Birding trip report Java Feb. 2013 (Jakarta & Yogyakarta)  -  John van der Woude  -
This independent trip of Nollie and me was meant as a combination of birds and culture. This worked out well around Yogyakarta, but after that the most important birding site would be Gunung Gede in West-Java. However, after arriving at G. Gede I got a temporary medical problem and we could not continue the trip. Meanwhile, we had had nice birds and nice scenery, and the temples and other culture were impressive. The highlight of the trip, in terms of combination of birds and culture, was our visit to the Prambanan temples near Yogyakarta, as we saw the much-wanted Java Sparrow (Rijstvogel) on one of the temples.
We flew Amsterdam - Jakarta (arrival 20 Feb.), and birded the morning in the coastal Muara Angke wetland in Jakarta before flying on in the afternoon to Yogyakarta. After visiting Borobudur, Prambanan, the sultan's palace, G. Merapi NP and a coastal site we took the train (24 Feb) from Yogyakarta to Bandung. The following day we took a bus plus a yellow cab to Cibodas at the foot of G. Gede. After a little birding in late afternoon in and near the botanical garden, the trip was, as said, suddenly over. So instead of the planned two-week Java trip it was just six days, and no more than four half days birding.
I had prepared the birding mainly on the basis of
Below the (unavoidably very short) species list are photos of the birding and culture sites, with some GPS coordinates.
Species list, based on names and taxonomy of the field guide Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Nov. 2016).
In brackets the former name.
MA = Muara Angke, the coastal wetland inside Jakarta city (20 Feb)
BP = Borobudur and Prambanan temple complexes and immediate surroundings (21 Feb)
PR = mouth of Progo river including rice fields etc. (22 Feb)
MP = Mount Merapi NP and Pakem orchards (23 Feb)
* = lifer
! = uncommon/scarce
                                       *Sunda Teal  MA
                              Sunda Collared-dove  MA
                                     Spotted Dove        PR MP
                        *Pink-necked Green-pigeon  MA
                          *Linchi (Cave) Swiftlet  MA BP PR      endemic Sumatra to Lombok
                              Black-nest Swiftlet  MA
                                 Asian Palm-swift           MP
                                      House Swift     BP
                                *Savanna Nightjar                Jakarta airport hotel FM7
                            *Javan (Sunda) Coucal  MA          ! Java endemic
                                    Lesser Coucal        PR
                                 Plaintive Cuckoo        PR
                          White-breasted Waterhen  MA
                                   Yellow Bittern  MA    PR
                        Black-crowned Night-heron  MA
                                   Striated Heron  MA
                                *Javan Pond-heron  MA BP    MP
                                     Cattle Egret        PR
                                       Grey Heron  MA    PR
                                     Purple Heron  MA
                Eastern Great (Great White) Egret        PR
                               Intermediate Egret        PR
                                     Little Egret  MA    PR
                              *Pacific Reef-egret        PR
                                 Little Cormorant  MA           !
                                  Oriental Darter  MA
                                 Common Sandpiper  MA    PR
                               Barred Buttonquail        PR
                                *Black-naped Tern        PR
                            Crested Serpent-eagle           MP
                             *Cerulean Kingfisher  MA             endemic E Sumatra to Sumbawa
                                *Javan Kingfisher           MP  ! endemic Java + Bali
                               Coppersmith Barbet     BP
                             *Black-banded Barbet           MP  ! Java endemic
                           Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker  MA
                      Freckle-breasted Woodpecker  MA
                            Red-breasted Parakeet           MP
                                     Barn Swallow     BP
                                  Pacific Swallow  MA
                                     Pied Triller     BP
                                    Small Minivet     BP
                   Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike           MP
                              Sooty-headed Bulbul  MA BP PR
                           *Orange-spotted Bulbul           MP  ! endemic Sumatra + Java
                       Sunda Yellow-vented Bulbul  MA
                          *Javan Whistling-thrush           MP    endemic Java + Bali
                           Little Pied Flycatcher           MP    Cibodas
                               Sunda Pied Fantail  MA
                               *Bar-winged Prinia  MA    PR       endemic Sumatra to Bali
                                     Plain Prinia        PR MP
                                Zitting Cisticola        PR
            Australasian (Clamorous) Reed-warbler  MA    PR
                              Arctic Leaf Warbler           MP
                            Mountain Leaf-warbler           MP
                                   *Pygmy Bushtit                 Cibodas - Java endemic
                        *Crescent-chested Babbler           MP    Java endemic
                          Golden-bellied Gerygone        PR
                            Cinereous (Great) Tit  MA
                           Brown-throated Sunbird     BP
                       Sunda (Oriental) White-eye     BP    MP
                               Mountain White-eye                 Cibodas
                                      Ashy Drongo           MP
                      Sunda (Slender-billed) Crow  MA
                *Daurian (Purple-backed) Starling  MA
                       *Javan (White-vented) Myna  MA             endemic Java + Bali
                    *Black-winged Starling (Myna)  MA           ! endemic Java to Lombok
                            Eurasian Tree Sparrow  MA
                                    *Java Sparrow     BP        ! endemic Java + Bali
                             Scaly-breasted Munia  MA BP PR MP
                                     *Javan Munia     BP    MP    endemic E Sumatra to Lombok
                               White-headed Munia           MP 
                                                                Cibodas = 1 hour visit  

From our airport hotel FM7 we took a taxi to the Muara Angke coastal wetland in Jakarta. No need for the taxi to wait for the return, as there are taxis driving by the entrance of the wetland reserve every minute. The entrance of the reserve is at -6.116113, 106.769176. I am not sure if it is still open for visitors.

A boardwalk makes the birding here easy. The most important bird here is Java (Sunda) Coucal, and we saw it twice.

Javan Pond-Heron, which was still a lifer for us then.

Dragonfly, which species?

Cerulean Kingfisher, formerly called Small Blue Kingfisher.

Good weather on our flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. Wet rice fields in the region east of Jakarta (north coast).

Street market near our hotel in Yogyakarta.

Borobudur. The famous buddha temple at 40 km from Yogyakarta, at -7.607941, 110.204346. We had a deal with the same taxi driver who had brought us to the hotel after arrival in Yogyakarta the day before. For about 35 euro he would drive us from 06:45 to 15:00 to Borobudur and Prambanan.

The green surroundings of the Borobudur, photo taken from the temple. Small Minivet was the nicest bird we saw here. Also Javan Munia and many Linchi (Cave) Swiftlets.

Stupas are the dominant feature of the Borobudur.

The Prambanan hindu temple complex NE of Yogyakarta, at -7.752017, 110.492326.

Collared Kingfisher on street lamp.

Java Sparrows (Rijstvogels) on one of the Prambanan temples. For me the highlight of the trip. This has become a rare bird on Java, slightly less so on Bali.

Sooty-headed Bulbul.

Scaly-breasted Munia, seen on all four birding sites of this trip.

Our hotel Melia Purosani in Yogyakarta, for which we had found a good offer on Centrally located to go on foot to the Sultan's Palace (photo below). Both photos taken from Streetview in 2017.

Now near the mouth of the Progo river south of Yogyakarta. Rice fields and some bushes.

The estuary of the Progo river, carrying recent dark vulcanic material from the Merapi vulcano to the sea. Hardly waders on this vulcanic mud. Still, we had Australasian (Clamorous) Reed Warbler. This is close to -7.978440, 110.208094 which can be reached by car on the small roads.

Plain Prinia.

In this area close to the sea we had Barred Buttonquail, Plaintive Cuckoo, Lesser Coucal, and a snipe (Pintail or Swinhoe's).

Pacific Reef Egret at the sea dike.

The open sea. From here to the NW tip of Australia is about 1500 km.

As in most Asian countries, scooters are everywhere.

On our last day in the Yogyakarta area, we visited  Mount Merapi national park. First have something to drink. This entrance area is at -7.592831, 110.432084.

Good forest on the slopes of Merapi NP but not very accessible. Still, we picked up the Java endemics Black-banded Barbet and Javan Whistling-Thrush here.

Red-breasted Parakeet.

White-headed Munia.

On the way from Merapi NP to Yogyakarta we soon entered the Pakem village area around -7.656384, 110.421324. This was said to be good for Javan Kingfisher, and indeed we found it (photo below). A Java endemic.

From Yogyakarta we took the long train journey to Bandung in western Java. Just for pleasure, but also to avoid having to go through Jakarta megalopolis from the airport to the Gunung Gede area. Nice views from the train.

Also from the train, views of countryside houses and the neat train stations.

At the entrance of our hotel in Bandung. We tried to tell him that we live close to that park with tulips on the photo behind him (the Keukenhof), but I don't think he had any idea of what Holland is. At school, Holland and its Indonesian colonial history seems non-existent, as I learned by asking young people several times.

Next day, at Cibodas botanical garden at 1400 m altitude, and at the foot of G. Gede Pangrano NP. A very promising area but we would hardly see it. Around -6.738034, 107.005688.

Little Pied Flycatcher, male and female.

A last view of Cibodas botanical garden. We still managed to pick up the Java endemic Pygmy Bushtit here, but then I got a severe problem with my eye and we had to return quickly to Bandung and Jakarta to visit an eye hospital.

After the perfect treatment in the Jakarta eye hospital, I had to stay calm and inside for a few days at this FM7 airport hotel of Jakarta, also in order to wait for an available flight back home. At night we would make a walk around the hotel, where Savanna Nightjar was calling from the roof and foraging at lamp posts.
Back home in Holland, the eye specialist said that he could not have given me a better treatment than I had received in Jakarta. Actually, it was better that I had received the treatment there than after the long flight home.
I have not had this eye problem again (it is now four years later).