Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Gunung Gede, West Java Part 1

Am currently half way through a West Java and Sumatra tour and this is the first internet connection we have had so far. Things have gone well so far and the bonus is there has hardly been any rain at all! So here's the first report from the first birding site at Gunung Gede.......

Following a long flight via Dubai we eventually arrived in Jakarta on the evening of the second day and stayed at a very nice airport hotel for the night. The following morning we had a leisurely breakfast before setting out on the 3 hour drive to Gunung Gede, stopping at a rest area along the highway where Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Javan Munia, Oriental White-eye and Spot-breasted Woodpecker were seen. After lunch at the hotel we drove the short distance into the hills and had decent scope views of the endemic Javan Kingfisher after a bit of a run-around. 

Javan Kingfisher - distant record shot

A short distance along one of the many trails here resulted in close Lesser Shortwing, Pygmy Cupwing and cracking close-ups of an Eye-browed Wren-babbler. As it became dark we had a pair of Salvadori’s Nightjars perching on a bare branch overhead, but rather disappointingly Javan Frogmouth and Sunda Scops-owl were only heard – but we’d see those soon enough!

Pygmy Cupwing

Our first full day here began with a Javan Frogmouth in the spotlight as we headed back up the mountain. The trail is rocky and uneven all the way but it was dry and sunny again which made things easier. 

Trilling Shrike-Babbler

Javan Tesia - endemic of the mountains in Java

Pied Shrike-babbler (female)

Pied Shrike-babbler (male)

Rufous-tailed Fantail - endemic of higher elevations

In fact it was a great day with numerous flocks encountered and we found most of the key endemics and other goodies starting with Sunda Whistling-thrush, followed by Javan Owlet, Flame-fronted Barbet, Orange-spotted and Javan Bulbuls, Javan Tesia, Javan (Chestnut-backed) Scimitar-babbler, Crescent-chested and White-bibbed Babbler, Pied and Trilling Shrike-babblers, Javan Fulvetta, Sunda Blue Robin, White-flanked Sunbird, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Javan Grey-throated White-eye, and a heard only Javan Cochoa

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