Birding in Baluran, Serangan and Kerandangan
Our adventurous birding this time (25 October - 02 November 2016) is more like a country road, across the “African van Java” of Baluran then Waterbirds-paradise of Serangan (Bali) to the Home for Trio endemics Lesser Sunda (Rinjani Scops Owl, Elegant Pitta & Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher) at Kerandangan Nature Recreation Park, Lombok.
With six person on the car we drive starting at night from Malang. During on the car we spent the time to sleep, save our energy. Our first destination was Kerandangan NRP, but we firstly stayed for take a rest at Baluran NP in day-one morning. While sun rising we heard several Large-tailed Nightjars behind the trees at north direction to Bekol savannah. Then Javan Kingfisher sing at perch on top canopy, while the pairs of Scarlet-headed Flowerpeckers flew from one branch to other. Slowly the fisrt sun for Java getting warm and high. After a welcome rest in Baluran, we continue drive to Gilimanuk that directly we get ferry to accross Bali. We still able to seen Striated Swallow and Pacific Swift fly around the harbor. Below the bridge which connected ferry with port are the nest for that birds. While the ferry start to across Bali strait, we move to the roof looking for migratory raptor. But we are not lucky because may the birds has move into Bali last week. Luckily we still able to see Greater Crested Tern and Little Tern, fly across the strait and occasionally flopped to the sea. Arrived in Bali at noon then we continue to Serangan while waiting night come for cross to Lombok, mark time to birding in waterbirds-paradise. We scoped from the roadside which upper then the mangrove switch to the south into tidal area, a bay layered by sand-flat where the birds remain. We seen many species such as Sacred Kingfisher, Cormorants; Little Pied & Little Black, Egrets; Great, Intermediate & Little, Plovers; Javan, Little Ringed, Lesser Sand, Greater Sand & Grey, Common Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Whimbrel, Eurasian and Far Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Beach Stone-curlew, Red-necked Stint and many more.
Before the dusk we transferred to a different area and finally scored with a good performance from couples Sunda Teal and Cerulean Kingfisher fly away in font of us. Closing for the day then at night we continue the journey drive into Padang bay port for crossing to Lombok. In the next day at morning we arrived at Lembar Port, welcomed by beatiful scenery of beach covered thinly mist with hills and top of Mt. Rinjani for the background, quiet waves like a carpet, and slowly the sun rising then burn the horizon also morning skies. Kerandangan Nature Recreation Park, a lowland forest surrounded by hills and cross with river flow from hills at the east to the west. Finally we arrived at noon, then trying the luck to Elegant Pitta around campground. Sadly we only heard the song from any directions, hard to find this bird because the green upper-part and yellowish lower-part blending into the lush. We hung around until dark and after some patient waiting we enjoyed superb views of a Rinjani Scops Owl right overhead. It easy to recognized by the song and way it flight above us until perched ten meters from the ground.
At the morning we split into two groups, first went to Nipah hill for migratory raptors. the rest group birding in the area for Elegant Pitta and other birds. Nipah hill was like a short peninsula extend to the west, like a west-end Lombok Island. Large open area so we can scoped 360 degrees wait until the Raptor passing by. Coming from the Bali head to the east, right in front of us.
With several minutes after arrived we seen the raptor such as Oriental-honey Buzzard, Chinese Sparrowhawk and Japanese Sparrowhawk flashed on the side of us, sometimes they fly above us closely or below with sea f