On March 16 - 20th 2018 we managed to arranged bird photography trips for our clients from Hong Kong. This custom-tailor trip was only has few targets, Banded Kingfisher and Javan Banded Pitta. Visited five birding locations around Malang, East Java. Meet up at afternoon in Juanda international airport, Surabaya on March 16th (Day 1) then we drive to Hotel in Malang, while dinner on the way.
Start birding on day two, at 5.00 am we drive to coffee plantation in Jabung village, Malang to take shots of Javan Banded Pitta. Sadly, we failed because three different nests were empty. Maybe, taken by predators or the chicks already fledged.
Then we changed direction to Piket Nol, Lumajang in search of the main target, Banded Kingfisher. We hang out near it’s nest from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. Lucky to saw and get the pictures of the female, but we missed for the male until afternoon. So, we drive to Hotel Cakra, Malang and try to another chance the next morning.
Start drive at 5.00 am (March 18th) and reach the same location as yesterday at 7.00 am. We wait on camouflage tent until 10.00 am with no present of male birds. Then our friends in different spot calling us via handy-talky that they saw the male.
Quickly we packed our gear and moved. For 45 minutes we enjoyed and shots many pictures of colorful male bird. Also present the Javan Broadbill that managed to save on our camera's card.
At 12.30 pm we drive to Pasirian, Lumajang while lunch on small cafeteria on the way. 2.00 pm we arrived, built the tent next to small fish-ponds waiting for Cerulean Kingfisher. How lucky we are, one family of 2 adults and 1 immature managed to get the pictures. We enjoyed and move from the area at afternoon.
We had a long drive on day four (March 19th), six hours driving from Pasirian, Lumajang (our clients want to take Cerulean Kingfisher in early day light) to Apple Farm in Batu city. When we arrived, the weather was small rain. Worried the Javan Kingfisher would not showed, but we tried first.
Just waited for 10 minutes, the birds were coming. Perched on small branch, we had a super close and clear view!
On the last day, we have two hours for get another chance to shot Javan Banded Pitta in Prigen, Pasuruan before we leaved the area. At 9.00 am we finished the tour then drop off our clients on airport with frustrated of the Pitta!