Thursday, 3 September 2015

A quick trip to see Arthur!

Arrived in Jakarta on 4th September on time & the weather was perfect, sunny skies & not too hot. The first thing I noticed about the city upon my return neigh on a quarter of a century later was the relative lack of pollution! Had an introduction to the craziness which goes for commuting in these parts & arrived miraculously unscathed outside Arthur’s apartment block & he was there to greet me!
Rubbish photo, but you get the idea!

Thirty minutes later we left for a bar to meet his colleagues & we had a very enjoyable evening catching up on our entire respective goings on, in our very busy lives. We left the bar around 11 pm, way too late considering we had to be up at 2.30 am! Savanna Nightjars called from nearby flat rooftops & two were seen.

 Pamanukan Mangroves

Sacred Kingfisher.

A blink of an eye later, we were both in the car & driving through the night to our first birding destination: Pamanukan Mangroves. We arrived just as dawn was breaking & walked across an embankment towards the distant mangrove patches. We were here mainly for one species: Javan White-eye. We searched hard but failed to find it! This was Arthur’s fourth trip here to try & see this species, each time ending in failure! Maybe I should have gone alone?

                                                         Arthur sans Javan White-eye!

                                                  Worldbirder, like a tightly coiled spring!
                                                   Ready to go, the moment the car stops!
                                                               Remember Guadacanal?

Little Egrets & Javan Pond Heron.

Striated Heron
Collared Kingfisher

 Golden-bellied Gerygone.

Birding was quite good though with a good suite of both wetland & mangrove specialities:
Little Black Cormorant c25; Purple Heron 5;  Eastern Cattle Egret 100+; Great Egret 25+; Little Egret 250+; Striated Heron 35; Javan Pond Heron 12; Black crowned Night-Heron 9; Yellow Bittern 1; Cinnamon Bittern 1; Glossy Ibis 50; Sunda Teal 2; Javan Plover 3; Common Sandpiper 9; Whiskered Tern 2; Island Collared Dove 50+;  Edible nest Swiftlet 15+; Cave Swiftlet abundant;  Small Blue Kingfisher 20+; Sacred Kingfisher 1; Collared Kingfisher 3; Pacific Swallow 5; Golden-bellied Gerygone abundant; Golden-headed Cisticola 1; Ashy Tailorbird 4; Malaysian Pied Fantail 5;  Mangrove Whistler 1; Flava Wagtail 1; Scaly-breasted Munia 2 & Javan Munia 1.

Tangkuban Perahu Volcano

A drive to Tangkuban Perahu Volcano produced thousands of Javan tourists (it was Saturday after all) but more importantly at least 10 Volcano Swiftlets, a world tick for me! However they were distant along the far side crater rim. Much larger & darker than Cave Swiftlets (which were common here) & with a more direct fast flight.

Little Pied Flycatcher
We walked around part of the rim through some nice forest seeing very little (it was the middle of the day) but several Orange Spotted Bulbuls shown well, as did a lovely Little Pied Flycatcher.
Then it was time for the long drive back to Jakarta & another evening in the pub!

Muara Angke

6th September, time for a lay in bed, arising at 4.30 am today! Ecstasy! A short drive to Muara Angke, which is one of the few localities for the endangered Sunda Coucal. I had missed this species on my previous trip to Java in the early 1990’s so was keen to see it.

                                                 Arthur on the newly repaired boardwalk! 
                                                        Good job it has been repaired,
                                                 otherwise it might have been dangerous!

                                                           A very large Asian Python  
                                                          being relocated inside the 
                                                         reserve while we were there.

 Long-tailed Macaque

We paid the very expensive ticket (ten times the amount that locals pay) & walked onto the boardwalk. But didn’t get very far, as it was so badly in need of repair as to be unusable! Very frustrating, as we couldn't get to the best area for the Coucal which Arthur had seen here on previous occasions. Quite a few waterbirds were flying around though & it was quite an interesting couple of hours. 

Darter 6; Grey Heron 1; Purple Heron 3; Little Egret 15+; Striated Heron 9; Javan Pond Heron 60+; Black crowned Night Heron 5; Cinnamon Bittern 1; Black Bittern 3; Wandering Whistling Duck 2; White-breasted Waterhen 25; Common Moorhen 10; Black backed Swamphen 15; Wood Sandpiper 3; Pink-necked Green Pigeon 5; Spotted Dove 15; Sunda Coucal 1; Savanna Nightjar 2; Edible nest Swiftlet 15+; Cave Swiftlet abundant; Blue-eared Kingfisher 1; Small Blue Kingfisher 2; Sacred Kingfisher 1; Collared Kingfisher 1; Blue-tailed Bee-eater 2; Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker 1; Barn Swallow 1; Pacific Swallow 3; Small Minivet 2; Sooty headed Bulbul 1; Yellow vented Bulbul 4; Clamorous Reed Warbler 1; Golden bellied Gerygone 5; Bar-winged Prinia 4; Malaysian Pied Fantail 4; Javan Mynah 4; Javan Munia 8; Scaly-breasted Munia 5; White capped Munia 4 & Eurasian Tree Sparrow abundant.
 Javan Plover

Island Collared Dove

Small Blue Kingfisher.

White-breasted Woodswallow

A two hour drive to Palau Dua meant that we arrived there in late morning. it was a hot walk out to the coastal forest & mangroves. Birding was quite good though:
Darter 7; Grey Heron 2; Purple Heron 3; Great Egret 5; Little Egret 45; Striated Heron 15; Javan Pond Heron 35+; White-bellied Sea-eagle 1 adult; Brahminy Kite 1; Pacific Golden Plover 2; Wood Sandpiper 4; Whimbrel 1; Common Sandpiper 3; Javan Plover 10; Island Collared Dove 6; Plaintive Cuckoo 1; Savanna Nightjar 5; Edible nest Swiftlet 10; Cave Swiftlet 150+; Small Blue Kingfisher 10: Collared Kingfisher 1; Sacred Kingfisher 2; Blue-tailed Bee-eater 1; Barn Swallow 2; Pacific Swallow 4; Yellow vented Bulbul 2; Golden bellied Gerygone abundant; Clamorous Reed Warbler 1; Zitting Cisticola 3; Malaysian Pied Fantail 3; Javan Mynah 2; Olive backed Sunbird 3; White capped Munia 9; Scaly breasted Munia 6 & Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
Then a drive back to Jakarta, meal at the pub & said our goodbyes. Well not quite goodbye, as we are meeting up for a Brazil trip next year!
Thanks Arthur, great to see you again & thanks for everything! New Guinea awaits!

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