Sunday, March 19
After the trip to Gunung Gede, I had a spare day in Jakarta and opted to use my Sunday to chase down a few more local specialties and a couple of globally threatened/endangered species. Jakarta's traffic is legendary but with a 4am start from Ciboda, we managed to skip the worst of it and get to the NorthWest of the city not long after dawn.
|Some rare Sunda Teal zipped over in the hazy morning light|
|View from the boat and our major targets.|
Next stop, after a long drive with the dense traffic of Jakarta in the morning - sometimes Jakarta feels like 20 million teenagers just got mopeds and are out trying them out for the first time (which may well be true) - was a chartered boat ride to the fish traps near the island of Palau Rambut. The poles, and presumably the fish in the traps, attract frigatebirds of several species in season, and it's one of the best and most reliable spots for traveling birders to get CHRISTMAS ISLAND FRIGATEBIRD.
|Christmas Island Frigatebirds|
The area also has another star bird, as Milky Storks are often seen flying over on the way to a breeding colony. This is another widespread but scarce and threatened bird so I was keen to see one. In the end I saw 17 as small groups passed high and distant over us on the way out to the islands.
|Milky Storks - distant shot, heavily cropped.|
Indonesian food is amazing and I'm sorry I didn't have time to try more. This last lunch consisted of some traditional spare-ribs, an amazing spicy vegetable dish with a peanut sauce, and this fried gourami. All very good.
After lunch we headed to another relic patch of mangroves at Hutan Lindung, this one surrounded by multi-million dollar homes in a gated community.
Targets here included Small Blue Kingfisher, which we saw quickly, and Black-winged Starling (which we'd missed earlier in the day at Muara Angke).
The highlight here for me though turned out to be an Estuarine Crocodile (Saltwater Crocodile). As we came in, the rangers told us that there was one about, and as we walked the boardwalk we bumped into a fisherman who was excited to tell us where to see it. I love seeing these creatures holding on in urban and suburban environments (I saw one last year in Singapore too). The don't do much usually at least in the day when you see them - just sleep - but it's good to see that they are still around.
|Estuarine Crocodile not doing much|