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Day 4 (Sunday 2
nd April)

     Bali Barat National Park

With 2 full days in the park, the objective from Hery (who just happened to have a wedding to attend today so left the donkey work to Boning) was to focus on some of the topmost specialities straight off, so that they could be revisited the next day should they have been missed through bad weather or bad birding (we would take full responsibility for the latter!). A 6am pickup at the homestay meant that the packed breakfast option was taken, resulting in us scoffing omelette and fried bananas in the back of the car as we were chauffeured to the first location. Despite the threat of rain in the forecast, we exited the car in fine weather on one of the rough tracks to the centre of the park. The rain thankfully stayed away again throughout the day, only starting mid evening. It didn’t take long before a mainly white starling flew over and mercifully landed in the open on a high tree. Black-winged Starling – one of only two we would see, but welcome considering its rarity and limited range. Coppersmith Barbets, Common Ioras, Black-winged Flycatcher Shrikes, Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, and a nesting Long-tailed Shrike provided enjoyable padding while we waited and searched for the supposed star of the show. Bali Mynas are still critically endangered and endemic to Bali, but seeing as there were once only single figure numbers left in the wild some years ago, the sight of our first on the top of another tree, and without leg irons, was apt, since there is a theory only these can be counted as truly wild. There is a certain sense in this, since any released birds would bear rings, and be first generation from captive. So it was that the subsequent few birds seen after this in this particular location all had rings.

Bali Myna Black Giant Squirrel Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike

Bali Myna

Black Giant Squirel Black-winged Flycatcher Shrike
Common Iora Macaque

Common Iora

Crab-eating Macaque
Black-winged Starling Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Collared Kingfisher

Black-winged Starling

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Collared Kingfisher

We then branched off to enter a weaker, yet muddier track, where we came upon our second Black-winged Starling, and the sound of our first Green Junglefowl. We actually saw the first birds not long after – a pair in the denser part of the forest. This turned out to be not far from the Manangan Hotel, a much swisher affair altogether than our much more primitive Local Manangan homestay. However, I can’t say I was in the least bit envious of the early risers (it was all of 9am by the time we arrived here), planning which sun lounger to nab for the day, while we were successfully tracking down a Bar-winged Prinia only metres from reception. Scarlet-headed Flowerpeckers were also here, and were seen feeding a pair of hungry orange mouthed youths in a nest directly over our heads.

Local Manangan Bar-winged Prinia Scalet-headed Flowerpecker

Manangan Hotel

Bar-winged Prinia Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker female

We dragged ourselves away from this veritable Utopia to be driven out of the centre of the park, along the main roads, and thence to the location for Javan Banded Pitta. This was to be the birding highlight so far (no offence Bali Myna, but Pittas are a special type of bird family!), as much for the anticipation as the actual experience. We parked up next to a mud track, walked through a short stretch of the forest, skirted some green open land for a hundred metres,  then dived back into the forest again. Only a short walk here found a hide constructed of dried palm strands, which overlooked a short and thick log which was filled with food. Unlike the comfort of home hides which have seating and hinged shutters for viewing, a couple of plastic steppers were brought along to sit on, and the woven raffia had to be parted for viewing and cameras. All part of the experience of course. It took no time for a Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher to appear and gratefully tuck into the larder, and no time again for the Pittas to enter the scene. The pair were occasionally together, and made an entrance within the hour and a half we were there about four times. While under the shade of the trees, there was still enough light for exceptional views and also for photography.

Pitta hide Pitta hide

Pitta hide from the outside

Inside the Pitta hide
Javan Banded Pitta Javan Banded Pitta Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher

Javan Banded Pitta

Javan Banded Pitta male

Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher

Lunch was spent next to one of the beaches. When we sat down in one of the small restaurants, we were pretty well excited to see a Bali Myna fly over. Little did we know (thanks for not telling us beforehand, Boning) that this was the location of the Bali Myna release site. A cage full of young birds was only about 30 metres from where we were sat, hidden by a building. We thusly had lunch with the constant toing and froing of the wild/released birds over the open area. So, following lunch, we went round to the Myna area, and picked up a few unringed birds for our troubles – these likely to be individuals which have been raised in nest boxes within the vicinity. Also nesting here were a pair of Scarlet Minivets, showing well while visiting what looked like the nesting tree.

Myna site Bali Myna

Bali Myna release site (cage on the right)

Bali Myna
Bali Myna Scarlet Minivet Scarlet Minivet

Bali Myna

Scarlet Minivet male

Scarlet Minivet female

     Gilimanuk

The last main site of the day to be visited was Gilimanuk. This is apparently the home town of both Hery and Boning, but even more significantly, has an area of mangroves bounded by sea and open manicured grass which plays host to Savanna Nightjars. It looks an unlikely place for this, being disturbed by a few motor bikes and kite flying kids, but the exposed mud and occasional low bush seem like a magnet to the Nightjars. They are apparently also usually very approachable, but today seemed to prefer to fly up from their “hiding places”. Quite often one would be spotted, but another unseen one in front would spook the rest. Good views of some were had however. The open grassy areas also played host to a few pairs of Trillers. Originally identified as White-shouldered, the white edges to the tertials and wide supercilium questioned them as Pied. However, it is likely that they were all White-shouldered, given the lack of scalloping on the breasts of the females. A kingfisher also had us guessing. It looked to have all the hallmarks for Collared, with no hint of buff on the breast, but buff colouration above the lores notched up our first Sacred Kingfisher. Island Dove and a scattering of Zebra Doves were less controversial, but again the former was new to us so did contain its own bit of excitement.

Gilimanuk Gilimanuk Savanna Nightjar

Open area at Gilimanuk

Edge of mangroves next to open area

Savanna Nightjar

Zebra Dove White-shouldered Triller Sacred Kingfisher

Zebra Dove

White-shouldered Triller

Sacred Kingfisher

Car park Coppersmith barbet

Lorry park backed by fruiting trees

Coppersmith Barbet

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon male

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon female

Home

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

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