West Java – May 2005

Published by Ben Wielstra (wielstra AT hotmail.com)

Participants: Ben Wielstra and Sander Pieterse


If you have questions or remarks, contact Ben Wielstra (wielstra@hotmail.com) and / or Sander Pieterse (s_pieterse@hotmail.com).


We spent four months in East Kalimantan for study (biology) purposes, doing bird research. When our work was done there, we had some time left for a holiday and wanted to do something different. However, we are not very original and it was again for some bird watching. We had to pay a visit to Bogor anyway, so we combined this with some other spots in West Java. We decided to do it in a very relaxed tempo; we had three weeks to visit only a few places.

Although the avifaunal turn-over between Kalimantan and Java is high enough to cause the majority of the species to be new to us, we were already familiar with most of the groups and some of the species that occur on Java. This definitely made birding a bit easier. We did not study the bird sounds in advance, but we already knew many sounds from Kalimantan and were able to compare sounds of other species with reference material back in our hotel rooms. You will make it yourself much easier if you spend some time studying the sounds before you go!


May 11: Travel from Balikpapan (East Kalimantan) to Bogor (via Jakarta).
May 12 – 16: Paying a visit to the Birdlife International office in Bogor was the last “official” thing we had to do. Visited the Bogor Botanical Gardens in the morning on May 12 and 13.
May 17: Travel from Bogor to Cibodas.
May 18 – 25: Birding around Cibodas (Cibodas Botanical Gardens and Gunung Gede / Pangrango) for eight days.
May 26: Travel from Cibodas to Carita, birding in Carita in the afternoon / evening.
May 27 – 28: Birding in Carita, on both mornings and one afternoon / evening.
May 29: Birding in Carita in the morning, travel from Carita to Jakarta in the afternoon.
May 30: Birding at Muara Angke in the morning.
May 31: Birding at Muara Angke in the morning, return trip to Holland in the afternoon (finally, after spending almost five months in Indonesia).

Transport and accommodation

We decided not to use public transport because of our enormous amount of luggage (including a laptop with all our data, which we did not want to get stolen) and because we just wanted to travel in a relaxed way. We used taxis (Silverbird and chartered private vehicles), which are much more expensive, but still cheap according to Western standards. The Silverbird taxi from Soekarno-Hatta Airport (Jakarta) to Bogor, for example, cost us 260,000 Rupiah. If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, we refer to Birding Indonesia and other trip reports.

It is possible to spend a lot less money on accommodation than we did. After sleeping on the floor in leaking cottages between the scorpions, we thought we could use some luxury. We did not bother to find the best quality / price combination possible. If you are looking for cheaper places to stay (such as basic losmen and guesthouses), we refer to Birding Indonesia, travel guides such as Lonely Planet and Footprint, and other trip reports.

Bogor: Hotel Mirah and Hotel Pangrango 1. Both were around 250,000 Rupiah for a twin room, including breakfast. Hotel Mirah was much better, as we got an executive room for the same price. Facilities of both hotels include AC, TV, mini bar, bathtub (hot water), swimming pool, laundry service and breakfast.

Cibodas: Naturally, we stayed at Freddy’s Homestay. 50,000 Rupiah for a tiny 2-person, single bed, room, including breakfast. Facilities include a shared bathroom (bak mandi and shower, both of which are freezing cold!) and laundry service. Bird logbook and guiding (by Freddy’s sons, who are into bird-watching) are available, which makes it the number one place for visiting birdwatchers.

Contact information:
M. Soleh Abdullah (Fredy Home Stay)
P. O. Box 54
Sindanglaya - Cipanas
Cianjur 43253
Jawa Barat
+62 (0) 263515473

Carita Beach: Niguadharma Hotel. 220,000 Rupiah per night for a twin room, including breakfast. Clean and generally good hotel. Facilities include AC, TV, swimming pool and laundry service. A nice little (but noisy!) Cave-Swiftlet colony is present as well.

Jakarta: Hotel Bandara. 190,000 Rupiah for a twin room, including breakfast. A decent, though rather worn down 2-star hotel located in Cengkareng and about 15 minutes driving from Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Facilities include AC, TV, hot water and free transport to the airport. A little less than an hour driving from Muara Angke, so it might be better to pick a closer hotel (we had no idea which one to choose…).

The set up of this trip report

We discuss the different sites we visited separately, together with some background information that you may find useful. The bulk of this report consists of annotated checklists of the birds we observed per site. The nomenclature and sequence of these lists are according to MacKinnon & Phillipps. We also listed some other interesting organisms we observed.

Literature and other reference material used

Birding Indonesia (Jepson & Ounsted, 1997) – provides plenty of information on Indonesia’s major birding spots, including all the ones we visited. The practicalities section is a good source of information too. Pretty much a must-have if you go birding in Indonesia.

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali (MacKinnon and Phillipps, 1993) – never go birding without it in the Greater Sundas!

A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia (Robson, 2000) – can be useful for second-hand reference, but only contains a fraction of the species.

All the relevant trip reports we could find on the internet – just try to find as many as you can, they all complement each other. Our only problem with the reports was that the most recent one we found dated from 2002 (a lot can change in three years, especially the vegetation coverage on Java!).

Website www.orientalbirdimages.org – a number of plates in the field guide of MacKinnon and Phillips are incorrect; this website is a great addition and it is a good idea to check your target species in advance.

CD-Rom “Birds of Tropical Asia 2” (by Jelle Scharringa, www.birdsongs.com) – contains recordings of most of the usual species, but not all of the target species. A third edition is scheduled for release at the end of 2005.


Thanks to Bas van Balen for providing useful comments on a draft version of this report and for helping with some identification issues.

The Botanical Gardens of Bogor (Kebun Raya Bogor) – 12-14 May, 2005

Quoting Birding Indonesia: “With perseverance 30 or more species can be seen during a morning’s stroll”. We are apparently not very perseverant and saw 26 species during our first visit. However, during our two visits combined, we managed to reach this magical number and even exceeded it with two more! The botanical gardens are nice and refreshing, but they get boring quickly. One or two mornings of birding is enough here.

We were informed that the gardens open at 8 AM. According to most guides and reports, only the main (southern) gate is open on weekdays, but we found the north-eastern entrance to be open as well. Near this entrance, there was a sign stating 8:30 AM as the opening time. We were a little bit early the first day (7:45 AM), but were allowed to enter anyway. At this time, there were already a lot of healthy people jogging around in the park. The next day, we tried to enter the park even earlier. At first we had to wait, but after a while we were told that we could buy our ticket on the way out and were allowed in at 7:20 AM. The entrance fee was 5,000 Rupiah per person.

Upon entering the gardens, we gently tracked our way to the main gate the first day. From there, we walked the birding route as described in “Birding Indonesia”. The second day, we checked out the fern garden and bamboo grove (Dutch cemetery) to make up for some misses of the day before. We also paid a short visit to the zoological museum, where we ticked species as Spotted Crocias and Clouded Leopard… The entrance fee for this museum was just 1,000 Rupiah per person, so it is definitely worth checking out their dusty collection of stuffed birds (and other animals).

Our highlight species: Black-naped Fruit-dove, Red-breasted Parakeet, Coppersmith Barbet, Black-naped Oriole, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Large Flying Fox, Water Monitor Lizard

Biggest misses: Orange-headed Thrush, Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot, Java Sparrow

Bogor Botanical Gardens species list

Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)
One seen circling above the gardens.

White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
One seen in the “smelly stream”.

Grey-cheeked Green-pigeon (Treron griseicauda)
Quite common, but hard to get good views of. The Green-pigeons we could identify belonged to this species, but Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) is also said to occur in the gardens.

Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospila)
A beautiful male showing nest-building activities in the tall trees near the four small ponds between Jalan Astrid and Jalan Citarum II. Also a female (of the same pair?) seen from the terrace of the café. Two birds were seen flying by near the rattan garden.

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Common; often seen feeding on the grass fields.

Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)
A bit of an unexpected sight. We saw one bird near the “oil palms”.

Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus)
Several heard throughout the gardens (we heard the “cadence song”).

Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis)
Also several heard (again we heard the “cadence song”).

Edible-nest Swiftlet (Collacalia fuciphaga)
All “larger” Swiftlets were tentatively identified as this species, because they had pale rumps and a forked tail. This species is supposed to breed in the neighbourhood. Sometimes encountered between the numerous Cave Swiftlets.

Cave-Swiftlet (Collacalia linchi)
Glossy Swiftlet (Collacalia esculenta) is said not to occur on Java, which makes a definite identification possible. These little fellows are abundant and show themselves very well.

Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting)
We had a number of encounters with this species, both at the lake and the “smelly stream”. Especially at the latter place, we had great views of perched individuals on both days.

Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris)
This species was heard and seen numerous times; plenty abide in the gardens.

Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala)
Seen only a couple of times and never very well. This little barbet was heard at some more places (the song seems to be much softer than that of other Megalaima barbets and reminded us of amphibians).

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus macei)
Several individuals were encountered, one of which was an albino (completely white except for a red cap).

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
One observation of a pair.

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Common, indeed.

Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster)
Abundant. Together with Cave Swiftlet (Collacalia linchi), this is the most numerous bird in the gardens.

Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Alophoixus bres)
Encountered a couple of times.

Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Two very dark-colored birds near the rattan garden.

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
A common species, which we heard almost everywhere in the garden. Contrary to some other trip reports, we found this bird relatively easy to see. Its red eye and bandit mask give this large oriole an “evil” look.

Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium)
Common, although quite secretive and more often heard than seen.

Bar-winged Prinia (Prinia familiaris)
A common sight in the garden and we also heard the noisy birds everywhere.

Hill Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)
A male seen around the Dutch cemetery. It was not vocalizing, but we just waited a while and it came sitting close by in the bamboo.

Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica)
Encountered a number of times. Maybe this species is easiest to see near the Dutch cemetery; a bird was vocalizing here and we saw one sitting on a cup-shaped nest in the bamboo.

Plain-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Encountered a number of times.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Anthreptes singalensis)
Encountered a number of times, said to be scarce in the botanical gardens.

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)
Encountered a number of times.

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis)
A bird was seen which resembled this species. However, this species is supposed to be quite rare in the gardens. Could it have been a Long-billed Spiderhunter (Arachnothera robusta) maybe?

Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor)
A lot of Flowerpeckers were heard, but the little bastards rarely showed themselves. We saw one that looked rather plain...

Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trochileum)
All the cooperative Flowerpeckers belonged to this species.

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Regularly encountered.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Common. We are not sure if this is a native or exotic species on Java.

Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides)

32 species in total

Other interesting animals:

Lizards spec.
A number of skinks and geckos were encountered, but we have no idea what species they belonged to. We did see some very nice large (30 cm or so) skinks (Mubaya multifasciata?).

Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator)
Some (sometimes quite large) monitors were encountered in and around the lake with the Night-heron roost. We are not sure about the correct English name of this species; is it “Water Monitor Lizard” or “Indonesian Monitor Lizard”?

Large Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus)
A number of these enormous bats were sunbathing (at least that is what it looked like) in one of the taller trees near the “Sunday gate” and the rattan garden.

Gunung Gede / Pangrango National Park & Cibodas Botanical Gardens – 18-25 May, 2005

Almost every birdwatcher visiting West Java pays a visit to Gunung Gede / Pangrango National Park, as most of Java’s endemic species can be found here. This is the number one place for montane endemics and offers great natural beauty on top of that. The semi-wild landscape of the botanical gardens of Cibodas is a nice addition. Most birdwatchers stay at Freddy’s Homestay, which has developed itself into the gathering place for visiting birdwatchers.

Freddy is a very kind host and took great care of us. He speaks Dutch rather fluently, which made it easy for us (Dutch being our native language). He also speaks some English and has English-speaking sons. The food was excellent and Freddy provided lunch and breakfast packages that we could take into the park. Don’t hesitate to get some beer in the food stalls along the road towards the park entrance; Freddy will put it in the fridge for you. He can not sell it himself, however, because he is a strict Muslim (he is the one screaming you awake from the mosque at 4 AM!).

Freddy has several sons who are into birdwatching, but we only met the youngest: Indra. Indra is a nice guy, who is quite fluent in English. He is very familiar with the local avifauna and is also into filming birds; he showed us some interesting movies (bird-related, yes) on his computer. Indra does not mind sharing his knowledge and we found his help very useful.

Indra can also guide you around. As we had a lot of time compared to most birdwatchers, we mostly tried to find the birds ourselves (and succeeded with almost all). However, during our stay, Indra was guiding another birdwatcher (Marc) and we joined them for about two days in total. This resulted in some nice additional birding experiences.

If you have little (preparation) time but do want to see as much as possible, it may be a good idea to retain his services. He even knows the time schedule of the flocks! Indra’s rate is 350,000 Rupiah a day. This is cheap according to Western standards, but you can still try to negotiate if you do not know any shame.

Although maybe a bit unethical and not much of a challenge, we made some use of taping (we had the equipment anyway because of our research in Kalimantan). We used this method for the Trogon and Lesser Shortwing successfully and for Pygmy Wren-Babbler without success.

Permits and places

Officially, you are required to carry a permit in order to enter the national park. It is theoretically possible never to pay an entrance fee; the guards normally only arrive at times a birdwatcher is already far into the park, and they are usually long gone when you get back. If you choose to do it the legal way (as we did): tickets can be obtained at the PHPA office. This office is only opened at illogical times from a birdwatcher’s point of view (9 AM until 3 PM), which makes it rather impractical to get a ticket. If it messes with your time schedule, just enter the park without a ticket. If someone asks you for a ticket, tell them you will get it on your way back.

For the permits, we were asked for copies of our passports and we had to pay 10,000 Rupiah. The permit was valid for three days and had to be extended for another three days afterwards (this could strangely be done without any added costs). We were a bit confused by the whole deal. It is not a problem to enter the national park early in the morning or even at the night, because the gate is always open.

To get to the national park from Freddy’s, walk straight on for about 500 meters past all kinds of market stalls, until you get to a barrier. The PHPA office is situated at your right side. Walk past the barrier, take the small path on the left and walk along the golf course (on your right>) until you see a small bridge on your left. Cross the bridge and you are at the entrance gate.

This gate is the start of the long, long trail to the summits of Gunung Gede and Pangrango. This trail leads from the entrance, through a small patch of reed swamp (which you pass by a recently built boardwalk), via the Blue Lake (1.6 km) towards a junction (2.3 km). This junction is hereafter referred to as “the junction”. The part of the trail towards the junction is marked by hectometer (HM) poles. Just past the entrance, there are two turn-offs: the dead end trail and the birdwatching trail. Both of these trails proved not to be all that interesting to us, but sometimes people see nice things here.

From the junction you can walk to the Air Terjun Cibeureum (the waterfalls; 2.6 km from the entrance). Another option is to climb the mountain towards the summit (9.7 km from the entrance) via Air Panas (the hot springs, 5.3 km) and Kandang Badak (the rhino hut, 7.7 km).

The Cibodas Botanical Gardens (in the text below referred to as botanical gardens) are closed (by a gate) in the morning. They open at 6:30 AM and tickets cost 4,000 Rupiah per person. It is however possible to enter them in the evening together with Indra. To get to the botanical gardens, just walk for about 250 meters from Freddy’s towards the national park. There is a turn-off towards the left (marked with big signs) which leads to the main entrance.

According to Freddy it is no problem to enter the golf course, as long as you don’t go plowing your way through the shiny green grass. When people stop you, just tell them you are looking for the Javan Hawk-Eagle (“Saya mau melihat Elang Jawa.”). Looking for that species from the golf course is actually not such a bad idea, because of the overview. Near the barrier mentioned before, there is a small path leading to the left via which you can enter the golf course. Another option is to follow the main road and enter the golf course through the main entrance.

Our (not always very intensive) schedule

May 18: Started in the gardens and birded there until 10 AM. Then entered the national park, where we checked first at the waterfalls and eventually went as far as the hot springs.

May 19: Started early to try to see Thrushes and Wren-Babblers on the trail. Waited at the waterfalls for raptors and walked a little bit in the direction of the hot springs. Took the afternoon off.

May 20: Went slowly towards the hot springs with the Trogon in mind. We eventually walked until the rhino hut and than walked back slowly. Full day of birding.

May 21: A Saturday. It would be quite busy in the park today, so our plan was to start early and outrun the masses. Alas, we overslept… This did however result in the observation of a White-bellied Fantail: a species which had not been recorded along the trail for years. We went to the waterfalls and back. Indra was guiding Marc and we obtained some nice bird-related information when we ran into them. We were back at the entrance early and went to check out the golf course. In the evening we paid a visit to the botanical gardens with Indra and Marc to search for Scops-Owls of whatever species (seen none).

May 22: Because Sunday is the busiest day of the week in the park, we did not even bother to go in. Instead, we went to a nesting site of Javan Hawk-Eagle with Indra and Marc. In the afternoon we joined them again in the botanical gardens for a Pygmy Tit hunt. In the evening we joined them for an unsuccessful search for Buffy Fish-Owl.

May 23: In the morning, we went to the camping site next to the golf course with Indra and Marc for Javan Kingfisher. Afterwards we entered the national park and birded there until the early afternoon, because the 24th…

May 24: …we climbed to the summit. We got up at 3 AM and started walking at 3:45. We took it easy and had some short breaks along the way. We reached the hot springs at 5:45 , the rhino hut at 6:45 and stood at the summit at 8:30. This makes 4 hours and 45 minutes of steady climbing. When we got bored of the spectacular view and dipping everything except the Swiftlet, we slowly tracked our way back. We got to the waterfalls at about 5 PM and waited until after dark, to try for Salvadori’s Nightjar. 16 satisfying hours of birdwatching.

May 25: This was our last day, which comprised of a fruitless search for Thrushes and such on the trail and Spotted Crocias in the trees. We went back in the early afternoon. We could not believe our luck when it also started to rain. We got back at Freddy’s completely soaked.

We found our visit to the Gunung Gede to be a very enjoyable experience. We birded in a more relaxed way than most people and this resulted in some nice and unique observations. Yet, we still managed to dip some things (e.g. those bastard Croci-asses!). Everybody misses some species and says they will be back again for them another time. Same here.

Our highlight species: Blue-tailed Trogon, Javan Cochoa, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Chestnut-bellied Partridge, White-bellied Fantail, Javan Frogmouth, Salvadori’s Nightjar, Javan Gibbon and many, many more

Biggest misses: Spotted Crocias, Sunda Minivet, Island and Scaly Thrush, Mountain Serin, Scops-Owls, Red Junglefowl, Javan Leaf Monkey

Gunung Gede / Pangrango NP & Cibodas Botanical Gardens species list

Crested Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
We had a great encounter with this species at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting spot. It came flying toward us, calling excessively. Indra mimicked the sound and the bird was so impressed that it responded with a courtship display! After a while, it perched in a nearby tree. When it flew off again it actually got into a fight with the Javan Hawk-Eagle. We also heard this species a couple of times in the national park.

Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis)
Two individuals were seen flying over the waterfalls, one adult and one immature. This species was also seen a couple of times, flying over the boardwalk through the reed swamp. The best views we had were of a pair and an immature that were hanging around at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting spot.

Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus)
We had a brief view of two birds (both light or intermediate morph) gliding over fast, high up in the sky at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting spot. We did not really expect this species, so this was a nice bonus.

Javan Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi)
Because we had no definite sightings of this species in the national park, botanical gardens or golf course yet, and to avoid the always very busy Sunday in the national park, we went to a nesting site of this species with Indra and Marc. It is possible to actually climb up the mountain so you can see the nest, but we decided it would be better, for us and for the birds, to be satisfied with flight views only (although Indra has sometimes seen it perched from the valley as well).

The nest site turned out to be a good spot for raptors and after waiting at most two non-boring hours, we were rewarded with nice views of the male flying above the spot where the nest should be. We heard the female (which was incubating at the time) calling towards the male.

Afterwards we (of course) also recorded the species in the national park itself. A bird was seen through the canopy, soaring low above the trail at about HM 13; short but nice views. Thanks goes out to the squirrels that notified us of the bird’s presence. We got a bit longer and better flight views when we were waiting at the blue lake for the nine o’ clock flock.

Furthermore, we had an amazing encounter just above the junction, maybe 50 meters along the trail towards the hot springs. A bird came flying by very close and perched at about 15 meter distance for a few seconds, just about one meter above the ground, before it flew of again. Absolutely stunning!

Spotted Kestrel (Falco moluccensis)
A pair was always present at or near waterfalls. Once we saw a third individual there as well.

Chestnut-bellied Partridge (Arborophila javanica)
One bird was seen (but there must have been more around, judging on the noise coming out of the vegetation) just behind the information center (HM 7). Another two were seen just before the rhino hut. We heard this species often, at different places in the national park and also at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting spot.

Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon (Treron sphenura)
A male was seen very well, close to the summit just before the wire section. Not often observed on the Gunung Gede, we believe.

Pink-headed Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus)
We observed this species only a couple of times, probably because there were no fruiting trees at the time. All individuals were found along the trail between the waterfalls and the hot springs. We heard several, once a bird came flying closer when the sound was mimicked, but landed somewhere out of site. Another time a bird landed above us, but with terrible light conditions. While we tried to move a bit to be able to see some colours, the bird had already flown off. No satisfying observations...

Little Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia ruficeps)
One bird landed in a tree next to the boardwalk through the reed swamp and showed itself well, before flying off again.

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
This species was seen only twice: one in the botanical gardens and one at the campsite next to the golf course.

Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
A species that is not often observed around here. A bird was flushed from the trail (the part from the entrance to the waterfalls) and landed in the trees along the trail, giving nice views.

Yellow-throated Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus pusillus)
Several (about 10) were seen and heard flying over in the botanical gardens. We also heard them sometimes in the national park, mostly along the path from the entrance towards the waterfall. No birds were seen perched.

Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus)
This species was heard daily in the national park, especially on the trail between the waterfalls and the hot springs. The sound of the resident race is slightly different from the one from mainland Asia ( “u-oe-oe” instead of “u-oe-oe-oe”, the “u” part being often difficult to hear). We did however hear the “normal” song once. We only saw one, which was flying by near the boardwalk through the reed swamp.

Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) and Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis)
We got quite confused by these species during our stay on Java and we did not realize we also heard Rusty-breasted (actually we heard that species the most), until we got back in Holland.

We heard the so called “cadence songs” of both species, which are quite different actually (and can both be found on the CD-Rom “Birds of Tropical Asia 2”).Both species also have a so called “rising song” (“piet-van-vliet”), which resembles each other quite a lot. It is this sound that got us confused.

We at least heard Plaintive in the botanical gardens and had a definite sighting of a bird here in flight. We heard Rusty-breasted often in the national park, but never saw it. It is also possible that we heard Rusty-breasted in the gardens and Plaintive up the mountain, but we can not remember the details.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris)
We heard and saw one well in the botanical gardens. We also saw one on the campsite next to the golf course. This species should also be possible in the national park.

Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Two individuals were heard along the trail from the entrance towards the waterfalls in the national park.

Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)
We heard this species in the fields near the Javan Hawk-Eagle nest site. Unfortunately we did not see it, as the Javan subspecies is said to be quite distinctive.

Javan Frogmouth (Batrachostomus javensis)
This species was found by Indra on a busy morning, 25 meters after HM 13 (from the entrance). A female was resting in upright position about 2.5 meters above the ground right next to the path. The bird seemed completely oblivious to the masses of visitors passing by (it was a Saturday). Indra also told us he knew some reliable resting sites for this species, so if you are interested, ask him! The sound of the different subspecies is said to differ considerably. We did not have any recordings of the Javan subspecies (the nominate). We did however hear a mournful whistle in the evening on the camp site next to the golf course which, according to Indra, was produced by this species.

Salvadori's Nightjar (Caprimulgus pulchellus)
We saw a Nightjar in the beam of our spotlight at the rightmost waterfall (at the waterfalls). We localised the bird because the eyes lit up red when we scanned with our flashlight from quite a distance (middle waterfall). It is always reported as being Salvadori’s (and Grey, the only other possibility at this altitude, doesn’t occur in May). Although we could not see any plumage details, it was a really cool sight.

Edible-nest Swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga)
All “larger” Swiftlets that were not flying around near the summit, were tentatively identified as this species (we did not see the really large ones). We saw them now and then in both the botanical gardens and in the national park.

Volcano Swiftlet (Collocalia vulcanorum)
Near the crater, we had nice views of this species soaring very close by at times. It is hard to estimate an exact number of birds, but we saw at least ten individuals together. By the way, there were also some Cave-swiftlets (Collocalia linchi) flying around near the summit.

Cave-Swiftlet (Collocalia linchi)
Abundant everywhere.

Blue-tailed Trogon (Harpactes reinwardtii)
Euphoria! One of the highlights of our visit to Java. We played a sound recording of the Sumatran subspecies (taken from the CD-Rom “Birds of Tropical Asia 2”) to lure this species into view. It worked: we had splendid views of a pair just before (+/- 500m) the hot springs. It is said that no one has ever actually heard the song of the Javan subspecies. Although “our” birds were very interested in the recording, they never replied with the same sound. They did however produce a strange “trrrrrrrr” sound.

This species looks quite different from the picture in MacKinnon & Phillipps: it is much darker iridescent blue on the back and the tail is even darker still. The head and breast-band are olive-brown and it has a bright green lore. The belly and throat are much brighter yellow and it has bright orange thighs (as a reference, see www.orientalbirdimages.org).

This species is sometimes placed in its own genus and the Javan and Sumatran subspecies are sometimes split into two distinct species. This results in Javan Blue-tailed Trogon (Apalharpactes reinwardtii) and Sumatran Blue-tailed Trogon (Apalharpactes mackloti).

Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting)
This species is not observed very often in or near the national park. We saw one that came flashing by over a small river at the terrain of the campsite next to the golf course. We also observed one fishing at the blue lake.

Javan Kingfisher (Halcyon cyanoventris)
Indra knew a reliable site for this species (a pond near the edge of the camping site next to the golf course). We had nice views of one bird flying and perched in a bare tree.

Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris)
This species was observed often (mostly only heard) in the botanical gardens and the lower parts of the national park. One was seen on the golf course too.

Brown-throated Barbet (Megalaima corvine)
We frequently heard this species in the national park, up to about the hot springs. One bird, which was joining a mixed species flock, was seen well on the path between the waterfalls and the hot springs.

Orange-fronted Barbet (Megalaima armillaris)
Frequently heard and also seen a number of times, along the trail from the entrance up to the hot springs in the national park.

Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus)
We encountered this species only twice, along the trail between the waterfalls and hot springs, one time joining a large mixed species flock.

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
One was seen in the fields near the Javan Hawk-Eagle nest site.

Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus)
We regularly heard this species along the trail from the entrance towards junction. They were always at some distance from the path. It was also heard at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nest site. We never saw them but did not really try either. It is a great bird however, so if you have never seen it before, try to! If taping is your thing, our experience is this works very well with Broadbills.

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Some birds were seen in the village of Cibodas and around the blue lake.

Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata
We saw quite a lot of them (10+) at the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting site and we also encountered a couple in Cibodas itself.

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
This species was encountered regularly in the botanical gardens and the trail from the entrance towards the junction.

Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike (Coracina larvata)
Singles were encountered twice, along the trail from the entrance towards the junction. The birds were foraging quietly, high up in the (in our case pine-) trees.

Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)
A pair was seen in the botanical gardens, in the trees around the rocky area, above the football field.

Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster)
A few were seen in the fields nearby Cibodas.

Orange-spotted Bulbul (Pycnonotus bimaculatus)
This species was frequently seen in the national park, especially along the boardwalk through the reed swamp, at the rhino hut and at the summit. One was also seen on the golf course.

Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Alophoixus bres)
A couple of times this species came checking out where that “pishing” sound was coming from, along the trail from the entrance to the junction.

Sunda Bulbul (Iole virescens)
We encountered this species quite often, alone or in flocks, in the national park up until the hot springs.

Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Not uncommon in both the botanical gardens and the national park.

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer)
Frequently seen alone, or in mixed species flocks, along the trail from the junction towards the hot springs.

Pygmy Tit (Psaltria exilis)
Only two encounters with “Java’s smallest bird”. A few individuals were seen foraging high up in a tree in a remote corner of the botanical gardens. We saw a few well along the trail from the entrance to the junction in the national park. They have also been observed higher up along the trail from the junction towards the hot springs.

Great Tit (Parus major)
A regularly encountered bird in the botanical gardens and in the national park to just above the junction. The birds look quite grey here compared to Europe.

Blue Nuthatch (Sitta azurea)
This species is common in the national park, at least up until the rhino hut. We also saw it in the botanical gardens.

Horsfield's Babbler (Malacocincla sepiarium)
A common bird in the lower parts of the national park.

Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler (Pomatorhinus montanus)
Twice a small party of this magnificent bird was seen along the trail between the junction and the hot springs.

Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler (Napothera epilepidota)
Two birds were seen very well on the trail from the entrance towards the junction just behind the information center. We also heard them a couple of times along the same trail.

Pygmy Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla)
Whenever you think you see a mouse, check again if it is not this great little bird! This species is common in the lower parts of the national park. The highest place we found it was at the rhino hut. We heard it often, but saw it only a couple of times. One bird could be approached at less than a meter distance and did not seem to be shy at all. Also heard here and there in the botanical gardens.

White-bibbed Babbler (Stachyris thoracica)
Two individuals were seen well, skulking through the vegetation along the boardwalk just before the waterfalls. Two times a group was encountered along the trail from the entrance to the junction near the blue lake in the national park. If you try to learn the sound you will probably encounter it more often.

Crescent-chested Babbler (Stachyris melanothorax)
This species is common in the national park, especially lower down. It is very sneaky however, but we did manage to obtain some nice views. We also heard this species in the botanical gardens.

Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush (Garrulax rufifrons)
One or two flocks of this species were encountered every time we walked the upper half of the trail between the junction and the hot springs (starting from the dirty toilet building).

White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius flaviscapis)
It turned out that this species is best localised by sound. Once we knew the sound we encountered several individuals in flocks and also had nice views.

Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius aenobarbus)
We often encountered one or two in mixed species flocks in the national park up to halfway of the trail towards the hot springs. One was also seen in the botanical gardens

Javan Fulvetta (Alcippe pyrrhoptera)
This species was encountered often in the national park, up to the hot springs.

Lesser Shortwing (Brachypteryx leucophrys)
We heard this species often, both along the trail from the entrance towards the junction and the trail between the junction and the hot springs. One individual was seen very close by on the path behind the information centre, after we played a sound recording.

White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana)
Note that the sound is different from the subspecies outside of Java: it resembles that of the previous species. We probably heard this species regularly, but did not study the sound. The species is sometimes encountered walking on the path, both between entrance and junction and junction and hot springs, but unfortunately not by us. It looked like we were going to dip this species, but luckily, while we were taking a rest at the shelter just before the hot springs, one suddenly jumped out of the bushes. It was a beautiful female, so we could actually see it belonged to the nominate subspecies. It foraged on some rice leftovers within two meters distance!

Sunda Blue Robin (Cinclidium diana)
We encountered these birds on several occasions along and on the trail from the entrance to the junction. We also saw a male along the trail from the junction towards the hot spring. This was actually the only bird that we also heard singing. The easiest place for this species seems to be just behind the information center.

Lesser Forktail (Enicurus velatus)
This species was regularly encountered and both males and females were seen very well while they were foraging. It turned out to be much more common than the next species. Some places we saw this species: in the stream before the park entrance, at the blue lake, at the junction, near the stream just after Kandang Batu (a shelter just past the hot springs), along the stream which bisects the botanical gardens.

White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti)
We saw this species only a couple of times, mostly in flight. The places we saw this species: at the edge of the blue lake, just before the junction, near the small waterfall just after Kandang Batu (a shelter just past the hot springs), near the small stream above the football field in the botanical gardens. Our best observation was of a bird at the blue lake, we saw it well while perched. It did not have a white crown, which indicates that it was a juvenile, but it did not seem to be all that brownish.

Javan Cochoa (Cochoa azurea)
We had a number of encounters with this species, either with singles or with a pair. We probably saw the same birds on several occasions, always at about the same spot, just before (+/- 500m) the hot springs. Nice views were obtained of both male and female, we saw no juveniles.

We thought we had seen this species as well as is reasonably possible, but we had an even better encounter at the rhino hut. When we walked back from the summit, we found a male sitting in a little tree, foraging on berries. The bird kept on eating there for a couple of minutes. This was all happening at eye level, just about ten meters away! Oddly enough it was very crowded and there was a group of Indonesian youth, shouting under the same tree!

Once again, this species does not look like the picture in MacKinnon & Phillipps (see www.orientalbirdimages.org to see what it does look like).

Sunda Whistling-Thrush (Myiophoneus glaucinus)
We encountered this species regularly, along the trail between the waterfalls and the rhino hut. They often forage on the open spaces near shelters and such, but fly off when people walk by. If you wait a little while they sometimes come back and approach you very closely. The Javan subspecies (the nominate) is sometimes considered a distinct species.

Sunda Thrush (Zoothera andromedae)
The first five hundred meters or so of the trail from the entrance towards the junction seem to be the best spot for this species. One bird was flushed from the trail behind the information center in the early morning (forgot to make a note where exactly). Unfortunately, we did not see any on the ground. Not a satisfying observation.

Sunda Warbler (Seicercus grammiceps)
A common bird at most altitudes in the national park. On some days, it seemed like half of the birds we encountered belonged to this species.

Mountain Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus trivirgatus)
This species is common at most altitudes in the national park.

Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium)
This species seemed to be reasonably common in the botanical gardens, but is not always very cooperative when you try to see it. We also encountered it a couple of times just past the entrance of the national park.

Mountain Tailorbird (Orthotomus cuculatus)
We found this bird to be not as common as reported. Only a few individuals were seen. We are not familiar with the whole vocal range of this species; we only knew the song (which was not like any other species of Tailorbird we had heard before).

Bar-winged Prinia (Prinia familiaris)
This is a common species in both Cibodas itself and in the botanical gardens.

Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris)
A few individuals were seen in the rough grassy terrain on the golf course. This species was also heard near the Javan Hawk-Eagle nest site. Unfortunately we did not get any nice views of this species, as we concentrated on the national park itself.

Javan Tesia (Tesia superciliaris)
This bird is common in the national park, at most altitudes. The lowest we observed them, was just before the boardwalk that leads to the waterfalls and the highest was along the trail from the rhino hut to the summit.

Sunda Bush-Warbler (Cettia vulcania)
This species is common at the summit but not easy to see. We eventually managed to get decent views there once. It was also heard and seen well at the rhino hut.

Indigo Flycatcher (Eumyias indigo)
This Flycatcher is common in the national park, at least up to the rhino hut.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra)
This bird is common in the national park at al altitudes. Indra also found a nest in a small dead tree along the boardwalk just before the reed swamp. From the boardwalk, we could look into the nest, which contained one hatchling and an egg.

Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni)
A common species in both the botanical gardens and the national park.

Rufous-tailed Fantail (Rhipidura phoenicura)
We did not see this species very often, but other people found it to be common. We saw a number of birds in the nine o’clock flock at the blue lake. The best views we had of two birds at the rhino hut.

White-bellied Fantail (Rhipidura euryura)
Yes, we were lucky enough to find one! This species had not been observed along the trail for years, although Indra does still observe the occasional one, once in a while, well off the trail. Judging from Freddy’s birding logbook, the last sighting from “outsiders” was in 1998. It is supposed to be a highly sought-after cage bird… One individual amazed us right next to the path between HM 3 and 4. Gunung Halimun is said to be an easy sight to see this species, but we were not planning on going there.

Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Some were heard and seen near the Javan Hawk-Eagle nesting site. It should also be possible on the golf course.

Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
A pair was seen a couple of times along the road from Freddy’s Homestay to the entrance of the national park (near that gate thingy).

White-flanked Sunbird (Aethopyga eximia)
This species was encountered quite often in both the botanical gardens and in the national park up until just below the summit.

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)
Regularly heard in the national park, but seen only a few times. One individual was seen in the botanical gardens.

Blood-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum sanguinolentum)
This species can best be seen in the botanical gardens, but it is also sometimes possible to obtain nice views at the boardwalk through the reed swamp in the national park.

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
This species proved to be abundant in the botanical gardens. It was also encountered in the lower parts of the national park. Oddly enough we saw both birds that looked liked the montane race and birds that looked like the lowland form (as in MacKinnon & Phillipps) in the same flocks. The “narrow yellow band down centre of the belly” is very hard to observe.

Javan Grey-throated White-eye (Lophozosterops javanicus)
A common species in both the botanical gardens and the national park (at all altitudes).

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
A common species in and around Cibodas itself and in the botanical gardens.

Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch (Erythrura hyperythra)
Seen on several places along the trail between the waterfalls and the summit. This species seemed to be more common between the hot springs and the rhino hut. Amongst others a nicely showing group was encountered foraging at the rhino hut. Apparently the juveniles had just fledged and we could easily locate them by their shrill, high-pitched begging calls. Adults were always near and we saw the young being fed a couple of times. The birds were always very approachable.

Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides)
A couple were seen in the botanical gardens and in a garden, along the road from Freddy’s Homestay to the entrance of the national park.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
A couple were seen in the fields near the Javan Hawk-Eagle nest site. About ten birds were seen in a garden, along the road from Freddy’s Homestay to the entrance of the national park.

88 species in total

Some dips and strings and such:

Eagle spec.
A raptor was briefly glimpsed, soaring above the forest edge from the reed swamp boardwalk. It was big and had a bit of a buffish colour… May have been Javan, may have been Changeable. We also saw an Eagle on the summit flying past close by, but the light conditions were so bad we could not see any details (Black Eagle is the only eagle observed at the summit according to Indra). We also saw a bigger Eagle being harassed by the Javan Hawk-Eagle at the blue lake.

Blue-breasted Quail (Coturnix chinensis)
We read in the logbook at Freddy’s it has been observed on the golf course once.

Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
This species is sometimes observed in the national park, especially at higher altitudes (rhino hut) where it is safe(r) from hunters.

Rufous Woodcock (Scolopax saturate)
We did not have a recording of the sound of this species. When we were walking to the summit in the early morning we constantly heard a sound, made by “something” flying over, that reminded of the high pitched part in the song of Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). However, the description of the sound in MacKinnon and Phillipps does not match. No idea what it could have been… We waited a little bit at the hot springs when we arrived there on our way to the summit, but were probably just a little bit too late (5:45 AM) to see this species flying past.

Sumatran Green-Pigeon (Treron oxyura)
This species has been observed higher up the Gede, above the hot springs.

Dark-backed Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula lacernulata)
This species has been observed higher up the Gede, above the hot springs.

Cuckoo-Dove spec. (Macropygia spec.)
Two times a Cuckoo-Dove of some sort was seen in a flash at the waterfalls.

Large Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides)
This species has been observed in the national park, but also during the northern summer (it should be a northern winter visitor). Maybe the “piet-van-vliet” sound made by Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) or Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis) has been mistaken for this species?

Buffy Fish-Owl (Ketupa ketupu)
We were surprised when Indra told us he knew a site where this species comes to hunt during the night. We tried it once, but were unsuccessful unfortunately.

Collared Scops-Owl (Otus lempiji)
This species is often encountered along the beginning of the trail from the entrance towards the junction. Not by us, but we did not really try. There has been some splitting in the Collared Scops-Owl complex so the form occurring in the Sunda region is also sometimes known as the Sunda Scops-Owl (still Otus lempiji).

Javan Scops-Owl (Otus angelinae)
Not many people seem to be positively sure whether they have seen this silent, mysterious species. There are some certain observations along the beginning of the trail from the entrance towards the junction. Most people however have only observed the “Mystery Scops-Owl” which is discussed next.

“Mystery Scops-Owl” (Otus spec.)
Indra knows where to find some Scops-Owls in the botanical gardens of which he is not sure which species it concerns. They resemble Collared Scops-Owl (Otus lempiji), but do not have a collar. Indra is almost obsessed with these birds; he is really interested in what they are exactly. We tried to find them one night, but had no luck.

Waterfall Swift (Hydrochous gigas)
This species is still regularly observed in the national park. We did not spend a lot of time checking all the Swiftlets though. In the early morning, the day we climbed to the summit, a large group of Swiftlets was rising near the hot springs. Some seemed to be bigger and had a different “jizz”. We did not pay much attention to them as they did not cooperate very well and we had to go on.

Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)
We read to our surprise in the logbook at Freddy’s Homestay that this species has been observed by several people. Indra also told us he has observed it. We listened to a recording of the sound we had and later heard an identical sound in the national park. This was at the beginning of the boardwalk through the reed swamp. Our conclusion is that this species is present in the national park in small numbers and it is well worth to look out for (it does look amazing!).

Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus)
We read in the logbook at Freddy’s Homestay, that this species has been observed a couple of times. We noticed that the Crimson-winged Woodpeckers (Picus puniceus) appeared to have a lot of red on the head…

Orange-backed Woodpecker (Reinwardtipicus validus)
This nice species has been observed now and then, but not by us.

Sunda Minivet (Pericrocotus miniatus)
Should be a common species, but we strangely enough did not encounter any. We did hear some Minivet-like sounds, so maybe they were close, but not close enough…

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
This species is also regularly observed, even within the forest. Is it possible that people regularly misidentify this species? We saw some racket-less Lesser Racket-tailed Drongos (Dicrurus remifer) and some very dark Ashy Drongos (Dicrurus leucophaeus), but no Blacks.

Large Wren-Babbler (Napothera macrodactyla)
We saw this species noted in the logbook at Freddy’s Homestay, years ago. Has it ever been observed for sure here? We thought this was a lowland species.

Spotted Crocias (Crocias albonotatus)
Bastards… This species is usually observed around the blue lake and along the trail from the junction towards the hot springs, but not by us.

Long-tailed Sibia (Heterophasia picaoides)
In the logbook at Freddy’s Homestay, we read about an observation of this species in the national park in 2002. The observer was certain of the identification and had previous experience with this species.

Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myiophoneus caeruleus)
This species has not been observed for years (therefore it was recorded now and than in the botanical gardens). According to Indra, it is gone completely.

Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina)
In the logbook at Freddy’s Homestay we read about a single observation. Has this species disappeared completely due to trapping? We did see one in a cage in Cibodas…

Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma)
Not seen, maybe because it was to busy the day we climbed to the summit. The resident subspecies (horsfieldi) is sometimes considered a distinct species: Horsfield’s Thrush (Zoothera horsfieldi)

Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus)
We climbed all the way to the summit but did not see this species (although it is supposed to be relatively easy). Kind of a downer.

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
A bird was observed which really looked like this species (grey instead of olive) along the boardwalk through the reed swamp. Yeah, whatever. Distinguishing between this one and Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium) is not always as easy as it seems.

Yellow-bellied Warbler (Abroscopus supercilliaris)
We saw this species noted sometimes in the logbook at Freddy’s. We did not see it. The song does resemble that of Sunda Blue Robin (Cinclidium diana) a bit…

Grey-headed Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis)
We did not find this species. According to Indra, the species has suffered from excessive trapping.

Glossy Starling spec. (Aplonis spec.)
An out of place Glossy Starling landed in the trees around the blue lake and showed itself for a little while before flying off again. Two species occur on Java: Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor) and Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis). To distinguish the two, you have to see them very well, which we did not.

Long-billed Spiderhunter (Arachnothera robusta)
This species has been observed by several people, but not with certainty by us unfortunately. Spiderhunters are always a real identification challenge and the fact that they hardly ever sit still does not make it any easier! We once saw a bird which we tentatively identified as Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis) at the time. However, this species is not supposed to occur at such a high altitude. Based on the photographs at www.orientalbirdimages.com, both species are not so different as MacKinnon & Phillips suggest. Our sighting of the unidentified spiderhunter took place in the botanical gardens at the rocky area above the football field, by the way.

Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor)
A plain-looking flowerpecker (did not seem to be a juvenile) was seen in the botanical gardens.

Mountain White-eye (Zosterops montanus):
We saw this species noted in the logbook at Freddy’s, but according to MacKinnon & Phillipps it should not occur on Gunung Pangrango (and therefore we presume also not on Gunung Gede). Note that the lowland form of Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) also occurs in the botanical gardens, the national park and even on the golf course.

Mountain Serin (Serinus estherae)
Unfortunately, we did not see this species. We did however hear a sound that reminded us of Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) just before we reached the crater. Not very spectacular indeed. Was this our reward for climbing all the way to the top?!

Javan Leaf Monkey (Trachyppithecus cristata)
Said to be not uncommon in the national park, but we did not find a single individual of this endemic primate. The fact that we did (and do) not exactly know what it looks like, and how it should differ from Ebony Leaf Monkey (Trachyppithecus auratus), certainly contributed to this dip.

Other interesting organisms:

Frog spec.
We saw and heard several species of frogs, but have no idea which ones exactly…

Snake spec.
A snake was seen along the trail between the junction and the hot springs. It did not cooperate, so we can not even begin to identify it to species level. It was black, that’s all we can tell you.

Bunglon (Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus)
We found one of these lizards on the ground at the dead end trail. We captured it, but forgot to bring our camera…

False Calotes Lizard (Pseudocalotes tympanistriga)
One seen on a tree next to the half-broken boardwalk at the blue lake and one on the trail from the entrance to the junction.

Common Sun Skink (Mabuya multifasciata)
This big species of Skink was seen in Freddy’s garden.

Treeshrew spec.
Several species were seen, some small and some medium-sized, but we are not sure which.

Mouse spec.
Most mice we thought to see turned out to be Wren-Babblers! We did however saw a couple on the path when we walked during the middle of the night towards the summit.

Squirrel spec.
Lots of them. Arboreal and ground-dwelling species, again we are not sure which.

Red Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista petaurista)
One seen in the Botanical Gardens after dusk, while searching for the “Mystery Scops-Owl”. It was seen just sitting still and gliding from tree to tree – it is huge!

Javan Gibbon (Hylobates moloch)
This endemic and endangered primate was heard daily in the national park, mostly around the junction. We saw some individuals very well (but at quite a distance) from the boardwalk towards the waterfalls. When we were at the nesting site for Javan Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi) we also heard some Gibbons calling from the hill. We walked up the hill and into the forest (steep and slippery) and Indra mimicked the sound. Soon after, we had brief but brilliant views of one individual very close by.

Ebony Leaf Monkey (Trachyppithecus auratus)
Regularly encountered between HM 11 and 13.

Mongoose spec. (Herpestes spec.)
One seen running away in the botanical gardens, near the national park entrance.

Pig spec. (Sus spec.)
Some Wild Pigs were heard along the dead end trail and one was seen foraging near the information centre, but ran off as soon as it noticed us.

Crustaceans spp.
During a fruitless search for the Buffy Fish-Owl (Ketupa ketupu) we found a nice pool underneath a waterfall on the camp site terrain next to the golf course. In the pool we found a Crab and some Shrimps. We did not expect to find this kind of animals in the mountains.

Fungus spec.
When we walked back through the dark along the trail from the entrance to waterfalls, we saw some illuminescent mushrooms. Interesting.

And many more…

Carita Beach – 26-29 May, 2005

Most of Java’s forests are gone, but Carita is still home to some remnant patches of lowland rainforest. This is an easy place to score most of the lowland endemics and other niceties along an accessible trail, which is why it is a popular destination for birdwatchers.

On the right side of the road from Labuan to the north, an archway marks the entrance to a hutan wisata (recreation forest). Our hotel, Niguadharma, was located about 500 meters north from there along the main road. To get into the forest proper, walk past the few houses until you get to some degraded forest. Just walk straight on, following the well-maintained trail, ignoring the trails that split off to the left (to some vegetable garden) and the right (to a pondok wisata). After some walking through degraded forest, you will find a small entrance booth (loket) where you can buy your ticket to get to the waterfall (air terjun): 3,750 Rupiah per person (we only found people here during the weekends).

After passing the entrance booth, you will cross some more degraded forest, until you get to a piece of “primary” forest, where the trail narrows down and gets a bit steeper and a lot more slippery. Eventually, you’ll end up at the Curug Gendang waterfall, which marks the end of the trail (3 kilometers). Be aware that the weather can get quite sticky during the day.

According to Birding Indonesia, the end of the path through the degraded forest leads to a patch of “semi-primary rainforest”. Some trip reports already mentioned the further degradation of the forest and we noticed the very same. The patch of semi-primary rainforest is a forest alright, but it has been partially logged and parts uphill have been converted into banana plantations. We encountered lots of people in the forest, gathering fruit and bamboo. We also saw people with dogs and rifles. A local told us that much of the forest had been cut down five years ago and that bird-trapping is a popular waste of time in the park. At the entrance of the forest, we noticed the local garbage heap too.

Spending here one or two days should be enough, but we took it easy (as usual). For food, drinks and supplies, we recommend rumah makan Diminati (which is also mentioned in Birding Indonesia). Sadly, they had no (cold) beer in store at the time of our visit, maybe because we were about the only tourists around… Their nasi goreng made up for this disappointment: it was divine!

Our highlight species: Black-banded Barbet, White-breasted Babbler, Grey-cheeked Tit-Babbler, Javan Sunbird, Javan Barred Owlet, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Banded Kingfisher, Banded Pitta, Savanna Nightjar, Wreathed Hornbill

Biggest misses: Blue Whistling Thrush, Black-crested Bulbul, Crested Jay, Mangrove Whistler, Javan Leaf Monkey

Carita Beach species list

Crested Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
We heard at least two birds, calling towards each other. We saw one bird flying past and had a great observation of a perched bird, being mobbed by Collared Kingfishers (Todirhamphus chloris).

Javan Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi)
We found one bird circling low above us along the trail before the entrance hut to the park.

Eagle spec.
We had an encounter with a strange eagle, which seemed to be almost completely white. We could only see the breast, which contained some black marking. We suspect it to have been a juvenile Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus), but the light circumstances were absolutely terrible. When it flew off, it was followed by a dark Eagle spec., of which we could observe even less details.

Green-Pigeon spec. (Treron spec.)
We saw a Green-Pigeon, but did not pay much attention to it as the distance was great and the light conditions were poor. Based on the literature, it was most likely Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeon (Treron griseicauda) or Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (Treron vernans).

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
This species was common along the trail through the degraded forest.

Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
One bird was flushed from the trail through the “primary” forest and a second one was seen flying past here.

Banded Bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii)
Heard daily in the degraded forest.

Plaintive / Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus / sepulcralis)
We heard one of this species (or both) often, but can not remember what sound we heard exactly.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris)
This species seemed to be quite common. We saw it a couple of times.

Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
One bird was heard every morning in the degraded forest.

Collared Scops-Owl (Scops lempiji)
A couple of birds were heard when we walked the trail in the evening, both in the “primary” forest as in the degraded forest, but they did not call very excessively. We once saw one shooting by in the beam of our flashlight. We also heard calls which we suspect to be begging calls of juveniles of this species.

Javan Barred Owlet (Glaucidium castanopterum)
We did not dare to hope seeing this species! We noted a bird by daytime because it was being mobbed by songbirds, amongst others Grey-cheeked Bulbuls (Alophoixus bres). It flew by and landed deeper into the “primary” forest, but could still be seen from the path. Unfortunately it flew off again after a short period, and only the back of the bird could be seen while it was perched.

Javan Frogmouth (Batrachostomus javensis)
We heard a mourning, plaintive whistle, similar to the one we heard at Cibodas. Not sure about that one, could it have been the begging call of a juvenile Collared Scops-Owl (Scops lempiji)?

Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis)
We heard several birds calling just after dusk, the first evening we tried for night birds. The second evening we heard none, but saw one bird flying past in the twilight. When we walked back we found an individual sitting on the path right in front of us. Excellent views! All in the degraded forest.

Edible-nest Swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga)
All “larger” Swiftlets were tentatively identified as this species.

Cave-Swiftlet (Collocalia linchi)
A common species. There was a small colony situated in our hotel, where these tiny birds could be seen sitting on their nests.

Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis)
We had a couple of this species flying around and saw one bird perched in the degraded forest.

Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella)
We heard this species a couple of times, but feared that we (again) were not going to see it. We were very happy to eventually find a beautiful female, sitting on a bare branch at eye level, within about ten meters. The bird could be observed for several minutes, before it flew off. This all happened in the “primary” forest.

Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris)
We encountered this noisy species often along the trail though the degraded forest.

Wreathed Hornbill (Aceros undulates)
A pair came flying by (noticed by the sound of their wing beats) and landed in a tree along the trail through the degraded forest for a couple of minutes, before flying off again.

Black-banded Barbet (Megalaima javensis)
This species was not vocalising very intensively; we only heard a few birds a couple of times (“tooooktook-took-took”). We did however find a nicely showing group of about four birds foraging along the trail through the “primary” forest. Both the sound and shape reminded us of the Red-throated Barbet (Megalaima mystacophanos).

Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima australis)
This species was more common than the previous and was heard often in the “primary” forest. We did not see this species, but did not try either.

Common Goldenback (Dinopium javanense)
One bird was seen at quite a distance, in a bare tree along the trail through the degraded forest. We heard this species calling a few times as well, so we do not believe we confused it with Greater Goldenback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus).

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
We encountered this species twice, once in the degraded forest and once in the “primary” forest.

Sunda Woodpecker (Picoides moluccensis)
One bird was calling vividly and was quite approachable, in the trees on the other side of the main road next to our hotel. We also encountered several birds in the degraded forest.

Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus)
We heard this species only a couple of times, always in the distance.

Banded Pitta (Pitta guijana)
We heard a number of birds calling towards each other when we walked through the degraded forest towards the entrance of the “primary” forest. The last day we wanted to try and tape lure this species; they all kept quiet, so unfortunately no sightings of this beautiful species.

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
We saw some birds flying above the beach.

Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike (Hemipus hirundinaceus)
We encountered this species often in both the degraded as the “primary” forest.

Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)
We saw a couple of individuals, sometimes very well, along the trail through the “primary forest”.

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
We heard this species often and also saw it a few times, both in the degraded as in the “primary” forest.

Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)
We had only two encounters with a male of this species in the “primary” forest.

Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps)
Seen only once in the degraded forest.

Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster)
Seen only a couple of times in the degraded forest.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
Seemed to be common in the degraded forest.

Cream-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus simplex)
We encountered small flocks of this species a couple of times, all along the trail. Note that this species usually has reddish eyes on Java, not white.

Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Alophoixus bres)
We encountered this species quite often in the “primary” forest.

Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Based on the altitude constraints given in MacKinnon & Phillipps for this species and the Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus), we should only be able to see the latter. The birds we saw, however, were Ashy… Can Black Drongo be as grey-coloured as Ashy? We have seen it the other way around. Confusing! The birds were seen a couple of times along the part of the trail through the secondary forest.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
We observed this bird several times along the trail through the “primary” forest.

Great Tit (Parus major)
We saw this species twice in the degraded forest.

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis)
We encountered this species often in the trees along the trail, both through the degraded forest as through the “primary” forest. Once we saw to birds hanging around what appeared to be their nest hole.

Black-capped Babbler (Pellorneum capistratum)
We encountered this species often. The birds looked quite different from the Black-capped Babblers we encountered on Kalimantan (reddish face and supercillium) and also the sound was different (reminding of the Javan subspecies of Horsfield’s Babbler, the nominate). For a moment we thought we were dealing with Temminck’s Babblers (Pellorneum pyrrogenys), but what do we know...

Horsfield's Babbler (Malacocincla sepiarium)
We heard several birds in the degraded forest.

White-breasted Babbler (Stachyris grammiceps)
We did not have a recording of the song of this species. When finally a bird got into view, we could place the song with the species. It turned out that that “strange sound” which we had been hearing, was (as we suspected) made by this species. The sound can best be described as a drawn out, insect-like “trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…”, slightly increasing in pitch and volume towards the end. They seemed to sing this song most when they were solitary (or at least not very close to one another). Within a congregation, they made typical Babbler churrs. We saw this species well a couple of times and only observed it in the “primary” forest.

Crescent-chested Babbler (Stachyris melanothorax)
We heard this species a couple of times in the degraded forest, but never got to see it well.

Grey-cheeked Tit-Babbler (Macronous flavicollis)
We thought this species would resemble the Striped Tit-Babbler (Macronous gularis), based on the plates in MacKinnon and Phillips. It did not… Flocks were regularly encountered along the trail through the degraded forest. We heard the “chunk-chunk-chunk” sound that we knew of Striped Tit-Babbler being made by this species. This sound is not described in MacKinnon and Phillips.

Lesser Forktail (Enicurus velatus)
We only saw this species twice along the river.

Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myiophoneus caeruleus)
One bird was seen flashing by when looking down upon the river from the trail through the “primary” forest. Not a satisfying observation.

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)
We heard the song of this species from the trees along the beach.

Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)
This species was quite common and observed (mostly heard) often.

Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium)
This species was sometimes seen, but mostly heard, in the degraded forest.

Bar-winged Prinia (Prinia familiaris)
We encountered this species regularly in the degraded forest.

Fulvous-chested Jungle-Flycatcher (Rhinomyias olivacea)
We heard at least two birds singing and saw this species twice. This all happened in the “primary” forest.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Anthreptes singalensis)
This species seemed to be the commonest Sunbird in the forest.

Javan Sunbird (Aethopyga mystacalis)
This noisy Sunbird is easy to notice when you know the sound. We did not, as we had no recordings of this species. One of many unknown sounds we heard turned out to be this species. We had nice views of a male, which was sitting still while preening and vocalising loudly. The song is a constant, Flowerpecker-ish, high-pitched “tsit-tsit-tsit-tsit-tsit etc.”. In total we heard at least three birds along the trail through the degraded forest.

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)
Commoner than the next species.

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis)
Seen a couple of times in the “primary” forest.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)
All the Flowerpeckers for which we took the effort to identify, turned out to be this species.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Common around the village.

Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides)
Seen a couple of times, both in the degraded forest and above the waterfall.

57 species in total

Other interesting organisms:

Skink spec.
We saw a large number of skinks on the path, more than we were used to in other places. We at least saw what we suspect is Common Sun Skink (Mubaya multifasciata), but also some other types.

Lizard spec.
We saw a nice Agamid Lizard, which was green with a crest of spines. We have no idea which species it was however. Also some arboreal Agamids.

Gecko spec.
Of course we saw a lot of Gecko’s around in the village. We also heard one of the larger tree-dwelling species in the forest, producing its distinctive, loud “to-keh” sound.

Squirrel spec.
A lot of squirrels were observed, of different species, which we could not identify, as usual… That is what you get, if you do not have any suitable literature.

Ebony Leaf Monkey (Trachyppithecus auratus)
A few seen along the trail through the “primary” forest.

Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
Several encountered in the “primary” forest.

Common Palm-Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)?
When we walked back along the trail through the dark, we had an amazing encounter with a Palm-Civet. This mammal was sitting quietly in a tree and could be observed from close by, for about ten minutes.

Muara Angke – 30-31 May, 2005

Muara Angke is a tiny wetland reserve located in the midst of urban Jakarta, near the Pantai Indah Kapuk housing estate. It was once a rich area full of waterbirds, but it has been thoroughly encroached by housing estates and the remaining area is rather polluted. Still, it is supposedly one of the last remaining sites to spot the endangered and endemic Sunda Coucal, as well as some other nice species, most of which are waterbirds.

Upon arriving at the site, we were relieved the reserve was actually still there (the last reports we read, mentioning the further degradation of the area, were already four years old). We climbed the rusty and heavily run-down watchtower and found out the reserve was indeed tiny. The view is far from spectacular and we could only find a single dirty mudflat, right next to some cottages. This completely diminished our hope of seeing any Javan Plovers or Milky Stork, especially seeing as the feeding area mentioned in Birding Indonesia seems to have disappeared as well. Small boats came by on the river all the time and everything seemed (and smelled!) rather dirty. The boardwalk further into the mangroves has been completely broken for years now, and we could not walk further than about 30 meters.

You will do best to spend most of your birding time here on the watchtower. Look out here for the Coucal and passing Egrets, Darters, Cormorants, Starlings and other goodies. Some of the commoner species can be seen nearby at eye level, which is always nice.

We read in other trip reports that people still found Javan Plovers and such by driving around in the nearby area, looking for remnant patches of wetland among the construction work. We did not find any; it seemed that everything has now been converted to cultivated area.

Spending one or maybe two mornings here should be enough, depending on how quickly you find the Sunda Coucal. We spend two mornings without seeing it! This, and the fact that Muara Angke is the perfect example of the enormous destruction of nature that is taking place on Java, made it all a bit of a saddening experience. It seemed like the out of control Long-tailed Macaques were mocking us.

Our highlight species: Black-winged Starling, Javan Myna, Racket-tailed Treepie, Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo, Black-crested Bulbul

Biggest misses: Sunda Coucal, Javan Plover, Milky Stork, etcetera, etcetera.

Muara Angke species list

Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
Several were seen flying by from the watchtower.

Oriental darter (Anhinga melanogast)
Several were seen flying by.

Grey Heron (Area cinerea)
Two were seen from the watchtower.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Three were seen, closely passing the watchtower.

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)
Seen a few times flying over the river.

Javan Pond-Heron (Ardeola speciosa)
Several seen flying by.

White-breasted Waterhen (Amourornis phoenicurus)
Seen a couple of times, crossing the river in flight.

Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (Treron vernans)
A pair was seen close by in the mangrove area underneath the watchtower. Several Green-Pigeons were also seen flying by; they were most likely this species too.

Island Collared-Dove (Streptopelia bitorquata)
Several came flying by the watchtower.

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Seen several times.

Plaintive / Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus / sepulcralis)
We heard one of this species (or both) around the watchtower, but can not remember what sound we heard exactly. We saw it once in flight, but could not observe any details.

Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis)
One of the nicer species at Muara Angke. We saw this Cuckoo very well, close by at eye level from the watchtower a few times.

Sunda Coucal (Centropus nigrorufus)
A Coucal was heard upon entering the reserve. It looked like good start, but sadly none were seen… Our biggest dip on Java.

Edible-nest Swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga)
All “larger” Swiftlets were tentatively identified as this species.

Cave-Swiftlet (Collacalia linchi)
Several were seen from the watchtower.

Small Blue Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens)
One came flashing by the watchtower.

Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris)
Seen and heard once from the watchtower.

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus macei)
A pair showed themselves quite well in the mangrove area underneath the watchtower.

Sunda Woodpecker (Picoides moluccensis)
One appeared at eye level next to the watchtower a couple of times.

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
There were several flying about.

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Several were seen and heard. This species can also been seen at eye level from the watchtower.

Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus)
A nice surprise. We saw one well from the watchtower.

Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster)
Seen a couple of times.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
Commoner than the previous species.

Racket-tailed Treepie (Crypsirina temia)
Two were seen in the trees bordering the river and they seemed to be flying to and fro all the time.

Great Tit (Parus major)
A few near the watchtower.

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)
Several near the watchtower, also appearing at eye level at the watchtower.

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
One seen well around the watchtower.

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Several were seen at the start of the boardwalk.

Bar-winged Prinia (Prinia familiaris)
Several were seen near the watchtower. We also found a nest in the mangrove area and another one underneath the watchtower.

Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica)
Several were hanging around at the watchtower and could be observed well.

White-breasted Wood-Swallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)
A few seen performing their bee-eater-like flight above the mangrove area.

Glossy Starling spec. (Aplonis spec.)
Several seen flying by.

Black-winged Starling (Sturnus melanopterus)
A few seen flying by and perched from the watchtower.

Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)
Several seen flying by from the watchtower. Two were seen on the ground on the right side of the river, too.

Plain-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Seen from the watchtower.

Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
Several seen from the watchtower.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Seen flying by from the watchtower.

Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides)
Seen flying by from the watchtower.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
A few seen in the trees in front of the watchtower. Strange detail is the fact that we saw one with a green breast; it had been painted! We already heard from Indra that there were painted Scaly-breasted Munias to be found in Muara Angke. Quite strange indeed…

39 species in total

Other interesting organisms:

Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
A pack of these primates was up to no good, when we where standing on the watchtower. They acted quite threatening, but we stood our ground. When we started acting threatening, the monkeys turned out not to be that brave at all; they kept their distance and we could continue with dipping the Coucal.