Southern Sumatra - Searching for Tok Tor and Poxai Haji, also getting wet a lot - December 2007 and April 2008

Published by Ashley Banwell (otusbrooki AT

Participants: John Gregory and Ashley Banwell



John Gregory and Ashley Banwell c/o 8 Holly Bank Cottages, The Avenue, Comberbach, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6HT, UK.
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Following the re-discovery of Sumatran Ground Cuckoo in the Barisan range of mountains in Southern Sumatra in 1997 and a subsequent sighting of a bird in 2007 by Nick Brickle (Wildlife Conservation Society (Indonesia Program)), we decided to have a crack at seeing this enigmatic species in December 2007. We knew that this would be the rainy season but convinced ourselves that because altitudes were not going to be much above 1000m any rain should be light and short-lived. How wrong this was going to prove to be!

On our first trip we quizzed our guides about other little known birds in the area and were excited to learn that they knew of a place where they reckoned the recently split Sumatran Laughingthrush could still be found despite extensive trapping and threats to its habitat. We resolved to return in April 2008 to have another go at the Cuckoo (Toktor in local dialect) and the Laughingthrush (Poxai Haji).

This was an arduous and at times a grim trip involving many nights camping in the forest usually in, at the best damp and more often than not, soaking wet clothes. However, for the adventurous the experience was one not to be missed.

We probably only scratched the surface – especially at Danau Ranau. The area would benefit from more visiting birders. This in turn would help increase local awareness of the environment and the economic benefits of protecting it.


Malarial risk is not deemed to be high in the area. The prophylactic recommended at the time of our visits was Chloroquine and Proguanil. In reality we didn’t encounter too many mozzies but when we did they came in platoons! Visiting birders should also be aware of the possibility of contracting Dengue fever . This is spread by day flying mosquitoes. We got hammered on a number of occasions at Way Titias despite wearing long sleeved shirts and supposedly mosquito proof trousers.

Leeches are common at both sites and probably unavoidable. We both got ‘done’ many times including finding satiated individuals rolling around in our sleeping bags. We also suffered from various burrowing insects, tics and rashes. We used anti – histamine and hydro-cortizone creams to fight back in what was always going to be an unequal struggle! Tiger balm also came in very useful. Only on rare occasions did we give up the fight and resort to jungle formula. Taking potable aqua with you is recommended, especially for the climb into Danau Ranau.

Travel Arrangements

It is doubtful that you could do this trip without the use of the local trappers – Tony from Liwa is the main man along with Kamal who lives at Panyungkaian at the start of the trail to Way Titias – the Ground Cuckoo site. They can complete all the ground arrangements, carry, cook and help find the birds. They also were very concerned for our well-being and made sure that we didn’t get into any unnecessary scrapes. They were fun to be with and extremely knowledgeable about the forest. Kamal in particular seemed to have a sixth sense about where things might be, knew most of the calls and had exceptional eyesight. He probably saw the cuckoo more times and with better views than we did despite not having any binoculars.


The guys at Liwa do not speak any English. Speaking Bahasa Indonesia, if only a little, helps you get a long way. We took the Lonely Planet phrasebook which helped a great deal.

To help smooth the way we used Indonesia Ecoventure and specifically their Eco-Tour Manager Politarius (Poli for short). We can’t speak too highly of Poli and his team – nothing was too much trouble and we would have no hesitation in recommending Indonesia Ecoventure to anyone thinking of visiting the area. Poli can ensure that Tony and Kamal are ready to go and have everything planned including getting permits for the Taman Nasional (National Park); he will also get your travel arrangements to Liwa together if you wish. Contact details for Poli are:
Phone: +62 81 250 20 781
We gave the lads Rp250k tip each for the trip – equates to 2-3 days wages.

Nick Brickle is a also a very useful contact and would pleased to hear about your sightings. You can get him here:


On our way into Way Titias we stayed one night in Kamal’s house at the start of the trail in. We also spent one night in a hotel in Liwa. The rest was spent camping under a simple Tarpaulin shelter with our guides and porters (up to 4 at Danau Ranau). This was a simple structure – a bed of rattens under a ground sheet with a canopy of tarpaulin.

There is no need to take a tent but you should make sure that all your possessions are in polythene bags as once things get wet they will probably not get dry before the next downpour (despite Tony’s attempt to build a ’drying room’). After three days of pretty solid rain the camp did become a bit of a quagmire and any attempts at personal hygiene tended to lapse!

Equipment and Clothing.

Leave it to Tony to get the food and camping gear in. For birding we had our bins of course. We took a scope on the first trip but didn’t use it. We also took a video which packed up in the moist conditions. We used ipods to playback calls through a radioshack speaker and had an Edirol R-09 and a Sennheiser ME66 to make recordings. We also had some success with still photography using a Canon EOS with a 400m lens despite the dark under-storey conditions. We took a Garmin Etrex Summit to gather GPS data. We had limited success with this idea due to forest cover and consequent inability to contact satellites. In hindsight probably best to just take your bins and sound equipment!

It is not cold at either of the main sites so light, easily dryable clothing is best. Most of our stuff got ripped , wet, bloodied and covered in mud so best to only bring clothes which you would be prepared to bin at the end of the trip. Dark shirts and trousers give you a fighting chance of glimpsing the ‘Toktor.’ You might want to bring a light sweater for the evenings.

Waterproofs were of little use – it is impossible not to get wet here! We took boots and wellingtons which never got dry after the first day.

Wellingtons are a must for the walk into Way Titias but are probably the easiest footwear to use at both sites. One of us wore leech socks which helped.

You only need a light sleeping bag as it warm. A karrimat is essential to smooth out the ‘lumpy’ forest floor but more importantly to ensure that your sleeping bag remains reasonably dry.

Sites visited

Paddyfields and scrub between Landos and Kamal’s house at Panyungkaian (S 05⁰03.934’ E104⁰06.067’ alt950m) – to get to Kamal’s house we took a minibus from Liwa (S 05⁰01.608’ E104⁰04.250’) to Landos (about 30 mins). From there it is an hour’s walk along a logging track. This takes you through some plantations, cutover secondary scrub and paddies. We were surprised to find that we enjoyed some of our best birding along this track. Highlights being a family party of Buetikoffer’s Babbler in the scrub; in the paddies we found a thriving colony of Baya Weavers, a flock 0f 30 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches and a group of 10 White-capped Munias (Lonchura ferruginosa).According to Mackinnon and Phillips this munia is endemic to Java and Bali?!

Way Titias – this is the main ground cuckoo site. From Kamal’s house drop deeply through cutover forest and small plantations for about 45 minutes before reaching a small river which you wade down or walk alongside until you reach the main river which follow for about one hour. Then steep up for 30 mins to the Way Titias area. Walk along a ridge for 45 minutes before dropping steeply to camp at around 750m. Birding is from this level up to just over 1000m. This is primary forest birding but trails are pretty good. We spent much of the time ‘off-roading’ for the Toktor. Highlights were many glimpses and close encounters with Sumatran Ground Cuckoo, up to 5 Ferruginous Wood Partridge, Graceful Pitta, Salvadori’s Pheasant, Helmeted, Rhinoceros, White-crowned and Bushy-crested Hornbills.

Danau Ranau (S 04⁰56.423 E103⁰53.278’) – probably one of the more unspoilt of Sumatra’s mountain lakes. Lying at around 500m asl. The immediate shoreline and lower slopes of the Barisan range have been deforestated and indeed, the higher slopes are actively being removed for coffee plantations. The chain saws started at 9 and finished at 5 – a depressing sound in what was a beautiful and inspiring site.

We caught a minibus from Liwa which took two hours to cover the 32km to the lake. We did some birding in an agricultural area on the lake shore before walking a couple of km to the start of the ‘Puncak trail’ (S 04⁰ 55.326’ E103⁰52.165’). From here it is steep to very steep up to the summit of the trail at 1366m (S 04⁰ 57.058’ E103⁰ 51.737’). Most of the climb is up through agricultural area and secondary growth. At the higher altitudes we found very active clearance for coffee.

About 100m below the ‘Puncak’ we got into decent although very steep forest. We camped on the other side of the ridge from the lake where forest still existed to a lower altitude although clearance for coffee was marked here also. We birded mainly on this side of the ridge up to an altitude of 1500m asl. At this height there appeared to be at least another 200m of altitude before reaching the highest point of the ridge.

Over 3 days we recorded 4 Schneider’s Pittas; a few Graceful Pittas; 4 Sumatran Hill Partridges seen and Red-billed Partridges heard; Bronze-tailed Peacock Pheasant was regularly calling; we heard Rhinoceros Hornbill and saw Wreathed and Bushy –crested. We encountered healthy populations of Black, Sunda and Chestnut –capped Laughingthrushes and after an arduous climb got very close to ‘some’ calling Sumatran Laughingthrushes but failed to see them in thick scrub in rather treacherous terrain.

On the way back we again dropped to the lake but this time caught a ferry to the other side of the lake which took about 1 hour from where we got a taxi back to Liwa.

Slow ferry through the Sunda strait from Bakauheni (southern tip of Sumatra) to Merak (E Java). On both trips one or both of us returned to Java by this route. The journey takes about 90 mins – there is a fast ferry but this is enclosed and opportunities for sea watching are restricted. The route takes you through one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world; on a fine day you can get a good but distant view of Krakatoa. In December the passage was pretty quiet; the highlight being a Christmas Island Frigatebird. In April there was a steady west –east passage of terns about half way across. All were dark mantled (not black) with white foreheads and were almost certainly Aleutian Terns – adding another piece to the puzzle surrounding a possible Greater Sundas wintering population . Also recorded were a couple of immature ‘Larus’ gulls. We were unable to specifically identify these but Larus heuglini seems the most likely candidate.


We took only one text into the forest:
A field guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali – Mackinnon and Phillipps.

Useful for reference were:
A field guide to the Birds of South-east Asia - Robson
Birding Indonesia – A Birdwatcher’s guide to the world’s largest archipelago- Jepson and Ounsted
Handbook of the Birds of the World – Del Hoyo,Elliott and Christie


We found Jelle Scharringa’s Birds of Tropical Asia 3 CD very useful.

Day by Day account

December 2007 visit - 7th December 2007

Arrive in Jakarta and stay at the Ibis Tamarin on Jalan Wahid Hasyim close to the main backpacker street – Jalan Jaksa. The Tamarin is ‘cheap and cheerful’; if full the Ibis Arcadia just over the road is equally welcoming. Meet Poli and confirm travel arrangements.

8th December

8.00am - Sriwijaya Airlines flight to Tj. Karang airport near Bandarlampung in Southern Sumatra. Met at the airport by Supri – Poli’s driver. 5 hour drive to Liwa where we meet Tony and Kamal and carry on for about 30 minutes to the forest edge settlement of Landos. As rain is threatening we route march the 1 hour up to Kamal’s house at Panyungkaian, just on the edge of the Taman Nasional, and arrive just as the heavens open at around 4pm. The rain continues well into the evening. Kamal’s wife cooks us a sumptuous meal after which we both crash on the floor.

9th December

After having been in ‘bed’ for 12 hours it is good to get going. Our spirits are lifted by a clear blue sky without any hint of ‘weather.’ We leave Kamal’s place at 6.50 and quickly drop down a steep slippery slope, through secondary forest and cultivation, to the river which we follow for 1 to 2 hours with frequent rest/cigarette stops; sometimes wading waste deep. From the river we climb steeply up to the Way Titias area flattening off at around 900m and then walk along a ridge to camp stopping for a Ferruginous Wood Partridge – a tricky asian arbrophilia. This is a new bird for us and was commonly calling here in December. We see 5 birds eventually but don’t get a sniff during our April visit. We also hear our first ‘Toktor’ here. The walk takes about 4 hours at a leisurely pace but could be done in 3 at a push. As Tony prepares lunch Kamal spots a superb pair of White-crowned Hornbills feeding silently in a fruiting tree just across the stream from camp. By the time we set up camp and eat the sky has clouded over. We venture out but nothing is calling and we find birding hard work. At 4pm rain sets in for the rest of the day. This rain comes in sheets not drops. Once it finishes at around 9pm it takes another two hours or so for the forest to ‘dry’ . Take a book for the long periods of downtime!

Noodles and chilli sardines for dinner along with a constant supply of the local coffee (Kopi) – rocket fuel, Nescafe, tea and our favourite - ‘Milo.’ We each brought two sets of clothes and the first set is now drenched!

10th December

Wake full of enthusiasm – this is going to be the day we connect with the Toktor! Weather fine and sunny. Walk about 2km up the trail before hearing the cuckoo. Kamal guides us down into a ravine and up the other side (it would be very easy to get lost here without Kamal’s inside knowledge). We record a couple of dueting birds which sit in deep cover about 20m away. This is extremely frustrating – after 20 minutes of trying to pick out movement we creep closer only to hear the birds much further down the slope. On the way back down we hear the harsh churring sound which is the Toktor’s alarm call. We scan the nearby forest and eventually AB spots some movement in a tree about 50m away. The bird is mostly hidden and AB spends 10 minutes watching the bird’s tail flick but fails to see anything further. We then descend into the valley and suddenly a Toktor calls about 5m away behind a thick wall of vegetation – what to do!? We try to creep stealthily and cut our way through the tangle after the bird fails to come any closer in response to playback. Again the wrong strategy – the bird shuts up and we soon hear it again about 100m away.

The rain then sets in (12.30pm) easing up only for a short but productive foray in the mid afternoon when we see a party of Salvadori’s pheasants, Ferruginous Wood Partridge and a Graceful Pitta. By late afternoon the rain is again coming in sheets and we retire into the sleeping bags, drinking Milo and entertaining our hosts with music from the iPOD ; mainly Pink Floyd and the Sugababes! They preferred the Sugababes.....

An essential toilet break at 9pm results in the last of the dry clothes getting soaked.

11th December

On Kamal’s advice we get going just after first light and head to the area where we had nearly been successful the day before. Almost immediately we hear a Toktor calling close by. We edge towards it and settle around 20m away making some good recordings. The bird however, is not going to budge! Another bird responds further down the slope and we make our smartest move of both trips. Kamal manoeuvres us between the two calling birds and we try to hide ourselves as best we can in a position which gives us a pretty good view of the forest floor. The bird upslope from us is moving away but the one below us is coming up to join it. Suddenly Kamal appears to go into some kind of seizure and is whispering breathlessly – TOKTOR, TOKTOR! As we raise our bins the bird runs through the field of view before disappearing in a blur of wings. In full view for about a third of a second this is going to prove to be the best view of both trips! We follow the birds for some time but eventually they go silent and we fail to connect. By mid morning the sky clouds over, the forest is quiet and the first raindrops start to fall. We make our way back to camp frustrated at the views and at the weather!

The rain then comes down either in stair rods or sheets for the rest of the day and doesn’t let up until after midnight. The stream by which we are camped is now a river and has risen about 18 inches to around 3 inches below camp. Water is pouring under our ground sheet; those of us who didn’t have the foresight to bring a karrimat are drenched – nothing worse than getting into a wet sleeping bag.

12th December

Rain starts again at 4am and it is still drizzling as we get up. A ‘nice’ surprise this morning are three satiated leeches in our sleeping bags – we take great delight in throwing them into the raging torrent below us!

The forest is soaking and nothing is calling. By 11am we give up and break camp for the walk back to Kamal’s and onto Liwa. Pretty uneventful return and by 3pm the lads are seeing us off by taxi from Liwa to Lampung (we paid anything between 300,000 and 500,000 Rupiah on the two visits for this leg which we organised without the help of Poli as we were keeping our return options flexible).

Kamal informs us that the best time to see the Toktor is April – we vow to return!

Overnight in the Hotel Indra Putra in Lampung – bliss!

13th December

Early morning taxi to Bakauheni where we catch the slow ferry to Merak (E Java). Uneventful except for a Christmas Island Frigatebird. Then taxi to Jakarta and end of trip.

April 2008 - 6th to 8th April

By way of pre-Toktor light training we go to Gunung Gede for a couple of days. 3am walk up to the volcano crater. Rain starts at 11 am and goes on until midnight. Camp just above hot springs – thoroughly drenched. Everything wet – we are ready!
Meet with Poli in the evening in Jakarta – exactly the same arrangements for our trip to Liwa as in December.

9th April

Uneventful journey until we start to enter the outliers of the Barisan about two hours before Liwa. The weather turns horrible and we are slowed by a flash flood and two downed trees blocking the road – this is not how it is supposed to be! At one of the delays we manage to chat to a chap who speaks reasonable English and we discuss the fact that the dry season should be arriving. His response is ‘weather big problem mister – dry season is wet season and wet season is dry season!’ Surely we aren’t going to get a daily soaking again!?

When we reach Landos the rain has cleared so we decide to do a couple of hours birding on the way to Panyungkaian. This proves to be some of the best and most interesting birding of the second trip. We concentrate on secondary cutover scrub and rice paddies. In two hours we record a family party of the little known Buetikoffer’s (Sumatran) Babbler, a flock of 30 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches and 10 White-capped Munias – until now thought to be confined to Java and Bali. We also have about 15 Malaysian Eared Nightjars as we approach Kamal’s place at dusk.

10th April

Similar journey into Way Titias. We see 2 Graceful Pittas during the walk along the river. Rain comes at 2 and finishes at 4pm – too late for any real birding post drying up. On our previous visit Tony had built a dam in the stream to create a ‘fishing’ pool and somewhere to Mandi (wash). His eyes light up when he sees the number of fish resident in the pool – he quickly despatches the eel that is hovering up the smaller fry. A freshwater crab has also set up home in the pool. Tony spends most of his free time fishing for what are little bigger than sticklebacks. However when fried in chilli oil with fresh chillis they turned into a tasty, yet crunchy, delicacy. We have these for most meals; they are the culinary highlight of the trip!

11th April

Awoken by dawn chorus at 6.30. As we come round to a breakfast of chocolate spread on bread a Toktor calls just across the stream from our camp – mass scramble for iPOD and bins. We quickly dress and ‘go in.’ The bird slowly moves away up slope and eventually stops calling. At 7.20am it starts to rain albeit briefly. Walk up the trail to the area of our ‘near’ success in September and again get close to a calling Toktor. AB glimpses it for a split second as it jumps on and off a log. A tip is to scan when you hear the churring alarm as the bird is most likely sat up or about to come into view. Give up at 1pm as rain threatens. Little birding is possible in the afternoon; the rain clearing at 6pm.

12th April

Rain starts at 3am and is just clearing as dawn breaks. As a result the forest is pretty quiet. We go back to the site of the previous day’s close encounter and get a split second view of a Toktor running into darkness under a log. We stay in the area for a couple of hours and see two Salvadori’s Pheasants and the back end of a Bronze - tailed Peacock Pheasant. Rain from 1.30 to 3pm.

13th April

Last day at Way Titias. As we had only hear a distant call by 10.30 we pack up and go getting caught in a heavy downpour on our return journey. Kamal informs us that August is the best time for the cuckoo......

Night at a hotel in Liwa where we put all our clothes into laundry. The room boy makes some signs and a bit of a fuss when we give him the bag of wet, muddy, bloody and smelly clothes but when sweetened with a crisp Rp50,000 note he is all smiles and we assume that everything will be OK. Tony and Kamal pop around at 9.30 to finalise the arrangements for the next day and to bring us 3 fried ‘corn on cobs on a stick’ each – tasty.

14th April

8am – Laundry returns , nicely washed and sweet smelling but soaking wet! We dump all that we don’t need at Tony’s house and climb into the wet stuff in the hope that our body heat will dry it. At 9am we are off in a minibus with Tony, Kamal, all our gear and two new recruits: a Fergal Sharkey lookalike who works for the Taman Nasional administrators and a trapper who has experience of Danau Ranu. At first we nickname him ‘Hacking Billy’ due to his ability to walk up shear slopes, cutting a trail as he goes and invariably with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. This guy is extremely fit and it takes a great deal of effort for all of us to keep up. Later we rechristen him ‘Phil Drabble’ due to his penetrating and far carrying imitation whistle of the Laughingthrush. The bus journey to Danau Ranau takes two hours to cover 32km. Another passenger is an old guy who appears to be well in with the lads – he comes along to practice his English which is at times pretty good but often becomes indecipherable due to his lack of teeth. The lads help themselves to a bottle of the local witch’s brew on the way in – a blue cocktail with whiff of Gin and Tonic about it and the ability to cause paralysis if not treated with extreme care!

We do some birding around the agricultural land beside the lake before walking the couple of kilometres to the start of the climb up to the Puncak (high point). We can see good forest along the ridge but this seems a long way up! In 2 hours we climbed very steeply from 500m to 1200m in the baking sun with little water and have to make do with the streams and piped water along the way. The lads (especially those who had indulged in the fire water earlier) really suffer in the heat and with their heavy loads. As we reach the Puncak at around 4pm it starts to rain and the lads rush ahead to make camp. On the way over the pass we hear our first Sumatran Hill Partridge and AB gets cracking views of a male Schneider’s Pitta on the path.

Arrive at camp in the rain at dusk to see it has been hastily constructed on a slope. The lads have taken occupation of the high ground and left the bottom of the slope for us. The next day Tony moves the kitchen so that the run-off from its canopy runs directly down slope into our sleeping area.

15th April

12.05am – Barred Eagle Owl calling directly above camp. Mass scramble to get clothes on and find torches but the bird quickly moves off.

Dawn breaks and we head down into the coffee plantations. We see good flocks of laughingthrushes but no Poxai Haji. Hacking Billy appears with the news that he’s just seen our quarry a couple of ridges away. The next hour is one of the most exhausting we experience. We followed HB up and down ridges through thick vegetation only to hear the laughingthrush over on another ridge. Eventually the clouds come in and the forest goes silent. As we make our way back to camp a Sumatran Hill Partridge calls just down slope from us. We quietly edge down the slope and hide and manage to get a great recording and some excellent views of this much sought after endemic.

The afternoon is spent just below camp; JG manages to fall off a bridge resulting in an injured shoulder. Late afternoon the rain comes and we retire.

16th April

Rain ceases at 2 am. We are sleeping in a stream! AB’s sleeping bag is full of water.

6am – try to find dry clothes – AB finds insect eggs on his wet underpants – it doesn’t get much grimmer than this!

We climb up to Puncak where we get stunning views (and photos) of Schneider’s Pitta. Graceful Pitta is calling nearby. As we rest at the Puncak a couple of local trappers appear and our lads have an intense discussion with them. They reveal the best place to see Poxai Haji – Hacking Billy translates it as ‘we need to go up like Himalaya’ – great!

We make a brief journey along the ridge line and glimpse another two Sumatran Hill Partridges. Then back to camp via a brief encounter with a Bronze-tailed Peacock Pheasant. Rain threatens and JG decides to stay in camp whilst Hacking Billy and Kamal accompany AB to ‘Area Poxai Haji.’ After 5 hours AB returns exhausted having got within 20 metres of some calling laughingthrushes– bad light and thick cover prevent him nailing it.

Rain for the rest of the day and most of the night.

17th April

Leave camp for Area Poxai Haji at 6am. Descend steeply through plantations before coming to the base of a forested ridge where we climb very steeply for two hours and get to 1500m. We hear ‘Haji’ in the far distance but it only calls once. We spend another hour or so in the area listening for the bird but have no further contact. The area looks good for Sumatran Cochoa and this would be a range extension – however despite listening intently we don’t hear one. Then a treacherous descent and back up to camp. Uneventful post lunch journey back to the lake where Tony hires a boat to take us across.

We arrive in a different lakeshore village at dusk to find no taxis. Tony phones his mate in Liwa and we sit down to eat in a local Warung whilst we wait for the taxi to come.

We finally get back to Liwa at 8.30 and hire the same taxi to take us to Lampung. Set off at 9pm; the five hour journey takes 9 as we have 4 punctures and arrive in Lampung at dawn!

18th April

AB flies to Jakarta and onto Bangkok. JG gets a taxi to Bakauheni and gets the slow ferry to Merak. 40+ probable Aleutian Terns raised the spirits after the previous night’s traumas. Trip ends – we vow to come back – again!

Species Lists

Systematic List of species recorded. As we were concentrating on target species it is very likely that we overlooked a few things especially if we were unfamiliar with the call. In hindsight Sumatran Wren Babbler was probably quite common around Way Titias and especially the camp area but we only linked the call to the tape on our return.

Darter Anhinga melanogaster

Christmas Island Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi
One from the Bakauheni to Marek ferry – Dec.

Javan Pond-Heron Ardeola speciosa

Cattle Egret Bulbulcus Ibis
A few in roadside fields between Lampung and Liwa

Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
5 birds flew over the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian on 9th April

Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis Cheela
A pair seen beside the road on the way to Liwa.

Besra Accipiter virgatus
1 Way Titias – Dec.

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
2 on way in to Way Titias – December visit.

Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius
1 Landos 9th April

Sumatran Hill Partridge Arborophila sumatrana
Upto 4 seen and more heard at Danau Ranau mainly around the ‘Puncak’ and ridge trails.

Red-billed Partridge Arborophila rubrirostris
A few heard calling at Danau Ranau.

Ferruginous Wood Partridge Caloperdix ocule
Commonly calling partridge at Way Titias in December. Up to 6 seen and many heard. Not recorded in April.

Salvadori's Pheasant Lophura inornata
Apparently a healthy population at Way Titias where around 7 birds seen.

Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron chalcurum
1 glimpsed at Way Titias and a handful heard at Danau Ranau.

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Common around Landos

Little Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia ruficeps
Commonly heard calling and seen at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
1 on Lake shore Danau Ranau 14th April

Green-spectacled Pigeon Treron oxyura
A few heard and seen at Danau Ranau.

Mountain Imperial-Pigeon Ducula Badia
Appears common at Way Titias and Danau Ranau. A group of 10 birds roosting at the latter site.

Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot Loriculus galgulus
Common heard and seen – Way Titias and Landos

Large Hawk-Cuckoo Cuculus sparveroides
Heard at Way Titias in December but not April. Calling at Danau Ranau

Sunda Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus lepidus
A single bird heard calling at Danau Ranau

Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacamantis sonneratii
Seemed common. Heard at Way Titias,Danau Ranau and Panyungkaian.

Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus
Heard at Danau Ranau and Way Titias.

Rusty-breasted Cuckoo Cacomantis sepulcralis
Heard at both Danau Ranau, Way Titias and Panyungkaian during our April visit.

Asian Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
Heard at Way Titias and Danau Ranau in the April visit.

Black-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus diardi
1 at Panyungkaian in December.

Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
2 at Panyungkaian in April.

Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo Carpococcyx viridis
Upto 10 heard with 4 glimpsed during both visits to Way Titias.

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Heard and seen at Danau Ranau

Barred Eagle Owl Bubo sumatranus
1 heard calling directly above camp just after midnight at Danau Ranau.

Reddish Scops-Owl Otus rufescens
Heard at Panyungkaian in April.

Sunda Scops Owl Otus lempiji
Heard at Panyungkaian in April.

Malaysian Nightjar Eurostopdus temminckii
Upto 15 birds seen between Landos and Panyungkaian in April and also heard at Way Titias.

Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
Heard on night trip back from Liwa to Lampung in April

Salvadori's Nightjar Caprimulgus pulchellus
Heard at Danau Ranau

Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta

Common swiftlet throughout

Swiftlet sp. Collocalia sp
Swiftlets resembling Edible/Black Nest seen from the boat across Danau Ranau.

Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus
1 seen en route to Landos in December

Gray-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis
1 Landos, April.

Sumatran Trogon Harpactes mackloti
Heard and seen at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting
Seen on river on route into Way Titias and on the streams at the Danau Ranau and Way Titias camps.

Collared Kingfisher Todirhamphus chloris
In agricultural area by the village on the shore of Danau Ranau.

Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros
Heard at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Helmeted Hornbill Buceros vigil
Heard at Way Titias

Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus
2 seen and many heard at Way Titias. A group of 15 came into tape at Danau Ranau.

White-crowned Hornbill Aceros comatus
2 seen feeding in a fruiting tree opposite Way Titias Camp in December.

Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus
2 seen at Danau Ranau

Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus
Seen and more commonly heard at Way Titias and Danau Ranau.

Gold-whiskered Barbet Megalaima chrysopogon
Heard at Way Titias.

Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophanus
Heard Way Titias

Black-browed Barbet Megalaima oorti
Commonly seen and heard at Danau Ranau

Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
Heard at Way Titias.

Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis
Seen on both visits to Way Titias.

Sunda Woodpecker Picoides moluccensis
Seen at Danau Ranau and Way Titias

Grey and Buff Woodpecker Hemicurus concretus
Singles seen on both visits to Way Titias

Maroon Woodpecker Blythipicus rubiginosis
1 at Way Titias December.

Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha
Observed at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Checker-throated Woodpecker Picus mentalis
Seen at Way Titias

Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus
Way Titias April 2008

Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus
Heard Way Titias

Green Broadbill Calytomena viridis
3 seen and another heard at Way Titias

Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae
A few seen in the cutover forest surrounding the coffee plantations just below camp at Danau Ranau.

Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus
Heard at Danau Ranau

Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus
Heard at Danau Ranau.

Black and Red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
Heard at Danau Ranau.

Schneider's Pitta Pitta schneideri
4 sightings and a few more heard round the Puncak at Danau Ranau.

Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis
Heard at Way Titias in December

Graceful Pitta Pitta venusta
5 sightings at Way Titias and more heard. A few calling birds at Danau Ranau.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
A few seen at Danau Ranau

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica

Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus
1 over Kamal’s house in December.

Bar-winged Flycather-shrike Hemipus picatus
1 at Danau Ranau

Lesser Cuckoo-shrike Coracina fimbriata
1 at Panyungkaian in December

Sunda Cuckoo-shrike Coracina larvata
Way Titias December

Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
A pair at Danau Ranau

Gray-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
A pair at Way Titias in April

Blue-masked Leafbird Chloropsis venusta
1 male Danau Ranau

Cream-striped Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogrammicus
Seen on both visits to Way Titias – 4 in total.

Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus dispar
Red-throated form seen at Landos

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
Forest edge and plantations at Danau Ranau

Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex
Seen at way Titias on both visits

Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus
Common at Way Titias

Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger
Way Titias April.

Sunda Bulbul Iole viriscens
3 at Danau Ranau

Black-and-crimson Oriole Oriolus cruentus
A handful at Danau Ranau

Crested Jay Platylophus galericulatus
1 individual at Way Titias in December.

Green Magpie Cissa thalassina
3 individuals seen at Danau Ranau.

Sumatran Treepie Dendrocitta occipitalis
Seen and heard at Danau Ranau and Way Titias.

Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
En route to Landos

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Common forest edge and clearing bird at Danau Ranau and Way Titias

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer
Way Titias

Sumatran Drongo Dicrurus sumatranus
Common inside the forest at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Shiny Whistling-Thrush Myiophoneus melanurus
A few seen at Danau Ranau

Chestnut-winged Whistling-Thrush Myiophoneus glaucinus1 at Danau Ranau

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
A couple in fields along the shoreline of Danau Ranau

Hill Prinia Prinia atrogularis
2 in scrub alongside rice paddies at Landos

Bar-winged Prinia Prinia familiaris
Common on lower slopes at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps
A few at Way Titias

Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
A single at Way Titias in December

Eastern Crowned Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus
1 en route to Landos December

Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps
2 at Danau Ranau

Yellow-bellied Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris
Common in forest breaks around Danau Ranau

Fulvous-chested Jungle-Flycatcher Rhynomias olivacea
Relatively common at Way Titias in April

Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa daurica
1 at Danau Ranau

Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki
1 female seen at Way Titias in April

Rufous-browed Flycatcher Ficedula solitaries
The common flycatcher at Way Titias and heard at Danau Ranau

Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassima
A couple at Danau Ranau

Indigo Flycatcher Eumyias indigo
1 at Way Titias

Cyornis sp
A pair of flycatchers resembling

Mangrove Blue-flycatcher Cyornis rufigastra
Frequented the area around the stream at camp at Danau Ranau but habitat (primary forest) and altitude (1000m) appeared wrong for this species.

Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapaca ceylonensis
Common at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Sunda Forktail Enicurus velatus
Common along the river into Way Titias and on the streams beside the camps at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
Common at Danau Ranau and recorded at Way Titias in December

Spotted Fantail Rhipidura perlata
Pretty common at Way Titias in April but not seen in December.

Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
A few at Way Titias.

Asian Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradise
A couple seen at Way Titias on both visits.

Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhopterum
1 female seen at Way Titias in April

Maroon-breasted Philentoma Philentoma velatum
2 birds at Way Titias in December

White-breasted Woodswallow Artamaus leucorhynchus
Seen along the lake shore at Danau Ranau.

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Odd birds recorded around the forest edge and in cultivation

Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
Small parties around the lake at Danau Ranau.

Sunda Laughingthrush Garrulax palliates
The local name for this bird is Poxai Coklat. Common in the forest edge above the coffee plantations at Danau Ranau.

Black Laughingthrush Garrulax lugubris lugubris
The local name for this isspecies is Poxai Rembo-Rembo. A good sized flock seen at Way Titias in December but none recorded there in April. A few seen at Danau Ranau.

Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush Garrulax mitratus mitratus
The local name for this species is Poxai Mandarin. Good sized flocks in forest above the coffee plantations at Danau Ranau.

Sumatran Laughinghthrush Garullax bicolour
The local name for this species is Poxai Haji. A close encounter one afternoon at around 1500m at Danau Ranau with a few calling birds. Heard distantly on a number of occasions here.

Horsfield's Babbler Malacocincla sepiarum
A few seen at Way Titias on both visits

Abbott’s Babbler Malacocincla abbotti
A few seen but more commonly heard at Way Titias

Buettikoffer’s Babbler Pellorneum buetikofferi
A family party in cutover secondary scrub between Landos and Panyungkaian at aound 900m asl. Seen well and a poor recording of the alarm call and maybe a snatch of song obtained.

Moustached Babbler Malacopteron magnirostre
Commonly heard and a few seen at Way Titias.

Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus
Commonly seen and heard at Way Titias and Danau Ranau.

Pygmy Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla
Commonly heard and a few seen at Way Titias and Danau Ranau. The call is usually 4 notes; different to the see-saw call heard elsewhere in SE Asia.

Rufous-fronted Babbler Stachyris rufifrons
A couple seen and heard at Way Titias on both visits.

Golden Babbler Stachyris rufifrons
Common at Way Titias and Danau Ranau.
Gray-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps
Encountered a few flocks at Danau Ran and Way Titias

Spot-necked Babbler Stachyris striolata
A few seen at Way Titias on both visits.

Striped Tit-Babbler Macronus gularis gularis
Seen and heard in scrub along the shoreline of Danau Ranau.

Brown Fulvetta Alcippe pyrrhoptera
Commonly seen in mid-canopy flocks at Danau Ranau and Way Titias

Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides
2 birds seen well along the ridge adjacent to the Puncak at Danau Ranau

Great Tit Parus major
1 at Danau Ranau

Blue Nuthatch Sitta azurea
Common at Way Titias and Danau Ranau.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes singalensis
Seen just below Panyungkaian in December

Plain-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Common in scrub, gardens and cultivation along the shoreline at Danau Ranau.

Temminck’s Sunbird Aethopyga temminckii
A single bird seen in forest edge at Danau Ranau.

Little Spiderhunter Aracnothera longirostra
Recorded at both Danau Ranau and Way Titias.

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter Aracnothera chrysogenys
A single bird in a forest edge banana plantation at Panyungkaian

Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochlus maculates
Odd singles seen at Way Titias on both visits

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum
A single at Way Titias in April

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma
The common flowerpecker in forest edge and gardens between Landos and Panyungkaianand also at Danau Ranau.

Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
Recorded at Way Titias and Danau Ranau

Black-capped White-eye Zosterops atricapilla
Seen at about 1500m at Danau Ranau

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Common around habitation.

Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
A colony of upto 100 birds in the area around the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian in April.

Pin-tailed Parrotfinch Erythrura prasina
A flock of 30 birds in the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian in April.

White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
A few in agricultural area around Danau Ranau lake.

White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra
Small parties seen in the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian and in the shoreline fields at Danau Ranau during the April visit.

White-capped (Chestnut) Munia Lonchura ferruginosa
A group of 10 birds seen in the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian in April. This appears to be a first Sumatran record for what was thought to be a Javanese and Balinese endemic.

Javan Munia Lonchura leucogastroides
1 birdin fields on the shoreline of Danau Ranau.

Nutmeg Mannikin Lonchura punctulata
Small groups seen in the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian and in the shoreline fields at Danau Ranau during the April visit.

White-headed Munia Lonchura maja
5 birds seen in seen in the rice paddies between Landos and Panyungkaian and in the shoreline fields at Danau Ranau during the April visit.


Siamang Gibbon Symphalangus syndactylus Commonly heard calling and a few seen at Way Titias

Ebony Leaf-monkey Trachypithecus auratus cristatus A small family party seen on the climb into Danau Ranau.

Mitred Leaf-monkey Presbytis melalophos . A few glimpses of a silvery coloured langur at Way Titias may have been this species.

Javan Rusa Cervus timorensis One panicked individual near forest clearance area on climb into Danau Ranau.

Lesser Mouse Deer Tragulus javanicus