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JAVA MAIN ISLAND

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# Species:505
# Excl Vagrants:505
# Endemics:61
# Near Endemics:5

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Java is the most populous island in the world. As such, much of the original habitat is seriously degraded. The island is almost entirely of volcanic origin. West Java is wetter than East Javan and originally supported tropical rainforest and mangroves. Only remnant forests remain. East Javan supports dry savanna where endemic mammals such as Javan Rhinoceros and others remain in small numbers. Birders most frequently visit West Java, especially Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park where most Javan endemics can be found.

MUARA-ANGKE NATURE RESERVE

Muara-Angke Nature Reserve is located at the mouth of the Angke River in northwest Jakarta. It's surrounded by urban development that was once marsh land and the river itself is an open sewer. Despite its omnipresent rank order, birding in the reserve is very good. There is a raised boardwalk through the reserve which began sinking immediately after it was built and is not in good repair but remains usable. The number one target bird is Sunda Coucal, which can be seen from the boardwalk or by walking around the perimeter of the reserve. Other interesting birds include Black-winged Starling, a critically endangered species that is becoming increasingly rare but remains there in small numbers. Other interesting birds include Black Bittern, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, and Sunda Woodpecker.

PAMANUKAN

Pamanukan is an area of coastal mangroves, fish ponds, and rice paddies located about 1½ hours drive east of Jakarta along the north coast. The area is famous as a former stronghold of the Sunda Lapwing, once common there but not seen since 1940 and presumed to be extinct. The mangroves at Pamanukan are where Javan White-eye is most easily found, though it can still take some time. Nearby shrimp ponds are the best place to find Javan Plover. The open rice fields are home to the increasingly rare White-capped Munia along with the more common but also declining Javan Munia. Golden-bellied Gerybone is present in large numbers.

PULAU DUA

Pulau Dua is an area of coastal fish ponds and mangroves located about 75km north of Jakarta. It was once the best spot to find Javan White-eye en route to Carita but the species is now difficult to find there. The best birding is between the road and the coast. The fish pond is a likely place to look for Javan Plover and other waders, while the small clump of mangroves is the best place to look for Javan White-eye. Also possible is Milky Stork and Red Avadavat.

PULAU RAMBUT

Rambut Island is located just outside the Jakarta Harbor and is reached via a short boat trip from the village of Tanjung Pasir. Many Christmas Island Frigatebirds are usually observable from the boat. Also occasionally present seasonally are Aleutian Terns. The main attraction on the island is a big herony where a few pairs of Milky Stork are present during breeding season. The island is also a good place to find Javan Myna, which is becoming increasingly rare on the main island.

CARITA FOREST

Carita Forest is located is located on the east coast of Java along the main coastal road. It's about 3-4 hours drive from Jakarta. Most of the forest around Carita consists of planted Eucalyptus that is poor for birding but a small patch of native forest remains. The latter is very good for a variety of lowland forest endemics. The best day time birding is along the main trail and any side trails. Javan Banded-Pitta can be found almost anywhere in the forest. Black-banded Barbets are regularly seen along the first section of the trail to the waterfall. Other endemics include Javan Cuckooshrike, Gray-cheeked Tit-Babbler, White-breasted Babbler, and Javan Sunbird. At night the first section of track between the car park and forest edge is very good for Javan Frogmouth, while the area around the car park is good for Javan Owlet. It's also possible to see a Leopard Cat along the trail at night.

TANGKUBAN PERAHU

Tangkuban Perahu is an 1800m volcano located north of Bandung in northwest Java. Forest on the volcano is heavily degraded but forest patches remain along the access road that goes all the way to the summit. The road allows easy accessto higher montane specialties such as Volcano Swiftlet, Sunda Bush Warbler, and Island Thrush.

GUNUNG GEDE-PANGRANGO NATIONAL PARK

Gede-Pangrango National Park is located southwest of Jakarta and is easily accessed by road. It's the best birding spot for endemics in Java and is worth spending several days there. Several sites are worthwhile in the park. Birding can be challenging, especially since a lot of people visit the park and trekkers along the main trail disturb the birds.

The Cibodas Botanic Gardens is located at the end of the road just before the park entrance. The gardens feature open areas and patches of natural forest. The open canopy along wide roadways makes viewing of canopy species easier than in forests within the park. Notable spescies include Yellow-throated Hanging-Parrot, Pygmy Tit, Crescent-chested Babbler, White-bibbed Babbler, and Javan Fulvetta as well as many more widely distributed species. In addition, Sunda Forktail can be found along streams.

The Dinosaur Park is located next to the main park headquarters. It gets its name from a giant concrete dinosaur at the entrance rather than any actual fossil remains. In addition to species present in the botanical gardens, this area is good for night birding. Likely species include Sunda Scops-Owl and Javan Frogmouth. In addition, Brown Wood-Owl and Salvadori's Nightjar are sometimes found there also.

Some of the best birding is along the 2½km path leading from the entrance to the waterfall. Most endemics can be found in this small area.Chestnut-headed Partridge is often seen at dawn on the trail below the hotsprings.Waterfall Swift is reliable around the waterfalls. Javan Trogon is seen occasionally. Javan Cochoa is possible but easier to found at higher elevation. Spotted Crocias is possible but difficult to find in the canopy. Sunda Forktail can be found around the hotsprings and below the waterfalls. Scaly Thrush is possible but rare. Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch occasionally appears around the entrance but is hard to find. Other notable species include Pink-headed Fruit-Dove, Flame-fronted Barbet, Javan Gray-throated White-eye, Pygmy Tit, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Javan Whistling-Thrush, Sunda Thrush, Gray-cheeked Tit-Babbler, Crescent-chested Babbler, White-bibbed Babbler, Javan Fulvetta, and White-flanked Sunbird. At night this same path is good for Javan Owlet, Javan Frogmouth, Salvadori's Nightjar, and sometimes Javan Scops-Owl.

Above the hotsprings the trail continues upwards to a campsite known as Kandang Badak, about 1½ hours walk in. Another 1-2 hours hike farther up, the trail reaches the lower rim of Gede crater and follows the crater around to its highest point at about 3000m. This area is good for higher elevation specialties, notably Wedge-tailed Pigeon, Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler (split by some authorities as Javan Scimitar-Babbler), Volcano Swiftlet (only found around the crater rim), Sunda Bush Warbler, Sunda Thrush, and Island Thrush. Also possible is the now quite rare Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush.

A separate area on the western flank of the park is Bodogul, where several middle elevation birds are easier to see, namely Javan Owlet, White-bellied Fantail, and Gray-cheeked Tit-Babbler.

HALIMUN-SALAK NATIONAL PARK

Gunung Halimun and Gunung Salak were formerly separate national parks but have been combined into one. The park is located southwest of Bogor in West Java. The best birding is on Gunung Halimun. Access to Gunung Halimun is poor and birders usually concentrate on a 6km track between the eastern boundary of the park and the Cikaniki Research Station near the village of Citalahab. This track passes through primary forest and offers excellent birding. The elevation is lower than Gede-Pangrango so lower elevation specialties are often the main focus. Some of the notable birds along the track include Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Javan Trogon, Blue Nuthatch, Sunda Bulbul (a possible future split into Javan Bulbul), White-breasted Babbler, and Temminck's Babbler. Canopy flocks may feature Javan Gray-throated White-eye, Scarlet Minivet, Spotted Crocias, Blue-winged Leafbird, and Javan Sunbird. Forest edge and open areas are good for several species of pigeons as well as Salvadori's Nightjar, Brown-backed Needletail, Orange-spotted Bulbul, and Scarlet Minivet. Around the tea estate between Citalahab and Cikaniki is Javan Hawk-Eagle, which usually has a few territories occupied there. Also frequently seen is the Silvery Javan Gibbon and other mammals. At night Asian Palm Civet can be found in fruiting trees around the research station. Gunung Salak is rarely visited by birders. A clear trail leading to the crater on the southeastern side of the park is a reliable place for birds such as White-bellied Fantail, Crescent-chested Babbler, and White-bibbed Babbler.

LOCATION OF SITE

Java is located southeast of Sumatra and south of Borneo in Indonesia and is part of the Greater Sunda Islands. It is generally reached by flights into Jakarta, the capital city.

OTHER LOCALES