Photos with this report (click to enlarge)
Kamal's house at Way Titius
Map of Kerinci
The aim of our trip was to see two of the rarest birds in the world. The SUMATRAN GROUND CUCKOO was thought to be extinct until a single bird was photographed on an expedition in 1997, the first sighting for 81 years. Since then only about twenty serious birders have visited the site and seen or heard the species. SCHNEIDER'S PITTA, the second target bird is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List and there are very few known sites to see this species. The search involved trekking up steep mountains and sleeping under canvas in tough conditions. However both Rick and I were keen to try something adventurous, we both needed to lose weight and get fit and the idea of a tough field trip to search for two rare birds and possibly a few mammals appealed to both of us. We checked the travel websites and found some inexpensive tickets to Jakarta. Neither of us had been to Indonesia before and so it was that we found ourselves heading off on one of the most intrepid adventures of our lives thus far.
THE SITES, LOGISTICS AND PLANNING
Within a week or so I had managed to get in touch with the recommended ground agent in Jakarta, get quotes for the trip and in fact agreed in theory to the possibility of sharing the trek with two young Swiss birders who were also keen to share the cost of guides, cooks and porters etc. I spoke to several birding friends and on their advice I divided the trip into three main areas to visit.
The first area, the BARISAN SELATAN NATIONAL PARK in SW Sumatra was where the two main target bird species were to be found, in two separate areas but in relatively close proximity to each other. WAY TITIUS (WT), high up in the primary rain forest beyond the town of Liwa was the site for Sumatran Ground Cuckoo. The site for Schneider’s Pitta was accessed by returning to Liwa and driving about 30Kms NW, taking a boat trip across Lake (DANAU) RANAU (DR) and then heading up into the mountains from there. Although few birders had been to this newly discovered site, the pitta was deemed to be pretty much a certainty here.
The second area we planned to visit was the WAY KAMBAS NATIONAL PARK on the SE coast of Sumatra. Another rare and endangered species, the White-winged Duck was to be found there, along with a good selection of lowland forest species including a number of night birds.
The third area, GUNUNG KERINCI, south of Padang on the mid- west coast of Sumatra was the old site for Schneider’s Pitta but was also excellent for the elusive Sumatran Cochoa, a small population of Salvadori’s Pheasants and Red-billed Partridge amongst other exciting species. This was where a friend had seen a Clouded Leopard - what a bonus that would be!
The itinerary was complicated. To access the first two sites, the Barisan Selatan National Park for WT and DR) and the Way Kambas National Park we first had to fly from Jakarta to Bandar Lampung, an airport near the southern tip of Sumatra. We would then drive north for about seven hours to Liwa, the access town for both WT and DR. After spending a week there we would then drive across Sumatra to the Way Kambas NP on the SE coast. After four days there we would drive back to Bandar Lampung and take an internal flight back to Jakarta. We would then take yet another flight back into Sumatra to Padang from where we would drive south (another seven hours) to the Gunung Kerinci. The reason for utilising the rather scary black listed local airlines (rather than driving from Way Kambas to Kerinci) was because Sumatran roads are so bad that most people choose the slightly safer choice of air travel rather than braving the dangerous roads clogged with trucks issuing out noxious fumes. It is also much, much quicker.
ORGANISATION OF THE TRIP
I must now mention our ground agent Politarius (Poli) who I have to say was absolutely superb. The organisation of such a complicated trip for two couples who had not met each other previously was quite a procedure as you can imagine. Poli made light work of it and produced several comprehensive itineraries, with clear and concise choices of costs and alternatives and within a fortnight we had agreed the route, timing, costs etc. The costs were not cheap by any stretch of the imagination (and we laughed on realising that it had cost the equivalent of a 4 star hotel to stay in a leech infested forest in a damp and uncomfortable tent, braving the elements). However the guides, cooks and porters looked after us to their absolute best in the circumstances and Kamal the head guide knew the sites and the calls and songs of all the birds including the two target species and spoke enough English for us to understand what was happening at any given moment. The food (including several live chickens carried up the mountain by one of the porters), prepared in very basic circumstances in both camps, was some of the best we tasted in Sumatra, how Tony the cook managed we can’t imagine. Basically the first section of the trip cannot be done without them.
Poli organised the transport for the second and third sections but left us to our own devices to negotiate with the rangers at Way Kambas and with Subandi at Kerinci which meant that these sections were somewhat cheaper. It was a perfect combination suggested by Poli who has no objection to individual negotiation where practical.
VISAS, MONEY AND COMMUNICATION
Visas for Indonesia do not need to be procured in advance if you are British. You buy them at the Jakarta airport on arrival (look for the queue on the left BEFORE you head to Immigration). They cost approximately £18 pp for up to a thirty day stay. On Poli’s instructions we took large amounts of crisp new English pound notes with us and paid him with these virtually on arrival - banks don’t accepts creased or marked notes apparently. We also changed some pounds into the local currency at the airport & in Jakarta which was a good move because it is quite difficult to find places to change money especially in local towns and in fact the Jakarta airport is really the best bet. It was Ramadan when we were in Indonesia so most shops, banks, restaurants etc out of town seemed to be closed most of the time!
We found very few internet cafes on our travels and several we did find were shut. However mobile phones had a signal practically everywhere we travelled, even in the mountains.
ITINERARY AND NOTES ON THE SITES VISITED
On arrival at the Jakarta airport we were met by a smiling Poli who immediately took us to the Sanno Hotel (3 star), chosen because it was relatively close to the airport. He then very kindly offered to give us a whistle-stop tour of the city of Jakarta. The driver dropped us off in the centre and we wandered around the old town and the central area near the bus and train stations (Cave Swiftlets over the river). When we needed something to eat Poli helped us choose snacks from the myriad of street stalls, something we always love doing – a flavour of the country so to speak. It was an excellent evening. Once back at the hotel we met David Marques and Fabian Ducry, the two young Swiss men who we were to travel with for the next twelve days. They had spent the last two months travelling around Indonesia and had just returned that day from Kerinci. They were really friendly & efficient and we were immediately pleased that we had decided to join up with them.
WAY TITIUS – 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th September
The four of us headed straight for the Jakarta airport the next morning in cars that Poli had organised and took a flight to Bandar Lampung where we were met by our local driver Supri. We set off on a seven hour journey towards Liwa finally arriving at a wooden house in the local village of Panyungkaian just before Liwa, in the late afternoon. We heard later from Poli that on meeting us, the guide had hurriedly texted him asking why he had sent; ‘….two old people who would never get up the mountain’. Poli had apparently replied saying that; ‘….we were very determined and …not to let us carry anything’!! We sorted out what we were leaving at the house and what we would be taking with us into the forest and then with several porters carrying our heavy gear, we set off. We spent the first night at Kamal’s house which was about a half an hours walk up past paddy fields and secondary forest to where the primary forest began. A Sunda Woodpecker gave good views en route. We were served supper and then settled down for the night in our rooms, me in the lean-to at the back (over the clucking chickens and drying fish) and the men on the floor in the main room.
The next morning we gathered the luggage and porters together and set off towards the new camp on a path that had only recently been cut through the forest. The old path apparently had many river crossings and this new path (still with ten crossings) was much less liable to high water. Unfortunately the new path had not been settled in and was rough and steep and in some places very muddy and extremely slippery with no footholds at all. Several of us slipped and several times Uyong (alias ‘Hacking Billy’) had to cut saplings and knock them into the ground as footholds. It was extremely tough going and the path went on and on and on. Within the first half a mile, one of the team had taken my day pack away as he could see that I was already struggling. SEVEN HOURS later exhausted, we arrived at the new campsite where the porters had already set up camp. We collapsed onto the ground sheet and ate a late lunch as the rain started. It continued for the rest of the afternoon so we had no chance to get out and explore - we were all shattered and needed to rest anyway. The porters had constructed a seat out of saplings and we were able to sit out in the open when it was not raining. The leeches were not too bad and the camp was comfortable. Rick, David and Fabian amused themselves by either cutting leeches in half with their Swiss Army knife or stretching the larger ones out and tying them in a knot! Leeches are hateful creatures and I did not interfere. We also found several ticks here, easily removed if you get them before they ‘settle in’.
The next morning we set off with Kamal, Uyong and the ranger (with gun) and walked for about two hours to the area where the ‘Tok Tor’, the local name for the SUMATRAN GROUND CUCKOO had last been seen. We spent several more hours walking in the area picking up a good number of new species, until finally just as we were about to head back, we heard the one note high-pitched whistle of the ground cuckoo coming from far down in a deep gully. We struggled down off piste, into the ‘jungle’ slipping and sliding, getting stung by poisoned leaves and stuck to rattan leaves covered in nasty backward angled spikes. Finally David and Fabian, who were in the lead got reasonable views through the undergrowth. However Rick and I had only managed glimpses so while David played the tape we contoured around the slope and crept down even further into the gully. It was adrenalin fuelled energy that kept us going but finally we had excellent views. High fives all around and a promise of a celebratory dram of whisky that evening got us heading swiftly back to the camp. Again, just as we arrived back at camp the rain set in and in fact did not stop until early the next morning. Tony brought us the most delicious hot deep fried vegetable croquettes during the afternoon as a treat.
Two more days of forest birding gave us many more of the Sumatran endemics including SUMATRAN TROGON, good views of three SUMATRAN HILL PARTRIDGES, SUNDA FORKTAIL, SUNDA CUCKOO SHRIKE, SUMATRAN (BLUE-WINGED) LEAFBIRD and GRACEFUL PITTA. We also found a dead but still warm COLUGO (Flying Lemur). On the final day during the walk back down the mountain to the village (this only took SIX HOURS) we had amazing views of a pair of MALAYSIAN RAIL BABBLERS almost right on the path, twitching their tails and wings in agitation. Kamal had picked them up on call and David had taped them out, another highlight of the trip.
We arrived back at the village in mid afternoon where a car was waiting to take us back to the Permata Hotel (1 star) in Liwa. We settled into the room, washed ourselves down, collected our filthy clothes together so Tony could take them to the laundry, walked to an internet café, taxied into the town and dined in the only restaurant open. The calls to prayer emanating from an extremely poor electronic sound system on the mosque opposite were excrutiating. Finding no taxis, we were all forced to clamber onto the back of several ‘ojeks’ (motorcycle taxis) and endure a very scary ride, legs dangling, back to our hotel (something I insist my children never do)!! We had a very comfortable night’s sleep albeit haunted by the 3am calls to prayer.
DANAU RANAU – 8th, 9th 10th September
The next morning, after dropping off our laundry, we set off in a gaily-painted old banger and arrived at Danau (Lake) Ranau a half an hour later. A boat was waiting for us and the one hour journey across the lake sitting on the roof in the early morning sunshine was very pleasant indeed. Several local porters were waiting at the pier on arrival and without delay we set off through the village and up very steep slopes through a coffee plantation. Sometime later we stopped at a hut where Tony had already boiled up water for tea and coffee. Several pairs of SIAMUNG GIBBONS howled in unison close by as we sat and munched Indonesian biscuits - energy for the very steep climb that followed. However the 1600M climb was not as horrendous or as long as everyone had warned and we arrived at camp in the early afternoon in reasonable shape. We spent the afternoon birding back along the track up to the pass (SUMATRAN WHISTLING THRUSH) and later also night birding there as well (SLOW LORIS). The leeches were not a problem here and in fact the Deet spray kept the few there were off our boots.
The next day, leaving Rick and I to wander along birding trails nearby with the ranger, David and Fabian took Kamal and Uyong up on a really tough climb to the ‘puncak’ (peak) to try for the elusive ‘Poxai Hadji’ the SUMATRAN LAUGHING THRUSH. The trek there was apparently an incredibly gruelling one & they arrived back mid afternoon none the worse for wear but without seeing or hearing the species (we suspected that hunters may have captured them). In the meantime Rick and I had managed superb close views of a Graceful Pitta at an area that had been named ‘Graceland’ by one of the recent visiting birders. In the late afternoon the four of us discovered several ORANGE -SPOTTED BULBULS in a tree in an open area down from the camp. That night the heavens opened and it rained and rained and RAINED!! At one point we realised that the dry river bed close to the camp had become a raging torrent and wondered whether our camp would be washed away. However we were still there in the morning and in fact the forest looked the same, where had all that water disappeared to?
Just as we finished breakfast, Kamal announced that he had heard a SCHNEIDER'S PITTA nearby, so we headed up into the forest directly above the camp and within a half an hour we had taped in a glorious male and all of us managed pretty good views. High fives all around again. We then heard a SUMATRAN COCHOA calling from high up in the trees above us but apart from a very quick glimpse of a flying bird, we never saw or heard it again. After lunch we then followed the path down past the camp, via the open area to the coffee plantation a little way beyond. As we sat out in the open enjoying the sunshine David suddenly recognised the call of a MARBLED WREN BABBLER coming from a section of what looked like impenetrable jungle on the slope opposite. Kamal found a tree trunk, placed it over the stream at the bottom of the gully and we struggled across and up into the forest with Uyong leading the way hacking his way into the area where the bird was calling. We tried a recording to no avail, but once taped the bird reacted immediately to its own call and within minutes was circling around us at a distance of only a few metres. For the next half an hour we had superb views of this usually skulking species as it circled us at close range and we were all absolutely entranced. Another memorable highlight of the trip.
THE JOURNEY FROM DANAU RANAU TO WAY KAMBAS – 11th September
Setting off from the camp early the next morning, it took us only three hours of tough scrambling to get down the mountain and back to the boat waiting on the edge of the Lake. We sailed across in the midday sunshine. Supri was waiting for us, this time in a brand new 4 X 4 (we must be paying too much)! We then returned to Liwa to pick up our laundry (clean, dry and pressed) said good bye to Kamal, Tony, Uyong and the ranger and headed off SE towards the Way Kambas NP. The journey was long and arduous (seven hours), but Supri was an excellent driver who knew the roads and how to safely pass the many trucks encountered en route. Just before the end of our journey we stopped at a supermarket to stock up on food for our three day stay in the park. We arrived at the Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge (3 star) just outside the park at dusk. The rooms were spacious, there was a HOT SHOWER, an overhead fan and a sit down lou, utter bliss for four extremely dirty, mud spattered and exhausted travellers.
WAY KAMBAS – 12th, 13th, 14th September
The next morning after a leisurely breakfast and another shower for good measure, we set off in Supri’s car on the 20Km journey to Way Kanan, the ranger’s post inside the Way Kambas National Park where Poli had arranged for us to stay at the guest house there. We were in the humid lowlands now and the temperature was very high by the time we arrived and we could tell it was going to be a very hot next few days. The guest-house was rundown and had no fans, but a veranda ran along the front and from it there was a very pleasant view over an open area of grass. The glass windows in our room were sealed and the room was like a sauna but there was a shower along the hall and one sit down lou, bliss for someone like me with very sore, very stiff knees. We had chosen to negotiate our own prices here at WK as this was not part of Poli’s package apart from the transport in and out. We handed over our supplies to the head ranger and settled on the cost of a three night, two and a half day stay, several boat trips, fees for the rangers to accompany us into the forest (obligatory) and for someone to cook our meals. We relaxed on the veranda to wait for lunch and then collapsed in sweaty heaps on our beds and rested for the next few hours during the hottest part of the day.
At about 4pm, once it had cooled down (in relative terms) we walked down to the river and climbed aboard the boat we had booked to take us to the primary habitat of the WHITE-WINGED DUCK at Rawa Gajah. After only a very short distance up river we disembarked and followed the ranger into the forest at a very brisk pace (certainly for someone who was not eating or drinking during the day due to the constraints of Ramadan). At one point he identified a sound in the distance as the call of a SUMATRAN RHINOCEROS. We had noticed animal tracks everywhere crossing our path but we didn’t come across anything apart from the ASIAN ELEPHANT on the river bank earlier and several Sambar Deer in the distance. Eventually we came out into the open clearing at Rawa Gajah with what must have been in the wet season, a river running along the opposite side. This had now dried up into a serious of muddy pools and although we spent some time searching we did not see our target bird. We returned to the ranger station where we had a Black-thighed Falconet sitting on top of the aerial there. After supper as we sat on the veranda we heard Malaysian-Eared and Large-tailed Nightjars calling.
The next morning, at 4am and well before dawn, we headed out onto the road and managed to call in BONEPARTE'S NIGHTJAR and Brown Wood Owl. The Loop Trail at dawn produced a quick view of a Banded Pitta for several of us, better views needed though. About mid morning we headed back for a late brunch and an extended nap, the heat was debilitating. That evening we walked up the road and spent some time playing the calls of various night birds. A LARGE FROGMOUTH was discovered sitting on an overhanging branch and David took several brilliant photos. We then called in a REDDISH SCOPS OWL and also had stunningly close views. The Oriental Bay Owl ignored our tape and a Brown Hawk Owl called constantly but did the same.
The next morning just after dawn we set off on the boat for a second attempt to find the White-winged Duck and this time we walked further afield to Kali Biru, very large open area with a dried up river bed running through it. Ducks were absolutely nowhere to be seen and we gave up hope, but it was a change from the forest and we did see a number of different species including up to twenty Lesser Adjutants nesting in a tree there. The early afternoon was again spent resting and then at 4pm as arranged with the ranger, we set off down the Loop Trail again and this time managed to call out a BANDED PITTA. We had several part views including a glimpse of the bright pinkish orange section of its head shining like a jewel from the dark forest floor and I suddenly understood why they are called ‘jewel thrushes’. Finally after David played the tape from behind us, the bird came closer and we got acceptable views. Only David and Fabian continued on up the road at dusk and managed an hour or so of night-birding (what energy these two young men had). On their return we managed to creep to within a metre of a Large-tailed Nightjar that was sitting on the lawn outside the guest-house. A GREATER MOUSE DEER was also seen hovering on the edge of the open space its eyes glowing at us from five metres. Later, after the bird list was finished we shared our last bottle of warm beer together on the veranda and said our goodbyes. We were leaving David and Fabian and heading off to Kerinci early the next morning. Not only had they had been excellent company but they had very generously helped us see many birds that we would not otherwise have seen. Many thanks for all your help chaps.
A TRAVELLING DAY – 15th September
Rick & I set off at 4am with Supri who had arrived earlier and had helpfully backed the 4 x 4 up to the veranda. We loaded up and set off along the road. A short-legged animal ran across the road – a smallish cat perhaps? Further on we suddenly came upon a TAPIR stumbling around in the dark trying to get off the road. What an absolutely bizarre creature!! We drove on out of the park as dawn broke, eventually arriving at the Bandar Lampung airport with at least two hours to spare, the airport was not even open, but better early than late. The flight to Jakarta was uneventful, we spent a little time trying to find an internet café (to no avail) before flying to Padang arriving at about 3pm. As arranged with Poli, Subandi our guide and his two sons were waiting for us at the Padang airport and without ado we set off for Kerinci, a journey of about seven hours, stopping only once to change drivers and have supper in a large traveller’s café. On arrival at Subandi’s house at about 10pm we quickly settled into our room and fell asleep with a covering of blankets for the first time since leaving the air-conditioned hotel room on our first night in Jakarta. Utter bliss.
GUNUNG KERINCI – 16th, 17th, 18th September
Subandi’s house in the village of Kersik Tuo at 1500M is directly across the road from the tea plantations and 50M from the tiger statue on the corner of the road that leads up to Gunung (Mt) Kerinci which at 3823M is Sumatra’s highest mountain. It is also a dormant volcano. We could see the almost perfect pointed peak from his veranda but that first morning was the only time we did, mostly it was misty or raining. It is a very damp area of Sumatra. Subandi’s daughter drove us to the end of the road and with our luncheon picnic on his back, Subandi led the way up through the vegetable fields to the edge of the forest. On entering the forest it immediately seemed to come alive with calls and within minutes we had SPOT-NECKED and EYE-BROWED WREN BABBLERS and a little further on RUSTY-BREASTED WREN BABBLER. A RUFOUS WOODCOCK whirred up from the path ahead without giving particularly good views.
The paths were very good and not too steep and after several hours we stopped at a clearing known as the Base Camp Shelter and sat and shared a flask of tea and a box of biscuits. We then floundered around on various paths for several hours looking for SALVADORI'S PHEASANT and RED-BILLED PARTRIDGE but only managed to disturb a family of SHINING WHISTLING THRUSHES. Lesser Shortwing were common here and Snowy-browed Flycatchers regularly came to investigate us. We also came across a mixed flock which included SUNDA MINIVETS and we had a glimpse of what looked like a possible MOUNTAIN WHITE EYE (we confirmed this two days later when we had a small flock a little higher up).
When we reached the Air Minum clearing, Subandi produced plastic lunch boxes crammed with rice, chicken and a sealed bag of vegetables and sauce, absolutely delicious. After a rest we walked a little further up the path and Subandi pointed out the very distinct footprint of a Sun Bear and showed us the tree that the bear had been scratching at to try and reach a beehive. We also saw the tracks of a medium size cat and this was no doubt the GOLDEN CAT that David and Fabian had taken photographs of a fortnight before. This cat was probably the reason that we never saw Salvadori’s Pheasant, they were its favourite meal apparently.
Later that afternoon, after spending some time back at the Air Minum clearing sheltering from the rain under an awning produced from Subandi’s back pack, we made our way gradually back down the track. En route Subandi was suddenly alerted to a sound and we had crippling views of two male Pink-headed Fruit Doves. We also saw a small troupe of GOLDEN LANGURS high up in the trees.
The next day we drove over to the Tapan Road a journey of about an hour. The weather was awful and when we reached the highest point where the primary forest started we could see nothing but swirling cloud and absolutely nothing was calling, so we drove slowly down the mountain road stopping as soon as a view opened up. Here we had SPOT-NECKED AND CREAM-STRIPED BULBULS, and several mixed flocks including close views of the Sumatran Trogon. Several Pig-tailed Macaques were seen at close quarters along the road edge. Subandi knew where the nest of a BLACK-THIGHED FALCONET was and we had a juvenile and its parents flying in and out of the hole and perching in a nearby tree. It was not a particularly productive morning but once the clouds had risen we drove back to the top and spent some time at the derelict warden’s compound eating lunch and watching several flocks pass through which added a few species to the trip list. That evening we drove up to the edge of the Kerinci forest and although we spent some time playing the call of the PALE-HEADED FROGMOUTH and the SALVADORI'S NIGHTJAR, the weather was foul and absolutely nothing called back except a MOUNTAIN SCOPS OWL which could not be enticed any closer.
Our last day was again spent back up on the slopes of Mt Kerinci looking for several species that were missing off our list, most importantly the SUMATRAN COCHOA. Initially we spent at least an hour chasing one lone RED-BILLED PARTRIDGE that finally only gave fleeting views as it whirred off into the gully. Then we headed up the path towards the burnt out tree and Camp Cochoa (2,200M), reaching it without encountering any really steep sections. Once there, Subandi set out the waterproof sheet and we sat and ate yet another delicious boxed lunch washed down with tea. We had been playing the call of the cochoa every 200M and now we spent some time playing the tape and hoping one would respond, but to no avail. We finally realised that we were probably not going to see this elusive species (David and Fabian had not succeeded either two weeks ago, the bird was just not there). Well rested, we then headed up the now very steep path above the clearing and had a SUNDA WARBLER in a small flock and then a SUNDA BUSH WARBLER at very close range. Our final new bird for the list was a White-browed Shortwing singing its heart from the forest floor as we set off back down through the forest.
Kerinci is really a very ‘birdy’ forest, lots of flocks and plenty of birds but we were hampered by awful weather during our stay, not to say that apart from the Sumatran Cochoa and the Salvadori’s Pheasant we didn’t do well. Subandi knew his birds and where to find them and provided delicious food, various equipment and a comfortable & friendly family home for us to stay in.
PADANG - JAMBAK BEACH AT UNCLE JACK'S HOMESTAY – 19th, 20th, 21st September
Since it was the final day of Ramadan we excused Subandi from the journey back to Padang, said our farewells to him and his family and travelled back with his two sons (one was only 16 - but he drove very well!). It took us only about six hours because there was very little traffic and virtually no trucks, such a blessing.
We arrived at Uncle Jacks Homestay at Jambak Beach, just north of Padang (under the flight path of the airport aircraft) at about 2pm. Several ramshackle buildings stood right on the beach under coconut palms and we checked in. Our room in the ‘new block’, contained a double bed, two side tables, an electric fan and the en suite bathroom, had a sit down toilet and a shower, just perfect. Uncle Jack charged an incredible US$7 a night and this included three meals a day (just as the LP guide had suggested). It was a virtual paradise to us, we had spent the last three weeks mostly in the most basic accommodation and really needed somewhere comfortable to just chill for a couple of days. Uncle Jack was quite a character and even entertained us at meal times with karaoke and I have to say his version of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ was extremely good. The last two new birds for the trip were a BAR-WINGED PRINIA, we found several in the scrub at the back of the buildings & SHORT-TOED COUCAL from the road.
The following morning we set off with Uncle Jack in his car to Padang airport and caught a plane to Jakarta. It was such a lovely surprise to find Poli there to meet us. We chatted to him telling him how well the trip had gone and thanked him for his help. We also discovered that he was able to organise various birding and even non birding trips around Indonesia. He had contacts in almost every area, even in Western Papua. We thanked him enthusiastically and promised him we would return to Indonesia soon.
By the end of the trip we had recorded over 220 species, including 16 of the current endemics and a good proportion of the Sumatran races and possible future splits. The highlight of the trip though had to be the sightings of the SUMATRAN GROUND CUCKOO and the SCHNEIDER'S PITTA, our target birds. There were also several other seminal moments including watching a pair of MALAYSIAN RAIL BABBLERS twitching their wings and tails virtually right on the path in front of us and also the MARBLED WREN BABBLER that had circled us for at least a half an hour, occasionally feeding and answering its own call on our tape.
We also had several excellent sightings of mammals, the highlight of which was the TAPIR stumbling around on the road in the headlights of the 4X4 en route out of Way Kambas. We had been hoping for a sighting of at least one of the big cats but it was not to be and even though David and Fabian had an incredible encounter with a GOLDEN CAT at Kerinci the week before, we did not. However we were well pleased with our results, especially the fact that at our mature ages we had managed one of the toughest field trips known to birders and came back virtually unscathed despite the predictions of the guides. Bless them all and a special thank you to Kamal and Tony for your help up and down those terrible slopes, I would never have made it without the two of you.
THE DOWNSIDE OF SUMATRA
On arrival in Jakarta we had felt an earth tremor, but little did we realise that just one week after we arrived back in the UK there was to be an earthquake of 7.6 on the Richter scale which destroyed half of Padang and many of the villages near Kerinci. An email to Poli has since ascertained that all our friends in the area are fine and unscathed. It does make you think though. Travel is a hazardous business if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, luckily we weren’t.
During our visit to Sumatra we were saddened & very disappointed to see noticeable encroachment on the edges of national parks. The Kerinci National Park for instance had being eroded away by local people who were cutting back the forest at an alarming rate, to grow vegetables & the forest edge was now at least 300 metres beyond the entrance gate. According to a bird report written in 2005 there had been a scrub tunnel from the gate to the actual forest & this was where they had seen Sumatran Peacock Pheasant. No more, we had no sightings at all. According to the locals there are only very infrequent visits by the rangers & no one polices the situation. We had all seen poachers on our visits to the Tapan Road. No doubt without rangers monitoring the situation regularly & keeping things under control, the clearing of primary forest & poaching is rife.
Another thing that we found disappointing and difficult to accept in Indonesia was the caging of wild birds. Bamboo cages hung outside of every other house, housing poor miserable looking Magpie Robins, Shamas, Orioles, Mynas, even Shrikes - anything that could sing. We all know that for every bird in a cage there are probably about nine that haven’t survived the trauma of capture, the dreadful cages in the bird markets and the mindless day to day living in a cage when not born there. The plight of the ‘Poxai hadji’ the White-crested Laughing Thrush is a case in point. We did not see any of these splendid birds in the wild at the high mountain top at Way Titias where they have been seen by birders up until recently and can only suspect that they may have been captured. These birds are valuable and a local hunter can earn the equivalent of a month’s wages, difficult to resist. I don’t know what the answer is but it is a sad state of affairs.
It was generally hot (about 35 degrees) and humid in the lowland areas (Jakarta, Way Kambas and Padang) but once we moved to higher altitudes the temperature dropped about 5 degree every 1000 metres which made the forest very pleasant indeed. It is supposed to be the dry season in September but in borrowed words; ‘the difference between the wet & dry season is often just wishful thinking’. Needless to say, it rained almost every day, usually in the afternoons and/or at night & everywhere was humid and the higher altitudes were often misty, especially Kerinci. In fact it was quite cold at night up in the mountains and we regretted not bringing light sleeping bags rather than just our sleeping sheets. Way Kambas was stifling at night and we stopped using our mosquito nets for fear of suffocating. In all areas, mosquito’s were minimal and the leeches were only a slight nuisance at Way Titias.
We took binoculars (and a spare pair) with us but did not take a telescope and did not need one except on one occasion in the forest. We took an MP3 player with the songs and calls of all the key species and a small speaker and these were vital pieces of equipment. David & Fabian carried a microphone connected to a rather sophisticated piece of recording equipment and were able to tape the bird sounds and play them back to the birds which was a great advantage as many of the birds did not react to ‘foreign’ bird calls/songs. We took and used leech socks, mosquito nets, Deet spray, sleeping sheets, Thermorest self-inflating mattress’s, fleeces, waterproof ponchos, broad-rimmed hats and Gortex walking boots. We wore cotton long-sleeved shirts and trekking trousers and we found cotton/mix socks were the best for drying more easily. We took an old tent for the camping sections and left it with Poli, his two tents were very small and we were more comfortable in ours. Poli and his team provided all other camping equipment. We also took a good supply of muesli bars and trail mix for emergency situations but in fact only consumed two or three bars. Our flask of whisky could have been larger as there is very little opportunity to purchase beer or alcohol anywhere in Sumatra. Whisky also comes in handy for dousing clinging leeches but we only needed it twice, leaving more whisky for celebratory or stressful occasions. We took a single tablet daily dose of Malarone each day as our preventive for malaria. We also carried a medical kit with us which contained antibiotics, antihystamine, paracetamol, rehydrating powder, antiseptic and water purifying tablets. In the event, we used none of these, although I managed to develop an allergic cough in Kerinci from the fumes and general damp weather.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali (1993) MacKinnon, John and Phillipps, Karen (Oxford Press)
Lonely Planet: Indonesia Guide Book & Indonesian Phrase Book
Nelles Maps: Indonesia - Java & Indonesia - Sumatra
BIRD REPORTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Gregory, John and Banwell, Ashley: Southern Sumatra – Searching for Tok Tor and Poxi Haji, also getting wet a lot – December 2007 and April 2008
Low Bing Wen, Albert: Sumatra – August – September 2007
Wootton, Martin: Sumatra and Java – 27th July – 16th August 2008
Plus bird recordings, emails and advice from Andy Mears, Chris Gooddie, Jan Wilczur and Hugh Buck to name but a few……….
Thank you also once again David & Fabian for all your help taping out so many wonderful species, we couldn’t have done it without you.
ACCOMMODATION, USEFUL ADDRESSES AND CONTACT DETAILS
Our Guide – Politarius (Poli) – Jakarta Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanno Hotel: Jl. Pluit Selatan Raya No. 2, Jakarta 14450 Ph: (6221) 660 6060 Email: email@example.com
Satwa Elephant Eco lodge, Way Kambas National Park, SW Sumatra www.ecolodgesindonesia.com
Subandi’s Homestay, Kersik Tuo, near Gunung Kerinci Ph: (0748) 357009 Mob: 0812 7411473 (we contacted him through Poli)
Uncle Jack’s Beach Homestay, Jambak Beach, Padang W. Sumatra Ph. (0751) 8223667
Air Tickets – Omega Travel – Emirates - 2 @ £430.00 £860.00
Malarone tablets £51.00
Pounds paid for Indonesian visa at Jakarta airport £36.00
Pounds exchanged for Rupiah – on arrival in Jakarta *£100.00
Paid to Poli for WT and DR trek, internal fares, transport etc £1460.00
Pounds exchanged for Rupiah- 3/9/09 * £250.00
Pounds exchanged for Rupiah - 15/9/09 *£250.00
TOTAL COST OF TRIP £3,007.00
*The UK£600 exchanged for Rp were spent on:-
Tips to Kamal and Staff – WT and DR –
We paid half & David & Fabian paid half - Rp1,400.000 ÷by2 Rp700,000,00
Laundry at Liwa Rp20,000.00
Way Kambas – accommodation, guides, cooking, boat trip etc Rp1,400,000.00
Food shopping for Way Kambas Rp1,500,000.00
Gunung Kerinci – Subandi Homestay, transport, guiding etc Rp4,400,000.00
Laundry – Subandi’s Rp50,000.00
Uncle Jack’s Homestay Padang - accommodation/food etc Rp450,000.00
Taxi to Padang airport Rp60,000.00
Airport tax @ 35,000 by 4 trips Rp140,000.00
Spent on presents at airport approximately Rp800,000.00
TOTAL Rupiah Rp8,827,000.00
Correct at = £601.00
NB. The conversion rate at the time was £UK1 = Rp14,687.00
WT = Way Titias
DR = Danau Ranau
WK = Way Kambas
K = Kerinci
TR = Tapan Road near Kerinci
JB = Jambak Beach near Padang
Great-billed Heron – a probable over DR and three over the channel at JB
Purple Heron – Several on three days at WK
Striated Heron – A single on the river bank at WK
Javan Pond Heron – a single en route to Jakarta airport
Cattle Egret – At least 40 in fields en route to Bandar Lampung airport and to K
Little Egret – one en route to Jakarta airport
Lesser Adjutant – two overhead at WK and at least 24 in a tree in the open area from there
Osprey – one over DR
Oriental Honey Buzzard – a single as we ascended the coffee plantation from DR
Black-shouldered Kite – two in a tree in the vegetable plantations at K
Brahminy Kite – one over the ranger station at WK
White-bellied Sea Eagle – two over the open area at WK
Grey-headed Fish Eagle – a single at the large open area at WK
Black Eagle – two seen, one at DR (D/F) and one from the car en route to WK
Changeable Hawk Eagle – several seen, one en route to WK, one at WK and one at K
Black-thighed Falconet – three seen at WK, also a family of three at TR
SUMATRAN HILL PARTRIDGE (split from Grey-breasted) – three birds seen well scratching around under bushes at WT
RED-BILLED PARTRIDGE – heard only at DR and heard and finally glimpsed at K
Ferruginous (Wood) Partridge – Heard at WT on two days but never seen
(Crested Fireback) – one female & one male at WK (D/F)
Red Junglefowl – two at WK and also heard on another day
SUMATRAN(Bronze-tailed)PEACOCK PHEASANT – heard on three days at WT and two days at DR but never seen
White-breasted Waterhen – heard at JB
Rufous Woodcock – glimpsed as it whirred off the path at K
Whiskered Tern – at least ten at JB
Great Crested Tern – at least two flew past JB
SUMATRAN (Green spectacled)PIGEON – a single seen at DR and heard on several other days there
Thick-billed Pigeon – at least eight in a tree at WK
(Little Green Pigeon) – one seen WK (D/F)
Pink-necked Pigeon – up to five seen on two days at WK
Pink-headed Fruit Dove - two males seen at close quarters at K
Green Imperial Pigeon – up to four seen on three days at WK
Mountain Imperial Pigeon – one at WT (D/F) and three at DR
Barred Cuckoo Dove – up to two at DR (D/F) and two from the TR
Little Cuckoo Dove – Singles almost every day at WT and DR, a single at K and two at TR
Spotted Dove – seen in very small numbers on wires by the roadside as we travelled
Blue-rumped Parrot – a flying glimpse of five overhead at WK, but not a tickable view
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot – quite often heard mostly at WK as one or two zipped past overhead
Large Hawk Cuckoo – (might be split to Dark - ssp.bocki) seen (D/F) at DR and one heard at K
Indian Cuckoo – one heard as we descended DR
Banded Bay Cuckoo – heard and seen twice at WK
Plaintive Cuckoo – one heard at DR and one seen and also heard at WK
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo – heard in the secondary growth leaving WT and we attempted to bring it in but to no avail
(Little Bronze Cuckoo) – seen twice at DR (D/F)
Drongo Cuckoo – heard and seen (D/F) at WK
Black-bellied Malkoha – three seen at WK
Green-billed Malkoha – several at WT and up to four at the TR
Red-billed Malkoha – two at WT
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – a single bird at WT
SUMATRAN GROUND CUCKOO – a single bird at WT, also at least three other birds heard the next day
Short-toed Coucal – a good view of one bird at JB, also several heard there
Greater Coucal – heard at WK on most days, one also heard at K and JB
Oriental Bay Owl – heard at WK
Reddish Scops Owl – heard, taped in and then seen at WK
Mountain Scops Owl – heard at K
Sunda Scops Owl – a call heard at DR was probably this species
Barred Eagle Owl – a call at DR and WK was probably this species
SUMATRAN OWLET – Heard at WT and DR but only in the distance they never came into our tape
Brown Hawk Owl – Heard at WK, also one came into the tape and we had a quick view
Large Frogmouth – heard each night at WK, also one seen on a branch over the road on a night-birding trip and excellent photos were taken
SUMATRAN (Pale-headed/Short-tailed) FROGMOUTH – heard at DR
Malaysian Eared Nightjar – heard every night at WK and one seen (D/F)
Large-tailed Nightjar – Heard and seen every night at WK, in fact we managed to get to within a metre of it before it flew
Boneparte’s Nightjar – one heard and seen when we taped it out. Also the next night (D/F)
Edible/Mossy/Black-nest Swiftlet – seen in small numbers on every day of the trip, the only bird the Indonesians find useful in the wild (and profitable).
Glossy Swiftlet - a single bird on two days at Kamal’s house above the secondary forest at WT
Cave Swiftlet – several hundred in Jakarta hawking insects over the river there
Silver-rumped Needletail – singles at DR and WK
Asian Palm Swift – A single at DR and several at WK on two days
Whiskered Treeswift – a single at WT
SUMATRAN TROGON – split from Blue-tailed - Fairly common at WT, DR and K
Red-naped Trogon – two views at WK
(Scarlet- rumped Trogon) – several heard & one seen at WK (D/F)
(Orange-breasted Trogon) – two at WT (D/F)
Blue-eared Kingfisher – common along the river at WK
Rufous-backed Kingfisher – several seen along the river at WK
Stork-billed Kingfisher – several seen along the river at WK
White-throated Kingfisher – several at WK, also several seen on wires whilst travelling
Collared Kingfisher – two at WK and one at JB
Blue-throated Bee-eater – up to three at WT
(Bushy-crested Hornbill) – several heard and seen at DR and WK (D/F)
White-crowned Hornbill – a call at WT was thought to be this species
Wreathed Hornbill – heard and seen at WT, also two seen at DR and also heard there
(Asian) Black Hornbill – heard at WT, also several seen overhead at WK
Rhinoceros Hornbill – two at DR
Helmeted Hornbill – heard at WT, also a single seen there
Fire-tufted Barbet – the most numerous barbet with up to three seen each day at DR and K
Gold-whiskered Barbet – heard every day at WT, also a single finally seen there
Red-crowned Barbet – heard at WK, in fact the most common barbet
Red-throated Barbet – heard at WK
Black-browed Barbet – heard and one seen at WT, heard every day at DR and up to three seen at K
Blue-eared Barbet – Heard almost every day at DR and WK
Brown Barbet – up to two of the ssp. hayi seen at WK on two days
Rufous Piculet – singles at WT and DR
Rufous Woodpecker – a single at WT
(Greater Yellownape) – a single at DR (D/F)
Lesser Yellownape – up to three at DR and WT on four days
Checker-throated Woodpecker – a single at WT
Banded Woodpecker – a single at WK
Buff-rumped Woodpecker – a single at WK (D/F)
Sunda Woodpecker – Split for Brown-capped – a single and a pair seen in the secondary forest at WT
Maroon Woodpecker – singles at WT and DR, also heard at DR and K
(Orange-backed Woodpecker) – a single at DR seen by Rick
Dusky Broadbill – two at WT
Black and Red Broadbill – three at WK
Banded Broadbill – seen and heard every day at WT, also heard at WK
Black and Yellow Broadbill – heard at WT, seen and heard every day at WK
Long-tailed Broadbill – a single at the TR
Green Broadbill – up to two seen on two days at WT
SCHNEIDER'S PITTA – Heard on two days at DR and a brilliant view of a male finally seen there. None heard or seen at K
GRACEFUL PITTA – (Black-crowned - P. venusta) – heard and one seen at WT, fairly common at DR heard and up to three seen each day there
Banded Pitta – the ssp. ripleyi was glimpsed and then another seen at WK
Barn Swallow – not common, only two at DR, several at WK and up to eight over the vegetable fields three days at K
Pacific Swallow – up to four seen over the Lake at DR on both journeys
Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike – singles at WT and DR on four days, also up to six in mixed flock at K on three days
Sunda Cuckoo Shrike – a single in the secondary forest at WT, also one at WK and a probable flyover of five birds there
Grey-chinned Minivet – at least two each day at K
Sunda Minivet – up to two on two days at K
Green Iora – two at WT
Lesser Green Leafbird, two at WK
SUMATRAN LEAFBIRD – (C.icterocephala -split from Blue-winged) – a probable at DR, also a pair at WK
Golden-fronted Leafbird - (ssp. media) – a single at WT, also up on three days at DR
BLUE-MASKED LEAFBIRD – a female at WT, also two males at DR
RUBY-THROATED BULBUL – (P. dispar– split fr Black-crested). Up to five on the path down from WT, also several at DR
CREAM-STRIPED BULBUL – at least four from the TR
SPOT-NECKED BULBUL – a single at DR and up to four from the TR
Black-headed Bulbul – singles at WT and DR
Sooty-headed Bulbul – small numbers in Jakarta, the airports, in towns, anywhere near habitation, probably the most common bulbul seen
Orange-spotted Bulbul – at least two on two days in a paddy field down from the DR campsite
Yellow-vented Bulbul – small numbers at WK, K and on the beach at Padang
Olive-winged Bulbul – up to 4 on two days along the river at WK
Cream-vented Bulbul – up to four on three days along the river at WK
Red-eyed Bulbul – two at WK
(Grey-cheeked Bulbul) – two at WT (D/F)
Yellow-bellied Bulbul – a single at WT
Hairy-backed Bulbul – up to two on two days at WK
Buff-vented Bulbul – two seen on the walk to the open area at WK
Sunda Bulbul – ssp. sumatranus – could be split - up to five on four days at DR
Ashy Bulbul – ssp. cinereous – two at WT and several at DR on two days
Ashy Drongo – a single at WT, also up to three on three days at DR
Bronzed Drongo – up to two on three days at WT, also a single at DR
Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo – two at WT, one at DR and at least four at K
SUMATRAN DRONGO – at least three on five days at DR, also singles on two days at K
Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo – singles on two days at WK
(Dark-throated Oriole) – a single seen at WK (D/F)
Black and Crimson Oriole – a single at WT, also a party of up to five including a juvenile on three days at DR
Crested Jay – a bird heard at the WT camp was identified as this species by David/Fabian
Green Magpie – a single at DR, also up to two on two days at K
SUMATRAN TREEPIE – up to five on four days at DR, also at least six at K
Large-billed Crow – a glimpse from the plane at Padang airport, probably this species
Great Tit – singles at WT, DR on three days and one at K always in mixed flocks
Blue Nuthatch – a single at WT, up to two on four days at DR, also up to four on three days at K
(Black-capped Babbler) – singles on two days at WK (D/F)
(BUETTIKOFER'S BABBLER) – a small flock en route to Kamal’s house at dusk (D/F)
White-chested Babbler – a glimpse at WT, and up to two on two days, on the ground along the river at WK
Short-tailed Babbler – a single at WT
(Abbot’s Babbler) - singles at WT and Dr on three days (D/F)
Scaly-crowned Babbler – heard this species distinctive song of rising notes at WK
Rufous-crowned Babbler – a single at WT (D/F) and heard the distinctive song of descending notes at WK on two days
Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler – up to two birds at WT on three days
SUMATRAN WREN BABBLER – split from Long billed – heard at K several times but did not manage to get onto it.
RUSTY-BREASTED WREN BABBLER – at least two birds on two days at K
Marbled Wren Babbler – a single bird was taped into view and in fact circled us for a good half an hour after we machete’ed our way into a section of primary forest at DR
Eye-browed Wren Babbler – singles at WT, DR, also up to two on two days at K
Pygmy Wren Babbler – heard at WT, a single and also heard at DR and up to two seen on two days at K
Rufous-fronted Babbler – a single in a mixed flock at WT
Golden Babbler – singles and heard every day at WT, up to four on three days at DR, also common at K and the TR on three days with up to ten in a flock there
Grey-throated Babbler – singles at WT and up to four on three days at DR
Grey-headed Babbler – flocks of at least six on two days at K
Spot-necked Babbler – one at DR (D/F) and three at K in a mixed flock there
Chestnut-rumped Babbler – a single at WK
Striped Tit Babbler – heard and a single seen at WK
Sunda Laughing Thrush – common in mixed flocks at DR, with up to 10 on four days
Black Laughing Thrush – three at DR in a mixed flock there
Chestnut-capped Laughing Thrush – up to ten at DR on three days in mixed flocks, also at least eight at the TR
White-browed Shrike Babbler – several at WK, also two pairs at the TR
Brown Fulvetta – up to four on four days at WT
Long-tailed Sibia – up to four on three days at DR, also a single at K
Malaysian Rail Babbler – a pair taped out en route down from WT, seen at close range twitching its tail and wings in agitation at the taped call
Lesser Shortwing – up to two at DR on four days, also up to three on three days at K and the TR
White-browed Shortwing – Heard at K and finally one was seen
Oriental Magpie Robin – two at WT, and up to two on two days at WK, but also seen in cages everywhere, sadly this was the most popular caged bird.
White-rumped Shama – only one seen outside a cage – at WK
SUNDA FORKTAIL – (E.v sumatranus) – up to two seen on two days at WT.
White-crowned Forktail – up to two seen on four days at DR
SUMATRAN COCHOA – heard at WT and glimpsed as it flew out of a very tall tree, but never seen again. This species appeared to be absent from K where it has most often been seen
SHINY WHISTLING THRUSH – at least four seen on two days at K
SUMATRAN WHISTLING THRUSH – two at DR and a single at K
Chestnut-crowned Warbler – up to two seen in mixed flocks on two days at WT and two days at DR, also two at K
Sunda Warbler (Seicercus grammiceps) – up to two seen in mixed flocks on two days at K
Yellow-bellied Warbler – up to two on three days at DR, also up to two on two days at K and the TR
Eastern-crowned Warbler – singles at WT, DR and K always in mixed flocks
Mountain Leaf Warbler – singles at DR, also up to two on three days at K and the TR
Dark-necked Tailorbird – a single at WK
Ashy Tailorbird – the most common tailor bird, singles or pairs at in the village en route to DR, in the fields at K and JB
Rufous-tailed Tailorbird – up to two seen on four days at WK and one at K
Hill Prinia – up to four in the fields at K
Yellow-bellied Prinia – heard at WK
Bar-winged Prinia – at least five at JB
Sunda Bush Warbler – (Cettia vulcania) – two at K high up the mountain
Grey-chested Jungle Flycatcher – a single bird at WK
Rufous-browed Flycatcher – up to two at WT on three days, also singles at DR on three days
Snowy-browed Flycatcher – two pairs on two days at K
Rufous-chested Flycatcher – a male at the campsite at WT
Verditer Flycatcher – a single at DR, also at least four at the TR in a mixed flock
Indigo Flycatcher – up to three on three days at DR
Rufous-vented Niltava – Subandi identified a call at K as this species, but not seen
Pygmy Blue Flycatcher – singles at DR on two days
Grey-headed Flycatcher – common at WT, DR and K several seen and heard every day at these sites
White-throated Fantail – singles at WT, on one day, and up to two on four days at DR, also up to three at K and the TR on three days
Spotted Fantail – singles at WT on two days
Pied Fantail - a single at WK
Black-naped Monarch – at least one at WK
Maroon-breasted Philentoma – a pair at WT
Asian Paradise Flycatcher – a brown phase male at WT
Grey Wagtail – several migrating overhead at WT, heard at DR, two at WK and up to two on four days at K
Forest Wagtail – a single at WK
Paddyfield Pipit – up to four in the open area out at WK
White-breasted Woodswallow – up to four at WK on two days
Tiger Shrike – a single in an open area at DR
Long-tailed Shrike – singles at the airport, also up to five in the fields en route to the forest at K seen every day
Javan Myna – up to five at K on three days
Hill Myna – up to four on two days at WK
(Plain Sunbird) – a single at WK (D/F)
(Ruby-cheeked Sunbird) - a single at WT (D/F)
Purple-throated Sunbird - several on two days at WK
Olive-backed Sunbird – singles at DR on two days, a single at WK and up to three at JB
Temminck’s Sunbird – singles on two days at WT, singles on four days at DR and a single male at K
Little Spiderhunter – heard on three days at WT, four days at DR and a single finally seen at K
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker – a female seen at WK
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker – singles at WT, DR and two at WK
Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker – common in Jakarta, a male seen perched in a tree outside the Sanno Hotel in Jakarta
Oriental White-Eye – a single at WT, also singles and a flock of at least 20 at DR
(Black-capped White-Eye) – singles at WT and DR (D/F)
Mountain White-Eye - a single bird in a mixed flock on one day and a large flock of about 100 at K
Eurasian Tree Sparrow – common in small numbers in most towns and villages
Scaly-breasted Munia - a small flock at WT and also at JB
White-headed or Chestnut Munia - four distantly en route out from Kamal’s house at WT were not 100% identified.
SYSTEMATIC MAMMAL LIST
Colugo (Flying Lemur) – a dead one in good condition found at Way Titias
Slow Loris – a single in a tree at DR one evening
Long-tailed Macaque – seen in several areas
Pig-tailed Macaque – several at the Tapan road, near Kerinci
Siamang Gibbon – several family groups at DR & K
Golden Langur – a small family party at K
Black Giant Squirrel – one at DR
Three-striped Ground Squirrel – several at K
Long-tailed Squirrel – one at K
Masked Palm Civet – a civet at DR was probably this species
Golden Cat – a paw mark at K was almost certainly this species
Sumatran Tiger - a paw mark at WK was certainly this species
Sun Bear – a paw mark at Kerinci & marks on a tree were made by this species
TAPIR – one of these bizarre creatures was seen at WK in the headlights of the 4x4
Asian Elephant a single animal seen by the river at WK looked in poor health
Sumatran Rhinoceros – a loud snort in the forest at WK was identified by the ranger as this species
Bearded Pig – several around the camp at WK
Greater Mouse Deer – one at WK at night around the edge of the open area of the ranger station
Sambar – two large males at WK
A white-lipped snake with a pink back was seen with a half swallowed frog in its mouth
A very large black/orange/brown possibly poisonous snake at DR