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Report on a birding trip to Indonesia (Sumatra and Java) 24 June-17 July 2000,
Aidan G. Kelly E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants: Howard Armstrong (HA), Thaïs Armstrong (TA), Aidan G. Kelly (AGK).
Indonesia, the largest archipelago of islands in the world, is a fantastic birding destination. Together with some of the richest forests on earth, Indonesia has more endemic bird species than any other country in the world. Unfortunately Indonesia's huge population has taken its toll on the natural habitat and many bird species are highly threatened due to deforestation. In addition the Indonesian rampant passion for trapping and keeping wild birds in cages is so great that species such as Straw-headed Bulbul and Java Sparrow could easily disappear from Indonesia very soon.
Birdlife International has declared Indonesia to have more Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) than any other nation on earth. It has 24. The ever increasing population of Indonesia with the consequences for the natural habitat don't give reason for much hope for the future of the avifauna.
Forest destruction in the Sundaic lowlands of Indonesia has and continues to be so extensive that all primary formation forest is expected to have disappeared by 2010. The research work of Derek Holmes, resident expert on Indonesian birds, who sadly passed away in October 2000, showed that at current rates of destruction the Sundaic lowland dry-land forest, probably the most bio-diverse habitat on earth outside of South America, will disappear in Sumatra by 2005 and in Borneo by 2010. Because of these grim findings Birdlife's recently published Threatened Birds of the World included all species confined to lowland dry-land forest in the Sundaic region as either Near-threatened or Vulnerable. The Oriental Bird Club Bulletin (no.33) reports on this and mentions that in order to get one's head around the terrible pace of the forest destruction, in terms of hornbill habitat, (a family of birds which are great indicators of a healthy rain-forest), it is the equivalent of the habitat of 7000 hornbills being lost every day!
Indonesia is so vast and diverse that it would take many months to see a good range of its bird species. On a short visit it is best to confine oneself to a certain region. This trip was to the Greater Sunda islands of Sumatra and Java, with the majority of the trip being spent in Sumatra and a few days in Java. Unfortunately the security situation in Indonesia has now become quite volatile for travelers due to ethnic violence and many parts of Indonesia are effectively now out of bounds. Areas such as the Aceh region in Sumatra and the Moluccas, which includes that endemic rich island of Halmahera are currently too dangerous to visit. Hopefully in the not too distant future these parts will become accessible again, and there will be some habitat left to visit and birds to see.
On this trip we visited just three of those 24 EBAs. They were as follows:
The EBA of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia is classed as Urgent priority by Birdlife International and has 20 bird species confined to it. 14 species only on Sumatra, two in Peninsular Malaysia and four species shared between the two. The majority of these Sumatran endemics are to be found in the southern Barisan mountain range which includes the Kerinci-Seblat National Park. The main threat to this EBA is deforestation. One third of the natural montane forest has already disappeared and more than two thirds of the lowland forest has disappeared, probably at a rate faster than anywhere else in Indonesia. (Stattersfield et al. p. 492).
Java and Bali Forests are of Critical priority. Most natural forest on Java is now confined to the upper slopes of mountains and generally the bird species are in a dire situation. Pressure from an ever-increasing population with its consequences of habitat destruction and bird-trapping are taking their toll.
Javan Coastal Zone are classed as High priority. Very little natural habitat is left apart from a few remnant patches. Species such as Java Plover and Sunda Coucal are confined to this EBA.
Costs, accommodation, etc.:
The exchange rate at the time of our visit was 1US$= 8400 Rupiah.
Indonesia is a fairly cheap country to travel in. The total cost of the trip for me was just over USD $1200, which was very reasonable for a three week trip. The return flight to Jakarta with Emirates from Dublin cost IRP£479 (c. US$550). This was booked through Trailfinders in Dublin. This price was fairly cheap but the disadvantage was the length of the flight, with stops in Dubai, Colombo and Singapore before finally landing in Jakarta. The internal return flight between Jakarta and Padang with Garuda was quite expensive at US$200. These were booked in advance in Jakarta by HA and TA, who had spent some time in Java and Bali prior to my arrival. Preliminary inquiries from London at Garuda's offices 0044-171-4863011 (Reservations) and 0044-171-486-9353780 (Fares) about Internal flights showed that they were going to cost a lot more if they were booked outside of Indonesia. The car (van) and driver we hired in Sumatra was booked in advance and cost us $35/day (details under Transport section). This included the driver's fees and petrol so it was a fairly reasonable deal. The rest of the expenditure on food, accommodation etc. came to about US$300 over the three weeks.
Details of some of the places we stayed:
Jakarta: Huswah Transit Hotel,
Jalan Husein Sashra Negara
Benda Tangerang 15125
Keresik Tua:Keluarga (Homestay) Pak Subandi
Jalan Ray Muara Labuh,
Desa Keresik Tua
Tel: 0748- 357009
Sungai Penuh:Aroma Hotel
Bogor: Homestay Puri Bali 0251- 371352
Cibodas/Gunung Gede-Pangrango:Freddy's Homestay (30k Rp/night) Tel: 0263- 515473
Weather, conditions etc.
On our first visit to Gunung Kerinci the weather was good with calm conditions and it remained generally dry throughout the day. The same was true for our visit to the Tapan Road. On our return to Gunung Kerinci however we experienced poor weather with a lot of rain and strong wind. Bird activity was much more limited in these conditions. At Way Kambas we were lucky that it was dry throughout our stay as there had been almost continuous unseasonal rain for many weeks just prior to our visit and many areas remained very flooded. Conditions in Java were generally good with generally fine weather and only occasional rain experienced.
For Sumatra we decided not to use public transport to get to the Kerinci-Seblat National Park from Padang, but booked a car and driver (details below) in advance to bring us. The driver stayed with us for the duration, dropping us back at the airport in Padang, to return to Java.
Djamailis djamin (Jimmy)
Jalan Tanlung Karang Block C
12 Siteba Padang 25146
Tel: 0751 41439
In east Sumatra and Java we made use of a combination of local 'bemos' or van-taxis and larger public buses to get around.
Notes on sites visited:
Sumatra is a huge island being over 1000km long. More than 600 species have been recorded there. It still has large tracts of rainforests which are some of the richest on earth. However these are disappearing fast due to logging and burning. Sumatra has roughly 20 species of endemic bird, depending on what taxonomic system is followed. However for all of us on this trip seeing the two endemic pittas was going to be our main target and anything after this would be a bonus. Searching for the pittas on this trip was certainly very tough and often extremely frustrating but usually rewarding eventually. Bas van Balen summed up the feelings well about this family in Paul Jepson's book Birding Indonesia when he wrote:
"Getting views of these jewels of the forest floor demands the utmost patience. The overwhelming sense of anticipation when you know you are close, turning to knee-wobbling excitement at the first glimpse, and then, when -and if- you get a clear view, the mixture of awe and relief, is one of the best birding experiences to be had in Asia."
Patience was certainly something we did need for the Sumatran Pittas and I found them the most challenging of the pittas I'd tried to see in my travels so far.
The birds of Sumatra are comparatively little known compared to Java the rest of the Greater Sundas. Like us, most birders visit the following sites on a short trip but there are many other less known areas that deserve attention (Filip Verbelen, privately published trip report).
Kerinci-Seblat National Park / Gunung (Mount) Kerinci (http://www.kerinci.org/) In the middle of the Barisan Mountain range lies the 3805m high Gunung Kerinci, the highest mountain in Sumatra. Three quarters of Sumatra's endemics have been recorded at this site, so naturally this is the most popular place for birders to visit when they come to Sumatra. The best base for exploring the mountain is the village of Keresik Tua (1500m), about 5 hours by road from Padang. KSNP occupies 15,000 sq. km and is the largest area of continuous rain forest in Sumatra.
The main trail up the mountain is reached by crossing a track through vast tea plantations. The forest edge is at about 1750m altitude. Unfortunately even the habitat here is disappearing and the area beyond the entrance arch known as the 'scrub tunnel' has now been cleared totally. Birds are still trapped and shot here too with the endemic Salvadori's Pheasant being a favourite target for ground traps.
For botanists the tallest flower in the world Amorphophallus titanum can sometimes be found flowering in the National Park. It is endemic to Sumatra. This mountain is the best known site in the world for the endemic Schneider's Pitta. By June we were told that birds would respond little to a tape and the best bet to see this species was to slowly walk the trail and hope for a glimpse of one on the trail itself.
We did not visit the other main birding site of Gunung Tujuh and Lake Tujuh, a track to which leads from Pelompek. With more time this would certainly be worth a visit.
Letter 'W' Waterfall (Telok Air Putih) This site is situated 4km on the Padang side of Pelompek village (10km north of Keresik Tua). It is worth visiting for a few hours as it is a fairly reliable site for Waterfall or Giant Swiftlet. It is also possible to see the endemic Blue-masked Leafbird here.
Tapan Road to Mauro Sako
Mauro Sako (300m) is 49 km beyond Keresik Tua on the Tapan Road. The road from Sungai Penuh to Mauro Sako passes through very rich forest at a lower elevation than at Gunung Kerinci and thus with a different avifauna present. We made a number of stops along the road and let the vehicle drive ahead of us and birded our way down to it. It is difficult to enter any forest off the road itself as there are no trails as such, but we did so on a few occasions to look for Graceful Pitta. The forests here and especially the area around Mauro Sako have a healthy population of Tigers so it is not advisable to stay on the road after dark.
Way Kambas N.P. (http://www.geocities.com/Rainforest/4466/kambas1.htm) This National Park the area of which consists of 1235 sq. km. (130,000 ha.). is now effectively an oasis surrounded by ravaged habitat. The habitat here is a mixture of lowland forest, open grassland, and peat swamp forest. Only 20% is still forested. It lies near the eastern tip of Sumatra. From Metro you take the road towards Way Jepara. The Way Kanan clearing, which is where the accommodation is, can be found by entering the park gate and driving the jeeptrack for about 10km to its end. There is a small loop trail known as the Look Trail which enters the forest on the right just before the Way Kanan clearing, but most of the birding can be done from the jeep track itself. For the White-winged Duck, it will probably be necessary to take a boat trip up river from Way Kanan.
Java has been ravaged with habitat destruction by its huge population, 60% of the Indonesian population living on 132,000 sq. km or 7% of the land area. A combination of habitat destruction, drainage and extensive bird trapping have had dire consequences for its birdlife. Jakarta alone has a population of 9 million people. The endemics, of which Java has about 20, are now predominantly confined to the very few remaining forest patches. In total over 430 species have been recorded on Java.
Gunung Gede-Pangrango N.P. (15000 ha.) and Cibodas Botanical Gardens (600ha.) (Kebun Raya Cibodas)
Gunung Gede (2958m) and Gunung Pangrango (3019m) are two volcanic mountains whose forested slopes hold many of the Javan endemics. Java is the world's most volcanically active islands. The area is protected as a National Park and is about 105km (2 hours) south-east of Jakarta. The habitat is really good with rich montane forest cloaking the two volcanoes. The nearby Cibodas Botanical Gardens are also worth visiting too. Permits for the N.P. must be obtained in a HQ just before the entrance to the botanical gardens on the right hand side.
Although it was mid-week when we visited the area was very busy with hundreds of local school children climbing the mountain. This obviously made birding tough at times, but nevertheless we recorded a good variety of Javan endemics over the few days we spent in the area.
We stayed at Freddy's homestay which we pre-booked in advance. Freddy is used to birders and his two sons can act as bird guides. There is a log-book of recent sightings kept at the homestay. Looking at the log-book there had been no recent sightings of the endemic White-bellied Fantail at Gunung Gede-Pangrango and Freddy's son Eddie was of the opinion that it was gone from the mountain. HA and TA had managed to see this species in Java prior my arrival at Gunung Halimun.
Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor). Bogor is a city 60km south of Jakarta. The botanical gardens are a small oasis of 87 ha. In the centre of the city. These gardens are world renowned for their botanical collection. The park provides a refuge for a number of bird species which are now difficult to find in Java. A short visit to the area would certainly be worthwhile for anyone birding west Java.
Muara Angke: This is a tiny remnant marshy area of 27ha. near Surabaya in Jakarta. It is close to the new housing estate of Pantai Indah Kapuk. The area is well known as one of the few remaining sites for the rare Sunda Coucal, a small number of which seem to be still hanging on here. The whole area is very degraded and the boardwalk through the marsh has now broken down completely, so the only area to view from is the look-out tower at the entrance to the reserve. Further back up the road away from the reserve, where some buildings were under construction, there were still some wet areas with a few pools remaining. On these there were still some Javan Plovers, but for how long these areas will remain is uncertain.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. John MacKinnon and Karen Phillipps. Oxford University Press. 1993. (The essential field guide to the area).
Birdlife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, U.K.: Lynx Edicions and Birdlife International.
Where to Watch Birds in Asia. Nigel Wheatley. 1996. Christopher Helm.
Birding Indonesia: A bird-watcher's Guide to the World's Largest Archipelago Paul Jepson. Periplus Editions (HK) ltd. 1997. (A very readable guide book full of information and with excellent photographs).
Endemic Bird Areas of the World. Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. Stattersfield A.J. et al Birdlife Conservation Series No.7 (1998).
An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region. T. Inskipp, N. Lindsey and W. Duckworth. (1996).
The Birds of Sumatra. An Annotated Checklist. BOU Checklist No. 10. J.G. van Marle and Karl H. Voous. 1988. (Useful but not essential).
del Hoyo J., Elliott A. and Sargatal J. eds. 1992-2000. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vols. 1-6 Lynx edicions. Barcelona.
The following family monographs were also of use for many species:
Pittas, Broadbills and Asities Lambert and Woodcock. (Pica Press)
Tits, Nuthatches and Treecreepers S. Harrap, D. Quinn. (Helm)
Woodpeckers H. Winkler, D.A. Christie, D. Nurney. (Pica Press)
Swifts R. Chandler, G. Driessens. (Pica Press)
Finches and Sparrows P. Clement, A. Harris, J. Davis. (Helm)
Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers C.H. Fry, H. Fry, A. Harris. (Helm)
Wildfowl S. Madge, H. Burn. (Helm)
Crows and Jays S. Madge, H. Burn. (Helm)
Starlings and Mynas Feare and Craig. (Helm)
Parrots Juniper and Parr. (Pica Press)
Nightjars Cleere and Nurney. (Pica Press)
Trip reports, articles etc:
Birding in Sumatra. Filip Verbelen (privately published).
A compilation report (October 1992, October 1995, August-September 1997 and
Trip Report: Sumatra (Indonesia), April 5-16, 1998 Trevor Quested.
The following articles from the Oriental Bird Club Bulletin are useful for reference:
Milky Stork, Ibis cinereus, and birds of the Javan Plain. Wilson, S.A. and Allport, G.
OBC Bulletin 1 p 12.
Records of the White-winged Duck, Cairina scutulata, in Sumatran Peatswamp Forest
Nash, S.V. and Nash, A.D. OBC Bulletin 3 p 17.
Waterbird surveys in south-east Sumatra Danielsen, F. and Skov, H.
OBC Bulletin 6 p 8.
The Sunda Coucal, Centropus nigrorufus Andrew, P. OBC Bulletin 7 p 24.
Mountain Serin, Serinus estherae. Clements, P. OBC Bulletin 12 - November 1990 p 27.
Focus on White-winged Wood Duck, Cairina scutulata. Green, A. OBC Bulletin 14 - November 1991 p. 25.
Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park, Java Balen, B. Van, OBC Bulletin 15, May 1992 p27
The specific status of Bare-headed Laughingthrush, Garrulax calvus Harrap, S.
OBC Bulletin 16, November 1992: p 48.
Indonesian birding itineraries Bostock, N. et al.
OBC Bulletin 18, November 1993 p 30-48.
Supplement. Indonesia Holmes, D.
OBC Bulletin 18, November 1993 p 2.
The identification of tit-babblers and red sunbirds on JavaBalen, B. Van, OBC Bulletin 18, November 1993 p 26
Sumatran Cochoa, Cochoa beccarii, on Gunung Kerinci, Sumatra. Simpson, B.
OBC Bulletin 21, July 1995: p 50.
Kerinci-Seblat National Park, Sumatra. Tobias, J.
OBC Bulletin 21, July 1995: p 53.
The following articles from the Oriental Bird
Club Journal Forktail are useful for reference:
A.J. Green. The biology of the White-winged Duck, Cairina scutulata p 65. Forktail, number 8, February 1993
N. J. Collar and A. Long, Taxonomy and names of Carpococcyx cuckoos from the Greater Sundas
Forktail, number 11, February 1996 p 135.
V. Nijman and R. Sozer, Field identification of the Javan Hawk Eagle, Spizaetus bartelsi
Forktail, number 14, August 1998 p 13.
The journal Kukila is devoted to Indonesian ornithology. More details at www.zoo.nsw.gov.au/kukila/
Special thanks to Filip Verbelen for much helpful information and maps provided before we left. Many thanks also to K. David Bishop who gave me a lot of pre-trip advice and help. In addition useful information was supplied to me in e-mails from Ashley Banwell, Chris Bell, Mike Bowman and Magnus Gelang to whom I am very grateful. Thanks to Howard and Thaïs Armstrong for good companionship in the field.
Sat 24 June Dublin to London. London to Dubai. Onward to Jakarta via Colombo
Sun 25 June Arrive Jakarta. Overnight here.
Mon 26 June Flew Jakarta to Padang (Sumatra). Travel Padang to Keresik Tua (Mount Kerinci region). Overnight Keresik Tua.
Tues 27 Jun Mount Kerinci. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Wed 28 June Mount Kerinci. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Thur 29 June Mount Kerinci. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Fri 30 June Mount Kerinci and Letter "W" Waterfall. Travel Keresik Tua to Sungai Penuh. Overnight here.
Sat 1 July Tapan Road to Mauro Sako. Overnight Sungai Penuh.
Sun 2 July Tapan Road. Drove back to Keresik Tua via Sungai Penuh. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Mon 3 July Mount Kerinci. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Tues 4 July Mount Kerinci. Overnight Keresik Tua.
Wed 5 July Travel Keresik Tua to Padang. Flew to Jakarta. Bus to Merak. Overnight Merak.
Thur 6 July Ferry from Merak (Java) to Bakuheni (Sumatra). Bus to Bandar Lampung. 'Bemo' to Way Kambas/Way Kanan. Overnight Way Kambas.
Fri 7 July Way Kambas. Overnight here.
Sat 8 July Way Kambas. Overnight here.
Sun 9 July Way Kambas. Overnight here.
Mon 10 July Travel Way Kambas to Bandar Lampung. Onward to Bakuheni. Ferry from Bakuheni to Merak. Bus Merak to Jakarta. 'Bemo' to Freddy's Homestay near Gunung Gede/Pangrango N.P., where overnighted.
Tues 11 July Gunung Gede/Pangrango N.P. Overnight Freddy's Homestay.
Wed 12 July Gunung Gede/Pangrango N.P. Cibodas Botanical Gardens. Overnight Freddy's Homestay.
Thur 13 July Gunung Gede/Pangrango N.P. Overnight Freddy's Homestay.
Fri 14 July Cibodas Botanical Gardens. Gunung Gede/Pangrango N.P. 'Bemo' to Bogor from Freddy's. Bogor Botanical Gardens. Overnight Bogor.
Sat 15 July Bogor Botanical Gardens. Bus to Jakarta. Taxi to Muara Angke nature reserve. Overnight Jakarta.
Sun 16 July Muara Angke nature reserve and vicinity. Went to Airport in afternoon. Left Jakarta at 20.40hrs.
Mon 17 July Flew Dubai to London. London to Dublin.
Sat 24 July
Left Dublin Airport at 08.30hrs., arriving London Heathrow for onward flight with Emirates EK002 to Dubai, leaving on time at 13.45hrs. Arrived Dubai at 23.30hrs.
Sun 25 June
Left Dubai at 03.30hrs. on Emirates EK076 eventually arriving 18.40hrs. in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta after stops in Colombo and Singapore. After about an hour clearing customs and collecting bag, was met by Howard and Thaïs Armstrong, who were on an extended World birding trip, having spent the last few weeks in Java and Bali. They had already arranged accommodation near the airport which was at the Huswah Transit Hotel. Huswah provided them with a courtesy taxi to collect me. Got to hotel, checked in and then went out to a nearby restaurant for some food. Back by 21.30hrs. and heard a Savannah Nightjar flying around the hotel. Failed to see it.
Didn't sleep much due to jet-lag. Also regularly hearing Savannah Nightjars flying around the polluted urban setting outside kept me from sleeping! Eventually a tape brought one flying in towards the window to investigate and some views were had.
Mon 26 June
Up at 05.00hrs. Savannah Nightjar still giving its high penetrating call in vicinity but failed to see it. We got a taxi to the nearby Jakarta airport where we took the 07.00hrs. flight to Padang in Sumatra. Impressive views of the vast forested hills of the Barisan range as far as the eye could see, made us realise there is much to be conserved and so much to be lost in this region of Indonesia. We wondered if there was any chance that there still existed some Sumatran Ground Cuckoos in the forests of the Barisan Mountains below us..
Arrived Padang and were met by Eddin and Nopee with our pre-arranged 'bemo' van. After briefly shopping for a few provisions just outside Padang we headed off towards Keresik Tua and the Mount Kerinci National Park with Nopee. Eddin told us he would join us in Keresik Tua in a few days time. As we climbed, we passed much degraded habitat, eventually getting into more decent secondary forest. We stopped at one stage for a break but
birdwise saw very little except a few Pacific Swallows, Sooty-headed and Yellow-vented Bulbuls.
Soon after this Nopee pointed out the impressive Mount Kerinci in the distance, the home of most of our target birds of the trip. Not far from Keresik Tua we spotted a group of birders ahead of us. It turned out to be a Birdquest Tour. We chatted for a while and then completed the journey to Keresik Tua.
Arrived at Pak Subandi's homestay at about 16.00hrs. only to find that as expected it was full. This was the place where Birdquest were staying. We met Subandi, a nice and helpful guy. He suggested we stay at Mr. Timan's homestay a few hundred metres further up the road. We checked in here and arranged for an early breakfast for next morning. Checked out the logbook of recent sightings at Subandi's homestay.
Tue 27 June
Got up at 04.00hrs. By 04.45hrs., after a candle-lit breakfast, we headed off in the bemo with Nopee. It took some time for Nopee to start the van but we eventually got going. We hoped there was not going to be further mechanical problems with the van. In the dark we drove the 5-6 km on the track through the tea plantations to arrive at the base of the trail up Mount Kerinci. Not surprisingly we met the Birdquest group here too! We found out that their plan this morning was to go high up on the mountain. This suited all, as we would be concentrating lower down. We didn't want to be overlapping each other too much on the single trail up the mountain.
We slowly began birding the very dense trail. Our hopes raised very quickly when just after dawn we heard the 'most wanted' bird of the trip, the highly elusive Schneider's Pitta (http://www.kerinci.org/ff14.html) calling off the trail. However due to the totally impenetrable nature of the vegetation, it soon became obvious that the only realistic chance we had of seeing this species was if we were to come a cross a bird on the trail itself. Here, going off-trail to see a pitta was certainly not going to be an option. Also we heard that using a tape would be of little help at this late stage in the breeding season as any birds present would have finished breeding and would not be very responsive. After some time the bird went silent and we somewhat reluctantly continued slowly on the trail up to the base shelter. Highlights were a (Sumatran) Blue-tailed Trogon, a Sumatran Treepie, 2 Rusty-breasted (Sumatran) Wren Babblers plus more heard, both Eye-browed and Pygmy Wren Babblers. Mixed flocks held Golden and Grey-throated Babblers and our first Sunda Warblers. We also recorded Indigo and Snowy-browed Flycatchers. We went on further, climbing as far as the 'Air Minum' sign. As we stood at the sign we noticed some movements in a nearby tree and soon realised it was a fruiting tree. Then unbelievably HA shouted that he had a Sumatran Cochoa perched high in the tree! After some initial panic we all got onto it as it sat motionless in the canopy. It was a male. We got views of this very rare and poorly known species intermittently for the next while as it moved very unobtrusively in the canopy. The trip was now off to a fine start with one of the major target birds in the bag already. This was one we just hoped to see but realistically thought was going to be much tougher, if not impossible. In the end HA and TA saw at least one female-type and possibly even a third individual bird which may have been a young male. The extremely high-pitched cochoa-whistle was heard intermittently coming from the canopy but getting onto the birds proved frustratingly difficult for the most part.
Slowly made our way back down the trail and drove to the Park HQ (PHPA office) (about half way along the track through the tea plantation) towards Keresik Tua, where we were told we would need to buy our permits. It was closed however with no sign of life. We returned to the forest and started birding the trail again until dusk. Returned in the bemo to Mr. Timan's homestay by 19.00hrs. for a welcome shower and excellent meal. Later on we met Subandi and he told us that to avoid us having to leave the mountain in the middle of the day, he would get the permits for us if we gave him the money.
Wed 28 June
Up at 04.00hrs. and had breakfast. This morning the van had given up completely and wouldn't start despite Nopee's best efforts. In the end we got a lift up to the base of the mountain in the Birdquest van, once they had been dropped up first. It turned out that it was the same company we were both using for the transport. We compared the more comfortable seats of the Birdquest van with ours and realised why these tour company trips usually costs more!! We sent Nopee off with the instructions to make sure our vehicle was fixed by evening when we wanted to be collected.
Slowly made our way up the trail. We heard a Pale-headed (Short-tailed) Frogmouth but failed to see it. This time we took a left turn from the first shelter and went down towards the dried out river bed. We took the steep and slippery descent and crossed over and up the other side. We continued and took a turn to the left down a small indistinct 'trail' with an 'X' marked on a tree alongside. Subandi told us he had been able to see Schneider's Pitta here before as the area is slightly more open than many areas back on the main trails. Exact details of the spot and a small map were to be found in the logbook at Subandi's place. We also heard Red-billed Partridge but this too was going to prove a tough one to see.
We managed to hear a Schneider's Pitta eventually in this area but after spending many frustrating hours sitting and waiting failed to see anything. We slowly made our way back to the base shelter (also known as 'Pondok'), where we met the Birdquest group on their way back down from the Air Minum area. They too had now seen the Sumatran Cochoas at this spot. Also they were able to show us the full frame video footage they had obtained of a perched Pale-headed Frogmouth just before dawn this morning!
We birded slowly back down the trail to the beginning with eyes peeled on the trails, but no pittas were in evidence. We returned to the base camp and proceeded to Air Minum. We heard a Sumatran Cochoa calling but failed to see it. Other highlights were our first Sunda Minivets and a single Sunda Blue Robin. Once again we returned to the base shelter, where we stayed until dusk, spotlighting along the trail as we descended. Rain had started to fall at this stage however and we saw nothing. We emerged from the forest at 19.30hrs. and were pleased to see Nopee present with our van in working order. Returned to Keresik Tua for another welcome shower and meal.
Thur 29 June
Got up this morning at 03.50hrs, enabling us to leave Keresik Tua by 04.30hrs. We were hoping to have some time this morning to try for Pale-headed Frogmouth before daylight arrived. As we proceeded slowly along the trail in the pitch dark with tape and torches we met the Birdquest group who were trying for Rajah Scops Owl. We all heard a Rajah Scops calling but it failed to come in to the tape. They were leaving the area by noon so we said good-bye to them. We later heard the Frogmouth calling but again failed to see it.
Once again we crossed the dry riverbed from the base shelter and spent a number of hours sitting and waiting in the hope of seeing a Schneider's Pitta but only succeeded in hearing two birds calling. We did see 2 Blue-tailed Trogons, one being a recently fledged juvenile.
We returned to the base shelter and then proceeded up past Air Minum (where we heard the Cochoa calling briefly at the 'usual' spot but again failed to see it) all the way to the 'First Shelter'. On our way up we had some views of a pair of Salvadori's Pheasants (http://www.kerinci.org/ff15.html) crossing the trail. Then as we took some time for a short mid-afternoon snooze at the First shelter, amazingly TA awoke to see a female Salvadori's Pheasant wandering through the shelter itself. The rest of us weren't quick enough for a view in the panic. Perhaps they are attracted to this area by any discarded food, rice etc. left by people. Other species noted today were Shiny Whistling Thrush, a single Sunda Whistling Thrush, a single Sunda Bush Warbler, and a few Maroon Woodpeckers. We slowly descended, arriving in the late evening back above the dry river bed where we heard the loud mournful note of a Long-billed Wren Babbler calling from a long way down in the valley. This was one we would have to try to see tomorrow. We continued the descent, with eyes peeled as we turned every corner of the trail, but there was no sign of any pittas. We left the area by 19.15hrs.
Fri 30 June
Got up at 04.00hrs. and left the homestay by 04.30hrs. Once again we tried for the Pale-headed Frogmouth pre-dawn but frustratingly only succeeded in hearing it again. From the base shelter we heard the rapid 'tukking' note of a Salvadori's Nightjar just before dawn but the bird failed to give us a view. After dawn we proceeded down to the river-bed and after some while we heard the Long-billed Wren Babbler and eventually succeeded in getting some brief views of this skulking bird. A second bird called nearby. A real bonus was seeing a group of three Red-billed Partridges fly across the gap from one side of the narrow river-bed to the other. We went as far as Air Minum, seeing a female Salvadori's Pheasant crossing the trail and walking a short way along it before disappearing into cover. As we descended slowly and quietly down the trail, we again kept our eyes peeled for any movements on the trail. In the canopy a movement revealed itself as a superb male Pink-headed Fruit Dove. Near the base shelter we saw a female Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon. Then nearby, TA and HA recognised an unusual repetitive call as than of a Peacock Pheasant. It had to be a Sumatran Peacock Pheasant. We knew however than unless the bird ventured towards the trail, we hadn't a hope of seeing it. After a while the bird became silent and we were forced to give up on it.
We continued on back the trail towards the beginning. As we almost reached the end, I noticed a movement ahead on the trail. Raising the bins revealed the unmistakable figure of a pitta hopping at the edge of the trail. It was a female (or perhaps juvenile) Schneider's Pitta! It bounded further along the edge of the trail and then disappeared into the vegetation. Unfortunately the whole event was over in about 15 seconds and HA failed to pick up the bird in the panic of the moment. Ironically after spending so much time scouring the trails deep in the forest, this bird was almost at the edge of where the forest started. We stood quietly nearby for the next hour or so, in the hope that the bird would hop onto the trail again, but unfortunately it failed to show. We knew that we had to leave soon if we wanted to get to the Letter 'W' waterfall before we traveled to Sungai Penuh in the evening.
By 12.30hrs. we were back at the van and drove down to Keresik Tua where we had lunch at Mr. Timan's and packed our bags to leave. In the afternoon we headed to the Letter 'W' Waterfall about 12 km back up the road towards Padang. This was a known stakeout for the Waterfall or Giant Swiftlet. When we arrived there was no sign of any swifts. We sat above the waterfall and waited. After a while we managed to see the endemic Blue-masked Leafbird and got the 'scope on a pair perched across the valley. Eventually a single Giant Swiftlet flew through the area of the waterfall, looking much more like a swift than a swiftlet due to its size and bulk. We had seen our target birds at this stage, so headed down to a nearby bridge over a river on the Padang road, a known spot for Lesser (Sunda) Forktail and sure enough there was a female bird moving around on the rocks some distance down the river. By know we had been joined by Eddin who had arrived at Keresik Tua and found that we had headed to Letter 'W'. He was going to be with us for the remainder of this sector of the trip.
We proceeded back through Keresik Tua and made the journey onward to the town of Sungai Penuh. We checked into the Aroma Hotel. Eddin had to persuade them to give us some rooms since they were full due to a Koran reading competition/festival which was taking place in the town. But his brother's company were regular using of the Aroma Hotel, and this was the reason Eddin said that they found space for us. Although the festival was a colourful event and had a carnival atmosphere, it meant that we had to put up with loud recitals coming from loudspeakers for much of the time!
Sat 1 July
We left the Aroma Hotel at 05.00hrs. and traveled to the Tapan Road, which goes through an area rich in rainforest. This road leads eventually to the small village of Mauro Sako. We stopped near the km24 marker point and went up a steep overgrown ridge to get into the forest above. We knew that others had previously recorded the little known Graceful Pitta, which is endemic to Sumatra, in this general area. When we got onto somewhat level ground, we played a tape to see if there would be any birds responding. Amazingly almost immediately we heard the high pitched whistle of a responding pitta. It came closer but the vegetation was so unbelievably dense that we had no chance of seeing it. After a while there was silence. We moved on creating our own trail over the ridge through the dense undergrowth of the forest. After a while we located a second bird, but once again we failed to see it. This species was proving to be frustratingly tough, just like the Schneider's Pitta at Kerinci. We recorded Sunda Streaked Bulbul in this area.
Eventually we got back to the road and found the van with Eddin and Nopee. We continued driving onwards on the road, with a few birding stops en route. Birds were numerous along the road and it really was a fantastic place. We quickly saw both species of the endemic Sumatran bulbuls, Spot-necked and Cream-striped. We also had Grey-bellied and Scaly-breasted amongst others. Other species noted were Sunda (Black-faced) Cuckooshrike, Blue-masked Leafbird, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, a male Red-headed Trogon, Temminck's Sunbird, Whiskered Treeswift and good numbers of Little Cuckoo Doves. We also heard Black-and-yellow and Banded Broadbills calling on a few occasions. We failed to see any definite Sumatran Drongos however. Close to Mauro Sako we heard our first Great Argus of the trip calling away up the slopes and were also able to watch a group of Siamangs (the largest member of the gibbon family) in the trees across the valley. An amazingly loud sound from both species.
Eventually we reached the village of Mauro Sako and stopped here for a while, attracting much curiosity from the local friendly children. On our way back up towards Sungai Penuh, we stopped again at c.400m altitude point as we knew that Graceful Pitta had been recorded in this area. Unfortunately we had no sign of any here. For the evening we decided to concentrate around the km22-km24 area in the hope of seeing this species. We tried crashing in to the dense forest in a few areas around here, but unfortunately had no sign of any pittas and heard none. By dusk we left for Sungai Penuh and back to the Aroma Hotel.
Sun 2 July
We left the Aroma Hotel at 05.10hrs. and headed back to the Tapan Road, reaching km24 before dawn. We were amazed to see up to 3 Lesser Forktails feeding on the road in the dark in the headlights of the van. At dawn we went off-trail again for a number of hours trying for Graceful Pitta. We succeeded in hearing two birds as yesterday, but no views were had, the closest being me seeing a shape moving through the vegetation. We then repeated yesterday's route and headed down the road to Mauro Sako, stopping occasionally at times. Still no Sumatran Drongos were to be seen. We heard the Great Argus calling again in the same area as yesterday. Other birds noted were Spot-necked, Red-eyed and Grey-bellied Bulbuls, Plain Sunbirds, a few Spot-necked Babblers and a group of Black Laughingthrushes.
Going back up the road we decided to concentrate our efforts again for the pitta between the 23 and 24 km marker posts. We went up another ridge near km23 but failed to hear any birds in this area. By this stage time was running out and we were resigned to the fact that we were probably not going to see a Graceful Pitta on this trip. We returned to the road and began to make our way back down to meet Eddin and the van. We had arranged to meet him around 18.00hrs. and it was now after 17.30hrs. As we walked down the road, I casually played a recording of Graceful Pitta and we couldn't believe it when we heard a bird call from right beside the road below us. The only problem was the totally impenetrable nature of the vegetation and although the bird was now extremely close just below us, and right beside the road, there was only just one or two tiny holes through the vegetation where you could have any hope of seeing the bird! Just when we thought the bird had gone it would resume calling right below us. Desperation was setting in and we had to head off very soon if we were to get to Keresik Tua that night. As we all continued peering towards the direction of the call TA shouted that she could see the bird! In the panic that followed we all got a brief view. Then the bird suddenly did us the biggest favour imaginable by flying across the road and landing on the bank on the far side. It quickly hopped up the slope and out of sight but not before giving us a decent view of its beautiful scarlet red plumage. In flight it looked amazingly brown compared to what I had been expecting for this species. We were all on a high as we left the area, having seen our main target bird in the dying moments of our visit here.
Minutes later we met Eddin, Nopee and the van and headed back to the Aroma Hotel to collect our bags. From there we headed onwards to Keresik Tua, where we returned to Mr. Timan's homestay for the next three nights.
Mon 3 July
Up at 04.00hrs. We left Mr. Timan's at 04.30hrs. Unfortunately the weather had now changed for the worst as it was raining with a fairly strong wind blowing. We drove the few km to the base of the Mount Kerinci trail and slowly made our way up. We tried for the Frogmouth as we went along the trail but unfortunately there was little nightbird activity due to the weather. After dawn we continued up as far as Air Minum and slowly made our way back down. The best bird noted was a female Salvadori's Pheasant walking along the trail before seeing us and quickly disappearing into cover. We then proceeded to walk slowly back and forth along the length of trail between the start and the base shelter in the hope of coming across a Schneider's Pitta on the trail. Occasionally we sat out of view at slightly more open parts of the dense trail in the hope that a bird would appear. Our hopes raised for a while when we heard some form of tapping sound just off the trail. We'd heard that the birds sometimes come onto the trails to use small rocks as anvils to break large snails, one of their main food items, so we wondered if this could be the pitta. Then there was silence and we heard nothing more.
Further along the trail I made the tantalising discovery of a large broken snail shell right along the trail. It was quite obvious on the trail, so we wouldn't have missed it before. The pitta was definitely close but unfortunately may have heard us coming on the trail before we had a chance to see it. We continued up and down slowly along the first section of the trail, but pittas eluded us totally. We didn't even hear one today. Other birds noted today were two Orange-backed Woodpeckers, a few Shiny Whistling Thrushes, Mountain Leaf Warblers, Black-capped White-eye plus the usual feeding group of Golden and Grey-throated Babblers with a few Sunda Warblers in attendance. We left the area at 18.30hrs. due to the poor weather conditions still prevailing, and hoped for an improvement tomorrow. Returned to Mr. Timan's for shower, dinner and log-call.
Tue 4 July
Torrential rain began during the night though had eased considerably when we got up at 04.00hrs. However it was still quite windy which we knew would not help out attempts to see night-birds or ground birds. Traveled in the van across the track once again for our last visit to Mount Kerinci. Slowly walked to base shelter trying for Pale-headed Frogmouth again, but we heard nothing, probably due to the bad weather. We continued from the Base shelter as far as Air Minum and then slowly went back down the trail to the beginning of the forest. On the way we heard another Sumatran Peacock Pheasant but frustratingly only got a brief view of the vegetation moving in the area where the bird was calling from. When we reached the edge of the forest we ate some lunch as we sat hoping for the Schneider's to make a reappearance at the spot two of us had seen it a few days ago. We saw and heard nothing however.
We did see a few birds though, including 2 beautiful Pink-headed Fruit Doves, a few Eye-browed Wren Babblers, a female Sunda Blue Robin, a Black Eagle and a male and immature Pygmy Blue Flycatcher.
Walking slowly back up the trail in the afternoon I found the fresh broken shell of a large snail on the trail near the 6km marker. This definitely wasn't on the trail when we passed the same spot a number of hours earlier! Obviously the pitta had been on the trail, probably when we were having lunch at the edge of the forest. We stayed in the general area for some time walking slowly and silently, listening for any sounds and eyes peeled for any movement, but unfortunately we neither saw nor heard any pittas. Towards evening the weather was starting to deteriorate again and we knew that searching for night-birds was probably going to be useless. It was. We heard no frogmouths or owls and returned to Mr. Timan's in Keresik Tua by 19.30hrs. Shower, dinner, log-call and then bed.
Wed 5 July
We were able to sleep on this morning until 05.00hrs as we were not leaving Keresik Tua until 06.00hrs. and we didn't have enough time too pay Gunung Kerinci a visit before we left. We fixed up with Mr. Timan and said good-bye to him and his family and packed up the van to head back along the road towards Padang. Of course it was typical that the bad weather had now passed and it was going to be a gloriously warm calm sunny day. We wished we could have been back at Gunung Kerinci where the Schneider's Pitta were no doubt performing on the trail! However we had no time, as we were catching the flight back to Jakarta from Padang at 16.00hrs.
Not long into the journey we spotted a large bird in flight a fair distance from the moving van. We quickly stopped the van and were amazed to see a fantastic male Helmeted Hornbill approach us. It flew right over us and upwards over a forested slope before disappearing over a ridge. I had seen and heard this species before in Malaysia but this was the first decent views I'd got of this amazing looking bird.
As we dove past the rich hillside forests we were able to admire the spectacular views of Mount Kerinci from various angles en route.
Then suddenly we heard a loud rattling coming from the base of the van. We had to pile out of the van as Eddin and Nopee fixed the problem. We were delayed about an hour but still made it back to Padang with plenty of time to spare before the flight. En route we had seen a few more species such as Changeable Hawk Eagle and Striped Tit-babbler.
During our few spare hours Eddin brought us to the bird market in Padang. It was small, at least compared to the infamous ones in Jakarta and Yogjakarta which HA and TA had visited prior to my visit. For a bird lover they were a depressing place with all types of wild birds from prinias, parrotfinches, mynas and bulbuls crammed into small cages. A depressing site was to see Orange-headed and Siberian Thrushes sitting quietly on the floor of their cramped cages and peering out at the alien noise-filled environment outside. And not only were there birds, but a baby Slow Loris clinging to a branch was held out to us in case we were interested in buying. The animal would cling to anyone who touched, obviously hoping in vain that it would turn out to be its mother.
Bird keeping seems to be way of life in Indonesia and the only positive thing is that the owners do seem to care about their birds. Food-wise, they are certainly well catered for with bags of live crickets and insects all for sale at the market. Supplying bird food proves to be a lucrative business in Indonesia.
At the airport we met Jimmy, (Eddin's brother and father of Nopee) who runs the company we used for the transport. We fixed up our bill with them (with a tip) and said good-bye. We took the 16.00hrs. flight back to Jakarta. From there we took a taxi to the Kalderes Bus Station where we eventually got a bus which was travelling to Merak port on the western tip of Java. Our next destination was Way Kambas National Park in eastern Sumatra. We would have to take the ferry from Merak to get back to Sumatra. We arrived fairly late at Merak. The area around the ferry terminal felt a bit seedy, so we felt the best thing to do was to walk back the road to get a place to stay at Merak for the night and take an early ferry the next morning. The first few places we tried were full but after some time we eventually got a room at the relatively expensive Merak Beach Resort Hotel. We got a 'family room' for 195,000Rp.
Thur 6 July
Slept until 07.00hrs. We had a breakfast at the Hotel (which was included in the price) before checking out. We took the large ferry from Merak to Bakuheni in Sumatra. From Bakuheni port area (another very seedy and dirty place), we began the journey to Way Kambas by taking a bus to Bandar Lampung.
In Bandar Lampung we had to do some shopping as you have to take all provisions in to Way Kambas. This we did at a large and very modern hypermarket in the town. We inquired from the lads driving the bemo about a price to take us to Way Kambas. A reasonable deal for all concerned was struck and by 14.30hrs we headed off on the road to Way Kambas. After about two hours we arrived at the gate of Way Kambas and proceeded down the dirt track towards the Way Kanan clearing. On the way we stopped at the barrier and bought our permits. On the jeep track we saw a group of nine Crested Firebacks walking across the trail and disappearing into the forest. The relative tameness of the birds made us think that illegal hunting mustn't be too big of a problem in the National Park.
We arrived at the Way Kanan clearing to find it inundated with hundreds of school children which were on a visit to the area. We obviously weren't going to see too many birds around the clearing itself! We were shown to our accommodation and unpacked. We gave the rice to one of the kitchen hands there. They were going to cook it for us while we stayed there. Hot water was also supplied to us daily. However this is all that is done in the way of catering at the Park. We arranged with the lads in the 'bemo' to arrive back at 06.30hrs. Monday 10 July to bring us back to Bandar Lampung.
Towards dusk we headed out back up the jeep track to do some night birding. Way Kambas is famous for its night-birding and it didn't disappoint us. Luckily, conditions were perfect with no wind or rain. After a while we heard the distinctive sound of a Gould's Frogmouth and after some time we eventually managed to spotlight the bird when it came in in response to the tape. We later heard a second one calling further along the track. Then we heard a Sunda Frogmouth, but unfortunately it was more distant and didn't come in .
We spent a lot of time trying to get a view of a Reddish Scops Owl which was regularly calling above us in the trees. Frustratingly, despite our best efforts with the torches, we couldn't get a view of the bird. Further along the track a second bird was calling and it too would not show despite being very close at times. We tried for Bay Owl, knowing that the Birdquest group had seen one here prior to our visit, but unfortunately this was one species we did not record during our stay at Way Kambas.
Moving further along the track we eventually heard the fantastic loud eerie call of a Large Frogmouth. This was our most wanted night-bird at Way Kambas. Unfortunately this individual did not show, but as we headed back towards the Way Kanan clearing we heard a second Large Frogmouth. We played the tape once, and almost immediately a long-winged owl-like bird landed right in the open above us, looking down at us from on the track. As we spot-lighted, it sat there for about 15 minutes enabling us to look at it from all angles. An amazing looking bird with large head, small bill with obvious bristles around it. By 11.30hrs. we headed back to our accommodation at the clearing and looked forward to the next day's birding.
Fri 7 July
We were out by 05.00hrs. Once again we headed up the main track from the Way Kanan clearing. It was quite hot but we weren't complaining. Apparently these were the first dry days for some time after a prolonged wet period. We heard this from researcher Martin Tyson, who was studying elephants in the park. He wasn't too pleased about the authorities giving permission for the hundreds of school kids to invade the place. Birding was good along the track and we saw many species such as Red Junglefowl, Red-bearded Bee-eater (TA only), Brown Barbet; Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler, Sooty-capped and Black-capped Babblers, Hill Myna, Fiery Minivet, Greater Green Leafbird, Green and Black-and-yellow Broadbills, Black-thighed Falconet, Silver-rumped Swift and Red-crowned Barbet (heard only today), but best of all were fantastic views of two stunning Banded Pittas. They seemed very unconcerned by our presence, a definite indication that Way Kambas is well protected, with little hunting activity. We heard another two calling later in the day. They were obviously at fairly high density here. At least two Great Argus called from the forest, but since we had all seen this species in Malaysia, we didn't try for too long to see this elusive species.
We returned to the Way Kanan clearing for lunch. While here we met park ranger Apribadi, or Apri for short. He seems to be the most experienced bird guide in the park. We arranged to hire him for the next day to bring us on the boat upriver to the swamp forest to try to see White-winged Duck. In the afternoon heat we took a siesta as we knew that we would be spot-lighting until late that night and getting up early the next morning. At 16.00hrs. Apri brought us down the loop trail and through some flooded forest to a site he had for the little known Bonaparte's Nightjar. Unfortunately the bird failed to appear. By 19.00hrs. we were back at Way Kanan and after something to eat, we headed up the main track to do some more spot-lighting.
After a number of hours we had heard a Gould's Frogmouth and a Malaysian Eared Nightjar and also 2 Javan (Blyth's) Frogmouths but saw none of them. In addition we heard two Reddish Scops Owls but despite our best efforts we got no views of anything. We returned to Way Kanan at c. 22.00hrs.
Sat 8 July
A day spent wading (sometimes waist-deep) through the swamps and flooded forests of Way Kambas in pursuit of the rare and endangered White-winged Duck.
At 06.00hrs. we met Apri and headed down to the nearby river to get the boat with him. We took a short trip up river by boat. Mooring the boat, we then proceeded through open grassland with wet ground underfoot. A few minutes later we arrived at an open area of water known as Rawagajah 1. Here we met researcher Nancy Drilling who was studying the breeding biology of the White-winged Duck in the Park. She came down from the tiny observation tree-hide to tell us that she had been looking at a White-winged Duck only about 30 minutes previously. The bird had come into Rawagajah 1 to feed during the night and soon after dawn had swam up one of the channels and disappeared into the forest. We wondered if we had started a bit earlier would we have been successful.
With so much unprecedented unseasonal rain in recent weeks many of the areas which are normally dry at this time of year were totally flooded. This was bad news for us, as normally in the dry season the White-winged Duck population would be more concentrated at the remaining pools and water holes. The same was going to be true for Storm's Stork. The way it was at the moment the birds were scattered throughout the Park and would be tough to pin down. Nancy did say however that the White-winged Ducks at Way Kambas had had a very good breeding success this season, so at least there should be more of them around.
Apri suggested we begin our trek across Rawagajah 1 and head deeper towards some others large pools. Parts of the habitat were much more open that I was expecting with large open stretches of sedge-filled marshes and less in the way of forest. We waded across Rawagajah 1 stopping to look at a few new birds as we went such as a Small Blue Kingfisher, a group of Blue-rumped Parrots and a group of 6 Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeons. As we moved from wet swamp to dryer ground again, Apri pointed out fresh Tiger footprints to us. We wondered how close way it was in the long grass!
As we waded through the water, up to the waist at times, we saw our first water leech. These things were huge about 15cm long , and more like eels than leeches. Apri told us some fairly gory stories about how much blood they can take and how big they become when they have fed!
We arrived at an area which Apri called Rawagajah 2. Unfortunately there were no Ducks to be seen here either. Onward we went through flooded swamp forest again and occasionally across dry forest. Eventually we arrived at the much larger water expanse of Ulong Ulong. We scanned the edges for any sign of White-winged Duck, but saw none. In the trees around the lake, a pair of Grey-headed Fish Eagles were calling and showing occasionally through the trees At one stage we saw the pair mating. We ate a lunch of instant noodles with hot water added from a flask which Apri had brought along.
Later we slowly made our way back from Ulong Ulong back towards the Rawagajah 1, all the time hoping that the elusive White-winged Duck would fly up ahead of us. By late afternoon we were back at the side of Rawagajah 1 where we had met Nancy that morning. We rested and tried to dry off a bit and TA decided on a climb up to the small tree platform for a scan around. We couldn't believe it when she said she saw a group of "White ducks" in the distance against the forest edge. We couldn't see the area from the ground so a mad panic ensued as we tried to climb to the platform. Sure enough it was a family group of 7 White-winged Ducks, 2 adults and 5 fully grown juveniles. Ironically we'd finally seen the species in the area where we'd first come to this morning. Since the platform only really had room for one person at a time , we took it in turns for a view through the 'scope of the birds. After a while this extremely shy species seemed to notice our presence, though we were still quite a distance away. The group began swimming out of sight one by one back into the forest. We decided to wade along the edge of Rawagajah 1 and see if we could get another view of the birds. However this elusive species had slipped away and we had no further sightings. Our list of birds had been increasing throughout the day and we had now recorded Green Iora, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, an immature White-bellied Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Crested Fireback, Pied Fantail, Crimson Sunbird, Bushy-crested Hornbill, 2 Banded Pittas (heard only) and Black-thighed Falconet amongst others.
In the evening back on the main river with Apri we tried another site for Bonaparte's Nightjar but had no success.
Later on we went spot-lighting again up the main track from Way Kanan. However it proved to be reasonably quiet with the only frogmouth being a single Gould's heard. We also heard up to three Reddish Scops Owls but once again failed to see any.
Sun 9 July
I ventured out this morning pre-dawn and began walking the jeep track out of Way Kanan. I heard a few blasts of the amazingly non bird-like call of a distant Bonaparte's Nightjar. Unfortunately dawn was quickly approaching and soon it was silent. Soon the others joined me and we continued up the main track. Birds noted this morning included Red-crowed Barbet (one heard and one seen), two Great Argus (heard calling only), Orange-backed Woodpeckers, at least eight Black-and-yellow Broadbills, three Green Broadbills, Banded Pitta (one heard), a Short-tailed Babbler, Greater Green Leafbird, Fluffy-backed Tit-babblers, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, a male Dark-throated Oriole and a single Puff-backed Bulbul.
We came back down and went off the main track into the loop or Look Trail in the hope of seeing a Storm's Stork, which is sometimes seen on a small pool along the forest trail. Unfortunately we saw none and failed to see any at Way Kambas throughout our stay. We also try here for Malaysian Rail-babbler which HA and TA had not seen before. Apri was of the opinion however that Rail-babbler did not occur at Way Kambas anymore, although we had heard reports of this elusive species from various trips to Way Kambas over the last few years. We returned to the Way Kanan clearing for a lunch of noodles. While HA and TA washed some clothes, I took a walk down to the river and walked someway through the forest downstream. Here I had nice views of a fairly tame female Malaysian Blue Flycatcher and a Rufous Piculet.
In the afternoon we did both the loop trail and the main jeep track again. On the main track we met Martin Tyson and his jeep. He gave us a lift for about 5km down the jeep track enabling us to walk back to the Way Kanan clearing and thus cover new ground. As we walked back the trail we saw a single male Crested Fireback and a beautiful Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher of the rufous-backed form. We heard at least 3 Banded Pittas and eventually got nice views of one.
At dusk we began some spot-lighting and this proved more successful than the last two nights. We finally saw a Javan (Blyth's) Frogmouth, getting a view of it in the spot-light of the torches for a few minutes. Once again we heard up to three Reddish Scops Owls but failed to see any. In addition we heard about 3 Gould's Frogmouths and had nice views again of a Large Frogmouth perched above us. We also heard Malaysian Eared Nightjar.
We arrived back at Way Kanan at c. 21.30hrs. for a welcome night's sleep.
Mon 10 July
Our last few hours at Way Kambas. After dawn we heard both Banded Pitta and a distant Hooded Pitta calling, the latter being a new one for the trip
We hoped the lads in the 'bemo' would be back and hadn't got a better offer in the meantime. We were relieved to see them arrive on time at 06.25hrs. By 06.50hrs. we'd packed the van and were on the jeep track out of Way Kanan, heading towards Bandar Lampung. En route we saw a group of six Crested Firebacks along the track. Two Red Junglefowl were also recorded.
This day proved to be a travel day that is best forgotten. A real journey from hell. We soon learnt that we should have (like Birdquest do) taken the return flight from Jakarta to Bandar Lampung instead of trying to go by bus and ferry. In the long run it may be more expensive, but it certainly would save a lot of frustrating delays and time-wasting.
We arrived at Bandar Lampung bus 'station' at 08.45hrs. It is no more than a large open yard filled with buses and crammed full of people pushing and jostling everywhere. It was total chaos. We had heard of a bus which went directly to Jakarta, meaning that it was not necessary to leave the bus at Bakuheni port, but could stay on it while it drove on to the ferry. This sounded like a good idea at the time and we decided to go for this option. After much hassle by touts wanting to get business for their bus, (everyone of them told us their bus would be leaving first), we finally packed our stuff into one bus. About an hour later it finally left for Bakuheni.
We eventually arrived at Bakuheni and joined a traffic jam of buses stopped at the chaotic port waiting to board one of the ferries. After a further two hours (!) still in the queue we realised it was a mistake to take the direct bus, but all our bags were buried in the luggage hold and we could do nothing about it. Finally we boarded the ferry but the problems didn't end there. What should have been a 2-3 hour ferry journey ended up being 6 hours. About 40 minutes before scheduled docking, we suddenly stalled for no apparent reason and didn't move for another 3 hours! We never found out the real reason for the delay, but it was possibly due to a back-log of ferries arriving ahead of us at the port. The only compensation was seeing two White-bellied Fish Eagles and 2 distant 'large' Shearwaters, more than likely Streaked. We finally disembarked at Merak at 20.00hrs., tired and thinking that we would probably have to stay in Jakarta tonight as opposed to travelling on to Cibodas and Gunung Gede, our next birding destination.
Arrived at a bus station in Jakarta at 22.30hrs. Not really wanting to be wandering the streets of Jakarta at this hour of the night, we decided to take up the offer of a 'bemo' ride to Cibodas organised by one of the locals we had got chatting to on the bus. At 01.30hrs. we finally arrived at Freddy's homestay, where we had made reservations. We looked for some sign of life. In the end Freddy's son Indra heard us and after we apologised for arriving so late we were shown to our rooms. Tomorrow would have to be a better day!!..
Tue 11 July
We had a lie-on until 07.00hrs. (needed after the stress of yesterday). As we finished breakfast, TA noticed that the zip on the pocket of her rucksack was stuck. It seemed to be covered with some hard substance. After a lot of effort the zip was finally freed and there where the camcorder should have been were two full water bottles! The camcorder had obviously been stolen on the bus yesterday and replaced with the bottles as disguise and then the zip sealed up with super-glue. Another reason why we should have flown to Bandar Lampung and not taken the ferry! As well as the camcorder itself, the video inside contained good footage of the Large Frogmouth we saw on the last evening and our day wading through the swamp forest looking for the White-winged Duck. Very annoying!
Emerging from Freddy's we got our first views of the impressive Gede and Pangrango volcanic mountains above us. The habitat looked superb.
We were told by Freddy that they would ask us for a photocopy of our passports when we went to the Headquarters to buy our permits to visit the National Park. We took a bemo taxi back down the road to the town of Cibanas where a photographic shop made copies for us. Then it was up to the HQ where we bought permits.
We started out on the steep trail up the mountain. To our horror, the trail was full of noisy schoolchildren and walkers due to the school holidays. We were not expecting so many people to be around mid-week and this wouldn't help our birding. We soon saw a few birds though, getting nice views of a Banded Broadbill and finding a pair of endemic Pygmy Tits nesting inside a hole in a large tree along the trail. As we reached an area with a nice vista below us we noticed a few birds move in the trees some distance below. They turned out to be a feeding group of six Spotted Crocias and we were well pleased to see this Javan endemic so soon. It turned our that these were the only ones we saw on the trip.
Eventually we reached the Blue Pool on the left hand side. We stood here for some time scanning around. Soon we had seen our first Orange-spotted Bulbuls. Then a large raptor appeared overhead and we soon realised it was our most sought after bird here, a Javan Hawk Eagle, one of the most globally threatened raptor species in the World. We watched in the 'scope as it soared overhead intermittently for the next hour or so. We continued on to the waterfall but this area was totally inundated with noisy school children. We did have very brief views of a kestrel sp. here, presumably a Spotted Kestrel. Making our way back down the trail, we decided to go down a side trail labeled 'Birdwatching Trail'. While it had no schoolchildren on it, it was a narrower and denser trail than the main one up the mountain so birding was quite difficult and we saw little. Amongst the species noted this afternoon were two Black Eagles, about six Orange-fronted Barbets, a Crimson-winged Woodpecker, a Chestnut-fronted Shrike Babbler, Rufous-tailed Fantail, White-flanked Sunbird, Javan Grey-throated White-eye plus good numbers of Blue Nuthatches and Javan Fulvettas.
Towards dusk we continued back down the track and out the gate to Freddy's. Considering the late start and the amount of people on the main trail, we'd had an excellent first day at Gunung Gede. We arranged to hire Freddy's sons Eddie and Indra tomorrow, to act as bird guides for us.
Wed 12 July
Up at 05.00hrs. After a quick breakfast we left Freddy's at 05.30hrs with Eddie and Indra. We then walked up towards the trail up the mountain. Eddie and Indra are nice guys and fairly keen birders. Eddie especially knew a lot more of the calls than we did. They share a scope and pair of binoculars between each other. First new species for us near the entrance to the National Park was a Cresent-chested Babbler.
We went slowly up the trail to an area someway up the trail beyond the waterfall junction and later came back down to the waterfall. Back down the main trail we went down the 'Birdwatching Trail' which eventually loops around to some old buildings which used to be the Headquarters. We continued to notch up new species with White-bibbed Babbler, a single Brown-throated Barbet and a Spotted Kestrel near the waterfall. We also had two sightings of Javan Hawk Eagle today, one near the waterfall and one near the Blue Pool. Back on the main trail Eddie had to leave, so we continued with Indra for the rest of the afternoon. At 16.00hrs. Indra then left us and we arranged to met them for some night birding at 18.00hrs. at the entrance to the Cibodas Botanical Gardens. By now we'd got a fairly good list for the day including Sunda Minivet, Horsfield's Babbler, Orange-fronted Barbet, two Pygmy Tits, Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler, Sunda Whistling Thrush, Sunda Warbler, a female Sunda Blue Robin, Sunda Bush Warbler, two Eye-browed Wren Babblers and good numbers of Pygmy Wren Babblers. For the last two hours before dusk we birded by ourselves along the 'Birdwatching Trail' and then entered the Cibodas botanical gardens by the old HQ area. Even at this time of the evening the gardens were quite full of people. On the 'Birdwatching Trail' TA flushed a partridge-type, presumably a Chestnut-bellied Partridge. Frustratingly, this proved to be our only encounter with this species, no doubt due to the high levels of disturbance on the main trail. At Cibodas we looked for Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch but unfortunately couldn't find any.
We met the two lads at 18.00hrs. and entered the now locked park by a side entrance which Eddie and Indra knew about. They had told us we could possibly see Javan Scops Owl in the Botanical Gardens after dusk. After some unproductive searching at the 'usual' spots we eventually heard a call and Eddie and Indra homed in on the bird. Eventually we had good views of two juvenile 'Scops' Owls sitting low down in a tree with an adult bird coming in to feed them on a few occasions. Despite what Eddie and Indra suggested at the time, we do not think these birds were the rare and little known Javan Scops Owls but more likely the Sunda race of Collared Scops Owl. For one thing they definitely had orange and not yellow eyes. Also Javan Scops is supposed to call very little and be more a bird of the dense primary forest than the more open landscaped habitat of the Cibodas botanical gardens. We saw no other night birds but did manage to spot-light a Giant Red Flying Squirrel. We returned to Freddy's for a welcome meal, shower and log-call.
Thur 13 July
Today was the day we had devoted to climbing to the top of the Gunung Gede crater. Looking from the main road it seemed like it was going to be a strenuous climb. It is roughly 10km up to the crater of the volcano from the gate and most of the way up is a tough upward climb. In certain parts you are down on all four limbs as it is slippery and very steep. Then when you get to the top, of course it's another 10km back down to the base! We left Freddy's at 05.40hrs. and began the walk past the waterfall turn-off and upwards towards the hot springs (Air Panas) which are at an altitude of 2150m. After steady climbing for some time we stopped for a short break.
As we stood around I saw something move in the canopy of a tree further back along the trail where we had just walked. It looked dark and roughly thrush sized. I thought maybe a Sunda Whistling Thrush as we lost sight of it. Then when we heard a high pitched mournful whistling call coming from the same area, the penny dropped. It must have been a Javan Cochoa. We rushed back down the trail and succeeded in obtaining excellent views of two Javan Cochoas above us in the trees. We'd now seen both of the Greater Sunda Cochoas on the trip, and I still had seen neither of the mainland Asian species.
With some elation we continued on up the trail walking through the impressive hot springs which steamed around us. We continued steadily upwards to where it got to be fairly tough and steep as we got higher. A short stop for a rest proved worthwhile when we saw a White's Thrush perched at the edge of the track. The resident race here may deserve species status and is also known as Horsfield's Thrush. On the way up I finally got my first decent view of a Javan Tesia, which the others had already seen previously. In the end we saw about four today.
Eventually we reached the crater at 10.15hrs. The smell of sulphur was very strong as we looked down into the steaming crater. Soon we had all seen our main target bird here, the near-threatened Volcano Swiftlet, which is endemic to a few volcano peaks in West Java. We ate lunch here as we watched the birds flying around. In total we recorded about 20 swiftlets. There was little else of note bird-wise in this bare habitat. We heard what sounded like a Peregrine calling at the far side of the crater as we started our descent and noted a few Island Thrushes too.
After admiring the spectacular views for the last time, we slowly began climbing down
the mountain. We were aiming to get down to the waterfall before dusk to try for Salvadori's Nightjar which has often been seen here before. On the way down we saw two Sunda (Lesser) Forktails, Pygmy Wren Babblers, Sunda Streaked Bulbul and our first and only sightings of the endemic Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, a species we were worried we were going to miss. In the end we had nice views of a noisy group of about eight birds. However the best birds this evening were a pair Mountain Serins which gave extremely close views as they fed on small white buds in some bushes at the side of the trail. We had given up on seeing this little-known species as we thought we had missed our chance higher up where they are usually found.
At the waterfall we had no sign of any nightjars, despite intensive spot-lighting of the cliff edge. We made our way back down to Freddy's with the torches, hearing the same Owl-call that we had last night in Cibodas with Eddie and Indra, probably a Collared Scops Owl. As I walked ahead on the trail an animal resembling a small dog was walking towards me. It seemed totally unconcerned by my presence and walked past me and off the trail into the forest. On reading up the literature I found out that it was a Javan Stink Badger, an unexpected sighting. Then back to Freddy's for food, shower and log-call.
Wed 14 July
Our last morning at Gunung Gede/Cibodas. We had a breakfast at 05.30hrs. By 06.10hrs. we were heading towards the Cibodas Botanical Gardens. We spent a few hours here, still seeing a few new species, including about five Yellow-throated Hanging Parrots and Blood-breasted Flowerpeckers. Unfortunately we failed to see any Tawny-breasted Parrotfinches. From Cibodas we walked through the old gate and onto the loop trail and 'Birdwatching Trail' of Gunung Gede. Other birds noted this morning were Sunda Streaked Bulbul, Cresent-chested Babblers, Javan Fulvettas, two Sunda (Lesser) Forktails, Javan Tesia, Temminck's Sunbird and Chestnut-fronted Shrike Babblers.
By midday we were back at Freddy's to pack our things and check out. We fixed up with Freddy and thanked him and his sons for their hospitality. We took a bemo to the town of Bogor where our next destination was the Botanical Gardens, which are in the middle of the town. (Cost for bemo was 15,000 Rp. for 3 of us plus bags). In Bogor we checked into the Puri Bali Homestay near the Botanical Gardens, which is an old ex-colonial house with character. HA and TA had stayed here when they visited Bogor prior to my arrival in Indonesia. After unpacking we made a short visit to the Botanical Gardens. However heavy rain soon arrived and we abandoned birding early, in the hope of better weather tomorrow. I did however see a few new species including Bar-winged Prinia and Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon. The island at the middle of the ornamental pond was full of Black-crowned Night Herons, however this evening we saw no Blue-eared Kingfishers which TA and HA had seen on their last visit here. TA pointed out the nest hole which they had seen a pair of Java Sparrows use when they visited here a few weeks ago. Unfortunately there was no sign of the birds now. We ate in a nearby restaurant and visited a nearby Internet café.
Thur 15 July
The Botanical Gardens don't open until 08.00hrs. so this was our excuse for a lie-on this morning. We got up at 07.00hrs and had a breakfast. Thankfully the weather was now fine and dry. We spent the next few hours in the Botanical Gardens. I continued to get a few new species which the others had seen on their previous visit here. By noon it was very hot and we headed back to Puri Bali and checked out. Birding highlights were nice views of Black-naped Fruit Dove, Coppersmith Barbet, Olive-backed Tailorbirds, three Yellow-throated Hanging Parrots, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Black-naped Orioles, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Javan Munia and Scarlet-headed Flowerpeckers. We failed to see any Java Sparrows however. We also saw no Orange-headed Thrushes except for one in a cage outside the park. We recorded a Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot in the Park. Obviously it must have been an escaped or released cage-bird.
From Bogor we took the shuttle bus which goes directly to Jakarta Airport. We phoned the Huswah Transit Hotel, where we had stayed on my first night in Jakarta and they came out and collected us at the airport. We checked in for our last night in Indonesia.
In the evening we took a taxi (90kRp.) to the small wetland reserve of Muara Angke on the outskirts of Jakarta. The taxi driver waited at the reserve during the two hours we spent there. Muara Angke is one of the few remaining sites for the globally threatened Sunda Coucal and we hoped that this species was still to be found at this very degraded patch of wetland habitat. The last news we had was that a pair had nested there in 1999. The boardwalk has now collapsed completely so the only viewpoint is the rickety and dilapidated look-out tower. We climbed it and scanned around. After about half an hour a coucal suddenly appeared moving deep in the cover of some bushes below us. It soon revealed itself as a Sunda Coucal giving excellent views and showing its distinctive wing bars very well, as it spread its wings to maintain balance in the bush. It probably had a nest as it continuously carried a large bright green cricket in its bill throughout our observation. It was good to know that the species was still hanging on here. Other birds noted at the site in addition to herons and egrets were 48 Oriental Darters, Javan Myna, Red-breasted Parakeet and Racket-tailed Treepie.
At. 18.20hrs. we left in the taxi and returned to the Huswah Hotel. Once again we heard Savannah Nightjar calling nearby and had brief views of one. We later went out to the restaurant which we visited on my first night in Indonesia, nearly three weeks ago now. We toasted a successful trip with many fantastic bird memories of spectacular and rare species.
Sun 16 July
We got up at 05.00hrs. and after a breakfast, chartered a taxi back to Muara Angke for our final few hours birding in Indonesia before the flights home. From the look-out tower we again had nice views of a single Sunda Coucal. We also saw Sunda Woodpecker here. We failed however to see any Milky Storks which have been recorded in this general area before.
After an hour in the tower we moved back up the road with the taxi to some wet areas with active building work taking place. It appeared that the habitat for birds wouldn't remain here for much longer. We had a very successful morning wandering around the area, seeing Sunda Teal, Barred Buttonquail (on the ground), White-browed Crake, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Cinnamon Bittern, Little Black Cormorant, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Island Collared Dove, Small Blue Kingfisher, both Sacred and Collared Kingfishers, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Fly-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and eventually two White-headed Munias outside of a cage; we met a few locals out with nets and small cages full of various species of munias. The best birds however were the Javan Plovers, 12 of which we saw around the small pools near the new building developments. We were worried that we would not see them due to the poor condition of the habitat. We also had fantastic views of a number of Savannah Nightjars perched in full view in the open as they roosted on the ground. TA saw a Sunda Coucal, showing that there was more than just the birds at Muara Angke itself in the area. We eventually got as far as the coast, which in this area was unbelievably polluted. The onshore waves were just a mass of filthy black oily and muddy water. The only birds offshore were a group of about 80 Whiskered Terns.
At 10.45hrs. we returned to the look-out tower for a final hour before heading back to the hotel. At 12.15hrs. took the taxi to the Huswah Hotel. We packed our bags, had a shower and then checked out. We availed of their courtesy taxi service to bring us to the airport at 13.30hrs. HA and TA were leaving Jakarta for their flight back to the USA in the early evening. Although my flight was not leaving Jakarta until 20.40hrs, I decided to spend the extra time at the airport. Flight with Emirates EK077 left on time and traveled back via Singapore and Colombo to Dubai.
Mon 17 July
Arrived Dubai at 05.30 hrs. Onward flight to London (Heathrow) at 07.45hrs on EK001, arriving London at 12.15hrs. Then onwards to Dublin at 14.25hrs. arriving at 15.40hrs.
Annotated Species List:
Numbers in brackets beside species refer to the number given to this species in A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. John MacKinnon and Karen Phillipps. Oxford University Press. 1993.
1. (8). Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas Two distant large shearwaters seen from the ferry on the return trip between Bakuheni (Sumatra) and Merak (Java) were more than likely this species.
2. (24). Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris Seen in reasonable numbers near Jakarta airport and at Muara Angke and nearby.
3. (28). Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster Peak of 48 counted at Muara Angke on first visit. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
4. (33). Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Six recorded in vicinity of Muara Angke on first visit and three on second visit.
5. (34). Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Three recorded in vicinity of Muara Angke on first visit and five on second visit.
6. (36). Striated Heron Butorides striatus Three recorded in vicinity of Muara Angke.
7. (38). Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosa Seen in good numbers at Muara Angke and nearby.
8. (39). Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Seen in good numbers at Muara Angke and nearby.
9. (40). Pacific Reef Heron Egretta sacra One seen at the coast not far from Muara Angke.
10. (42). Great White Egret Egretta alba One seen at Muara Angke.
11. (44). Little Egret Egretta garzetta One seen at Muara Angke.
12. (45). Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Seen in good numbers at Bogor Botanical Gardens (on the island in the lake) and also at Muara Angke and nearby.
13. (51). Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus One seen near Muara Angke.
14. (66/67). Lesser Whistling Duck/Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrcygna javanica/D. arcuata Two Whistling Ducks seen distantly in flight near Muara Angke remained unidentified but were one of these two species.
15. (70). Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons 12 seen in areas near Muara Angke.
16. (79). White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata After much effort wading through the swamp forests we finally had good views of a family group of two adults and 5 fully grown juveniles at Rawagajah 1 in Way Kambas. After about ten minutes they swam out of view into the forest and were not relocated. This shy and secretive species is classed as Endangered in Threatened Birds of the World due to a very small rapidly declining and severely fragmented population. Its world population, which was estimated at 450 individuals in 1997, has suffered greatly from deforestation, wetland drainage and exploitation.
17. (85). Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus One seen near Maura Angke.
18. (87). Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus One seen at Way Kambas.
19. (88). White-bellied Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster An immature seen at Way Kambas and two birds seen from the ferry on the return trip between Bakuheni (Sumatra) and Merak (Java).
20. (89). Lesser Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga humilis One heard and then seen briefly at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
21. (90). Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus Three birds seen at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
22. (108). Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis One bird seen at Gunung Kerinci and up to two seen at Gunung Gede.
23. (110). Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii One juvenile seen at Gunung Kerinci.
24. (111). Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus One seen well on the drive back from Keresik Tua to Padang
25. (112). Javan Hawk Eagle Spizaetus bartelsi Recorded on two dates at Gunung Gede, one bird seen near the Blue Pool and a second bird from the waterfall. Good flight views were had. This species is classed as Endangered in Threatened Birds of the World. It is endemic to Java where it is restricted to the few remaining patches of forest. Until recently the population was estimated at 50-60 pairs but subsequent fieldwork has revised this estimate upwards to 200 pairs, and maybe even as high as 400 pairs. As well as the problems posed by deforestation, the species is frequently trapped and sold openly in Javan bird markets.
26. (113). Blyth's Hawk Eagle Spizaetus alboniger One seen by HA and TA along the Tapan Road, Sumatra.
27. (115). Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius Recorded on two dates at Way Kambas, usually perched on bare branches in treetops along the river.
28. (118). Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis Recorded twice near the waterfall at Gunung Gede.
(29. (129). Chestnut-bellied Partridge Arborophila javanica) One uncountable view on the 'Birdwatching Trail' at Gunung Gede. We were disappointed not to have seen this Javan endemic. The number of schoolchildren on the trails must have been a major factor acting against us.
30. (130). Red-billed Partridge Arborophila rubrirostris Heard calling at Gunung Kerinci a few times and three birds seen flying across a narrow river-bed at one stage. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
31. (137). Crested Fireback Lophura ignita Recorded on a few occasions at Way Kambas on the main jeep track to Way Kanan, with a maximum of nine birds seen together on one occasion. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
32. (139). Salvadori's Pheasant Lophura inornata (http://www.kerinci.org/ff15.html) This Sumatran endemic was seen on three occasions while at Gunung Kerinci: A pair below 'Air Minum'; a female at the First Shelter (TA only); a female below 'Air Minum' on another date. This species is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World which states that there are few recent records of this species, of which the small population is declining and becoming increasingly fragmented owing to mid-altitude forest clearance and regular trapping.
33. (141). Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus Two birds seen on two occasions at Way Kambas.
34. (143). Sumatran (Bronze-tailed) Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron chalcurum Heard on a few occasions at Gunung Kerinci but unfortunately no tickeable views were had. The 'shrub tunnel' at the beginning of the trail, which used to be a regular area to see the species has now been totally cleared of vegetation and no longer exists. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
35. (145). Great Argus Argusianus argus One heard at Tapan Road at 495m elevation on two dates and up to three heard at Way Kambas. None were seen. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
36. (148). Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator Three birds seen well on the ground, near Muara Angke.
37. (154). Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca One flushed from vegetation near Muara Angke.
38. (156). White-browed Crake Porzana cinerea Two seen near Muara Angke.
39. (157). White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus Three recorded on both visits to Muara Angke.
40. (159). Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus About 12 seen near Muara Angke.
41. (161). Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio Two recorded on both visits to Muara Angke.
42. (177). Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus A total of 12 seen around pools near a building site not far from Muara Angke. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
43. (199). Common Sandpiper Actitis (Tringa) hypoleucos One seen at a pool near a building site not far from Muara Angke.
44. (235). Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus At least 80 feeding offshore at the coast near Muara Angke.
45. (252). Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenura One female seen near the base shelter at Gunung Kerinci.
46. (254). Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon Treron griseicauda About ten recorded at Bogor Botanical Gardens.
47. (255). Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis Six birds recorded at Way Kambas on the day we trekked through the swamp forest there. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
48. (257). Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans Five birds seen near Muara Angke.
49. (261). Pink-headed Fruit Dove Ptilinopus porphyreus Recorded on two dates at Gunung Kerinci, a male on the first occasion and a pair on the second. This species is endemic to Sumatra, Java and Bali.
50. (262). Black-naped Fruit Dove Ptilinopus melanospila After some searching, eventually about 6 were seen in the Bogor Botanical Gardens and excellent views were had.
51. (264). Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea Recorded daily in Way Kambas in reasonably good numbers.
52. (266). Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia One or two seen on most dates at Gunung Kerinci.
53. (272). Rock (Feral) Pigeon Columba livia Often seen in urban areas.
54. (275). Little Cuckoo Dove Macropygia ruficeps Up to eight seen on Tapan Road and two birds seen at Gunung Gede.
55. (276). Island Collared Dove Streptopelia bitorquata Five birds seen in areas near Muara Angke.
56. (277). Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis Occasionally recorded in open countryside and degraded habitats. Seen in both Sumatra and Java.
57. (278). Zebra Dove Geopelia striata One seen near Muara Angke.
58. (279). Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica Three birds recorded at Way Kambas.
59. (281). Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri A few recorded at Muara Angke.
60. (285). Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus Ten birds recorded at Way Kambas on the day we trekked thought the swamp forest there. Some perched views obtained. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
61. (288). Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus Recorded daily in small numbers at Way Kambas, and a bird which was presumably an escaped cage bird was seen in the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Java.
62. (289). Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot Loriculus pusillus About five seen well in flight in Cibodas Botanical Gardens and a further two recorded in the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Java.
63. (294). Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus Heard calling at Way Kambas but not seen.
64. (296). Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus Heard calling at Gunung Gede but not seen.
65. (298). Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus Heard regularly in many locations visited in both Sumatra and Java but never seen.
66. (299). Rusty-breasted Cuckoo Cacomantis sepulcralis Heard calling at Bogor Botanical Gardens but not seen.
67. (309). Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis Up to six recorded along Tapan Road and one also seen at Way Kambas.
68. (311). Red-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus javanicus A few seen along Tapan Road and also at Way Kambas.
69. (312). Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris Three recorded along Tapan Road.
70. (317). Sunda Coucal Centropus nigrorufus One seen very well from the dilapidated observation tower at Muara Angke and a second individual seen in nearby marshes by TA. This species is endemic to Java and is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World. It has a small population which is declining rapidly and its range has been severely fragmented due to the drastic destruction of its wetland habitat.
71. (321). Reddish Scops Owl Otus rufescens Up to three birds regularly heard after dusk at Way Kambas, but despite a lot of effort we failed to get a view of any.
72. (329). Rajah Scops Owl Otus brookii Heard on two occasions at Gunung Kerinci but not seen. This species is endemic to Sumatra, Java and Borneo, but in recent years has only been recorded in Sumatra.
73. (330). (Sunda) Collared Scops Owl Otus lempiji An adult Scops Owl feeding two recently fledged juveniles at the Cibodas Botanical Gardens was identified on eye colour, call etc. as this species. Freddy's son Eddie had told us at the time that they were Javan Scops Owls Otus angelinae but we are happy that they were not.
74. (340). Large Frogmouth Batrachostomus auritus Excellent views were had of this brilliant species on two occasions at Way Kambas while spot-lighting after dusk. It is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
75. (342). Gould's Frogmouth Batrachostomus stellatus Up to three heard at Way Kambas and one finally spot-lighted here. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
76. (343). Short-tailed (Pale-headed) Frogmouth Batrachostomus poliolophus One bird heard on a number of occasions while spot-lighting at Gunung Kerinci. Unfortunately not seen, apart from a brief untickable view by HA. This species is endemic to Sumatra. It is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
77. (344). Javan (Blyth's) Frogmouth Batrachostomus javensis affinis Two birds heard at Way Kambas and eventually one was spot-lighted on our last night here. Birds in Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia are sometimes regarded as a distinct species from the B. javensis javensis of Java.
78. (345). Sunda Frogmouth Batrachostomus cornutus Just one heard at Way Kambas on our first night here, but not seen, and not recorded subsequently.
79. (346). Malaysian Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus temminckii Heard most evenings/nights at Way Kambas but not seen.
80. (350). Savannah Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis Heard in the suburbs of Jakarta and eventually seen. Excellent perched and flying views of about six birds then obtained in arid scrubby areas not far from Muara Angke.
81. (351). Bonaparte's Nightjar Caprimulgus concretus Only heard one morning from the base camp of Way Kanan at Way Kambas. Unfortunately not found when looked for twice with local ranger Apri. This little known species is endemic to Sumatra and Borneo.
82. (352). Salvadori's Nightjar Caprimulgus pulchellus One heard but not seen at the base shelter at Gunung Kerinci just before dawn one morning. None recorded at the Ciburneum Waterfall at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Sumatra and Java and is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
83. (353). Giant (Waterfall) Swiftlet Hydrochous gigas Just one bird recorded at the Letter 'W' waterfall in Kerinci Seblat National Park. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
84. (354). Edible-nest (Germain's) Swiftlet Collocalia fuciphaga Recorded daily at Way Kambas and also at Muara Angke.
85. (355)/(356). Black-nest/Mossy-nest Swiftlet Collocalia maxima/salangana A few birds seen at Gunung Gede were one of these two species.
86. (357). Volcano Swiftlet Collocalia vulcanorum To see this rare Javan endemic requires a 10km hike to the crater of Gunung Gede volcano and the same back down. We recorded about 20 individuals around the crater here. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World. It only nests in the crater crevices at about four active volcanoes in western Java.
87. (358). Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta Commonly recorded in Sumatra.
88. (359). Cave Swiftlet Collocalia linchi Commonly recorded in Java.
89. (363). Silver-rumped Swift Raphidura leucopygialis Five birds seen at Way Kambas on one occasion.
90. (365). Little (House) Swift Apus affinis A few noted near Padang and good numbers seen in Bogor.
91. (366). Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Seen daily in Way Kambas in good numbers.
92. (367). Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis A few birds noted at Way Kambas.
93. (368). Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata A few seen on both visits to Tapan Road and a few also seen at Way Kambas.
94. (369). Blue-tailed Trogon Harpactes reinwardtii Three sightings at Gunung Kerinci, including one of a recently fledged juvenile. The Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 6 treats this bird as Sumatran Blue-tailed Trogon Apalharpactes mackloti and as a separate species from Javan Blue-tailed Trogon Apalharpactes reinwardtii, which we failed to see in Java.
(95. (370). Red-naped Trogon Harpactes kasumba Two trogons seen briefly at Way Kambas were thought to be this species. It is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World).
96. (376). Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus A male seen at elevation of about 650m along the Tapan Road.
97. (378). Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting One bird seen well in the Bogor Botanical Gardens.
98. (380). Small Blue Kingfisher Alcedo coerulescens One seen at Rawagajah 1 in Way Kambas. At least six seen in the wetland habitat near Muara Angke.
99. (382). Rufous-backed (Oriental Dwarf) Kingfisher Ceyx rufidorsa One seen along the main jeep track at Way Kambas.
100. (386). White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Two birds seen at Way Kambas were the only ones noted.
101. (389). Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris Recorded a few times in open habitats in both Sumatra and Java.
102. (390). Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sanctus Four birds seen in the wetland habitat near Muara Angke.
103. (393). Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus Four birds near Muara Angke.
104. (396). Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus One seen at Way Kambas by TA.
105. (399). Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus Five seen at Tapan Road and one seen at Way Kambas.
106. (402). Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus Seen on a number of occasions at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road. Two seen at Way Kambas (TA).
107. (408). Helmeted Hornbill Buceros vigil A male seen well in flight between Keresik Tua and Padang. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
108. (409). Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus Seen and heard daily at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road.
109. (411). Brown-throated Barbet Megalaima corvina Just one bird seen at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Java.
110. (413). Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii Heard daily at Way Kambas and one eventually seen in a fruiting tree along the main track at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
111. (414). Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophanos Heard along Tapan Road but not seen. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
112. (416). Black-browed Barbet Megalaima oorti Heard regularly at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road and seen a few times.
113. (419). Orange-fronted Barbet Megalaima armillaris Recorded in small numbers daily at Gunung Gede. Heard regularly there. This species is endemic to Java and Bali.
114. (421). Blue-eared Barbet Megalaima australis Heard at Way Kambas but not seen.
115. (423). Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala Three seen in Bogor Botanical Gardens were the only ones recorded.
116. (424). Brown Barbet Calorhamphus fuliginosus Group of eight seen at Way Kambas were the only ones recorded.
117. (427). Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis One seen at Way Kambas (AGK).
118. (432). Crimson-winged Woodpecker Picus puniceus One recorded at Gunung Gede.
119. (433). Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus A female was seen along the Tapan Road.
120. (438). Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes tristis Two seen along the Tapan Road and another two at Way Kambas.
121. (439). Buff-necked Woodpecker Meiglyptes tukki One recorded at Way Kambas (TA). This species classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
122. (442). Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopus macei Two seen in Bogor Botanical Gardens and two at Muara Angke.
123. (444). Sunda (Brown-capped) Woodpecker Picoides moluccensis Two birds seen from the observation tower at Muara Angke.
124. (446). Maroon Woodpecker Blythipicus rubiginosus Seen and heard fairly regularly at Gunung Kerinci, Tapan Road and Way Kambas.
125. (447). Orange-backed Woodpecker Reinwardtipicus validus Seen and heard a few times at Gunung Kerinci.
126. (451). Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus Two heard along Tapan Road, one noted at 370m elevation. One seen and another two heard at Gunung Gede.
127. (452). Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus Two heard along Tapan Road. Regularly heard and seen a few times at Way Kambas. This species classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
128. (454). Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae Group of four birds seen along Tapan Road at elevation of 850m.
129. (455). Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis Four birds in total recorded at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
130. (458). Schneider's Pitta Pitta schneideri (http://www.kerinci.org/ff14.html) Heard on a few occasions at Gunung Kerinci, and after much effort walking slowly up and down the dense trail, brief views were obtained of a female or immature hopping along at the very beginning of the trail before disappearing into cover (TA, AGK). The recent remains of large snail shells were also found on the trail, probably left behind by this species. This secretive and enigmatic bird is endemic to the mountains of Sumatra and was only rediscovered at Gunung Kerinci in 1988, having not been recorded for over 70 years (Hurrell P. On the rediscovery of Schneider's Pitta in Sumatra Kukila Vol. 4. p. 53-56. Feb. 1989). It has a small population and is thought to be declining as a result of loss of habitat and agricultural encroachment. Trapping of ground-dwelling birds is also a problem at Gunung Kerinci. It is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World.
131. (467). Black-crowned (Graceful) Pitta Pitta venusta An extreme stoke of luck when one bird was finally seen along the Tapan Road between the 23 and 24km markers, just minutes before we had to leave the area. A further two were heard nearby at 1075m altitude over the previous two days, but seeing them proved too difficult in the impenetrable vegetation. This rare and little known species is endemic to Sumatra. It is known to be extremely skulking and difficult to observe, even for a pitta. We certainly found this to be the case. It was only relocated in the field in 1989, having gone unrecorded since 1927. The first field photograph was obtained as recently as 1997. It is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World and is reckoned to have a small decreasing population, being threatened by continuous forest loss and degradation. It is generally considered rare and local and only occurring in pockets throughout its range.
132. (468). Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida A single bird heard calling at Way Kambas on our last morning there.
133. (469). Banded Pitta Pitta guajana Seen and heard regularly along the main track at Way Kambas. Birds were relatively easy to see compared to other sites I've visited. Some fantastic views were obtained of these stunning birds.
134. (474). Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Recorded on a few occasions in open habitats throughout.
135. (476). Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata Two seen near Muara Angke.
136. (478). Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus A few recorded at Gunung Kerinci and along the Tapan Road.
137. (482). Sunda (Black-faced) Cuckoo-shrike Coracina larvata Five birds noted along the Tapan Road were the only ones seen. This species is endemic to Sumatra, Java and Bali.
138. (489). Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus Seen in small numbers daily at Way Kambas. It is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
139. (490). Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris Small parties seen on a few occasions at Gunung Kerinci.
140. (491). Sunda Minivet Pericrocotus miniatus A few recorded at Gunung Kerinci and also seen at Gunung Gede.
141. (492). Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus Two noted at Way Kambas.
142. (493). Green Iora Aegithina viridissima Seen a few times at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
143. (494). Common Iora Aegithina tiphia Five birds recorded at Bogor Botanical Gardens.
144. (496). Greater Green Leafbird Chloropsis sonnerati Single birds seen twice at Way Kambas.
145. (497). Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons Seen in reasonable numbers along the Tapan Road.
146. (498). Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis A few seen along the Tapan Road and also at Way Kambas.
147. (499). Blue-masked Leafbird Chloropsis venusta Two seen at the Letter 'W' Waterfall and four seen along the Tapan Road. Noted at 985m elevation at the latter site. Endemic to Sumatra, this species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
148. (501). Cream-striped (Sumatran/Striated) Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogrammicus Three birds seen along the Tapan Road. Noted at elevation of 960m. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
149. (502). Spot-necked (Olive-crowned) Bulbul Pycnonotus tympanistrigus Eight seen on first visit to Tapan Road and four seen there the next day. Noted at elevation of 945m. This Sumatran endemic is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
150. (504). Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps Four seen along Tapan Road and a few seen at Way Kambas.
151. (506). Scaly-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus squamatus One seen on each visit to Tapan Road. One noted an elevation of 495m. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
152. (507). Grey-bellied Bulbul Pycnonotus cyaniventris Recorded on each visit to Tapan Road with maximum of three on first day here. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
153. (509). Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster Seen a few times in degraded forest throughout. Very common in Bogor Botanical Gardens.
154. (510). Puff-backed Bulbul Pycnonotus eutilotus One recorded at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
155. (512). Orange-spotted Bulbul Pycnonotus bimaculatus Seen daily at Gunung Gede, with a maximum of ten birds on first day here. This species is endemic to Java, Sumatra and Bali.
156. (516). Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex Seen regularly in degraded forest throughout.
157. (517). Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus A few seen at Tapan Road. Regularly seen at Way Kambas.
158. (518). Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythrophthalmos Two birds noted at Tapan Road.
159. (520). Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus Six birds noted at Tapan Road.
160. (522). Yellow-bellied Bulbul Alophoixus phaeocephalus Seen in small numbers daily at Way Kambas.
161. (524). Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger Three recorded on Tapan Road and another two at Way Kambas.
162. (526). Sunda Bulbul Iole virescens Recorded on both visits to Tapan Road with a maximum of seven birds seen one day. Seen twice at Gunung Gede with a single bird noted one day and two birds the next. This species is endemic to Sumatra and Java. (Recorded at 1075m altitude on Tapan Road)
163. (528). Ashy Bulbul Hypsipetes flavala A few birds seen at Gunung Gede and Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
164. (530). Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus Seen fairly regularly at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road. Also recorded at Gunung Gede and Bogor Botanical Gardens.
165. (532). Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus A few seen at Tapan Road and Way Kambas.
166. (533). Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer Seen on a few occasions at Gunung Kerinci, Tapan Road and Gunung Gede/Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
167. (536). Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Recorded in small numbers daily at Way Kambas.
168. (537). Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus A male was seen well along the main track at Way Kambas. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
169. (538). Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis Only noted in Bogor Botanical Gardens where seemed to be fairly common.
170. (541). Black-and-crimson Oriole Oriolus cruentus Two birds seen along Tapan Road at elevation of 985m.
171. (542). Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella Three seen along Tapan Road. Single males noted twice at Way Kambas.
172. (546). Sumatran Treepie Dendrocitta occipitalis Two seen on one occasion and one on another at Gunung Kerinci. Easier to see at Tapan Road where four were seen on the first day there and three on the second. Noted at 1005m altitude at the latter site. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
173. (548). Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia One seen on first visit to Muara Angke and two on the second visit.
174. (554). Pygmy Tit Psaltria exilis Two birds seen twice at Gunung Gede. On the first occasion an active nest hole was located high up in a tree along the main trail up the mountain.
175. (555). Great Tit Parus major Single birds noted at Gunung Kerinci on three dates. A few noted on most dates at Gunung Gede/ Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
176. (557). Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis Just two birds seen on one occasion at Way Kambas.
177. (558). Blue Nuthatch Sitta azurea Surprisingly common at most non-lowland forest sites visited. Seen daily at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road. Particularly common in feeding flocks at Gunung Gede where seen daily with a maximum count of 20 birds logged one day.
178. (559). Black-capped Babbler Pellorneum capistratum One bird seen at Way Kambas.
179. (563). Ferruginous Babbler Trichastoma bicolor Three birds seen at Way Kambas.
180. (564). Short-tailed Babbler Malacocincla malaccensis One bird seen at Way Kambas.
This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
181. (565). Horsfield's Babbler Malacocincla sepiarium Heard fairly regularly at Gunung Gede. Four birds seen on one occasion.
182. (570). Sooty-capped Babbler Malacopteron affine Recorded on a few occasions at Way Kambas with eight birds seen on one date. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
183. (571). Scaly-crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum One bird seen at Way Kambas.
184. (572). Rufous-crowned Babbler Malacopteron magnum One bird seen at Way Kambas (HA). This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
185. (574). Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus Three birds recorded on one date at Gunung Gede and one on another date here.
186. (575). Long-billed Wren Babbler Rimator malacoptilus Single bird heard calling down the valley along the small river at Gunung Kerinci and two birds eventually seen in this area the next day. This species has a curious range, being confined both to the lower Himalayan forests and the montane forests of Sumatra.
187. (578). Rusty-breasted (Sumatran) Wren Babbler Napothera rufipectus Recorded in small numbers at Gunung Kerinci where birds were often seen well and heard calling. Generally not too skulking for a Wren Babbler. Curiously none was recorded here on our second visit, possibly due to bad weather conditions prevailing. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
188. (583). Eye-browed Wren Babbler Napothera epilepidota Two or three usually seen daily at Gunung Kerinci. A few also seen and heard at Gunung Gede.
189. (584). Pygmy Wren Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla A few seen and heard daily at Gunung Kerinci. Fairly regularly recorded at Gunung Gede where seemed fairly common.
190. (586). Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea Common in feeding flocks at Gunung Kerinci.
191. (588). Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps Common in feeding flocks at Gunung Kerinci.
192. (590). Spot-necked Babbler Stachyris striolata Group of about six birds seen along Tapan Road.
193. (594). White-bibbed Babbler Stachyris thoracica Four birds recorded at Gunung Gede, good views being eventually obtained. This species is endemic to Java.
194. (595). Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera Three birds seen at Way Kambas.
195. (596). Cresent-chested Babbler Stachyris melanothorax Seen on a few occasions at Gunung Gede/Cibodas Botanical Gardens. This species is endemic to Java and Bali.
196. (598). Striped Tit-babbler Macronous gularis One seen at a roadside stop between Keresik Tua and Padang.
197. (599). Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler Macronous ptilosus One seen at Way Kambas and then three seen here on another day. This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
198. (601). Sunda (Grey-and-brown) Laughingthrush Garrulax palliatus Just one bird seen at Gunung Kerinci. This species is endemic to Sumatra and Borneo. Laughingthrushes heard calling here on subsequent days may have been this species or Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush Garrulax mitratus .
199. (602). Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush Garrulax rufifrons A group of eight birds gave reasonable views at times along the main trail at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Java and is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
200. (604). Black Laughingthrush Garrulax lugubris Group of six birds seen along the Tapan Road were the only ones noted.
201. (605). Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush Garrulax mitratus Seen on a number of occasions at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road. Unidentified laughingthrushes were also heard calling at both sites a few times.
202. (607.) White-browed Shrike-babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis One or two seen on most visits to Gunung Kerinci.
203. (608). Chestnut-fronted Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aenobarbus A few seen on most visits to Gunung Gede, with a maximum of four birds seen one day.
204. (610). Javan Fulvetta Alcippe pyrrhoptera Fairly common and seen daily at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Java.
205. (611). Spotted Crocias Crocias albonotatus Loose group of six birds seen along the main trail at Gunung Gede on our first morning here were the only ones noted. This species is endemic to Java and is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
206. (612). Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides Just one bird seen at Gunung Kerinci.
207. (616). Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophrys Seen or heard on a few dates at Gunung Kerinci. Probably this or the following species also heard at Gunung Gede.
208. (617). White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana One seen at Gunung Kerinci and heard a few times here. This or the latter species also heard at Gunung Gede.
209. (621). Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis A few noted in degraded areas near Gunung Kerinci. Two also seen at Way Kambas.
210. (622). White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus One bird heard at Way Kambas was the only one noted.
211. (625). Sunda Blue Robin Cinclidium diana Single birds seen on three occasions on the main trail at Gunung Kerinci. A female also seen at Gunung Gede.
212. (626). Lesser Forktail Enicurus velatus A female seen from a bridge along the main road near Letter 'W' Waterfall. Three birds seen feeding on the Tapan Road pre-dawn in the headlights of the van. In Java a pair were seen on two dates at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Sumatra and Java.
213. (630). Javan Cochoa Cochoa azurea Two birds were seen well at Gunung Gede on the day we climbed to the summit. This species is endemic to Java and is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World, which refers to its small range which is increasingly fragmented due to habitat loss, so that all sub-populations are likely to be very small.
214. (631). Sumatran Cochoa Cochoa beccarii A pair and probably a third juvenile bird were seen high up in some fruiting trees at Air Minum at Gunung Kerinci on our first morning here. At least one bird was heard here on a few subsequent visits to the spot but was not seen. Up to recently this Sumatran endemic was only known from four old museum specimens. It was rediscovered on Mount Kerinci in February 1994, with the female described for the first time. (Simpson B., OBC Bulletin 21, July 1995). It is still very little known and its shy and unobtrusive nature makes it easily overlooked. Like the Javan Cochoa, it is classed as Vulnerable in Threatened Birds of the World, which refers to its small population with low densities, and its presumed continuing decline due to severe fragmentation of its range due to drastic habitat loss.
215.(636). Shiny Whistling Thrush Myiophoneus melanurus Seen daily at Gunung Kerinci where quite common. Sometimes fairly tame, hopping on the trail. Maximum of seven birds noted one day. This species is endemic to Sumatra.
216. (637). Sunda Whistling Thrush Myiophoneus glaucinus One seen at Gunung Kerinci. Recorded on two dates at Gunung Gede, with a maximum of six birds noted on the day we climbed to the summit and back. The Sumatran form is sometimes treated as an endemic, being split from the Javan form and known as M. castaneus.
217. (644). White's (Horsfield's) Thrush Zoothera dauma One bird seen well in the forest on the upper slopes of Gunung Gede. This Sunda race is regarded by some authorities as a separate species, Horsfield's Thrush Z. horsfieldi.
218. (646). Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus Four birds seen at Gunung Gede on the day we climbed to the summit and back.
219. (647). Golden-bellied Gerygone (Flyeater) Gerygone sulphurea One bird seen and about six heard at Muara Angke and nearby wetland habitat.
220. (649). Sunda Warbler Seicercus grammiceps Fairly common and seen daily in feeding flocks at Gunung Kerinci and in Java on Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Sumatra, Java and Bali.
221. (655). Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus Fairly common and seen daily at Gunung Kerinci and in Java especially common on Gunung Gede.
222. (656). Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Six birds noted in wetland habitat near Muara Ankge.
223. (664). Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis One seen at Way Kambas (TA).
224. (665). Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps Noted a few times near Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
225. (666). Olive-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus sepium A few birds noted in Bogor Botanical Gardens.
226. (667). Rufous-tailed Tailorbird Orthotomus sericeus A few noted at Way Kambas.
227. (668). Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus cuculatus Noted on a few dates at Gunung Kerinci, often joining feeding flocks. Just one noted at Gunung Gede.
228. (669). Hill Prinia Prinia atrogularis A few noted along Tapan Road and one seen near Letter 'W' Waterfall.
229. (670). Plain Prinia Prinia inornata About three noted near Muara Angke.
230. (671). Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris One seen along Tapan Road (TA).
231. (672). Bar-winged Prinia Prinia familiaris Seen in good numbers in Bogor Botanical Gardens and a few noted at Muara Angke. This species is endemic to Sumatra, Java and Bali.
232. (674). Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis About four noted near Muara Angke.
233. (676). Javan Tesia Tesia superciliaris Seen and heard on a number of occasions at Gunung Gede.
234. (678). Sunda Bush Warbler Cettia vulcania One bird noted at Gunung Kerinci. One seen and another heard at Gunung Gede.
235. (691). Indigo Flycatcher Eumyias indigo Recorded in small numbers on a few dates at Gunung Kerinci and Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Borneo, Sumatra and Java.
236. (697). Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra Seen regularly at Gunung Kerinci and Gunung Gede.
237. (699). Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni A male seen at Gunung Kerinci. Seen and heard daily at Gunung Gede in small numbers.
238. (709). Malaysian Blue Flycatcher Cyornis turcosus A female seen well at Way Kambas (AGK). This species is classed as Near-threatened in Threatened Birds of the World.
239. (712). Pygmy Blue Flycatcher Muscicapella hodgsoni A male and a juvenile were seen together at Gunung Gede
240. (713). Grey-headed Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis Seen and heard daily at Gunung Kerinci in small numbers.
241. (714). Rufous-tailed Fantail Rhipidura phoenicura A few noted on most dates at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Java.
242. (716). White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis Noted on most visits to Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road in small numbers.
243. (718). Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica Seen at Way Kambas in the swamp forest and about ten noted at and around Muara Angke.
244. (719). Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea Recorded a few times at Way Kambas.
245. (723). Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi Two birds seen at Way Kambas (TA).
246. (736). White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorhynchus Single birds noted on two occasions at Way Kambas. Four seen at Muara Angke.
247. (739). Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach A few noted in degraded cleared habitat near Gunung Kerinci. Two also seen near Muara Angke.
248. (750). Javan (White-vented) Myna Acridotheres javanicus Three birds seen near Muara Angke.
249. (752). Hill Myna Gracula religiosa Noted on two dates at Way Kambas with a maximum of seven birds one day.
250. (754). Plain Sunbird Anthreptes simplex Six birds noted along the Tapan Road were the only ones recorded.
251. (755). Plain (Brown)-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis One seen at Way Kambas. Three noted near Muara Angke on both dates visited.
252. (762). White-flanked (Kuhl's) Sunbird Aethopyga eximia Noted on three dates at Gunung Gede with a maximum of three birds one day. This species is endemic to Java.
253. (763). Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja A male was seen at Way Kambas.
254. (765). Temminck's Sunbird Aethopyga temminckii One bird seen along the Tapan Road.
255. (766). Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra Heard at Gunung Gede and one seen here the next day.
256. (771). Grey-breasted Spiderhunter Arachnothera affinis Two or three birds seen at Way Kambas.
257. (778). Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus percussus One bird seen at Way Kambas.
258. (782). Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma Two birds seen along Tapan Road and a single bird there the next day.
259. (786). Blood-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum sanguinolentum Seen well eventually at Cibodas Botanical Gardens where about seven were recorded.
260. (789). Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker Dicaeum trochileum Only seen in Bogor Botanical Gardens where about six were noted, including a few adult males.
261. (790). Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus A few noted in Cibodas Botanical Gardens.
262. (792). Black-capped White-eye Zosterops atricapilla Recorded on a few occasions at Gunung Kerinci and Tapan Road. Noted at the latter site at 900m elevation.
263. (794). Mountain White-eye Zosterops montanus A few noted at Gunung Kerinci.
264. (797). Javan Grey-throated White-eye Lophozosterops javanicus Seen daily at Gunung Gede. This species is endemic to Java and Bali.
265. (800). Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus Seen regularly near human habitation throughout.
266. (810). Javan Munia Lonchura leucogastroides One seen at Way Kambas. About eight noted in Bogor Botanical Gardens.
267. (813). Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata Seen in good numbers (100+) near Muara Angke and vicinity. Many also in cages recently caught by bird trappers here.
268. (816). White-headed Munia Lonchura maja Two seen near Muara Angke. A few also noted in cages recently caught by bird trappers here.
269. (817). Mountain Serin Serinus estherae A pair seen very well feeding on small white buds along the main trail at Gunung Gede. None was seen at the top of the mountain, which is reportedly the best site to see this poorly known species.