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WorldTwitch - Asia Bird News

See WorldTwitch Australasia Bird News for reports from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Indonesia east of Wallace's Line including Sulawesi and the Moluccas, the Solomons, Fiji, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.

In "Hume's Groundpecker Pseudopodoces humilis: the smallest corvid or the largest tit?" OBC Bull. 36: 52-53 (December 2002), Tiziano Londei reports that the Pseudopodoces groundpeckers may be placed with the tits. The citation is: James, H.F. & Ericson, P.G.P. (2000). An overlooked species of tit in a novel adaptive zone for the Paridae. Joint Millenium Meeting of the AOU, BOU & SCO, Newfoundland, 14-19 August 2000.

Asian Birds on the Brink, by N.J. Collar. OBC Bulletin 34 (December 2001).

Join the OrientalBirding Yahoo Group! As with all Yahoo Group mailing lists, you may elect not to receive e-mails and instead read posted messages on the web at your convenience. Another reminder: the Oriental Bird Club needs your support, so please join or renew if you have not done so already.

Nepal: 24 June 2005: The U.S. State Department has issued an update of the Travel Warning urging American citizens to defer non-essential travel to Nepal.

Barry Wright's Nepal Trip Report, March 2001.

See the report by Tim and Carol Inskipp of a trip in April 2001 for some interesting bird records, including Nepal Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga immaculata on Phulchowki Hill.

Trip Reports

by Prasad Anand:
Kosi Barrage, Chitwan & Kathmandu, February 2000
Jomoson Trek, January-February 1998
Langtang & Gosainkund Trek, March-April 1999

by Phil Benstead:
Chitwan, Kosi Barrage, Kosi Tappu, Dharan Forest, Langtang & Gosainkund Trek, April-May 2000

Prasad Anand writes (10 Jan 00): Whilst planning my trip to Chitwan, I was a bit shocked to check up on the price of the recommended lodges posted to [the OB list] in the autumn. None of them was below 120$ per night and some where 280$! There are cheap places. In Meghauli, near the airfield, the Chital lodge is probably still about 40NRPs. You have to get the ferryman to take you over the river or you can wade. You are farther from the area around Tiger Tops but there is good habitat on the way. After paying for a guide and park fees and food I doubt if you will spend more than 15$ per day. It is also possible to find many cheap lodges at Sauraha. At Kosi it is possible to stay at tea shops and such but this is problematic. If you are going to do the Ilam, Sunischare and Hanga Tham treks, roughing it is also necessary. As always, see trip reports of Buckton and Morris, R. Drijvers and old but good (sorry trip report not Phil) P. Heath.

India: The new Liocichla from Northeast India has now been described as Bugun Liocichla Liocichla bugunorum: A new species of Liocichla (Aves: Timaliidae) from Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India by Ramana Athreya, Indian Birds 2(4):82-93 (2006) with maps (pdf) | Photos and field sketch | Birdlife article: "There are plans to build a highway through Eaglenest, passing through Lama Camp, where most sightings have taken place."

Himalayan Quail, Ophrysia superciliosa, not recorded since 1876, may still survive! "The villagers seemed to be familiar with HQ in at least three sites and said such birds were present in the surrounding area." A further field survey of historic sites is now underway. Hilaluddin et al., PQF News, Issue 17, Autumn 2002. (Kill JavaScript to prevent redirect.)

Manipur Bush-Quail Perdicula manipurensis reported from Manas National Park, Assam, India. BBC, 28 June 2006.

Rusty-throated (Mishmi) Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis badeigularis rediscovered in the Mishmi Hills of NE Assam, India by Ben King & Julian Donahue. The only previous record was a specimen obtained by Dillon Ripley on the "Spiny Babbler" expedition. L.A. Times article with photo, 27 February 2005.

Bill Harvey reports finding the recently-discovered Nepal Wren-Babbler in Dehra Dun, Uttaranchal at 1000 m. The bird is turning out to more widely distributed than initially believed.

"The Large-billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus revisited." Staffan Bensch & David Pearson, Ibis (2002) 144(2): 259-267. Based on an examination of the only specimen, collected in 1867 in the Sutlej Valley near Rampoor, Himachal Pradesh, and limited DNA sequencing, the authors conclude that A. orinus deserves to be classified as a species and not merely an aberrant Blyth's Reed Warbler A. dumetorum. From the short, rounded wing, they speculate that it was (is?) a resident or short-distance migrant.

Jerdon's Courser photo and conservation study. Darwin Initiative.

Update and corrections to A Birdwatchers' Guide to India by Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh. (1998) Huntingdon, UK: Prion.

Notes on a trip to India with directions for finding Rusty-bellied Shortwing, by Dave Sargeant.

Northeast India Trip Report, 7 March - 20 April 1998, by Henk Hendriks.

David Bishop reports that he had "an immature Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica whilst leading a VENT tour to Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary in [Andhra Pradesh] southern Central India, November 14, 2000. A single bird flushed from under our feet and flew off in such a way that we all enjoyed excellent views of it in flight for several seconds. To my knowledge there are few records of this globally threatened species on its wintering grounds."

On 23rd January 2000, Hannu Jännes had a pair of Vinaceous Rosefinches, Carpodacus vinaceus, in Sat Tal. "Follow the small concrete irrigation channel west of the dam (dam of the bigger lake at Sat Tal, see Kazmierczak & Singh 1998) past a small pond (on your right hand side). After passing the pond you will reach a small clearing (ca. 150 meters from the dam), again on your right. Rosefinches were in the bushes on the opposite side of the clearing."

Trip Reports by Prasad Anand:
North-East India - 2001
Harike, Punjab - February 2001
Goa Update - 1994-2001
Lava, Darjeeling, and North Bengal - April-May 1999
Southwest India - February 1997
Manali (includes 3 maps) - 1996 & 1997-98
Gujrat/Rajasthan - January 1999

Trip report by Mark & Sandra Davis: Goa, Nov-Dec 1999

A new species of monal pheasant, Lophophorus sp., was discovered by R. Suresh Kumar and Pratap Singh in western Arunachal Pradesh in late 1998. The bird resembles Sclater's Monal, L. sclateri, except the tail is entirely white rather than chestnut. For a detailed report, see OBC Bulletin No. 30, November 1999 at 35-37.

A pair of Siberian Cranes, Grus leucogeranus, arrived at Bharatpur on 10 November 1999. (Gopi Sundar). [ICF Siberian Crane Page] [Koji Tagi photo]

There have been numerous accounts in the press of the rediscovery of the Forest Owlet, Athene blewitti, by Ben King, Pam Rasmussen, et al. in "ragged woodland" near Shahada in the Satpura Mountains, on November 25, 1997. Click here for the article from the Living Bird. Vivek Tiwari reported in September 2000: "Some of the areas where there have been recent sightings are being degraded and face complete deforestation due to rehabilitation schemes from the Sardar Sarovar project. Destruction from large dams doesn't end with the submerged forests." See the Friends of the River Narmada website for more information about this disastrous mega-dam project, which is now being financed in substantial part by the New York-based Ogden Corporation.

An abstract of "Ecology of the Forest Owlet" by Farah Ishtiag & Asad R. Rahmani is included on the Owls 2000 Conference abstract page, along with abstracts of other interesting papers on Asian and Australasian owls.

Northeast India Trip Report, 20 February - 13 March 1998, by Jon Hornbuckle.

Pakistan: "Flight into danger" - about crane migration in Asia and crane hunting in Pakistan. Down to Earth Vol. 9 No. 16, 15 January 2001.

Sri Lanka: Birding in Sri Lanka - Update by Dave Sargeant, November 2004.

Birding in Sri Lanka & Southern India by Jon Hornbuckle, February-March 2002.

On 23 January 2001, Deepal Warakagoda taped in a new species of scops owl, Otus sp., at a thus far undisclosed site. The bird has been photographed.

Little-known Oriental Bird: Red-faced Malkoha, by Richard A. Fuller and Johannes Erritzøe, OBC Bulletin 26, November 1997.

A Birdwatcher's Guide to Sri Lanka, from OBC Bulletin 26, November 1997.

Tibet: Northeast Tibet Trip Report, August 2000, by Jesper Hornskov.

Western China and Northeast Tibet Trip Report, May-July 2000, by Jon Hornbuckle & Jesper Hornskov. (Includes information about how to see Crested Ibis, although JoH dipped due to logistical difficulties.)

China: Yunnan & Sichuan China Birding Report, October 2007, by Dave Sargeant.

Surveys for a rare pheasant on China's southwestern frontier, by James D. Bland and David S. Rimlinger. Sclater's Monal, Lophophorus sclateri.

China Trip Reports by Mike Kilburn:

The Qinling Shan, May 1998. - Crested Ibis was seen at two of three roosts. Several trips in October.

Xinjiang Autonomous Region, June 1998.

Emei Shan, two trips, Winter 1991.

577 Siberian Cranes were recorded on passage at Melmeg Nature Reserve in Jilin Province in April 2000. (Michael Rank's summary of article in a Chinese journal, posted on the OrientalBirding group.)

"Eco-tourists are harming pandas." Telegraph, 6 April 2001. Habitat is being destroyed faster in the Woolong Nature Reserve than in adjacent unprotected areas, and the human population of the reserve increased from 2,560 in 1975 when it was created to 4,260 in 1995.

Ben King saw three Swinhoe's Rails (aka White-winged Crake, Asian Yellow Rail), Coturnicops exquisitus, in a field at Poyang in December, 1999. See his report for the details of this and other interesting observations in China and northern Burma.

Jesper Hornskov et al. flushed a Swinhoe's Rail at Beidaihe twice on 16 October 2000. They also had two Japanese Marsh Warblers Locustella (?) pryeri near West Wood on 16 & 19 October. Complete report in the OrientalBirding archives.

Michael Rank reports: "A further site for Elliot's Pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti has been discovered in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou, following the discovery of the species in the Fanjing Shan mountains in eastern Guizhou and at Leigong Shan, east of Guiyang, the Newsletter of the China Ornithological Society reports (vol 8, no 2, 1999). Guizhou ornithologist Li Gongmei found fresh tail feathers in the home of a peasant in Shuichun village in Libo county in southern Guizhou, about 300 km SE of Guiyang in February, 1999 and also a dead pair for sale in the county town. He was told the birds were shot in the Sandu-Jiuqian area north of Libo, and in March a male specimen was taken in Shuichun village where the first bird was found. The report says the new discovery is the westernmost known site for Elliot's Pheasant, but that it is not to be found in the Maolan nature reserve in Libo county. Another report in the same Newsletter puts the Elliot's Pheasant population at Gutian Shan nature reserve in Kaihua county, Zhejiang at 500-600. Ding Ping surveyed five areas totaling 548 ha in July-Sept 1999, says density in the reserve is 0.088/ha and outside the reserve 0.335/ha."

"The number of CHINESE CRESTED IBIS, Nipponia nippon at the reserve in the Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, has risen to more than 100 after 10 pairs raised 28 young this year. The species remains known from just a single locality in China. Until 1994, no more than 22 birds had been seen at one time." Bird Conservation International 8(1):110 (March, 1998), citing China Environmental News, no. 99, 15 (October 1997).

"A brighter future for the Sichuan Hill-Partridge", by Simon Dowell and Dai Bo. PQF News No. 15 (2000) (pdf)

Matsu Island: 2002 Update: Ben King reports that several pairs of Chinese Crested Terns were found breeding in 2002. In late July, Ben spent an entire day watching 5-6 adults and 1 nearly fledged juvenile.

Chinese Crested Tern - a brief history, by Andrew Easton.

Excellent photos of Chinese Crested Tern [more]

Chinese Crested Tern, Sterna bernsteini, resdiscovered! See discussion on the Oriental Birding list. This close relative of Sandwich Tern had been feared extinct. In 2000, four pairs were found nesting on Matsu, 9.8 km off Fujian Province. (Map 1; Map 2). In late 2000, the Tourism Taiwan website (now dead) advised that the government expected to open Matsu to tourism "soon." Surveys in 2001 failed to find any birds, and surrounding waters were overrun with illegal net fishermen. OBC Bulletin 34:53-54 (2001).

Taiwan: Taiwan gained another endemic bird with the recognition of Taiwan Bush-Warbler, Bradypterus alishanensis, as a previously undescribed species. Auk 117:279-287 (April 2000).

Taiwan Trip Report by Barry Wright, April 1999.

On 17 December 1999, the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration, under heavy pressure from a corrupt politician running for President, approved the disastrous Bin-nan Industrial Complex, a massive corporate welfare project including a steel mill and refinery, which will destroy the Tsengwen Estuary, winter home of about 60% of the world's ~600 remaining Black-faced Spoonbills, Platalea minor. An environmental group named SAVE is fighting the project.

Korea Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): This is one of the world's most important conservation areas due to its lack of a human population, with preservation dependent on the perpetual continuation of hostility between North and South Korea. Previously known as an important site for White-naped and Red-crowned Cranes Grus vipio and japonensis and until very recently, Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon, the DMZ now has been discovered to be the breeding site of Black-faced Spoonbills Platalea minor that were trapped and fitted with transmitters in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Ueta, Melville, Wang et al., Ibis (2002) 144(2): 340-343.

South Korea: 7 December 1999 - URGENT CONSERVATION APPEAL - Baikal Teal main wintering area under threat, by Lee, Jeong-sik and Nial Moores. 19 January 2000: Mr. Lee reported on that the core area of the sanctuary has been "mostly destroyed" with heavy machinery and that the birds have been forced out.

Nial Moores writes concerning Relict Gulls, Larus relictus, in the Nakdong. "Both last and this winter, the Relicts (6-7) were most easily seen from the main road running along the eastern side of the estuary, near the very outermost islands. One good way to find them is to ascend the hill behind the incinerator plant by roads which run through the apartment complex at the far south-eastern point of the estuary. Viewing from here allows superb views of the whole estuary, and by scope you can pinpoint the Relicts as well as the odd wintering Black-faced Spoonbill, Platelea minor, and significant numbers of Saunders's Gulls, Larus saundersi, (recently ca 130). Raptors too like this point."

Vietnam: See WorldTwitch Vietnam.

Cambodia: Cambodia, 10-27 February 2004, by Frank Rheindt - Giant Ibis, Mekong Wagtail, Bengal Florican, Manchurian Reed-Warbler, Silver Oriole.

In March 2001, Jon Eames, Ben King and Frank Lambert observed two pairs of GIANT IBIS in northeastern Cambodia, which Ben describes as "quite noisy, with crane-like calls." They had a long list of other good birds, including several White-winged Ducks. Later, Ben made a solo trip up the Mekong River to see the recently-discovered MEKONG WAGTAIL Motacilla samveasnae, described by Pete Davidson, Will Duckworth and Colin Poole in Bull. B.O.C. 2001 121(3):152-182. [Photo]

Frank Steinheimer's notes on the logistics of a trip to the Cardamom Mountains, SW Cambodia. (He will be speaking about the endemic birds of the Cardamon Mountains at the 3 July 2001 meeting of the B.O.C. in London.)

Excerpt: "It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Sam Veasna, Head of the Provincial Wildlife Department in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, in early December. Veasna contracted cerebral malaria during recent fieldwork in search of Kouprey in Anlong Veng, northern Cambodia. . . . At the recent BirdLife World Conference in Malaysia, he was astounded to find out the world was full of bird crazy nuts like himself; in Cambodia he was one in a million. . . . he was a single-handed force for conservation in northern Cambodia and in his tragically short life had already achieved more than most will in a lifetime. Without him for instance the reserve for Sarus Cranes that has just been declared at Ang Trapeang Thmor, Banteay Meanchay Province in Northeastern Cambodia would never have happened. . . . In June, as the recipient of an OBC small grant for surveying other potential Sarus crane sites he discovered significant populations of both Bengal Florican and White-shouldered Ibis in Kompong Thom Province. He was planning to carry out further work on both these species, particularly the floricans in this coming dry season, as his work indicated that they are suffering heavy levels of exploitation from hunting for the food trade. . . . In his memory we are planning two funds, firstly an endowment to support his wife and children and secondly the Sam Veasna Foundation which would support Cambodians to carry out conservation activities, particularly the kind of fieldwork which Veasna loved so much. We welcome contributions to either of these from Veasna's friends and supporters. Anybody who wishes to contribute can contact me directly for more details."

Cambodia Bird News No. 3, which is about to go to press, will include full details of recent discoveries of Bengal Floricans, Eupodotis bengalensis, and White-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni, in grasslands north of the Tonle Sap Great Lake by Sam Veasna. Cambodia Bird News is available for $15 per year for three editions from Frédéric Goes, P.O. Box 45, Siem Reap, Cambodia,

In 1998, Rob Timmins observed 4 GIANT IBIS, Pseudibis gigantea, and 2 White-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni, on the same pool within yards of a main highway somewhere in Stung Treng, northeast Cambodia. A May, 1997 article in the Phnom Penh Post reported that a middleman was offering Cambodian villagers $500 for a pair of Giant Ibis. An offer by a Thai businessman of a Toyota Camry for a "black crane" generated a frenzy among villagers "who went out on a rampage catching anything that moved, not having the necessary knowledge to differentiate among the various species."

Laos: Houaphanh Province Trip Report, October 2000 by Thomas Brooks & Line Sørensen.

The December 1998 issue of Bird Conservation International is devoted entirely to R.M. Thewlis et al., The conservation status of birds in Laos: a review of key species, 8:Supplement, pp. 1-159. On 6 August 1998, having just returned from five weeks of surveying in southern Laos for WCS/IUCN, Phil Round reported that he saw GIANT IBIS, Pseudibis gigantea.

A party of two SHORT-TAILED SCIMITAR-BABBLERS, Jabouilleia danjoui, were observed on 28 January 1994 in wet evergreen forest near Nam Kwai in Nam Theun Extension Proposed NBCA. (T.D. Evans & R.J. Timmins, Forktail 13:69-96 (February 1998)). The species previously was believed to be endemic to Vietnam.

Burma (Myanmar): Possible sighting of Pink-headed Duck in Burma! A team from BirdLife International including Tim Appleton and Jonathan Eames doing bird surveys in Burma during 26 Nov - 20 Dec 2004 saw a bird which they're "99% sure" was a Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea, long considered extinct. The bird had a bright pink head and neck and was scoped by three members of the team for 2 1/2 minutes. [Report by Baz Hughes on the twsg-forum, 17 January 2005].

Thailand: See WorldTwitch Thailand for detailed reports.

Malaysia, including Sabah & Sarawak, Borneo: See WorldTwitch Malaysia.

Brunei: See WorldTwitch Malaysia.

Singapore: See WorldTwitch Malaysia.

Philippines: Sad news: Arnel Mallari, the birding employee of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan who took out birders died of malaria in April 2006.

In March 2005, Ben King had Mindanao Bleedingheart Gallicolumba criniger on Samar. (Report.) Ben reports that the habituated Palawan Peacock-Pheasant apparently is not breeding, "and when he dies, it's back to regularly missing the species altogether." (Report).

Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis has been described in Desmond Allen et al., A new species of Gallirallus from Calayan Island, Philippines. Forktail 20(2004): 1-7.

Report of Negros Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus arcanus, previously known from one female specimen collected in 1953, plus Negros Bleeding-heart and other rare birds in the Canaway Forest, and 5 Celestial Monarchs and other good birds at Ambabok/Apaya, northern Luzon. The male Negros Fruit-Dove reportedly looks like a miniature Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove. Sander Lagerveld post to OrientalBirding, 8 August 2002.

In February 2003, Rob Hutchinson, Andy Adcock and Sam Woods had a Negros Bleeding-Heart in the Canaway Forest close to camp. Local contact Rene Vendiola reported having seen the Negros Fruit-Dove last year.

Palawan Peacock-Pheasants can be seen from the kitchen at St. Paul's National Park HQ when they come in to feed on discarded table scraps. (Ben King, KingBird Tours Newsletter No. 45, July 2002.)

In 2001, Vladimir Dinets photographed and heard Brown-banded Rail, Lewinia mirificus, on Mount Data, and he heard it again on Mayon Volcano, both on Luzon. See his pages: (1) Philippines: funeral of paradise; (2) Some tips for Naturalists Travelling in the Philippines.

March 2003 report from PICOP by Sam Woods, Rob Hutchinson and Andy Adcock. Highlights included Little Slaty Flycatcher, Celestial and Short-crested Monarchs, and up to four Steere's Pittas per day.

Chris Gooddie's February 2001 Cebu and PICOP, Bislig, Mindanao report - PICOP Road 4 going, going; Road 5 forest gone

Report by Jan van der Laan of a trip in February - March 2000

Notes on a trip to PICOP, Bislig, Mindanao, by John Gregory.

Notes on a trip to Northern Luzon, by Des Allen.

John Gregory went to Palawan in September 2000. On his first two attempts to bird in the Iwahig Penal Colony, he was restricted to unsatisfactory two-hour visits at mid-day accompanied by two prisoners, but on the third day he was barred from entering by the prison president on grounds that the hills were full of Abu Sayyaf and escaped prisoners. Their tricycle driver took them to a site closer to Puerto Princessa, the Iwahan Watershed Project, where they found Palawan Flycatcher, Ficedela platenae, and Malayan Night Heron, Gorasachius magnificus, along a logging track into the best remaining forest. (Apparently the Iwahan "Project" involves clearing the watershed.)

A population of about 50 Philippine Cockatoos, Cacatua haematuropygia, is being protected on Rasa Island, just off Narra, Palawan. To make arrangements to see the birds, contact Peter Widman, PO Box 390, Puerto Princesa City 5300, Palawan, Philippines. Other interesting birds on Rasa Island include Grey Imperial Pigeons, Ducula pickeringii, and Mantanani Scops Owl, Otus mantananensis. (John Gregory). Camping trips to Rasa are advertised on the Princessa Holiday Resort website.

Here is a map of the Philippines showing the provinces that can be printed out and inserted into Kennedy et al., A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines, which in an unfortunate omission includes no map of the provinces.

Curio, E., Hamann, A. & Lastimoza, L. 1997. The appearance & status of Writhed-bill Hornbill Aceros waldeni on Panay. OBC Bulletin 23:18-21. (pdf). Hamtang Forest.

Curio, E., Hamann, A., Heubüschel, P. & Lastimoza, L. 1996. Hornbill research and conservation in the Philippines. EEP Hornbill TAG Newsletter 2: 26-27. (pdf).

A. Hamann, E. Curio, S. Diestel, B. Fox, G. Ledesma, P. Heubueschl. 1996. The North Negros Forest Reserve: A biodiversity hotspot of primary importance at risk.

Hamann, A., and Curio, C. 1999. Interactions between frugivores and fleshy fruit trees in a Philippine submontane rainforest. Cons. Biol. 13: 766-773. (pdf). North Negros Forest Reserve.

For a snapshot illustration of why conservation efforts are hopeless in the face of massive human population growth, see this series of maps of Negros forest cover in 1949 (most of the island), 1970 (skeleton remaining), and 1996 (just a few patches of degraded forest).

Japan: May-June 2004 trip report by Dave Sargeant.

January 2003 trip report by Dave Sargeant.

Indonesia: In the chaos following the fall of the Suharto government, the Indonesian National Parks are being ripped apart by loggers and rattan gatherers. While protection of many areas always was weak (except against foreign birders), it has completely broken down at some of the biologically most significant sites, such as the Suaq Balimbing Research Station in Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, and such important tourist sites as Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan (Borneo).

More news about the complete collapse of nature protection in Indonesia: (1) 39 captive Bali Mynahs were stolen by armed robbers at West Bali NP - especially amazing since the local military boss sold trapping rights in the park and the birds were taken by trappers like stocked trout. [UPDATE: There was a second theft of captive birds. Even worse, as of September 2001, only 6 or 7 birds remain in the wild (V. Nason). So all the millions of dollars spent over the years paying the Indonesians to conserve the starling have been wasted.] (2) The annual deforestation rate in Indonesia is now about 1.5 hectares per year, double the 1994 World Bank estimate. (3) Kutai National Park in East Kalimantan is being destroyed by loggers and plantation companies. (4) 20% of Indonesian households now keep wild birds as pets, placing extreme pressure on such favored species as Straw-headed Bulbul. OBC Bulletin 31, June 2000.

Indonesia - Sumatra: Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo Carpococcyx viridis rediscovered! Photographed in 1997 in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Way Canguk, southwest Sumatra, and only now (April 2002) publicized. World Birdwatch 24(1). Update 14 July 2005: Nick Brickle reported to the orientalbirding group that a non-birding, visiting scientist gave a convincing description of a Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo seen briefly on a path at BBSNP, apparently in June 2005. When shown the illustration in Mackinnon, he said that the bird he saw was green, unlike the Bornean Ground-Cuckoo pictured, without knowing that Sumatran birds are green. Nick spent five days looking for the Carpococcyx without success, and he plans to return in August 2005. There was no response to playback of tapes of Bornean Ground-Cuckoo.

Perhaps the most unusual vocalizations on the fine new "Sound Guide to Nightjars and Related Nightbirds" CD by Richard Ranft and Nigel Cleere are the mammal-like calls of Bonaparte's Nightjar, Caprimulgus concretus, from Way Kambas. David Bishop called in a pair just before dawn on the road near the entrance to Camp D in 1999.

Trevor Quested et al. saw a pair of SALVADORI'S PHEASANTS, Lophura inornata on 12 April 1998 near the base shelter at Kerinci Seblat National Park. A male and a family were observed by Pete Morris et al. in 1999.

Schneider's Pitta, Pitta schneideriSchneider's Pittas, Pitta schneideri, were observed in 1999 on tours led by David Bishop and Pete Morris. One site is at 600m along the Tapan Road. (D. Bishop). Sumatran Ground-Cuckoo, Carpococcyx viridis, has been reported by a local guide from the forest above Tapan. (D. Bishop).

Indonesia - Java: Breeding Biology of Javan Hawk-eagle Spizaetus bartelsi in West Java, Indonesia. (Abstract - pdf) Vincent Nijman, S. (Bas) van Balen and Resit Sözer. Emu 100: 125-132 (2000).

Rare birds observed during 1999 in and near the tiny and threatened reserve at Maura Angke, west of Jakarta, include Sunda Coucal, Centropus nigrorufus, (P. Morris) and Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea, and Javan Plover, Charadrius javanicus. (D. Bishop). Carita on the west coast produced Javan Barbet, Megalaima corvina, White-breasted Babbler, Stachyris grammiceps, and Javan Frogmouth, Batrachostomus javensis. (P. Morris).

"Survey on endemic Javan Hill-Partridges." Vincent Nijman, PQF News No. 12 (1998) (pdf)

Indonesia - Kalimantan (Borneo): At the January 23, 2001 meeting of the Linnaean Society of New York, John Rowden of WCS reported on his 6-week expedition to the southern part of Kayan Mentarang National Park in northwest East Kalimantan for preliminary surveys of Bulwer's Pheasant, Lophura bulweri. Pheasants or pheasant scrapes were found mainly in open understorey forest from 630m to 900m. Resident Dayaks informed him that the birds follow Bearded Pigs and breed in exploded leks, with males calling and displaying close enough to be heard by other males but not seen. He has attempted to simulate a lek by broadcasting Bulwer's Pheasant calls at the Bronx Zoo's birds from two loudspeakers near the aviary.

The December 1998 issue of Bird Conservation International, vol. 8 no. 4, is devoted to papers from an International Galliformes Symposium held in Malaysia in September, 1997. Other contributions are being published elsewhere, and details may be obtained from the World Pheasant Association. Perhaps the most interesting article is a report on surveys of villagers in interior Central Kalimantan about the BORNEAN PEACOCK-PHEASANT, Polyplectron schleiermacheri. (T.G. O'Brien et al., 8:373-385.) Surveys found that the distribution of the species is patchy, and that it is dependent upon lowland rainforest, most of which is contracted to logging concessions. If you want to look for this pheasant, which has never been seen in the wild by a living ornithologist, now may be your last chance. UPDATE: 6 birds, said to have been caught in Kalimantan, reportedly were routed through Singapore in 2000 en route to a private collector in Hong Kong. (Glenda Normaly).

Indonesia - Bali: Seeing BALI MYNA, LEUCOPSAR ROTHSCHILDI in Bali Barat National Park, by Dave Sargeant, 5 July 1999: Click Here.

39 captive Bali Starlings taken in armed robbery at Bali Barat National Park in November 1999; developers building villas within the National Park. (KSBK)

Other Reports:

Ben King's Spring 1998 Expedition Reports - Report of trips to the Philippines and Burma

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall