Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher & Other Birds from Pekalongan, Central Java

Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) is one of the endemic kingfisher in Java island. Described by Temminck on 1830 from the island. On IUCN-redlist, this species listed as Critically Endangered (CR) that remaining population assumed to be fewer than 250 mature individuals.

A adult female Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher

There are only a few new records since 1930 of Halimun Salak NP, West Java. Then, in 2018 we heard news from our friend that he found the bird in Pekalongan, Central Java. it became an eastern record for the Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher on the island of Java.

Finally we have a chance to go there, invited by Wawan from SwaraOwa. We were invited to share our knowledge about avitourism to the local communities and villager around the site.

SwaraOwa has since 2007 conducted research on primates especially Javan Gibbon at this location, as well as mentoring local communities to reduce pressure on forests by providing a sustainable green economy.

A Sundaa Forktail perched on the rock

So, 5th July 2019 we arrived in the location at night from Jogja. We stayed on one of the villager.

On the next day, i went to river just about 500 meter from the house i stayed with Imam to looking this kingfisher.

Until noon we did not see it, then we back to the house for break and then attended discussion section with locals.

We have fullday birding on the rest day spent in the location (07-11 July 2019, off on 09 July 2019).

Adin joined on 07 July 2019, we focused to looking Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher. Waiting in the river, hiding with just big rock that so plenty in there. Finally, at around 11.00 am the male birds flush from upstream then perched on the rock 100 meters away from our hiding. It was stayed just about 2 minutes before it fly to the downstream.

We followed it to the downstream 1 Km away from first spot. Spent the time until almost dark, we ended the day by back to the house. At least we're has lifer of this species, especially me.

Then on 08th July 2019 we tried birding in other location where highland birds for the target.

The location is part of the stretch of the Dieng mountains. This is remaining montane forest among vegetables fields.

During morning to noon we encountered many highland endemic and resident birds, one of the highlight is Brown-throated Barbet. Limbo!!!

An adult Brown-throated Barbet foraged on fruiting tree

It was lucky day, the barbet foraged in fruiting tree that just about 10 meters above the ground.

On 11.00 pm we're walked out the forest, upon arriving at the boundary of the forest and vegetable fields we heard the sound of Javan Bush-warbler around 4 sources of sound.

We stopped and tried to find the species, from behind the bush we managed to see it.

The skluker, Javan Bush Warbler

After lunch we did not birding because of rain fall until dark.

Then on 10-11 July i went birding by my own to get good encounter with Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher.

I tried several place that usually used for by this endemic kingfisher.

Until the last day in the afternoon, when I came down almost to the river, I saw a kingfisher who was perched on a rock on the river bank.

I used Binocular to confirm, it turns out that it is true that the one perched on the rock is Javan Blue-banded Kingfihser.

Immediately I approached to get clear vision. With a distance of about 50 meters from this bird, it is clear that the bird is a female. Seen from browner upperparts, rufous loral spot and neck patch, rufous belly, orange-red lower mandible.

Front view of female Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher

Finally, i also got the good vision of this bird for about 10 minutes before it flew leaving the area towards the upstream.

This is an amazing experience, encountered one of the kingfisher that is very rarely observed.

So, during 4 days birding in Pekalongan, Central Java here's a list of birds that I met:

  1. Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher / Alcedo euryzona

  2. Banded Kingfisher / Lacedo pulchella

  3. Ruddy Cuckoo-dove / Macropygia emiliana

  4. Common Emerald Dove / Chalcophaps indica

  5. Cave Swiftlet / Collocalia linchi

  6. Yellow-eared Barbet / Psilopogon australis

  7. Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike / Hemipus hirundinaceus

  8. Sooty-headed Bulbul / Pycnonotus aurigaster

  9. Sunda Forktail - Enicurus velatus

  10. White-crowned Forktail / Enicurus leschenaulti

  11. Horsfield's Babbler / Malacocinla sepiarium

  12. Pygmy Bushtit / Psaltria exilis

  13. Orange-bellied Flowerpecker / Dicaeum trigonostigm

  14. Javan Sunbird / Aethopyga mystacalis

  15. Flame-fronted Barbet / Psilopogon armilaris

  16. Long-tailed Shrike / Lanius schach

  17. Creted Serpent Eagle / Spilornis cheela

  18. Black Eagle / Ictinaetus malayensis

  19. Spotted Kestrel / Falco moluccensis

  20. Chestnut-bellied Partridge / Arborophila javanica

  21. Spotted Dove / Streptopelia chinensis

  22. Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon / Ducula lacernulata

  23. Lesser Coucal / Centropus bengalensis

  24. Chestnut-breasted Malkoha / Rhamphococcyx curvirostris

  25. Rusty-breasted Cuckoo / Cacomantis sepulcralis

  26. Sunda Cuckoo / Cuculus lepidus

  27. Javan Trogon / Apalharpactes reinwardtii

  28. Wreathed Hornbill / Rhyticeros undulatus

  29. Brown-throated Barbet / Psilopogon corvina

  30. Javan Banded Broadbill / Eurylaimus javanicus

  31. Lesser Shortwing / Brachypteryx leucophrys

  32. Javan Whistling Thrush / Myophonus glaucinus

  33. Blue Whistling Thrush / Myophonus caeruleus

  34. Crescent-chested Babbler / Stachyris melanothorax

  35. Javan Fulvetta / Alcippe pyrrhoptera

  36. Eyebrowed Wren-babbler / Napotera epilepidota

  37. Pygmy Wren-babbler / Pnoepyga pusilla

  38. Pied Shrike-babbler / Pteruthius flaviscapis

  39. Trilling Shrike-babbler / Pteruthius aenobarbus

  40. Mountain Tailorbird / Orthotomus cuculatus

  41. Sunda Bush Warbler / Cettia vulcania

  42. Javan Tesia / Tesia superciliaris

  43. Sunda Warbler / Seicercus grammiceps

  44. Javan Bush Warbler / Bradypterus montis

  45. Striated Grassbird / Megalurus palustris

  46. Little Pied FLycatcher / Ficedula westermanni

  47. Rufous-tailed Fantail / Rhipidura phoenicura

  48. Cinereous Tit / Parus major

  49. Blue Nuthatch / Sitta azurea

  50. Ashy Drongo / Dicrurus leucophaeus

Other Taxa (Primate)​:

  1. Javan / Silvery Gibbon / Hylobates moloch

  2. Ebony-leaf Monkey / Trachypithecus auratus

  3. Javan Surili / Presbytis comata fredericae

  4. Long-tailed Macaque / Macaca fascicularis