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Day 3 (Saturday 1
st April)

     Journey from Bintang Balian to Bali Barat National Park

With the majority of the snake hunting completed (there’s always room for some optimism in the form of more chance encounters while out birding), we were picked up by Hery Kusumanegaro, his team colleague Boning (I kid you not!), and (very safe) driver Marcos at 6am. The bags just about fit into the smallish hatchback, and we then expected a bit of a drive to the first birding spots. It was a bit of a surprise then when we drove down the road for 5 minutes or so and pulled into the same temple car park (site of the “secret” bat cave) as on the first day - Pura Luhur Srijong temple. Thoughts of reminding Hery of this were quickly put to the back of the mind when no sooner had we exited the car than he picked up the first of 4 Java Sparrows. It seems that they are relatively easy to see at Bali Barat in the breeding season, but now was not that time, and this small refuge is one of the better sites out of season. Once common, they have been poached for cage birds, and are now a difficult bird to see. This even rang true this morning. The group of 4 favoured a large tree next to the car park and temple, but had a habit of hiding in the upper branches to the rear. Pinning them down took some time and patience, but despite the copious Yellow-vented Bulbuls trying to distract us from our task, we managed to prise views of the birds in the gaps. A lot easier were the Common Ioras and Olive-backed Tailorbird (Hery called this as Javan Tailorbird but the two seem to be the same species but with different names). A Common Flameback had been calling occasionally but was only picked up in the distance later. We did venture the few metres beyond the line of trees to overlook the small cove where the Java Sparrows breed and managed to see one or two flying in and then disappear into the vegetation.

Temple Java Sparrow

Pura Luhur Srijong temple

Java Sparrow

Next stop wasn’t really a stop as such, but Hery had tipped Boning off to look out for Javan Kingfisher as we passed the numerous rice paddies alongside the road. How he spotted it remains a mystery, but he glimpsed what turned out to be a stunning bird as we passed a small gap looking over some paddies. A narrow muddy track alongside and into the rice paddy enabled us to get reasonably close to the perched bird – much larger and as impressive as we had hoped for. We also asked for some close up views of the much more numerous Javan Pond Herons, new birds to us and a smart member of the small heron family. Easily done, the brief stop also turned up a Long-tailed Shrike.

Open paddies Javan Kingfisher

Open paddies

Javan Kingfisher
Paddies Javan Pond Heron Long-tailed Shrike

Rice paddies

Javan Pond Heron Long-tailed Shrike

Just before lunch, and a few miles down the road, we were on a promise for Blue-eared Kingfisher. We drove down a narrow road through the forest to park next to a small bridge over a narrow stream cum river, which was bordered by irregular thick vegetation. It took a short time, and an intervening Freckle-breasted Woodpecker during our wait, but the female appeared at first in the centre of an overhanging bush, and then out in the open near to the bridge, to give mouth-watering views of the bird. She stayed for some time, but the male which appeared a short time later was spotted a little further downstream before flying into the banana plantation. When we looked at the images later in the day, confusion arose over the specific identification of the female bird. Common Kingfisher (subspecies floriana) also occurs on the island, and shows the rufous ear coverts with some blue feathers of the bird seen. Local Blue-eared are of the nominate meninting subspecies, showing full blue ear coverts. We had to go with the evidence in front of us and call the female as Common Kingfisher and the male as Blue-eared (a textbook bird for this species!)

River Blue-eared Kingfisher Common Kingfisher

 

Blue-eared Kingfisher Common Kingfisher

Lunch provided an excellent and spicy example of Indonesian cuisine – and another Javan Kingfisher seen from the table – before continuing on our way towards Bali Barat. Just before reaching there, we drove slowly over a larger bridge than earlier to try to spot a perched Javan Kingfisher. None was there, but we did manage to drink in a male Grey-rumped Treeswift, as well as a pair of Striated Swallows over the bridge.

Weavers Streaked Weaver

Town stop for Weaver colony

Streaked Weaver
Pied Fantail Javan Munia Scaly-breasted Munia

Malaysian Pied Fantail

Javan Munia Scaly-breasted Munia

     Bali Barat National Park

The last few hours of our first fully birding day on the island were spent in the western part of the national park, which is an area of rainforest and open land partly bounded by hills. The omens were good when we turned off on to a rough track which wound the half mile or so to our walking point, and a stunning Barred Buttonquail popped up next to the car and swiftly disappeared out of sight. We then parked up the car and covered what must have only been around a quarter of a mile of the track, which was bounded immediately by fairly open land and then denser forest on the slopes. Birding was generous here, with good species dropping in or popping up regularly over time. The two likely Barbets here both gave themselves up, but one not without a fight. The stunning red faced Bali race of Coppersmith Barbet was calling and quite easy to pick out on bare branches. Yellow-eared Barbets were also vocal but much more difficult to pin down in their favoured leaved tree canopies, until one eventually called in the open above us. Cave Swiflets, the southern version of Glossy Swiflets, were easily the most common birds in the air, with the now ubiquitous Yellow-vented Bulbuls always to and fro, but a light phase Changeable Hawk-Eagle which soared over the ridges to perch on a distant bare tree at the hill top stood out. A perched Black-thighed Falconet was more difficult due to size and distance. More Freckle-breasted Woodpeckers were seen in the area, as well as a nearby Collared Kingfisher. We made a small foray a little further along the track to a waterfall, where a Rusty-breasted Cuckoo was seen on and off, a second Barred Buttonquail flew into the vegetation (a third crossed the track on the way out), and a stunning male Black-naped Fruit Dove was perched. A couple of birds which were seen briefly by us and named by Hery were Emerald Dove, Crested Serpent Eagle, Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, and Red-breasted Parakeet.

Bali Barat Black-naped Fruit Dove Coppersmith Barbet

Bali Barat

Black-naped Fruit Dove Coppermsith Barbet
Freckle-breasted Woodpecker Grey-rumped Treeswift Yellow-eared Barbet

Freckle-breasted Woodpecker

Grey-rumped Treeswift Yellow-eared Barbet

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

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Contact

Site map

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

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