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!