Quick trip to Java

Subject: Quick trip to Java
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 00:20:08 +0800

I have just returned from a trip to Sulawesi & Halmahera, and I had six days birding in Java before the tour.

I was recommended to contact a local guide Rohman Bin Edy Rasyad of Krakatau Tours. His email is

I was picked up at 5am from my hotel near the airport, and we went to Muara Angke. We found Sunda Coucal, Sunda Teal, Javan Plover, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Bar-winged Prinia, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Javan Munia, etc.

We then drove back through Jakarta and went to Cibodas / Gunung Gede. This is a highlands site where all the highland birds are possible. We found most of them. Missed Javan Frogmouth (heard it very close), Chestnut-breasted Partridge (heard), Spotted Crocias (heard), Javan Trogon (I didn't make it up to the hot springs where it is more likely), Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Brown-throated Barbet, White-bellied Fantail. But we did see Javan Scops-Owls, Salvadori's Nightjar, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Spotted Kestrel (nesting), Pink-headed Fruit-Dove (very quick view), Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Sunda Cuckoo (a great surprise), Javan Owlet (a couple of quick views), Javan Kingfisher, Flame-fronted Barbet, Sunda Minivet, Pied Shrike-Babbler, Trilling Shrike-Babbler, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Javan Tesia, Pygmy Bushtit, Sunda Warbler, White-bibbed Babbler, Crescent-chested Babbler, Javan Fulvetta, Horsfield's Babbler, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, Grey-throated Ibon, Javan Whistling Thrush, Javan Cochoa (another great surprise), Sunda Robin, Sunda Forktail, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, White-flanked Sunbird, Javan Sunbird. I stayed three nights. The first afternoon we looked briefly in the Cibodas Botanical Gardens. The next day we spent the full day on Gunung Gede, starting before dawn looking for the night birds. I was not fit enough to make it to the hot springs. I made it to the waterfall, and probably about two thirds of the way to the hot springs before turning around about 15:30 to have more time at the waterfall. The next day I was very stiff. We spent the morning in the Cibodas Botanical Gardens and then the golf course. In the afternoon, I made it about 3/4 of the way back to the waterfall, to the clearing at about 2.1km (where we got the Sunda Cuckoo). I was still too sore to look for nightbirds that evening, but we did get up early the final morning and found the scops owl, a glimpse of the owlet and heard the frogmouth very close.

We returned close to Jakarta and headed west. After lunch we went to Pulau Dua (an area of fish ponds) where we found Island Dove, Savanna Nightjar, Cerulean Kingfisher, White-headed Munia, etc. We only had a very brief look for Javan White-eye.

We then continued to Carita on the west coast where we stayed for two nights. We were up early the next morning to visit the local Carita Forest and again got very close to the frogmouth. We found the Javan Banded Pitta, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Black-banded Barbet, Ruby-throated Bulbul, Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler. We spent the next morning at Carita Forest, again missing the frogmouth narrowly. We were very lucky to get White-breasted Babbler, and then we got great views of Javan Owlet.

We then returned to Jakarta arriving at the hotel about 16:00. All up, I saw 127 species including 52 lifers (I was hoping for 40 to 50 from a list of about 80 I thought theoretically possible).

I think you would have a problem finding some of these sites without a guide, especially Muara Angke and Pulau Dua. Driving is not easy on Java, so having a guide and driver made things very much easier. At Muara Angke, we had a boat ride out to the mouth of the creek, and into the next creek (where we saw the Javan Plover, Sunda Teal and Rusty-breasted Cuckoo). At Carita Forest, I got a lift up on the back of a scooter which saved walking uphill 2kms or so.

You can find information on these sites quite easily using Google.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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