Indonesia - Bali - August 2011

Published by David Ehlers Smith (daveblpr AT

Participants: David Ehlers Smith, Francis Smith


Trip was a three week holiday to Bali for a family wedding, with some birding in between for two birders with reasonable experience birding in Asia. Our base was Sanur on the south-western side of the island, but the island is small enough that all destinations are reachable within a four-five hour drive. Pak (Mr.) Hery Kusumanegara (+62 813 3807 8010, came highly recommended as a local bird guide and was employed to find target birds. Hery is based out of Bali Barat National Park, and he also has extensive knowledge of the birds of Java. We also hired Pak Made Sukanta (+62 812 3673 047) of Bagus Holidays as a driver (, Both were superb, spoke very good English and have a great knowledge of the islands’ flora, fauna and history. Hery will make every effort possible to ensure you find your target birds; he knows the best spots for all the species and is extremely keen that you see as much as possible. Therefore it is advisable to email him with a list of target species first so he can organise the itinerary. A total of 172 species of bird were seen during our trip, 78 of which were lifers.

Hery recommended Bali Barat (West Bali) National Park and the surrounding area for the majority of target birds, and then a trip into the central Bedugul Hills and the nearby Botanical Gardens, and also the lakes of Buyan, Tamblingan and Bratan for some hill/water species. We took day trips with Made but independently of Hery to the south-western cliffs of Uluwatu, where Hindu temples are situated. Also nearby Sanur is the small island of Serangan, near Benoa harbour. Here we employed a local “bemo” (town taxi) driver also named Pak Made (+62 852 3874 0326) to take us around the island as he knew where shorebirds could be found.

Trip Itinerary and Birds Seen

Birds are listed only once, as seen first at the first location.

06/08/11: Bali Barat National Park

04:00 – Made picks us up from Sanur and drives us to Bali Barat National Park (BBNP) office where we pick up Hery at 07:30 to begin birding. Made drives us to the various sites as directed by Hery until dusk.

Gilimanuk Bay, BBNP: Beach thick-knee; Great-billed heron; White-shouldered triller; Orange-breasted green-pigeon; Island collared-dove; Small blue kingfisher; Spotted dove; Lesser adjutant; Sacred kingfisher; white-breasted wood-swallow; Linchi’s (cave) swift; Long-tailed shrike; Chestnut-headed bee-eater; Whimbrel; Little egret; Common sandpiper; Yellow-vented bulbul; Sooty-capped bulbul; Striated (little) heron; Savannah nightjar; Scaly-breasted munia; Black drongo; Zebra dove; Olive-backed sunbird; Striated grassbird; Collared kingfisher; Golden-bellied gerygone (fly-eater); Changeable hawk-eagle

BBNP Park Office: Grey-cheeked green-pigeon; Lineated barbet; Dollarbird; Small minivet; Oriental pied hornbill; Coppersmith barbet; Scarlet-chested flowerpecker; Common iora; White-bellied sea-eagle;

BBNP Rainforest Walk: Javan banded pitta; Fulvous-breasted flycatcher; Pied fantail; Rufous-backed kingfisher (Oriental dwarf kingfisher); Black-naped monarch; Grey-cheeked bulbul

Menjangan Resort: Green junglefowl; Crested serpant-eagle; Grey-rumped tree-swift; Emerald dove

Banyuwadang: Javan plover; Sunda teal; Brahmany kite; Red-necked stint

07/08/11: Bali Barat National Park

Same as previous day, Made drives and Hery guides from dawn to dusk. At Labuhan Lalang (Lalang Port) we leave Made and hire a small boat (400,000RP) to get to Pulau Menjangan and Teluk Brumbun

Labuhan Lalang to Pulau Menjangan from the boat: Black-naped tern; Black-naped oriole; Black-thighed falconet; Black-winged starling (eastern subspecies); Edible nest swiftlet; Common tern

Teluk Brumbun: Blue-tailed bee-eater; Australasian lark; Malaysian (Javan) cuckoo-shrike; Java sparrow; Greater goldenbacked woodpecker; Bali Myna; Mangrove (lemon-bellied) white-eye; Fulvous-breasted woodpecker; Bar-winged prinia; Grey tit; Oriental magpie robin

Tegal Bunda: Laced woodpecker; Large-tailed nightjar; Racket-tailed treepie; Red-breasted parakeet; Green imperial pigeon; Scarlet minivet; Black-winged flycatcher-shrike; Asian palm-swift

Menjangan Resort: Collared scops-owl

10/08/11: Benoa Harbour and Fishponds; Sanur

We hired a bemo from Sanur to take us to Benoa harbour and the surrounding fishponds for 50,000RP per hour. We then spent the day walking around Sanur and its side streets, which have much greenery and tree cover and can turn up a few species.

Benoa Harbour and Fishponds: Chinese egret; Far-eastern curlew; Grey-tailed tattler; Little pied cormorant; Large-billed crow; Lesser sand (Mongolian) plover; Javan pond heron; Gull-billed tern; Black-naped tern; Common redshank; Common greenshank; Green sandpiper; Javan munia; Purple heron; Intermediate egret

Notable target species missed: Ruddy-breasted crake; Slaty-breasted rail

Sanur town and garden area: White-faced heron; Red avadavat; Javan myna; Pink-necked green-pigeon; Bar-tailed prinia; Brown-throated sunbird

11/08/11: Bedugul Hills and Botanical Gardens and Central Lakes

We again hired Made to drive us to the central part of the island for some hill birding. We went without Hery and perhaps because of this lack of local knowledge of where to look for target species we turned up few lifers.

Bedugul Botanical Gardens: Indonesian honeyeater; Chestnut-backed scimitar-babbler; Sunda bush-warbler; Pied bushchat; Short-tailed starling; Ashy drongo; Javan grey-throated white-eye; Hair-crested drongo; Oriental cuckoo; Flame-fronted barbet; Oriental white-eye

Lake Buyan: Sunda thrush; Asian house-martin; Cinnamon bittern; Common moorhen; Grey-headed canary-flycatcher; White-breasted waterhen

Candi Kuning: Asian glossy-starling

12/08/11: Uluwatu Cliffs and Hindu Temple

Again we hired Made to drive us in the morning down to the south-western corner of the island. We arrived after 09:00 as Hery had told us the best time to see the white-tailed tropicbird is between 09:00 and 12:00. The weather and ocean were extremely clement and for this reason some good sea-bird species were missed.

Great-crested tern; Christmas Island frigatebird; Lesser frigatebird; Greater frigatebird; White-tailed tropicbird

Notable target species missed: Brown booby; Streaked shearwater; Wedge-tailed shearwater

13/08/11: Pulau Serangan

We flagged a bemo from the street in Sanur and chartered to the small island of Serangan with another gentleman by the name of Made, who doesn’t speak English but knows where to find shorebirds. He agreed to be contacted for the purposes of guiding and if you use the phrase “mau cari burung di Pulau Serangan” he will know exactly what to do! 50,000RP per hour is a good price for Pak Made’s services. IMPORTANT: Do NOT take cameras to Pulau Serangan, border guards will not let you in. Just let Made explain that you’re birdwatching and show them your binoculars/telescope. A telescope is essential for shorebird watching at Serangan. When we arrived about two hours after low tide, there were perhaps 5,000 individual birds on the shores. Searching the underbrush and mangroves on the way to the shore can turn up some good species also.

On the shoreline: Malaysian plover; Little curlew; Little black cormorant; Asian dowitcher; Oriental plover; Little cormorant; Great white egret; Black-tailed godwit; Curlew sandpiper; Pacific golden plover; Greenshank; Wood sandpiper; Red-capped plover; Whiskered tern; Little tern; Redshank; Bar-tailed godwit; Ruddy turnstone; Pacific reef-heron; Sanderling; Sharp-tailed sandpiper; Great knot; Marsh sandpiper; Greater sand-plover; Terek sandpiper; Broad-billed sandpiper; Eurasian curlew; Kentish plover; Grey plover; White-headed stilt; Wandering whistling-duck

In the underbrush: Small buttonquail; Barred buttonquail; White-browed crake; Red-legged crake Ashy tailorbird

Notable target species missed: Long-toed stint; Ruddy-breasted crake; Slaty-breasted rail

20/08/11: Bali Barat National Park and Lake Buyan

To pick up some of the species we missed the first time around we hired Hery and Made again to go to some areas of BBNP we missed and to target some birds in the Bedugul Botanical Gardens and Central Lakes. We gave Hery another target list, and as before left early in the morning and picked him up at the BBNP Park Office. We then overnighted at the Botanical Gardens to begin birding early the next morning. Be advised – it is possible to feel cold in Bali. If you start early morning in the hills bring a jumper and long trousers.

Bali Barat National Park Forest: Lesser coucal; Scarlet-headed flowerpecker; Chestnut-breasted malkoha; Greater racket-tailed drongo; Mangrove whistler

Notable target species missed: Richard’s pipit

Lake Buyan: White-browed crake; Javan barred-owlet; Yellow bittern

21/08/11: Bedugul Botanical Gardens and Lake Buyan

We started the day early in the Botanical Gardens for some target species missed the first time.

Bedugul Botanical Gardens Golden whistler; Mugimaki flycatcher; Ruddy cuckoo-dove; Mountain white-eye; White-crowned fork-tail (this was a huge surprise to see this species here and the first time for Hery. Usually he searches in BBNP forest.); Sunda whistling-thrush; Olive-backed tailorbird; Snowy-browed flycatcher; Mountain leaf-warbler; Sunda warbler; Blood-breasted flowerpecker; Little pied flycatcher; Plain flowerpecker.

Notable target species missed: Russet bush-warbler; Black-naped fruit-dove; Orange-headed thrush

Lake Buyan: Pacific swallow; Barn swallow; Javan kingfisher

Notable target species missed: Dark-backed imperial pigeon; Swinhoe’s snipe; Pheasant-tailed jacana. The absence of the snipe and jacana lead Hery to believe they are seasonal visitors and the winter/dry season when we were there was the wrong time. Similarly, white-headed munias are one of the most common birds on the island but were absent from every site we went to. Hery also put this down to the season.

Species Lists

1. Spotted dove
2. Yellow-vented bulbul
3. Beach thick-knee
4. Lesser adjutant
5. Sacred kingfisher (D!)
6. Great-billed heron
7. White-breasted wood-swallow
8. Linchi’s/Cave swift
9. Sooty-capped bulbul
10. Long-tailed shrike
11. White-shouldered triller
12. Chesnut-headed bee-eater (D!)
13. Striated/Little heron
14. Whimbrel
15. Little egret
16. Common sandpiper
17. Pied fantail
18. Orange-breasted green-pigeon (D!)
19. Savannah nightjar
20. Island collared-dove
21. Scaly-breasted munia
22. Black drongo
23. Zebra dove
24. Olive-backed sunbird
25. Striated grassbird
26. Collared kingfisher
27. Small blue kingfisher
28. Golden-bellied gerygone
29. Changeable hawk-eagle
30. Oriental pied hornbill
31. Grey-cheeked green pigeon
32. Lineated barbet
33. Coppersmith barbet
34. Scarlet-headed flowerpecker
35. Common iora
36. Dollarbird (F!)
37. Small minivet (D!)
38. White-bellied sea-eagle
39. Pied fantail
40. Rufous-backed kingfisher
41. Black-naped monarch
42. Fulvous-breasted jungle-flycatcher
43. Grey-cheeked bulbul
44. Javan banded pitta
45. Green junglefowl
46. Crested serpent-eagle
47. Grey-rumped tree-swift
48. Emerald dove
49. Javan plover
50. Brahmany kite
51. Sunda teal
52. Red-necked stint (D!)
53. Edible-nest swiftlet
54. Common tern
55. Black-naped tern (F!)
56. Black-naped oriole (F!)
57. Black-thighed falconet (F!)
58. Black-winged starling (subspecies)
59. Blue-tailed bee-eater (D!)
60. Australian lark
61. Javan/Malaysian cuckoo-shrike
62. Java sparrow
63. Greater golden-backed woodpecker (D!)
64. Bali myna/starling
65. Bar-winged prinia
66. Grey tit
67. Oriental magpie-robin
68. Mangrove/Lemon-bellied white-eye
69. Laced woodpecker
70. Large-tailed nightjar
71. Racket-tailed treepie
72. Red-breasted parakeet
73. Green imperial-pigeon
74. Scarlet minivet
75. Black-winged flycatcher-shrike
76. Asian palm-swift
77. Collared scops-owl
78. Chinese egret
79. Javan pond-heron
80. Gull-billed tern
81. Common redshank
82. Far-eastern curlew
83. Little pied cormorant (D!)
84. Grey-tailed tattler
85. Lesser sand/Mongolian plover (D!)
86. Common greenshank
87. Green sandpiper
88. Large-billed crow
89. Javan munia
90. Purple heron
91. Intermediate egret
92. Pink-necked green-pigeon
93. Brown/Plain-throated sunbird
94. White-faced heron (D!)
95. Red adavadat (D!)
96. Javan myna
97. Indonesian honeyeater
98. Chesnut-backed scimitar-babbler (F!)
99. Ashy drongo
100. Javan grey-throated white-eye/ibon
101. Hair-crested drongo
102. Sunda bush-warbler
103. Sunda cuckoo (subspecies)
104. Pied bushchat
105. Flame/Orange-fronted barbet
106. Short-tailed starling
107. Fulvous-chested woodpecker
108. Oriental white-eye
109. Cinnamon bittern
110. Sunda thrush (D!)
111. Yellow bittern
112. Common moorhen
113. Asian house-martin
114. Grey-headed canary-flycatcher
115. White-breasted waterhen
116. Asian glossy starling
117. Great-crested tern (D!)
118. Christmas Island frigatebird
119. Lesser frigatebird (F!)
120. White-tailed tropicbird (F!) (subspecies D!)
121. Malaysian plover
122. Black-tailed godwit (D!)
123. Small buttonquail
124. Curlew sandpiper (D!)
125. Pacific golden plover
126. Little tern (D!)
127. Bar-tailed godwit (D!)
128. Little curlew
129. Ruddy turnstone (D!)
130. Pacific reef heron
131. Sanderling (D!)
132. Sharp-tailed sandpiper (D!)
133. Great knot (D!)
134. Marsh sandpiper (D!)
135. Greater sand plover (D!)
136. Terek sandpiper (D!)
137. Little black cormorant
138. Asian dowitcher
139. Broad-billed sandpiper (F)
140. Oriental plover
141. White-browed crake
142. Eurasian curlew
143. Kentish plover
144. Grey plover (D!)
145. White-headed stilt (D!)
146. Little cormorant
147. Lesser coucal (F!)
148. Chestnut-headed malkoha (Subspecies !)
149. Greater racket-tailed drongo
150. Mangrove whistler
151. Javan barred-owlet
152. Golden whistler
153. Mugimaki flycatcher
154. Snowy-browed flycatcher (F!)
155. White-crowned forktail
156. Ruddy cuckoo-dove (F!)
157. Mountain leaf-warbler
158. Sunda warbler
159. Blood-breasted flowerpecker
160. Little pied flycatcher
161. Mountain white-eye
162. Plain flowerpecker (F!)
163. House/Pacific swallow
164. Barn swallow
165. Barred buttonquail
166. Ashy tailorbird
167. Olive-backed tailorbird
168. Wood sandpiper (D!)
169. Red-capped plover (D!)
170. Whiskered tern (D!)
171. Red-legged crake