Monday, 25 May 2020

Lockdown Birding in Bali - LOCKDOWN LIFER!!!

Amazing week on lockdown in Ubud, Bali when I got an unexpected LIFER! I was sat at my desk working on a range of new and exciting tours when all of a sudden I noticed a shape on the next door villas roof, this wasn't the usual Javan Munia or Eurasian Tree Sparrow, this was bigger, more colourful... I leaned back so I could see round the blind and almost fell off my chair when I realised I was watching a stunning JAVA SPARROW! Too quickly it dropped out of view into a garden and as I tried to get in a position to photograph it two birds were flushed by a motorbike and flew off high calling. Hopefully they will be back, but pretty amazing to get this very cool tick!

Also this week I finally (after 62 days) got a photo opportunity for the Javan Kingfisher. Each morning they are very vocal flying back and forth over this part of Ubud, often quite high and sometimes doing a bit of a display flight which has been cool to watch but frustrating in terms of trying to get a photo. Well, yesterday one finally landed close by. After a bit of work I was able to get myself into a position to take the following photo on my neighbours roof. What a stunning bird.

Javan Kingfisher

I've had a couple of 'new' lockdown ticks this week such as Barn Swallow, and the Java Sparrow, but also pretty high up there was Sunda Scops Owl that appeared outside the villa in the rain one evening while I was waiting for my pizza delivery! Not new but always nice to hear/see Savanna Nightjar and Black-crowned Night Herons going over at night too.

At 37 species now I think for my lockdown list!


Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Lockdown Birding in Bali - Camera Out and New Birds

Got a few new lockdown birds the last couple of days since my last blog update, and I even (finally) unpacked my camera to take some photos of some of the common birds I'm seeing, as and when time permits.

Here's a couple of pics of the gorgeous Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, a common sight but most often sat in the tops of dark trees, was nice to finally get one at more-or-less eye-level out in the open! Beautiful bird.

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon

Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon

A few new birds have included Plain Prinia, Common Emerald Dove, House Swift, and Common Iora.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lockdown Birding in Bali - An update!

I've had a few new birds during the last week of my lockdown here in Ubud, Bali including Rusty-breasted Whistler, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Little Spiderhunter, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Olive-backed Tailorbird, White-headed Munia, and Feral Pigeon! These have take me up to 32 species! Not bad from my little patch of urban land. 
  1. Javan Kingfisher
  2. Spotted Dove
  3. Zebra Dove
  4. Plaintive Cuckoo
  5. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  6. Javan Munia
  7. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  8. Cave Swiftlet
  9. Intermediate Egret
  10. Eastern Cattle Egret
  11. Javan Pond Heron
  12. Pacific Swallow
  13. Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon
  14. Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  15. Olive-backed Sunbird
  16. Pied Bush Chat
  17. White-nest Swiftlet
  18. Striated Swallow
  19. Scaly-breasted Munia
  20. Chinese Sparrowhawk
  21. Large-billed Crow
  22. Collared Kingfisher
  23. Black-naped Fruit Dove
  24. Black-crowned Night Heron
  25. Savanna Nightjar
  26. Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
  27. White-headed Munia
  28. Olive-backed Tailorbird
  29. Pink-necked Green Pigeon
  30. Little Spiderhunter
  31. Rusty-breasted Whistler
  32. Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker 

Monday, 20 April 2020

Lockdown Birding in Bali - Nocturnal Birding...

A couple of bonus birds this evening added two species to my lockdown birding list in Ubud, Bali. These were:

24. Black-crowned Night Heron
25. Savanna Nightjar

First time I think I've recorded the Black-crowned Night-Heron in Bali, maybe. The Savanna Nightjar was less of a surprise as I have had them from several restaurants in the town, but these were the first ones from the actual villa.

Today was the #BirdTheFeckAtHome BIG (Sun) DAY with the Eastern Hemisphere competing against the Western Hemisphere in a lockdown bird race of sorts. I was able to add the following 5 species to the Eastern Hemisphere list from my spot in Ubud.

1. Javan Kingfisher
2. Javan Munia
3. Javan Pond Heron
4. Cave Swiftlet
5. Black-crowned Night Heron

All good fun! 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lockdown Birding in Bali - NEW SPECIES UPDATE

Had a big bonus today when a Black-naped Fruit Dove flew over the garden into the nearby fruiting tree, that is lockdown number...

23. Black-naped Fruit Dove.

I finally also got round to checking out the #BirdTheFeckAtHome Facebook group and added this species and one other (Striated Swallow) to their cumulative bird list from all of the people reporting sightings from their places of lockdown around the world...

Amazingly my record of Black-naped Fruit Dove was the 2,270th species logged on the site!

Friday, 17 April 2020

Lockdown Birding Bali Style

Well like most of the rest of the world I'm currently in lockdown and self-isolating due to Coronavirus (Covid-19). Hope you're all staying safe and well at these difficult times.

I'm taking a little (forced) break from birding at the moment. I should have just completed a 3 week trip in the United States of America looking for Grouse and Chickens etc (birding in Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota) and should have just started a 2 week Vietnam trip. I know also that my spring birding trip to the United States (for Biggest Week in American Birding) and a subsequent trip to Colombia and Ecuador is also off (as is the British Bird Fair in the UK in August). Sad but will catch up with those all next year I hope. No decisions as yet on my Sulawesi, Halmahera, West Papua, and Australia tours for later in the year thus far....

So currently I'm in Bali, not really birding as I said, doing lots of computer work improving itineraries etc to come back stronger after this is all over. However I am a birder of course so I'm always noting the birds that are around my villa, which is right in the town center of Ubud, so not necessarily the best place for birdwatching... but here's what I've had so far in no particular order...

  1. Javan Kingfisher
  2. Spotted Dove
  3. Zebra Dove
  4. Plaintive Cuckoo
  5. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  6. Javan Munia
  7. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  8. Cave Swiftlet
  9. Intermediate Egret
  10. Eastern Cattle Egret
  11. Javan Pond Heron
  12. Pacific Swallow
  13. Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon
  14. Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  15. Olive-backed Sunbird
  16. Pied Bush Chat
  17. White-nest Swiftlet
  18. Striated Swallow
  19. Scaly-breasted Munia
  20. Chinese Sparrowhawk
  21. Large-billed Crow
  22. Collared Kingfisher

I wonder if I'll get anything else while I'm here?... keep tuned!

Javan Munia

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

eBird Update

I've been adding a lot of data to my eBird account: https://ebird.org/profile/NjE1MzA1/world, all of my photos from my time in Thailand and Indonesia in 2020 are now online!

So if you're interested please take a look! (Lots of other information on there too!).


Friday, 20 March 2020

Southern Thailand March 2020

Just finished up my March 2020 Southern Thailand tour and we saw loads of incredible birds and got some fantastic views of many of the specials of the region. Hot and humid birding at its best! Plenty of kingfishers, hornbills, broadbill, bulbuls, malkohas, raptors, spiderhunters, and a few quality pittas. Here are a few photos...

Malayan Banded Pitta

Mangrove Pitta

Green Broadbill

Banded Kingfisher

Black-and-red Broadbill

Black-and-yellow Broadbill

Blyth's Frogmouth

Brown-winged Kingfisher

Buffy Fish Owl

Bushy-crested Hornbill

Collared Kingfisher

Great Hornbill

Great Hornbill

Green-backed Flycatcher

Lesser Adjutant

Lesser Fish Eagle

Malayan Banded Pitta

Mangrove Pitta

Maroon-breasted Philentoma

Northern Hawk Owl

Orange-breasted Trogon

Oriental Pratincole

Painted Stork

Red-bearded Bee-eater

Red-throated Barbet

Ruddy Kingfisher

Scarlet-rumped Trogon

Sooty Barbet

White-crowned Hornbill

White-crowned Hornbill

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Northern Thailand January 2020

After a great couple of weeks birding in Central Thailand I flew up to Northern Thailand for a few weeks really enjoyable birding. The list of highlights was very long, and included Mrs Hume's Pheasant, Giant Nuthatch, a lifer in the form of Mongolian Short-toed Lark (about the 5th Thai record I think), and an exceptional number of thrushes, with highlights including Dusky Thrush (another lifer), Scaly Thrush, Chestnut Thrush, Grey-sided Thrush, Black-breasted Thrush, Grey-winged Blackbird, and lots more... Other quality included Green Peafowl, Rusty-naped Pitta, Pied Harrier, Siberian Rubythroat, Ultramarine Flycatcher, White-crowned Forktail,  and tonnes more....

Trip reports on Cloudbirders soon... Here are some photos of some of the highlights...


Mrs Hume's Pheasant


Ultramarine Flycatcher


Dusky Thrush


Scaly Thrush

Black-breasted Thrush

Siberian Rubythroat

White-crowned Forktail

Blue-eared Barbet

Chestnut Thrush

Collared Owlet

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Green Peafowl

Green-tailed Sunbird

Grey-backed Shrike

Grey-winged Blackbird

Himalayan Shortwing

Long-tailed Shrike

Mongolian Short-toed Lark

Mountain Bulbul

Olive-backed Pipi

Slender-billed Oriole

Striated Bulbul

White-browed Laughingthrush