Birding near Jakarta, Indonesia

Subject: Birding near Jakarta, Indonesia
From: Gil Langfield <>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 18:57:44 +1000
I was working in Jakarta Indonesia recently and spent a Saturday at Bogor's Kebun Raya (Botanical Gardens) and two Sunday mornings at Muara Anke, close to Jakarta.

Bogor is about 60 km south of Jakarta. I wanted to get started when the gardens open at 0800 and so I hired a taxi to drive me there for Rup. 150,000 (about A$30). The drive took about one hour and I was there about 30 minutes before opening time. I returned by train which was much cheaper at about A$1.50. One can walk to the Bogor Station from the exit on the west side of the gardens near the Dutch Cemetery/Herbarium, following Jalan P. Muslihat. This avoids finding a taxi and doing a long anti-clockwise total traffic-jam loop of the gardens. The gardens are not as crowded on Saturday as Sunday although heaps of people seemed to arrive at about 1200. The rain started at 1200 and continued.

The birding was as difficult as ever, the local species having adapted to hiding from the local people to avoid being trapped or killed. I saw Bar-winged Prinia, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, possible female Siberian Thrush and Hill Blue Flycatcher among 15 species. I missed the Orange-headed Thrush.

Muara Anke was about 30 minutes by taxi from my hotel in what seems to be south Jakarta and cost about Rup. 20,000 or A$4. The directions in "Birding Indonesia", (Jepson) are in error since the new housing estate is called Pantai Indah Kapuk, not Pondok I. K. I was able to hail a taxi from the reserve to get back to the hotel. On the first Sunday, I spent about 3 hours up the tower and 2 hours walking along the mangroves to the sea and back.

As in all wetland areas, there were more species here, 37 on the first visit. I saw two Sunda Coucal while on the ladder to the top of the tower and none after that. There were many species of herons and at the northern far end of the marsh what appeared to be a Grey Heron with pink bill and legs, which must have been Milky Stork.

I followed a path to the mangroves and sea closer than the roundabout mentioned in "Birding Indonesia". This passed some marshes with waders and people fishing. There was also a man with a shotgun stalking a group of Javan Pond Herons and Little Egrets. Here also there were Golden, Ringed and Javan Plovers and also a Chestnut-headed Bee-eater.

On the second Sunday, I was accompanied by an English birder whom I had met at Cibodas. With another pair of eyes, 6 hours and on a better birding day we saw 49 species. We had much closer views of 2 Milky Storks to the north-west of the reserve proper. Other good birds seen were Greater Leafbird, Sunda Woodpecker, Small Blue Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Red-breasted Parakeet, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (stunning), Black-headed and Glossy Ibis, White-winged Tern, Spotted Kestrel and Red Avadavat, but no Sunda Coucal.

I can recommend Muara Anke to anyone with a morning to spare in Jakarta.

I used "Birding Indonesia" and "Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali" by MacKinnon and Phillipps as well as some trip reports by Lawrie Conole and others. Lawrie is a little imprecise with his relative population densities. Sunda Teal, for example, described as "abundant" at Muara Anke numbered 4. The only species abundant in Java is Homo sapiens. Muara Anke and the nearby wetlands will last for only a few more years before the nearby housing estates with obscenely large houses gobble them all up.


Gil Langfield
Melbourne, Australia

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