Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

April 6, 2012

Lovina Birds, Bali

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 11:49 pm

Birding in the Paddy Fields .

This afternoon just as I was going out birding, it poured down in buckets. I guess the dry season is not here yet. I set out when it had mostly stopped. It was just spitting a little bit, but it was fine. I wandered along the beach and then up this track along the rice paddies. I was hoping to get some photos of the Zitting Cisticolas that I had seen there early in the morning.

zitting cisticola
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

The Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) has a large range from Europe to Northern Australia. They are a small bird found mainly in grasslands. They have a rufous rump, no gold on the collar and the brown tail is tipped white. They have a distinctive call sometimes said to be like the repeated snips of scissors.

Sawah looking towards the ocean

This is a shot of the country around Anturan, which is part of what is called Lovina. Some of the rice fields have heads of rice and some do not. I guess they are at different stages. I also saw a few Scaly-breasted Munia munching away on some rice.

long-tailed shrike
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)

The Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) is a member of the Laniidae family of shrikes. They are common from Central Asia to New Guinea. Their preferred habitat is open scrub and farmland. They are noisy and aggressive, sitting on a perch from where they hawk for insects and small vertebrates.

ID needed
Swallow or is it a Swift?

I am not quite sure what this is. It is difficult to tell because I have not seen these perching so I cannot get a close look at them. They are extremely difficult to shoot in flight. This is the best I can do. It is strange that there are no seagulls around. I have not seen a single one. They are usually everywhere near the ocean wherever I have been.

Bird List for Lovina

Zitting Cisticola
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Scaly-breasted Munia
Long-tailed Shrike

April 4, 2012

Bali Botanic Gardens

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 6:18 am

Bedugul Birding Day 2

This morning I got up early and I was hoping for a fine day for my second day at the Bali Botanic Gardens at Bedugul. Yesterday had been pouring with rain and the light was horrendous. I took the track to the west and found myself in some rainforest type country. There were lots of birds in the trees but they were very high up and difficult to spot.

Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler
Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus montanus)

I was lucky to get a couple of shots of a couple of the birds and I managed to identify the Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler, but could find nothing to help me identify the next bird which was a bright orange colour. Update: Thanks to Max who has identified it as Fiery Minivet (Pericrocotus igneus). Whoops. sorry max. Owl on flickr has identified it as a Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus), which is very similar. I am going on location reports as there have been sightings at Bedugul of the Scarlet but not the Fiery Minivet. Thanks for all the help on this difficult identification. woopeee.

Need ID please
Scarlet Minivet, (Pericrocotus flammeus)

There was a Short-tailed Starling out in the open this morning so I included this shot because it has much better light and sharpness.

Short-tailed Starling
Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor)

There are heaps of Pacific Swallows flying around everywhere, hawking for food.

Pacific Swallow
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)

I got the next photos in a field on the way back to the hotel. They sat up nicely in the sunlight for me.

long-tailed shrike
long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach)

And here is an immature Long-tailed Shrike. They seem to like hanging out in the banana patches.

long-tailed shrike - immature
Immature Long-tailed Shrike

And there were a few Eurasian Tree Sparrows on the roofs of the pergolas next to the hotel.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

I also saw a White-breasted Woodswallow but could not get a decent shot of it. But I was not worried because I already have heaps of great shots of those beauties. I also got a couple more photos of a Grey-chested Green-pigeon and he is on the feature photo for this page.

I am glad I went out early this morning because from just before lunch time it has been pelting down with rain here. I think the dry season is not quite here yet. I wanted to go down to the lake this afternoon, but I doubt that I will because I just heard a loud bunch of thunder.

April 3, 2012

Bedugul Birding – Bali

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 2:16 pm

Kebun Raya, Bedugul, Bali

I got up early from Kuta and caught a bemo to the Ubung bus terminal in Denpasar and then caught the bus to Bedugul. I got dropped off at Candikuning and only had to walk about half a kilometer to find a hotel and a further 200 meters to the Botanic Gardens (Kebun Raya). After lunch I strolled up to the bush to see if I could photograph some birds.

Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove (streptopelia chinensis)

This is your common old Spotted Turtle-dove, which is what we call them in Australia where they are very common indeedy. I thought this might have been a new bird but it wasn’t. It started raining when I photographed this one and it was very dark. I had to put the ISO way up to 1600 and the image quality is not too crash hot. If you have a peep at those pixels you will see a lot of noise. Canon 350D’s do not have very good Noise Reduction like all the new cameras.

Flame-fronted Barbet
Flame-fronted Barbet (Megalaima armillaris baliensis)

Flame-fronted Barbets are also known as Blue-crowned Barbets or Orange-fronted Barbets. They are endemic to Indonesia and live in subtropical and montane forests. The nominate form is found in Java while the sub-species baliensis is found on Bali. They usually feed on fruits, but they also eat insects as well. They make their nests in tree hollows.

Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeon
Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeon (Treron griseicauda)

The Grey-cheeked Green-pigeon is an Indonesian endemic. This one had lots of russet on the wing but some others did not. I do not know what that is about. Maybe its a male/female thing or the others are juveniles. I do not know much about these birds so I will learn more eventually and get back to you on that point.

Short-tailed Starling
Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor)

Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor) are found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Their habitat is subtropical, moist lowland and montane forests.

ID needed
gray-throated white-eye (Heleia javanica)

The rest of these birds I could not work out any identification on them. I still do not have a book. I searched all the book shops in Kuta yesterday but could find nothing. I am hoping for some kind of book in the information kiosk at the Kebun Raya.

ID needed
gray-throated white-eye (Heleia javanica)

ID needed
Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher (Cyornis olivaceus)

I also saw a Great Tit (Parus major) but the image quality on the photos were unusable. doh! So the resulting bird list for Kebun Raya is:

Bali bird list

Spotted Dove
Flame-fronted Barbet
Grey-cheeked Green-pigeon
Short-tailed Starling
Great Tit
gray-throated white-eye (Heleia javanica)
Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher (Cyornis olivaceus)

April 2, 2012

Surfing Bali

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 10:42 am

Surfing at Bingin Beach

Whoops, I forgot to bring the file I wrote for this blog to the Wartel. I will have to leave the text for another day and just upload the photos. doh! And here it is. Bingin is just down the line from the famous Uluwatu. It comes after Uluwatu, Padang-Padang and Impossibles. The swell has been small the last few days and today it has picked up to about 3 foot on the sets. I think it has been relatively crowded for such an average surf. There have been only a handful of good surfers and most people surfing have been not very proficient.

I flew from Sydney with Virgin Blue on a really cheap sale price – $280. Virgin Blue are pretty good with taking surfboards and do not seem to have a size limit. Some guys had four boards in their board bags. But make sure that you have a return or onward ticket out of Indonesia or Virgin will not let you board.

boogie boarder
Boogie Boarder having fun

I struggled with the heat and the humidity when I got there. I ate lots of bananas and drank lots of bottled water. I am starting to get used to it now, but it zaps your energy.

Bingin Beach Bali
Bingin Beach Bali

Grommet hits lip
Grommet hits lip

You can get a Visa On Arrival when you get to Bali and it costs $25 dollars. There is a long wait in the queue, so be prepared for it. You can change money just when you get out of customs. There is a row of money changers just waiting for your dollars.

Setting up a floater
Setting up a floater

Today the surf was a bit bigger. People are saying that there is a swell on the way. This guy was surfing really well, hitting the lip and coming off it really well. He set up this floater and went sailing across the top and then landed it down through the white water.

The Floater

Off the top
Off the top

I will put this post in order as soon as I can. I forgot to put it onto the usb stick. doh! Ma’afkan saya. Update, well it is sort of in order but still a little bit out of synch. You can spot the discrepancies. ha ha.

Bali Birds Bingin

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 10:22 am

Bingin Beach

There were not very many birds where I stayed for a couple of days to acclimatise myself to the weather of Bali. I stayed at Bingin Beach, which is on the Uluwatu Peninsular. The first morning I heard a lot of chirping early in the morning but subsequently worked out that it was a gecko!

Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

I think these are Java Sparrows. No, they are definitely not Java Sparrows. Still looking. It is the Scaly-breasted Munia or Spotted Munia (Lonchura punctulata). I do not have access to the internet or an Indonesian birds field guide. I am hoping to pick one up in Denpasar at a book store.

Pacific Reef-egret.
Pacific Reef-egret – dark morph

And I am guessing that this is a dark morph Reef Egret. But I will have to check the books. I think I saw the white morph as well hanging around the rocks at the beach. Yes, this one is the Pacific Reef-egret (Egretta sacra).

Collared KIngfisher ?
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

I am guessing again that this might be a Collared Kingfisher or it could even be a Sacred Kingfisher. I am leaning towards the Sacred Kingfisher at this stage. Or is it a Cerulean Kingfisher. The plot thickens. I am going with the Collared Kingfisher bu they are very similar to the Sacred Kingfisher. The next one turned out to be a Yellow-vented Bulbul. I could clearly see the yellow vent in most of the photos.

Yellow Vented Bulbul
Yellow-Vented Bulbul ( Pycnonotus goiavier)

This morning I got anothe shot of the dark morph Reef Egret. He was hanging out on top of a rock, waiting to pounce on some fish, maybe.

Pacific Reef Egret
Pacific Reef-egret Looking for a fish?

Three ticks. So the bird list for my first foray into Indonesian birding is:

Scaly-breasted Munia
Pacific Reef-egret
Collared Kingfisher
Yellow-vented Bulbul

September 28, 2009

Bali Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — steve_happ @ 12:33 am

Bali Bird Watching

This is information that I have collated from various trip reports. I wanted to have all the sites in one spot for an easy analysis and for making a plan to visit Bali for bird photography. For those of you that have not been to Bali, you can take the cheap or expensive option. Either cheap backpacker travel and accommodation or fully serviced transport and hotel. Its very easy to get around by bemo or hire a car. There are hotels or losmens everywhere you go and its easy to find a place to stay. The best time to visit would be during the dry, from about May to November. The wet is still fine, it just rains in the afternoon, for example, or it could pour at any time. Its no problem. I have been in Indonesia from December to February and it was great.

Pacific Reef-egret.
Pacific Reef Egret

Bali Barat National Park
This National Park has only one endemic, the Bali Starling, which has a breeding centre in the park. You can stay in Gilimanuk which is the ferry port for Java. Or closer towards the park near Cekik. There are two trails to follow – the Tegal Bunder trail or a longer hike along the Gunung Klatakan trail. There is also a good walk along Teluk Terima, on the other side of the island. You can also get a boat to Deer Island from here. You can also take a boat trip around Gilimanuk Bay which goes along the mangrove forests on a little prahu. There are reports that Park fees and obligatory guides can be quite expensive.

Yellow Vented Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul

At Tegal Bunder you may see the Yellow-vented Bulbul, Black-naped Oriole, parakeets, fantails, Green Jungle Fowl, Spotted Dove, Black Drongo or Olive-backed Sunbird. Along the Gunung Klatakan trail you may see the Southern Pied Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Banded Pitta, Dollarbird, Talking Mynah or Jungle Fowl.

Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes
This area is near to Wanagiri and at the village of Pura Gubug you will find remnants of relatively undisturbed forests that may be home to babblers, woodpeckers, ground thrushes and malkohas. Stay at Pondok Kesuma Wisata.

Gunung Batukau
Warung Kaja has amazing views and offers bird-watching tours for a very reasonable rate. Also try the Garden Temple, Pura Luhur Batukau, which may have barbets, Scarlet Minivets, flycatchers and Scarlet-headed Flowerpeckers in the trees around the temple.

You can go on a Victor Mason “Bali Bird Walks” tour from the Beggars Bush Cafe which goes around the rice paddies and you can see such birds as Striated Swallow, Pied Bushchat, Pacific Swallow, Cattle Egret, Cinnamon Bittern, as well as many others. Out of town near the Campuhan area you can do some birding around the rice fields. Jungut Inn.

Along the cliffs of Uluwatu, you may see frigatebirds, Brown Booby, White-tailed Tropicbirds.

Tanjung Benoa
Around the harbour, you may see a Javan Plover, Savannah Nightjar, kingfishers, flowerpeckers, Grey-tailed Tattler or Little Pied Cormorant. The mudflats in the harbour are good for waders.

The Bali Botanical Gardens and Lake Bratan have a large variety of birds that include Grey-cheeked Green Pigeons, Blue-crowned Barbets, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Philippine Glossy Starling, Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot or Collared Kingfisher. The botanical gardens are on the slopes of Gunung Pohon. Stay – Pondok Wisata Dahlia Indah. Or Hotel Melati on the road to the Kebun Raya.

Kebun Raya Bedugul
Rainforest at Bedugul

Sanur mudflats.
You may see egrets, Purple Heron, munia, gerygone, Olive-backed Sunbird. The Mangrove Information Centre is 5 kilometres west of Sanur with a boardwalk and hides. Also try Turtle Island and Mertasari Temple which are also on the eastern side of the island quite near to Sanur.

long-tailed shrike
Long-tailed Shrike

The Celu Sewerage Farm at Nusa Dua is a good place for water birds, especially the Sunda Teal.

Mangrove Information Center
There are two hides and a 3km trail winds through the mangrove forest. It is at Suwung Kauh, on the road to Sanur, from Kuta.

Another possibility is Kintimani and Gunung Batur. This is high up in the mountains and there is a lake in the volcano crater. I visited here in the seventies and its a weird and creepy place for those of you that like the bizarre. If you are lucky you might see the volcano erupt. We watched the lava flowing down the volcano at night time. It was truly amazing.


The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

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