Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Bali Barat National Park

Aside from the Bali Starling, the northwest of Bali was a really enjoyable place to be. It was packed full of decent birds - with Javan Banded Pitta commonly calling in riverside forest for example. However, just for the wow factor and the colours you never see on a bird in the UK/WP, Rufous-backed Kingfisher stole the show for me in this habitat. And that's saying something as any bird finds it hard to top a Pitta!
Rufous-backed Kingfisher

Bumbrun, again within the confines of the national park, was stacked full of birds. From the start, a roosting Savannah Nightjar posed well in the early morning light and then, while looking for the endangered Black-winged Starling (which I managed to see), there were quite a few Java Sparrows buzzing around - this species is a common site unfortunately in captivity, and Bali is apparently the stronghold for this species compared to Java these days. Though the birds breed in dry scrub/monsoon forest, when they're not breeding they head to the rice fields where they can easily be mist netted.
Savannah Nightjar

Java Sparrow

Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters were actually quite common, and one posed really well while I was looking out into Gilimanuk Bay - nice to see some Beach Thick-knees again (three of them) as they were one of my favourite species when I was in Oz. Also visited some a site for Green Junglefowl and ended the day at Banyuwedang where I got some cracking views of Javan Plover as well as a couple of flighty Sunda Teal. Apparently this site will be long gone in the future - plans to build an airport in this unspoilt part of the island will open it up for more mass tourism...
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Green Junglefowl - looks good enough to eat?

Javan Plover

The only species I was keen to see that I didn't in northwest was Great-billed Heron. The tide was in at Bumbrun, where there's meant to be one that favours the mangroves. Then I drew a blank at Gilimanuk. Having dipped this species on the Daintree River in Queensland in 2003, hopefully I may finally put this species to rest tomorrow at Serangan... we'll see!

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