey other than rats during our observations.

Trip Report 4 Days Birding tours in Jogja and Banyuwangi

During 24, 30, 31 December 2022 and 01 January 2023 we have clients from Vietnam who want to birding in Jogja and Banyuwangi.

Yogyakarta or Jogja

Our first birding tour was in Yogyakarta or simply called Jogja.

We went to Gunung Merapi National Park to kick off the tour. Due to the activity of Merapi volcano we visited

Turgo hills, one of the prime birding locations around the national park that is still in the safe zone.

Start at around 6.00 AM in the parking area. The weather was shower rain and cloudy but we encountered some brilliant birds such as: Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow-breasted Hanging Parrot fly over us, including two rare birds are Sangkar White-eye and Javan Leafbird.

Then we moved to the lower section of the hills, where we could see lava lane and Merapi volcano. Even though the weather is cloudy, the views of the volcano are so clear. Our clients enjoyed it!

Here we found Sooty-headed Bulbul, Crested Serpent-eagle, Ashy Drongo, Orange-spotted Bulbul and spectacular views of an endemic Black-banded Barbet.

Our plan was just birding around the lower section. We attempted to hike some but the birding was slow and quiet. After discussion we decided to move to the next location.

We arrived in Jatimulyo village at around 11.00 AM, and soon we transferred to the hide/blind of Oriental-dwarf Kingfisher. The kingfisher came in just a few minutes and in very close distance. After enjoying the kingfisher we had our lunch in Kopi Sulingan.

Our lunch is Javanese traditional food called “Nasi Tumpeng”, the clients are so happy with that. Following the lunch we serve local bird-friendly coffee from the village. Enjoyed our coffee while Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Little Spiderhunter, Olive-backed/Ornate Sunbird, and the brilliant endemic Javan Sunbird came to the garden.

After that we continued afternoon birding around the village. We went to another bird-hide. Same as the previous hide, we did not wait longer to see Horsfield’s Babbler, Rufous-browed Babbler and the critically endangered endemic Javan Blue-flycatcher.

We were lucky with the afternoon weather, continued our walk around the village and packed several birds into our list including: Oriental Honey-buzzard, Black-naped Monarch, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Ruby-throated Bulbul.


We had 3 days in Banyuwangi, East Java on 30, 31 December 2022 and 01 January 2023.

On the first day our client planned to hike Ijen crater to see Blue Fire and the views up the volcano. We started in the morning at 01.40 AM and shortly we arrived at the blue fire spot at 04.50 AM.

Enjoy the views then we start climbing down the volcano while birding. We packed several special birds such as Sunda Grasshopper Warbler, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Javan Grey-throated White-eye, Mountain White-eye, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Mugimaki Flycatcher, and Crescent-chested Babbler.

We moved to a grassland area and added Striated Grassbird into our list. At lunch time we got an open view of Javan Kingfisher.

After lunch, we transferred our clients to the hotel for rest.

On the second day, we visited Alas Purwo National Park at the southern-east of the island. Start birding at 06.00 AM while enjoying morning coffee. We just saw a Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot fly over us. Soon we moved to Sadengan grassland. Around the parking area we saw Green Peafowl, Slender-billed Crow, Red-billed Malkoha.

There are plenty of Banteng (Bos javanicus) grazing in the grassland and several birds such as Lesser Adjutant, Asian Woollyneck, Javan Myna, Collared Kingfisher and Cattle Egret.

Then we walked to a birding track. Lots of fallen tree branches and twigs, possibly there was a storm the previous day. Birding was slow, added Ruby-throated Bulbul, Mangrove Whistler and Great Slaty Woodpecker to the list.

Move to Pancur beach for lunch in a food stall. We got Green Imperial Pigeon and clear views of Wreathed Hornbill foraging in palm trees near the stall. We took about 45 minutes to enjoy and photograph the hornbill.

We went back to the grassland then it rained. After the rains stop we want to try to get better views and some photographs of the woodpecker in the birding trek. We stopped for a while when Javan Broadbill responded to our playback.

We failed to photograph the woodpecker but at least one of our clients saw it clearly. Continue our drive to the hotel for rest.

Our last day in Banyuwangi was so challenging. Birding in Baluran National Park when so many tourists came to celebrate a new year in grassland like savannah Bekol and Bama beach.

Luckily, our guide had some birding locations where other tourists did not enter the area.

We spent the morning started at 05.30 AM and packed several birds to the list such as: Javan Cuckooshrike, Green Junglefowl, Short-tailed Starling, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Ruddy Cuckoo-dove, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Collared Kingfisher, Red-breasted Parakeet, Black-naped Monarch, Long-tailed Shrike before the crowds come.

Then we had an early lunch in a food stall near the Bama beach.

After lunch we did not enter the birding trek due the crowds. Decided to take a nap in the ranger office and wait for the afternoon section.

There is a small swamp outside the national park around paddy fields and fish ponds. We went there for our last afternoon birding.

Our target was Cerulean Kingfisher, but after trying to find one we failed to get one. From here we listed Javan Pond-heron, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Scaly-breasted Munia, and Common Moorhen on the nest.

When we drove back to the hotel in Banyuwangi, we stopped for a while to photograph the Rock Pigeon race in the paddy fields.

Transferred our clients to their hotel in Banyuwangi and the birding tours ended.

During the 4 days birding tours in Jogja and Banyuwangi we collected 84 birds including other wildlife, here is the list in below:

  • Green Peafowl
  • Green Junglefowl
  • Rock Dove
  • Eastern Spotted Dove
  • Ruddy Cuckoo-dove
  • Zebra Dove
  • Green Imperial-pigeon
  • Grey-rumped Treeswift
  • Cave Swiftlet
  • Red-billed Malkoha
  • Common Moorhen
  • Lesser Adjutant
  • Asian Woollyneck
  • Javan Pond-heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Purple Heron
  • Oriental Honey-buzzard
  • Crested Serpent-eagle
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill
  • Wreathed Hornbill
  • Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
  • Oriental Dwarf-kingfisher
  • Javan Kingfisher
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Black-banded Barbet
  • Great Slaty Woodpecker
  • Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
  • Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
  • Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot
  • Red-breasted Parakeet
  • Javan Broadbill
  • Mangrove Whistler
  • Small Minivet
  • Scarlet Minivet
  • Javan Cuckooshrike
  • Pied Triller
  • White-breasted Woodswallow
  • Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike
  • Common Iora
  • Sunda Pied Fantail
  • Black Drongo
  • Ashy Drongo
  • Black-naped Monarch
  • Long-tailed Shrike
  • Slender-billed Crow
  • Cinereous Tit
  • Zitting Cisticola
  • Yellow-bellied Prinia
  • Common Tailorbird
  • Olive-backed Tailorbird
  • Sunda Grasshopper-warbler
  • Striated Grassbird
  • Red-rumped Swallow
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Ruby-throated Bulbul
  • Sooty-headed Bulbul
  • Orange-spotted Bulbul
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Cream-vented Bulbul
  • Arctic Warbler
  • Aberrant Bush-warbler
  • Javan Grey-throated White-eye
  • Mountain White-eye
  • Sangkar White-eye
  • Crescent-chested Babbler
  • Rufous-browed Babbler
  • Horsfield’s Babbler
  • Javan Myna
  • Short-tailed Starling
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher
  • Javan / Hill Blue-flycatcher
  • Javan Leafbird
  • Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker
  • Blood-breasted Flowerpecker
  • Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  • Little Spiderhunter
  • Brown-throated Sunbird
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Javan Sunbird
  • Javan Munia
  • Scaly-breasted Munia
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Other wildlife:

  • Banteng
  • Timor Deer
  • Long-tailed Macaque
  • Javan Leaf Monkey

Birding Around Yogyakarta City

Five Birding sites around Yogyakarta city, completed in Fullday Birding. Yogyakarta (or simply Jogja) is one of Indonesia’s most famous tourist destinations, on account of its fascinating history and culture and world heritage status temples (including Prambanan and Borobodur). Besides, there is another attraction of the many attractions in the city. Birding or Bird Watching could be an attractive alternative if you have extra time between your holiday in Jogja.

There are some interesting birding sites where various birds exist around the urban area of the city. The distance of one birding site to the others are not too far away to reach. Car or personal vehicle will certainly be easier. You will get a high number of birds if you start in the morning and avoid the weekend. Some of the endemics are easy to see, like Java Sparrow. Some of the best birding-site are considered below:

Continue reading “Birding Around Yogyakarta City”

The first photo of the enigma Black-browed Babbler in the wild

Black-browed Babbler (Melacocincla perspicillata) since “lost” for more than 170 years was found again by Muhammad Suranto and Selamet in 2020.

For the past two months, our team led by Panji Gusti A. conducted research in the eastern Meratus Mountains area, South Kalimantan to study the ecological and biological aspects that are very close to unknown.

On the first day of the visit, the team got the first photo in nature, along with a recording of the sound of this enigmatic bird.

The search continues to expand to determine its natural distribution. Hopefully in the next few months there will be important ecological information that can be collected by the team.

This fieldwork was funded by Oriental Bird Club (OBC) and the American Bird Concervancy (ABC). In collaboration with BKSDA Kalimantan Selatan, Dinas Kehutanan Kalimantan Selatan, KPH Cantung.

Stay tune for more interesting news.

Photo by: Panji Gusti A. | @birdpacker

Buku Atlas Burung Indonesia Sudah Bisa Dipesan


Halo Atlaser! Setelah hampir setahun lamanya (plus dihantam pandemi yang entah kapan selesainya ini) akhirnya Atlas burung pertama di Indonesia (edisi pertama) siap naik cetak!

Buku ini memuat peta sebaran terkini (berdasarkan data Burungnesia antara tahun 2016-2020), pembaruan taksonomi dan ilustrasi 739 spesies burung di Indonesia!

Dimensi buku sebagai berikut: 16,5x 23,5 cm | Tebal 620+ halaman | Berat: 1.500 gram | Hardcover

Harga normal buku Atlas Burung Indonesia: Rp. 600.000

Nah, teman-teman Atlaser sekarang sudah bisa memesan selama masa pre-order dengan harga spesial:

1. Hanya Rp. 500.000 (hanya 1 eksemplar) untuk kontributor Burungnesia*

2. Rp. 600.000 untuk non-kontributor Burungnesia.

Free ongkir ke seluruh Indonesia!

Sebagian dari hasil penjualan buku ini, akan digunakan untuk pengembangan dan operasional aplikasi Burungnesia.

Prosedur Pemesanan:

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– Setelah itu silahkan isi formulir dan unggah bukti transfer lewat link berikut: http://bit.ly/beliabi
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– Pertama kali isi formulir konfirmasi kontributor Burungnesia lewat link berikut: http://bit.ly/abikonkon
– Selanjutnya kami akan me-review formulir tersebut dan mengirimkan formulir pemesanan.
– Bagi kontributor yang sudah diverifikasi selanjutnya melakukan pembayaran lewat transfer bank (informasi di bawah) yang tersedia.
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Pembayaran bisa melalui transfer bank atau dibayar langsung ke markas Birdpacker (bonus kopi).

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*Kontributor adalah: pengguna aktif Burungnesia yang pernah menggunakan fitur checklis melalui aplikasi pada rentang juni 2016-januari 2020 (data digunakan dalam buku). Tidak semua pengguna Burungnesia dikategorikan sebagai kontributor aktif. Status kontributor akan dikonfirmasi terlebih dahulu.

2 Days Mt. Ijen Birding Tour for Grey-breasted Partridge

One of the endemic birds in East Java is the well-known Grey-breasted or White-faced Partridge (Arborophila orientalis). It can be found from Yang highlands eastwards to Ijen mountains.

We have a client from England for two days birding in mount Ijen with the only target being Grey-breasted Partridge.

As of March 2019, we have already observed this endemic in the same area.

We met the client at 05.00 am 26th August 2019 on his accommodation around Banyuwangi, then we drove to the location. At around 5.45 am, we arrived at the location then we stayed in the partridge feeding station which was built by a local guide.

We spent the whole day there, but unfortunately rainfall started at midday until dusk. Even the partridge did not shown, several birds come to the station such as:

1. Red Junglefowl
2. Javan Banded Pitta
3. Temminck’s Babbler
4. Lesser Shortwing
5. Javan Whistling Thrush
6. Indigo Flycatcher
7. Snowy-browed Flycatcher
8. White-flanked Sunbird
9. White-bellied Fantail
10. Crescent-chested Babbler
11. Sunda Cuckooshrike and above us there is a fruiting tree that attract
12. Wreathed Hornbill
13. Dark-backed Imperial-pigeon
14. Grey-cheeked Green-pigeon and,
15. Pink-headed Fruit-dove.

So, after dropping off the clients on his accommodation we agreed to go on the next day. Started at the same time as yesterday but arrived earlier at 5.30 am.

Javan Banaded Pitta and Indigo Warbling Flycatcher also present in the station

Sat and waited again in the station while we enjoyed breakfast, coffee and tea. The weather was better than yesterday.

At 8.20 am we heard the partridge in the distance, then we played the playback. Slow but sure, the sound of the partridge came closer to the station.

Then at 8.40 am we heard the partridge so loud to the left of the station and came closer. Finally, a pair of White-faced Partridge came into the station.

A pair Grey-breasted Partridge foraged in the station

Enjoyed when it was foraging in front of us for about 5 minutes. That was a very proper view of this partridge that was requested by our client.

Satisfied with that, we decided to go outside from the station. The local guide told us that he knows the roosting site of Javan Frogmouth. Just 200 meters away from the station, we saw three Javan Frogmouths perched on the same horizontal branch.

Before midday we tried another station, but until 11.00 am the partridge did not shown. So, we decided to have lunch at a local restaurant and the two birding tours in mount Ijen, Banyuwangi, East Java ended.


4 Days Birding in Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, Probolinggo and Baluran NP

We have a successful four day birding tour in East Java, starting from 10 – 13 August 2019 for Germany clients. Three birding locations were visited, such as Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, around Probolinggo and Baluran NP.

114 bird species managed to collect in the tour list.

On the first day, we met up in Juanda international airport of Surabaya, East Java. The flight was delayed, so around 6.00 pm I started driving to the accommodation near the Bromo Tengger Semeru NP. So, the night just for rest and overnight.

Then, on the second day we started at very early morning, 04.00 am. The client has a special request to see the sunrise with the landscape of Bromo, Batok, Semeru and other mountains.

This is a famous location for a typical visitor in this national park.

Arriving at the sunrise view point at 5.15 am, we still get the first light of the day. Luckily, the weather was so bright and clear.

Spent for half an hour, then we had breakfast and coffee time at a small canteen around the viewpoint.

After that, we drove to the sand sea below the view point. Stop by to explore the birds around.

Our next stop is Ranu Pani village. We have to change the vehicle from a Jeep into an MPV car in that village.

Nothing left in the first vehicle, then we drove down in lower altitude step by step while looking for birds.

Female Banded Kingfisher, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java

In the afternoon we have to transfer to the next accommodation in Lumajang, East Java.

Check in and dinner at the restaurant of the hotel, finished at 7.30 pm. Then we went to our rooms overnight.

We had a long drive on the third day.

After breakfast, we started driving to the next birding location in Probolinggo.

Arrived at 9.15 am, then we birded in a lowland area where the habitat is mangrove and estuary.

Three of dozens Javan White-eye in Probolinggo, East Java

At 11.15 am continue driving to the last birding location in Baluran NP. Stop by the restaurant for lunch.

We still have a time when we arrive in Baluran, so we enter the forest and birded until dusk.

Same as the second day, dinner provided by the accommodation. Eat dinner, then go to bed.

On the last day, we started at 5.00 am and entered Baluran NP.

First stop was the monsoon forest before Bekol grassland-like-savannah when the birds perched, singing and drying up for the first light.

Male Green Peafowl in Baluran NP, East Java.

While enjoying the birds passing by from where we stopped, coffee and tea were served to our clients and team.

Then at 8.00 am changed the location to Bekol savanna and birding trek in Bama beach.

AT 11.00 am the birds were low activity, so we broke for lunch at the canteen after Bama beach.

Start birded at 1.00 pm in Bekol savanna until 3.30 pm.

The tour ended when we dropped off the clients in their accommodation inside Bali Barat NP, Bali.

During the birding tours, we nailed 114 birds species with the highlight:

1. Blood-breasted Flowerpecker

2. Grey-and-buff Woodpecker

3. Javan White-eye

4. Grey-backed Starling

5. Green Peafowl

6. Green Junglefowl


Other birds included:

7. Chestnut-bellied Partridge

8. Domestic Pigeon

9. Island/Sunda Collared Dove

10. Spotted Dove

11. Barred Cuckoo Dove

12. Zebra Dove

13. Orange-breasted Green Pigeon

14. Asian Emerald Dove

15. Green Imperial Pigeon

16. Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon

17. Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

18. Sunda Cuckoo

19. Plaintive Cuckoo

20. Javan Coucal

21. Grey-rumped Treeswift

22. Linchi Swiftlet

23. Brown-backed Needletail

24. Savanna Nightjar

25. Javan Plover

26. Common Sandpiper

27. Small Buttonquail

28. Barred Buttonquail

29. Great Crested Tern

30. Cattle Egret

31. Intermediate Egret

32. Little Egret

33. Javan Pond Heron

34. Striated Heron

35. Crested Serpent Eagle

36. Spotted Wood Owl

37. Orange-breasted Trogon

38. Oriental Pied Hornbill

39. Black-banded Barbet

40. Flame-fronted Barbet

41. Blue-eared Barbet

42. Javan Flameback

43. Common Flameback

44. Checker-throated Yellownape

45. Wood-bellied Woodpecker

46. Sunda Pygmy-woodpecker

47. Freckle-breasted Woodpecker

48. Javan Kingfisher

49. Collared Kingfisher

50. Rufous-backed Dwarf-kingfisher

51. Cerulean Kingfisher

52. Red-breasted Parakeet

53. Javan Hanging Parrot

54. Banded Broadbill

55. Javan Banded Pitta

56. Black-naped Oriole

57. Tenggara Whistler

58. Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike

59. Common Iora

60. Sunda Cuckooshrike

61. Pied Triller

62. Scarlet Minivet

63. Sunda Minivet

64. Small Minivet

65. White-bellied Fantail

66. Sunda Pied Fantail

67. Black Drongo

68. Ashy Drongo

69. Javan Spangled Drongo

70. Black-naped Monarch

71. Long-tailed Shrike

72. Racket-tailed Treepie

73. Sunda Crow

74. Cinereous Tit

75. Barn Swallow

76. Daurian Swallow

77. Sooty-headed Bulbul

78. Sunda Yellow-vented Bulbul

79. Olive-winged Bulbul

80. Ruby-throated Bulbul

81. Javan Bulbul

82. Chestnut-capped Babbler

83. Javan Tit-babbler

84. Crescent-chested Babbler

85. Horsfield’s Wren Babbler

86. Javan Heleia

87. Moutain Leaf Warbler

88. Sunda Warbler

89. Bamboo Bush Warbler

90. Sunda Bush Warbler

91. Mountain Leaftoiler

92. Pygmy Cupwing

93. Sunda Grasshopper Warbler

94. Common Tailorbird

95. Javan Tailorbird

96. Yellow-bellied Prinia

97. Plain Prinia

98. Zitting Cisticola

99. Blue Nuthatch

100. Short-tailde Starling

101. Black-winged Myna

102. Horsfield’s Thrush

103. Island Thrush

104. Indigo-warbling Flycatcher

105. Lesser Shortwing

106. Little Pied Flycatcher

107. Pied Buschat

108. Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker

109. Ornate Sunbird

110. Scaly-breasted Munia

111. Javan Munia

112. Java Sparrow

113. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

114. Paddyfield Pipit

Other Taxa:

1. Long-tailed Macaque

2. Javan Mongoose

3. Javan Langur / Leaf-monkey

4. Timor Deer

5. Water Buffalo

6. Banteng

Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher & Other Birds from Pekalongan, Central Java

Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) is one of the endemic kingfishers in Java island. Described by Temminck in 1830 from the island. On IUCN-redlist, this species is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) with the remaining population assumed to be fewer than 250 mature individuals.

There are only a few new records since 1930 of Halimun Salak NP, West Java. Then, in 2018 we heard news from our friend that he found the bird in Pekalongan, Central Java. It became an eastern record for the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher on the island of Java.

Finally we have a chance to go there, invited by Wawan from SwaraOwa. We were invited to share our knowledge about avitourism to the local communities and villagers around the site.

SwaraOwa has since 2007 conducted research on primates especially Javan Gibbon at this location, as well as mentoring local communities to reduce pressure on forests by providing a sustainable green economy.

A Sundaa Forktail perched on the rock

So, 5th July 2019 we arrived at the location at night from Jogja. We stayed in one of the villages.

The next day, I went to the river just about 500 meters from the house I stayed with Imam to look for this kingfisher.

Until noon we did not see it, then we went back to the house for a break and then attended a discussion section with locals.

We have full day birding on the rest day spent in the location (07-11 July 2019, off on 09 July 2019).

Adin joined on 07 July 2019, we focused on looking at the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher. Waiting in the river, hiding with just big rock that is so plenty in there. Finally, at around 11.00 am the male birds flush from upstream then perch on the rock 100 meters away from our hiding. It stayed just about 2 minutes before it flew downstream.

We followed it to the downstream 1 Km away from the first spot. Spent the time until it was almost dark, so we ended the day by going back to the house. At least we have lifers of this species, especially me.

Then on 08th July 2019 we tried birding in another location where highland birds for the target.

The location is part of the stretch of the Dieng mountains. This is the remaining montane forest among vegetable fields.

During morning to noon we encountered many highland endemic and resident birds, one of the highlights is Brown-throated Barbet. Limbo!!!

An adult Brown-throated Barbet foraged on fruiting tree

It was a lucky day, the barbet foraged in fruiting tree that was just about 10 meters above the ground.

At 11.00 pm we walked out of the forest, upon arriving at the boundary of the forest and vegetable fields we heard the sound of Javan Bush-warbler around 4 sources of sound.

We stopped and tried to find the species, from behind the bush we managed to see it.

The skluker, Javan Bush Warbler

After lunch, we did not birding because of the rain fall until dark.

Then on 10-11 July I went birding on my own to get a good encounter with the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher.

I tried several places that are usually used for by this endemic kingfisher.

Until the last day in the afternoon, when I came down almost to the river, I saw a kingfisher who was perched on a rock on the river bank.

I used Binocular to confirm, it turns out that it is true that the one perched on the rock is a Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher.

Immediately I approached to get a clear vision. With a distance of about 50 meters from this bird, it is clear that the bird is a female. Seen from browner upperparts, rufous loral spot and neck patch, rufous belly, orange-red lower mandible.

Front view of female Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher

Finally, I also got a good vision of this bird for about 10 minutes before it flew leaving the area towards the upstream.

This is an amazing experience, encountering one of the kingfishers that is very rarely observed.

So, during 4 days birding in Pekalongan, Central Java here’s a list of birds that I met:

  • Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher / Alcedo euryzona
  • Banded Kingfisher / Lacedo pulchella
  • Ruddy Cuckoo-dove / Macropygia emiliana
  • Common Emerald Dove / Chalcophaps indica
  • Cave Swiftlet / Collocalia linchi
  • Yellow-eared Barbet / Psilopogon australis
  • Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike / Hemipus hirundinaceus
  • Sooty-headed Bulbul / Pycnonotus aurigaster
  • Sunda Forktail – Enicurus velatus
  • White-crowned Forktail / Enicurus leschenaulti
  • Horsfield’s Babbler / Malacocinla sepiarium
  • Pygmy Bushtit / Psaltria exilis
  • Orange-bellied Flowerpecker / Dicaeum trigonostigm
  • Javan Sunbird / Aethopyga mystacalis
  • Flame-fronted Barbet / Psilopogon armilaris
  • Long-tailed Shrike / Lanius schach
  • Creted Serpent Eagle / Spilornis cheela
  • Black Eagle / Ictinaetus malayensis
  • Spotted Kestrel / Falco moluccensis
  • Chestnut-bellied Partridge / Arborophila javanica
  • Spotted Dove / Streptopelia chinensis
  • Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon / Ducula lacernulata
  • Lesser Coucal / Centropus bengalensis
  • Chestnut-breasted Malkoha / Rhamphococcyx curvirostris
  • Rusty-breasted Cuckoo / Cacomantis sepulcralis
  • Sunda Cuckoo / Cuculus lepidus
  • Javan Trogon / Apalharpactes reinwardtii
  • Wreathed Hornbill / Rhyticeros undulatus
  • Brown-throated Barbet / Psilopogon corvina
  • Javan Banded Broadbill / Eurylaimus javanicus
  • Lesser Shortwing / Brachypteryx leucophrys
  • Javan Whistling Thrush / Myophonus glaucinus
  • Blue Whistling Thrush / Myophonus caeruleus
  • Crescent-chested Babbler / Stachyris melanothorax
  • Javan Fulvetta / Alcippe pyrrhoptera
  • Eyebrowed Wren-babbler / Napotera epilepidota
  • Pygmy Wren-babbler / Pnoepyga pusilla
  • Pied Shrike-babbler / Pteruthius flaviscapis
  • Trilling Shrike-babbler / Pteruthius aenobarbus
  • Mountain Tailorbird / Orthotomus cuculatus
  • Sunda Bush Warbler / Cettia vulcania
  • Javan Tesia / Tesia superciliaris
  • Sunda Warbler / Seicercus grammiceps
  • Javan Bush Warbler / Bradypterus montis
  • Striated Grassbird / Megalurus palustris
  • Little Pied FLycatcher / Ficedula westermanni
  • Rufous-tailed Fantail / Rhipidura phoenicura
  • Cinereous Tit / Parus major
  • Blue Nuthatch / Sitta azurea
  • Ashy Drongo / Dicrurus leucophaeus

Other Taxa (Primate)​:

  • Javan / Silvery Gibbon / Hylobates moloch
  • Ebony-leaf Monkey / Trachypithecus auratus
  • Javan Surili / Presbytis comata fredericae
  • Long-tailed Macaque / Macaca fascicularis


4 Days Birding Trips in Bromo Tengger Semeru NP and around Malang, East Java

We had 4 Days birding trips for a couple clients from France to see Raptors in Malang, East Java.

Starting on 29 June until 02 July 2019, we birded in 4 locations around Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and Raden Suryo Greater Park Forestry.

On the first day we met up in the airport hotel in Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, East Java at 07:00 am. Then we drove to a hotel in Malang near the national park. Arrived at around 11:00 am in the hotel, checked in and dropped our luggage and kept our birding stuff.

Then we drove for a half hour to the first location in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

The weather was so good in the locations where raptors are usually recorded, but that day is Sunday in one of the popular national parks in Indonesia where so many visitors came to holiday.

We tried to walk and avoid the crowd while keeping our eyes on the sky, searching for any raptors which may fly.

Until afternoon we just managed to see one species of raptor, Changable Hawk-eagle.

Then we went back to the hotel overnight.

On the second day, after we packed our breakfast we started to move to a second location in the same national park.

It takes 3 hours to drive to reach it.

The altitude of the second locations is lower than before, it’s about 100-200 asl surrounded by lowland forest and plantation.

A pair of perched Black-thighed Falconet

We spent the time here until afternoon and the result was much better.

Oriental Honey-buzzard, Black-thighed Falconet, and the endemic Javan Hawk-eagle recorded so well.

Before dark we went back to the same hotel to stay.

A flight adult Oriental Honey-buzzard

On the third day, after breakfast and check out from the hotel, we tried again in the same location as the first day.

We’re back in around 1400 above sea level at the ridge surrounded by the vast rainforest of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. We spent from 07:00 – 11:30 am, the weather was bright and good for raptor.

After waiting for about 2,5 hours, a raptor was soaring on top of the hill quite far from us. An adult Javan Hawk-eagle encountered again.

Not long after, a Black Eagle floated just above us with a distance of about 10 meters.

An adult Javan Hawk-eagle soaring above the forest

After saw the Black Eage then we changed birding location to Raden Suryo Greater Park Forestry, Batu, East Java.

Arrived at 02:30 pm then hung out around twin bridges, a good place to spot Raptor from any direction surrounded by good rain forest.

This location is on the west slope of Mt. Welirang at around 1.200 asl.

A flight Black Eagle

Until almost dark we’re just managed to see Changable Hawk-eagle in this last location.

Then we drove to a hotel around Batu city, East Java.

On the last day we changed the plan to not birding or looking like raptor but just drop off the clients to the airport in Surabaya.

So, during 29 June – 02 July 2019 raptor that we managed to see are:

  • Oriental Honey-buzzard
  • Changable Hawk-eagle
  • Black-thighed Falconet
  • Black Eagle
  • Javan Hawk-eagle.

The Best Location to See White-rumped Woodpecker!

Some authors have split one of the sub-species of Buff-rumped Woodpecker that lives on Java into full species. It is White-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis).

Basically, at a glance, the two species are relatively the same in size, body shape, call, habits, habitat etc.

Based on HBW.com the morphological difference in which White-rumped Woodpecker has dominantly black abdominal feathers, stony-white barring and spotting on all areas of plumage, white rump, dense black-and-white barring continuing around eyes and male have a slightly brighter red moustachial stripe than Buff-rumped Woodpecker males.

According to HBW and birdlife, this bird’s threat status is endangered. It is estimated that there are only around 1000 – 2499 individuals present and living in certain areas on the island of Java.

Besides that the habitat has been converted and fragmented, on this basis its status is endangered.

A recent survey conducted in several fragmented forests of West Java, found no existence of this bird. In fact, in October 2014 and October 2015 White-rumped Woodpecker was found in one of the national parks in East Java by Agung Sih Kurniawan, et al.

It is interesting to see the distribution map of this ‘black’ woodpecker in some field guides that look like those found only in West Java and a small part of Central Java.

In 2018, we tried to search in Meru Betiri NP, East Java where Agung met with this species.

Me and Heru Fitriadi tried to search for this endemic for 3 days.

We visited many locations such as grass land, the edge of forest, coconut, rubber; and teak plantations.

On the first two days, we failed to find it. Only managed to see Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker which is very abundant in Meru Betiri NP, especially in coconut plantations. Finally, we looked for rangers and local residents to ask for whereabouts and locations to see this.

Adult female White-rumped Woodpecker

Most of them thought what we were looking for was Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, but there was one local resident who was observant after we showed the difference between White-rumped Woodpecker and the other. He guided us to the last time he met.

On the last afternoon, with him looking for grass for his livestock, we waited in a shelter in the middle of the chinese albizia plantation on the edge of the river.

Every bird that alighted like a woodpecker we scoped straight for almost 1.5 hours.

Until 3:00 p.m. I turned on playback with a feeling of almost despair. Slowly from the back of the shelter there is a voice that is similar to the playback that I play. Initially I thought only the response sound was in the playback, suddenly two woodpeckers flew from behind the shelter to the front.

Suddenly my binoculars aimed at the target, quickly my binoculars lowered and changed to the camera while calling Heru Fitriadi who was looking at the riverbank. I pressed the camera shutter nonstop. This is the bird we were looking for for 3 days at Meru Bert NP, White-rumped Woodpecker.

Heru (left) and local guide sitting on the shelter

Complete, male and female seen together. Both of them respond to my playback sound. His voice is almost no different.

The striking black color on the chest and abdomen makes this bird very frightening.For 2 hours this bird circled around the shelter, until satisfied with observing and taking photos, then at 5.00 pm we decided to go home leaving Meru Betiri NP. So that is the best location in East Java, Indonesia to look at it. If you also want to see them, feel free to contact us.