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Woodpeckers Trip Report September 2017

During 6 days (06 – 11 September 2017) we had a trip looking for three species of woodpeckers around Malang, East Java with Gerard Gorman (authors of Woodpecker of the World the complete guide). This was our first specific trip focused on separated population of Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Javan endemic Javan Flameback and Grey-and-Buff “Lilliput” Woodpecker.


On day one, we met at the Juanda International Airport (Surabaya, East Java) around 11.30 AM and headed to Wonorejo Wetland. After walked for 300 meters around fish-pond we managed the first target, one group-family of Freckle-breasted Woodpeckers. We stuck tried to observed the behavior.

Enter the jungle trek of Kondang MerakTachybaptus 	novaehollandiae 	Australasian Grebe

At least we saw two families and managed take a photographs. After that, we changed direction to Malang for hotel and managed for the rest of the targets.


In the next morning, we began observe at several sites of Tahura R. Soeryo for Javan Flameback. At 05.30 AM we tried to call the bird until one hour we did not hear and see any responds. So we moved to the next site.


At Watu Ondo waterfall, we waited near a half dead tree. Unfortunately the birding was low, almost quiet. After lunch we moved to Cangar for the same target. The condition was the same as before until the next day. . We didn’t want waste more times. We finished birding here and heading to Kondang Merak on that day.

Estuary of Kondang Merak

Kondang Merak is located in southern Malang. Here is where the last of natural lowland rain-forest of Malang still remains. In Kondang Merak, September 08, we will take a couple of nights at home-stay near the beach. Birding will starts in early morning around homestay. Grey-and-Buff Woodpecker and Javan Flameback are our main purpose here.


We must take a fast move, to play the bird calls was the best way to attract them to show up. Sadly we just saw for flash moment of the lilliput. This might be the birds on breeding periods so were not active with calls. We tried in other spots and gave the same poor the result.


Until September 10 the birding was tough for us, at afternoon we drive out to the border of the forest. We called Crimson-winged Woodpecker, and then Afwan saw silhouette of woodpecker at dead palm tree. We surprised the woodpecker was female Javan Flameback, and then the birds flew to another dead palm tree which has many holes.


At the moment we saw female feeding the chick (Me and Afwan) and male perched in the top of next dead palm tree. The female flew followed by male, we waited for four hours and they were not shown up again. We back to the home-stay and tried in the next morning.