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.

Kingfisher Trip Around Malang, East Java

Finished accompanied by a friend from Hong Kong to photograph Kingfisher around Malang, East Java. During April 26 – 29th 2018 we visited four birding locations.

The main target of this trip is the Indonesian endemic, Cerulean Kingfisher Alcedo coerulescens which can be found in Streams, canals, ponds, swamps, tidal estuaries, mudflats, mangroves, fish ponds, flooded paddyfields; from coast up to 800 m along South Sumatra through Java, Kangean Is and Bali to Lombok and Sumbawa; recorded also on Flores.

On the first day, Kevin and I met at Javan Banded Pitta’s site in Tretes, East Java that was managed by Heru Cahyono (Malang Birding Tours) in the afternoon. Before dark we move to a hotel in Batu city, dinner on the way.

Starting early in the morning we visited Batu Apple Farm to take pictures of Javan Kingfisher until 8.00 am. We have to hurry to reach the main target location on the south coast of Malang.

Javan Kingfisher with prey in Batu city, East Java

After lunch we arrived, then put up camouflage-tent around the fish-pond which is our favorite perch for.

About 30 minutes later, Cerulean Kingfsiher perch in 8 meter ahead. Along the afternoon the shutter was not stop clicking.

On the last day, we only have time until lunch time for the last target in the estuary area of south Malang. Ruddy Kingfisher.

The main target Cerulean Kingfisher with prey

Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda has widespread distribution, from NE China through Sulawesi island.

In Java (H.c. minor) this species has a few records, seems rare to find. In Kondang Merak, south Malang has many records compared to other locations in Java island but still challenging. The race minor is very small than the other, much darker, washed with violet, large silvery rump patch.

Quickly we waited in the location which usually this bird encountered. We were disturbed by the passing of other visitors, several of them curious with us. Until really quiet at around 10.30 am the Ruddy Kingfisher appeared.

Ruddy Kingfisher from south Malang, East Java

Kevin took many shots, he even had time to change lenses because the birds perch to close about 3 meters away.

2 hours stayed in front of the tent, until Kevin was satisfied, then we had a long drive to his hotel in Surabaya before he took off back to Hong Kong the next day.

Satisfied after got the main target

Birding in Cangar Hot Spring with Friend from England

We have been visited by friends from England during his research in Java, Indonesia. He accompanied by local teams drove to our base-camp in Batu city, East Java. Suddenly the next day (July 7th 2018) we went to the Cangar hot spring part of Tahura R. Soeryo, indeed for birding!

With 9 people in the group, we started looking at the birds around the Cangar hot spring. The weather was so good and very cool for us, but not for Harry.

Any tourist attractions would be visited by many visitors. We also experienced that condition on that day. So we tried to hike in a jungle track behind the hot spring.

The length of the circular track is about 1 Km, with a fairly steep incline at the beginning and before half the length of the track.

We stopped for a while in front of a Japanese cave, scanned all directions and paid attention to every movement of leaves or twigs, hoping there was a bird behind the movement.

The pace of the trip was so dynamic, at the beginning we just saw a few bird species then after leaving the Japanese cave, we were stopped by a mix flocks. Then when we are at the half of the track, the birds become low again until the end of the track.

One of 4 Javan Yellownapes in Cangar Hot Spring

Orange-breasted Trogon was the main target for Harry, but only 3 of us successfully encountered it and made Harry Jealous.

This happened when I invited Harry and 5 other friends to chase the bird’s sounds, while three other friends waited on the main track. When we were near the source of the sounds, the bird even went out to near 3 of our friends.

Highlights of the day were:

1. Four individuals Javan Yellownape Chrysophlegma mentale.

– Saw around Japanese Cave, possibly 2 young and a pair of adults.

2. Pink-headed Fruit-dove Ptilinopus porphyreus

Single female bird near the Japanese Cave

3. Black-banded Barbet

Single bird near the Japanese Cave and 2 before half of the jungle track.

The rest of bird-list is below.

I invited the groups for lunch in Sendi, to taste local food called Nasi Jagung (corn rice) equipped with salted fish, tofu, tempe, water spinach and sambal. Then we moved to jembatan Cangar (Twin Bridge) for dessert, which was Tape Ketan (fermented black sticky rice).

Black-banded Barbet, endemic for Java

While we enjoyed the dessert, we waited for the Javan Hawk-eagle. Sadly the birds was not shown, only a single male White-flanked Sunbird seen by me.

At around 2.30 pm, we agreed to finish the trip and head back home.

Although birding this time was quite chaotic, at least Harry got 3-4 lifers and enjoyed the birding and also the food on the sidelines of his research.

Bird List of Cangar Hot Spring – July 7th 2018

No.English NameScientific Name
1.Sooty-headed BulbulPycnonotus aurigaster
2.Eastern Spotted DoveSpilopelia chinensis
3.Long-tailed ShrikeLanius schach
4.Javan Grey-throated White-eyeHeleia javanica
5.Lesser ShortwingBrachypteryx leucophris
6.Horsfield’s BabblerMalacocincla sepiaria
7.Ashy DrongoDicrurus leucophaeus
8.Sunda CuckooshrikeCoracina larvata
9.Javan YellownapeChrysophlegma mentale
10.Pink-headed Fruit-dovePtilinopus porphyreus
11.Cave SwiftletCollocalia linchi
12.Flame-fronted BarbetPsilopogon armillaris
13.Black-banded BarbetPsilopogon javensis
14.Javan WarblerPhylloscopus grammiceps
15.Javan BulbulIxos virescens
16.Javan Whistling-thrushMyophonus glaucinus
17.Ruddy Cuckoo-doveMacropygia emiliana
18.Javan Banded PittaHydrornis guajanus
19.Orange-breasted TrogonHarpactes oreskios
20.White-bellied FantailRhipidura euryura
21.Little Pied FlycatcherFicedula westermanni
22.Indigo FlycatcherEumyias indigo
23.Sunda MinivetPericrocotus miniatus
24.Blue NuthatchSitta azurea

Fullday Birding in Malang, East Java

On fine morning (May 16th 2018) we managed one day birding trips on Malang, East Java for a couple clients from Indonesia. 19 species succeed to observe from two birding locations such as Batu Apple Farm and Raden Soerjo Greater Park Forestry.

Our first stop was at Apple Farm for Javan Kingfisher. Not to long wait, we were immediately greeted by a Javan Kingfisher after parking our car. For 30 minutes in location, four individual Javan Kingfishers recorded. Other than that we recorded Common Tailorbird, Sooty-headed Bulbul and Yellow-vented Bulbul.

Satisfied in the first location, we continued the trip to the second location that made us drive for 30 minutes. In that tropical rain forest we managed to find Sunda Cuckooshrike, Cinereus Tit, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Sunda minivet, Scaly-breasted Munia, and Blue Nuthatch.

Then we moved to another area of the park in Watu Ondo waterfall. Montane birds such as Sunda (Javan) Bulbul, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Ruddy Cuckoo-dove, Flame-fronted Barbet, and female Little-pied Flycatcher accompany us to enjoy the breeze atmosphere. We decided to climb down toward the waterfall for a moment.

For lunch, we chose a small restaurant around the area to taste local traditional food. After that we hang out at twin bridges waiting for more birds, hoping the Javan Hawk-eagle will appear. Failed to wait more because the afternoon was getting cloudy, so we decided to finish the trip with birds closing the day such as Javan Grey-throated White-eye, Ashy Drongo, White-flanked Sunbird and Indigo Flycatcher as our client’s favorite.

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!

Halfday Birding in Tahura Raden Soeryo, East Java. February 2018

When in Malang or Surabaya you can get a pretty neat bird list just by visiting Tahura Raden Soeryo at 37 Km to the north of Malang city (90 Km to the south-west of Surabaya city), on the west slope of Mount Welirang.

If there are still days left during the holidays in Malang which is usually the main purpose is Mount Bromo, can be tried fullday or halfday birding trips in this peaceful montane forest.

Photograph Indigo Warbling Flycatcher in parking area of Watu Ondo waterfalls.

As we did on February 14, 2018 went very well with one participant from England. Our clients want to get some nice photos of endemic Indigo Warbling Flycatcher Eumyas indigo. Very easily he got it and a bonus Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina as his lifer.

We visited three different spots around Tahura Raden Soeryo. In the morning we went to the first stop in Watu Ondo Waterfall. We were searching for birds around the parking lot surrounded by bushes and trees that were quite dense. Around the canteen did not escape from our binoculars view, this place is suitable to see the activity of birds on the top tree’s canopy and also to enjoy the view of the waterfalls. In addition we also went down the river starting from the side of the canteen. The trees around the toilet are also valuable for checking, often seen as a mix flock in this area.

Main target during this trip, Indigo Warbling Flycatcher

Low bird activity we decided to visit Cangar hot springs, stop by at the Twin Bridge but the conditions here are also the same. The trek to the Japanese cave is the main birding location in Cangar hot springs. About 400 meters long tracks surrounded by bushes and trees typical of mountain forests. In addition, the river that flows around Cangar and around the cafeteria is worth adding to the list of birds.

Highlights: – One pair of Orange-spotted Bulbul with a great view in the parking area of Watu Ondo waterfall.

Indonesia montane endemic, Orange-spotted Bulbul

– One pair of Sunda Forktail seen behind the canteen of Watu Ondo waterfall.

Record shot of Sunda Forktail, endemic to Indonesia.

– 4-6 individuals of Indigo Warbling Flycacther at the parking area of Watu Ondo waterfall.

Frontal view of Indigo Warbling Flycatcher.

– Two individuals Narcissus Flycatcher around the toilet of Watu Ondo waterfall. This species is rare visitor to Indonesia.

Our client's lifer during this trip, the rare visitor Narcissus Flycatcher

– Six individuals of Javan scimitar-babblers (recently split from Chestnut-backed scimitar-babblers by some authors) near a Japanese cave.

Recently split from Chestnut-backed scimitar-babbler by some author, Javan Scimitar Babbler

– Two pairs of Pied-shrike Babblers in front of canteen Watu Ondo waterfall. – One pair Thrilling-shrike Babbler in front of canteen Watu Ondo waterfall.

Other notable birds included:

Flame-fronted Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Crested-honey Buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Eagle, Spotted Dove, Ruddy Cuckoo-dove, Pink-headed Fruitdove, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Cave Swiftlet, Banded Broadbill, Grey Wagtail, Javan Cuckooshrike, Sunda Minivet, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Sunda Bulbul, Lesser Shortwing, Javan Whistling Thrush, Crescent-chested Babbler, Horsfield’s Babbler, Sunda Bush Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Blue Nuthatch, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, White-flanked Sunbird, Ashy Drongo.

Other Taxa:

Javan Leaf Monkey

Indonesia endemic, Javan Leaf Monkey or Javan Langur

Birding Trips in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, January 2018

For 3 days we visited the most popular Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, East Java which is famous for its panoramic epic Mount Bromo, Tenggerese peoples and the highest peak of Java island, Semeru mountain. In contrast to other visitors who usually visit the breathtaking mount Bromo or climb Semeru mountain, we visited four birding spots around that area. This National Park still has a large rainforest that is still good and protected, and would be good habitat conditions for wildlife, especially birds.

Looking for (Javan) Banded Broadbill on Piket Nol, Lumajang

On 17 January morning we headed to Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java. The cliff area that became the crossroad of Malang-Lumajang highway still has good forest. We start from the searching of a bridge then walk westwards. In the morning the condition of passing vehicles is quite rare, so we just enjoy bird watching. Highlight birds that we managed to see for this spots are (Javan) Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Banded Kingfisher, (Javan) Banded Broadbill, Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot, Yellow-eared Barbet and Grey-cheeked tit-babbler.

Then at noon we drove to the south coast of Lumajang, at Selok Anyar village where habitat in this area is a rice field along the edge of the coastline with some angles there are fish ponds owned by the residents. Also there are some rice fields that become pastures where the buffalo graze.

Paddy field habitat in south-coast of Lumajang

We arrived here at 1.00 pm at a fishpond, immediately greeted by the Small-blue Kingfisher flying past us toward the other ponds. Then we walked along the rice fields, pastures and ponds to the rows of Australian pine tree beachside. As a result we noted many birds and the highlights were Javan Kingfisher, Small-blue or Cerulean Kingfisher, Javan Plover, Red Avadavat, Javan Munia.

Ruby on the ground, Red Avadavat or Strawberry Finch

On the second day we can only do a short birding until 10.30 pm in Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP because the rain does not stop until night. But in the lowland forest with a semi-natural lake, we managed to note endemic birds such as Javan Kingfisher, Sunda Cuckoo, Javan-banded Pitta, Sunda Forktail, and Javan Sunbird.

Similarly on the last day we were less fortunate. Arriving at the fourth birding spot, Coban Trisula departs from Ranu Darungan 1.5 hours through the rainforest in the area of Senduro and Tengger villages in Ranu Pani village and arrives at the location around 10:00 am. Not long after the rain was down until the afternoon. The rain stopped briefly, and there were some active birds like Pink-headed Fruitdove and White-browed Shrike-Babbler as well as the end of birding trips at Bromo Tengger Semeru NP.


(Javan) Buff-rumped Woodpecker: 2 individuals seen at Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java.

Banded Kingfisher: a female perched for 30 minutes at Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java.

(Javan) Banded Broadbill: 2 adults with 1 immature, looking for it’s meals at Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java.

Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot: 2-3 birds were foraging at Piket Nol, Lumajang and 1 flight at Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Yellow-eared Barbet: party of 22 birds at fruiting ficus sp tree in Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java.

Sunda Coucal: 2 birds seen at sugarcane fields in south-coast of Lumajang, East Java.

Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler: a small flock about 6 birds at Piket Nol, Lumajang, East Java.

Crescent-chested Babbler: 6 birds foraging at bushes in Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Javan Plover: a small flock of 6 birds foraging at paddy field in south-coast of Lumajang, East Java.

Javan Kingfisher: 3 individuals at paddy field south-coast of Lumajang and 1 bird at Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Small-blue or Cerulean Kingfisher: 2 birds perched at a fishpond in the south-coast of Lumajang, East Java.

Blue-eared Kingfisher: a pair of male and female around lake of Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Javan-banded Pitta: 4 individuals calling each other at Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Javan Sunbird: A pair of male and female in Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Sunda Forktail: single bird at the lake of Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Sunda Cuckoo: 2 birds singing in the canopy of a big tree in Ranu Darungan, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Pink-headed Fruitdove: 1 adult and 1 immature foraging at Coban Trisula, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

White-browed Shrike-Babbler: 1 male and 2 female catch moths at Coban Trisula, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, East Java.

Red Avadat: 30 individuals looking for food on the ground of a paddy field in the south-coast of Lumajang, East Java.

Javan Munia: total 67 birds foraging paddy seed at paddy field in south-coast of Lumajang, East Java.

Other notable birds included:

Crested-serpent Eagle, Black-thighed Falconet, White-breasted Waterhen, Greater Coucal, Lesser Coucal, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Lesser Shortwing, Horsfield’s Babbler, Ashy Drongo, Red-billed Malkoha, Plaintive Cuckoo, Square-tailed Drongo-cuckoo, Collared Kingfisher, Black-banded Barbet, Grey-and-buff Woodpecker, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Pied Triller, Scarlet Minivet, Large Woodshrike, Black-headed Bulbul, Sooty-vented Bulbul, Cream-vented Bulbul, Ashy Tailorbird, Wood Sandpiper, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Purple Heron, Eastern Cattle Egret, Javan Pond Heron, Common Buttonquail, Barred Buttonquail, Pacific Golden Plover, Common Sandpiper, Swinhoe’s Snipe, Pin-tailed Snipe, Greater Crested Tern, Spotted Dove, Savanna Nightjar, Cave Swiftlet, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, Pacific Swallow, Western Yellow Wagtail, Paddyfield Pipit, Zitting Cisticola, Plain Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Scaly-breasted Munia.


Enjoyed Pink-headed Fruit-dove in Malang

A sunny day when we were birding in Tahura R. Soeryo, Malang, East Java on 21 October 2017 with a family group from Jakarta. I Departed from Batu city around 08.30 am and arrived at the first location around Cangar hot spring 09.30 am.

We started walking around the cafeteria, we were greeted by Gray Wagtail flying down a small river in front of the canteen. Then scoped at the branches of the trees around. For 10 minutes only Sooty-headed Bulbul appeared.

Moved around the public toilet immediately greeted a Javan Kingfisher perched on the tree behind the toilet. We approached and looked for a clear view to enjoy its colorful feathers. These Java-Bali endemics are usually not easy to observe, it would fly away when seen by people approached.

Then the mix-flocks come with a noisy tweet at the top of the trees near the hot spring garden. The observed species such as Black-winged Flycatchershrike, Sunda Minivet, Sunda Cuckooshrike, Ashy Drongo, Blue Nuthatch and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch.

Next, we went into a jogging trek that led to the Japanese cave. Quite quiet along this path, just heard Rusty-breasted Cuckoo singing and a fast view of Oriental Cuckoo. Likewise when we arrived in front of the Japanese cave, hardly any birds appeared.

Wait a while and at least see the female White-flanked Sunbird and Javan Whistling Thrush which was the island’s endemic. Around 11.30 am I moved to the second spot, Watu Ondo ‘s parking area and park.

Upon arrival, an Indigo Flycatcher welcomed us. Indigo subspecies became full species spread only in montane and submontane primary and moss forests of Java. He perched on the bushes and occasionally grabbed the flying insects around it.

The raptor migration had begun, marked by the presence of Crested Honey Buzzard soaring high enough above us, then flew away from view.

We then walked in the opposite direction and found some Flame-fronted Barbet foraged at Ficus sp trees. This bird was very tame and did not care about us observing it close enough, about 10 meters.

Suddenly in the same tree from behind the leaves came a Pink-headed Fruit-dove to the center of a twig near the main stem. The red color in the head to his chest very firmly indicates that this was a male bird.

Same with the previous species, he did not feel disturbed by our presence. For approximately 45 minutes, we enjoyed this beautiful bird. Sometimes he ate the fruit of Ficus sp and then moved to perched and returned to eat the fruit. This live in the mountain forests of Sumatra and Java, became tour closing. Although it was only one day, at least we were lucky to see many species that were quite elusive and of course beautiful.

Systematic List:

1. Sooty-headed Bulbul | Pycnonotus aurigaster

2. Grey Wagtail | Motacilla cinerea

3. Lesser Forktail | Enicurus velatus | Heard Only

4. Javan Kingfisher | Halcyon cyanoventris

5. Black-winged Flycatchershrike | Hemipus hirundinaceus

6. Sunda Cuckooshrike | Coracina larvata

7. Sunda Minivet | Pericrocotus miniatus

8. Blue Nuthatch | Sitta azurea

9. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch | Sitta frontalis

10. Little Pied Flycatcher | Ficedula westermanni

11. Indigo Flycatcher | Eumyias indigo

12. Javan Hawk-Eagle | Nisaetus bartelsi

13. Oriental Cuckoo | Cuculus saturates

14. Rusty-breasted Cuckoo | Cacomantis sepulcralis

15. Ashy Drongo | Dicrurus leucophaeus

16. Sunda Whistling-thrush | Myophonus glaucinus

17. White-flanked Sunbird | Aethopyga eximia

18. Sunda Bush-warbler | Cettia vulcania | Heard Only

19. Lesser Shortwing | Brachypteryx leucophrys | Heard Only

20. White-browed Shrike-Babbler | Pteruthius flaviscapis

21. Crested Honey Buzzard | Pernis ptilorhynchus

22. Flame-fronted Barbet | Megalaima armillaris

23. Pink-headed Friut-dove | Ptilinopus porphyreus


1. Trachypithecus auratus | Javan Leaf Monkey

Woodpeckers Trip Report September 2017

During 6 days (06 – 11 September 2017) we had a trip looking for three species of woodpeckers around Malang, East Java with Gerard Gorman (authors of Woodpecker of the World the complete guide). This was our first specific trip focused on a separated population of Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Javan endemic Javan Flameback and Grey-and-Buff “Lilliput” Woodpecker.

On day one, we met at the Juanda International Airport (Surabaya, East Java) around 11.30 AM and headed to Wonorejo Wetland. After walking for 300 meters around the fish-pond we managed the first target, one group-family of Freckle-breasted Woodpeckers. We tried to observe the behavior.

At least we saw two families and managed to take photographs. After that, we changed direction to Malang for the hotel and managed for the rest of the targets.

In the next morning, we began observing at several sites of Tahura R. Soeryo for Javan Flameback. At 05.30 AM we tried to call the bird until one hour later we did not hear and see any responses. So we moved to the next site.

At Watu Ondo waterfall, we waited near a half dead tree. Unfortunately the birding was low, almost quiet. After lunch we moved to Cangar for the same target. The condition was the same as before until the next day. . We didn’t want to waste more time. We finished birding here and heading to Kondang Merak on that day.

Estuary of Kondang Merak

Kondang Merak is located in southern Malang. Here is where the last of the natural lowland rain-forest of Malang still remains. In Kondang Merak, September 08, we will take a couple of nights at home-stay near the beach. Birding will start in the early morning around homestay. Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker and Javan Flameback are our main purposes here.

We must take a fast move, to play the bird calls was the best way to attract them to show up. Sadly we just saw a flash moment of the lilliput. This might be the birds on breeding periods so were not active with calls. We tried in other spots and gave the same poor result.

Until September 10 the birding was tough for us, in the afternoon we drove out to the border of the forest. We called Crimson-winged Woodpecker, and then Afwan saw a silhouette of a woodpecker on a dead palm tree. We were surprised that the woodpecker was a female Javan Flameback, and then the birds flew to another dead palm tree which had many holes.

At that moment we saw a female feeding the chick (Me and Afwan) and male perched on the top of the next dead palm tree. The female flew followed by male. We waited for four hours and they did not show up again. We went back to the home-stay and tried it the next morning.

Woodpecker holes on Dead Palm tree

At 05.00 AM we arrived at the same location as yesterday. While waiting, we played the call of Javan Flameback and Rufous Woodpecker. For a half hour the Javan Flameback finally showed up. A single Rufous Woodpecker came to the Ficus tree near us followed by two other ones.

We enjoyed the behavior, sometimes the birds reacted with the call by ‘drumming’. It’s quite difficult to get a photo because it was always hindered by the leaves. At 07.45 AM the birds flew one by one and left from our scope.

Although birding was low and tough, we finally managed to see four species of woodpeckers, three of which were targets. We drove for five hours to the hotel near Juanda international airport, the next day our Gerard will continue the search for woodpeckers in Sulawesi and Sumatra. Good Luck!

Participant: Waskito Kukuh Wibowo, Gerard Gorman & Afwan Fitria

Additional: On September 17, 2017 I and a few friends revisited Kondang Merak to document the Javan Flameback in the nest tree. Arriving at around 03:15 PM we direct/heading to the nest tree. A few minutes later, no bird activity was observed. I initiated to approach the nest tree to ensure the existence of the bird. We clearly saw the nest-hole of the Javan Flameback. Most likely the young bird has fledged out. Next we headed to the home-stay for staying at night. The next morning we tried to find Gray-and-Buff Woodpecker and Javan Flameback around the home-stay and Jungle Trek.

From 6:30 to 9:00 AM our first trail failed to get the woodpeckers around the home-stay, then we moved to the jungle track. We walked and stopped at some point to play the calls and listen to the respond from the woodpecker. Until we reached the end of the jungle track we heard it was pecking. Soon we scoped the sound source.

Finally we managed to see three Javan Flameback (two males and one female) in one tree. The adults were taking care of the juvenile with a pale red crown. The group was most likely a different family from the other one. We saw their nest in the dead palm trees with a female juvenile.

Systematic List:

1. Anas gibberifrons | Sunda Teal

2. Tachybaptus novaehollandiae | Australasian Grebe

3. Spilopelia chinensis | Spotted Dove

4. Geopelia striata | Zebra Dove

5. Treron griseicauda | Grey-cheeked Green-pigeon

6. Collocalia linchi | Cave Swiftlet

7. Centropus nigrorufus | Javan Coucal

8. Zanclostomus javanicus | Red-billed Malkoha

9. Bubulcus ibis | Cattle Egret

10. Ardea purpurea | Purple Heron

11. Egretta garzetta | Little Egret

12. Charadrius dubius | Little Ringed Plover

13. Charadrius javanicus | Javan Plover

14. Calidris ruficollis | Red-necked Stint

15. Actitis hypoleucos | Common Sandpiper

16. Tringa glareola | Wood Sandpiper

17. Sternula albifrons | Little Tern

18. Spilornis cheela | Crested Serpent-eagle

19. Nisaetus bartelsi | Javan Hawk-eagle

20. Merops philippinus | Blue-tailed Bee-eater

21. Alcedo coerulescens | Cerulean Kingfisher

22. Halcyon cyanoventris | Javan Kingfisher

23. Todiramphus chloris | Collared Kingfisher

24. Psilopogon australis | Yellow-eared Barbet

25. Psilopogon javensis | Black-banded Barbet 26. Psilopogon armillaris | Flame-fronted Barbet

27. Hemicircus concretus | Grey-and-Buff “Liliput” Woodpecker

28. Chrysocolaptes strictus | Javan Flameback

29. Micropternus brachyurus | Rufous Woodpecker

30. Dendrocopos analis | Freckle-breasted Woodpecker

31. Gerygone sulphurea | Golden-bellied Gerygone

32. Pteruthius flaviscapis | Pied Shrike-babbler

33. Pericrocotus miniatus | Sunda Minivet

34. Aegithina tiphia | Common Iora | Heard Only

35. Rhipidura javanica | Sunda Pied Fantail

36. Dicrurus leucophaeus | Ashy Drongo

37. Lanius schach | Long-tailed Shrike

38. Harpactes oreskios | Orange-breasted Trogon

39. Cisticola juncidis | Zitting Cisticola

40. Prinia inornata | Plain Prinia

41. Orthotomus sutorius | Common Tailorbird | Heard Only

42. Hirundo javanica | House Swallow

43. Ixos virescens | Javan Bulbu

44. Pycnonotus dispar | Ruby-throated Bulbul

45. Pycnonotus aurigaster | Sooty-headed Bulbul

46. Pycnonotus bimaculatus | Orange-spotted Bulbul

47. Pycnonotus goiavier | Yellow-vented Bulbul

48. Heleia javanica | Javan Grey-throated White-eye

49. Malacocincla sepiaria | Horsfield’s Babbler | Heard Only

50. Sitta azurea | Blue Nuthatch

51. Eumyias indigo | Indigo Flycatcher

52. Enicurus velatus | Sunda Forktail

53. Enicurus leschenaulti | White-crowned Forktail

54. Ficedula westermanni | Little Pied Flycatcher

55. Arachnothera affinis Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter | Heard Only

56. Lonchura leucogastroides | Javan Munia

57. Passer montanus | Eurasian Tree Sparrow


1. Trachypithecus auratus | Javan Leaf Monkey

2. Callosciurus notatus | Plantain squirrel


1. Varanus salvator bivittatus | Asian Water Monitor

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.

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.