Thursday, 26 December 2013

Way Kambas National Park 1

Following an uneventful ferry journey across the Sunda Strait we drove just under 3 hours to an amazingly good lodge just outside the entrance to Way Kambas. This is an amazing area which protects a huge area of lowland rainforest which is home to some of south-east Asia’s most wanted birds. After a delicious lunch we drove into the park and began walking along the road which is bordered by dense forest either side. A number of birds were calling but not responding at first, however we did get views of Chestnut-rumped Babbler, Yellow-bellied and Cream-vented Bulbuls, Little Green-Pigeon, Red-billed Malkoha, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike, Spectacled Spiderhunter, Fiery Minivet and some previously seen species. We also experienced our first period of rain on the tour so far that hampered our birding and we had to take shelter in the cars on a couple of occasions. But whilst doing this a male Crested Fireback appeared right next to us and was later seen walking along the road behind us. Just as it was getting dark a Red-crowned Barbet began calling above us and we had views through the scope.

Crested Fireback

Way Kambas is known for its night birds and it didn’t disappoint us either as a Large Frogmouth was called in and everyone enjoyed cracking views in the spotlight. As if that wasn’t enough, I played a short cut of Oriental Bay Owl call and we got an immediate response. Unfortunately the bird just called back from inside the forest, so we had to walk inside, clambering over fallen trees and trying to be quiet - not really expecting the bird to remain. But due to the diligence of our local guide, Harry, what can only be described as ‘mind-blowing’ views were had of a female perched a mere 10 yards away for several minutes. Wow!

Large Frogmouth

Oriental Bay Owl

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