Bali and Lembongan

We visited the Indonesian Islands of Bali and Lembongan in August 2023. This certainly has been one of my favourite destinations that i have visited thus far. The islands are beautiful, the culture amazing but its the people that really make this special.

Nusa Dua

 

The trip consisted of three parts. The first, we were staying in a typical beach resort, and although we ventured out to some other sights this is really the type of holiday where you swim, drink cocktails and lounge around. Nice for a day or two, but not my type of holiday. Thank fully there was a small wetland park within walking distance and some good birding there.

 

 

 

Ubud

 

The second part was into the interior of the island to Ubud, which is much more nature driven and more commercially driven with many larger markets.  We stayed in a stunning villa on the edge of a green ravine, with stunning views. Initially we visited a number of the “must see spots” but soon realized that these has become very commercialized, sadly.  Tegallalang Rice terraces is a good example where the actual attraction of the rice terraces and how they are irrigated is now second to the “Instagram activities” such as swings, bike cable rides, bottomless floors and swimming pools. Its an amusement park and not an attraction. But in my walks around Ubud I traversed other rice paddies, and had fantastic conversations with the local farmers and other people living there around their culture and life style. Ubud also provided me with one of my huge wish list birds, the Green Junglefowl. Easy to hear, difficult to see in the lush forest, but we did get some good views for a few minutes.

 

Lembongan

The last part of our stay was Lembongan, reached by ferry. This small island and its neighbour, Ceningan, is best explored by renting a scooter, and by far the best part of our trip. The freedom to be able to travel on your own on the island from one stunning beach to the next, passing by coffee shops, little bars and restaurants and having a host of massages was just the highlight of the time spent in Bali.  Our host, Yoni, at Dini D’nusa was unbelievable in helping us organise everything we wanted, from scooters, various snorkel dives, and restaurants, not effort was too much.   Another fantastic islander that we met was Rai from https://www.raiartspace.org/. Not only was his art inspirational, but he as a person gave me much food for thought on how we live our lives.

 

Naturally I spent some time out looking for birds 79 species of which 35 were new to my world list and some nice sighting of other creatures, including crabs, butterflies and dragonflies.

 

Green Junglefowl
Little Pied Cormorant
Lesser Frigatebird
Lesser Coucal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooty-headed Bulbul
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Lemon-bellied White-eye
Javan Munia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long-tailed Macaque
Banded Sea Krait
Common Sailor
Pacific Trumpetfish

 

 

Singapore

We visited Singapore in August 2023 for four days and divided the time there between general sight seeing and shopping in Orchard Road. Here are links to the main sight-sightseeing areas we covered.  The Botanical garden and Orchid gardens was by far the highlight of the visit.

Singapore City and Surrounds
Garden by the Bay
Singapore Botanical Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The visit allowed for some birding as well and 50 species were seen of which 35 were new world lifers. Below are a few of my highlight species:

Oriental Pied Hornbill
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot
Crimson Sunbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Junglefowl
White-breasted Waterhen
Pink-necked Green-pigeon
Plantain Squirrel

Grootvallei Game Ranch

Grootvallei Game Ranch is a game farm on the Boshoff Kimberley gravel road, in an area that transitions from Freestate grasslands into Kalahari grassland. Where we spent a few days in December 2022

 

Grootvallei Game Ranch
New species page added for Chat Flycatcher
New species page added for Chat Flycatcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Species Updated:

Roan Antelope
Sable Antelope
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Shaft-tailed Whydah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upington and Augrabies Falls National Park

Recent trip to the Northern Cape visiting Upington, Keimoes, Kakamas and Augrabies Falls.

Lifers

Bushveld Sengi
Rosy-faced Lovebird
Stark’s Lark
Broadley’s Flat Lizard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marbled Rubber Frog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location Galleries added:

Upington, Keimoes and surrounding Kalahari
Augrabies Falls National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Species Galleries Updated:

Pale Winged Starling
Western Rock Skink
Fawn-coloured lark
Sociable Weaver

Hermanus and Karoo Trip

Updates from the December holidays trip to Hermanus and stay overs in the greater Karoo, including Prince Albert

New location Gallery has been added for Transkaroo Adventures

Transkaroo Adventures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Lifers added:

Long-beaked Common Dolphin
Northern Giant Petrel
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
Sooty Shearwater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karoo Eremomela
Black-eared Sparrow-lark
Bronze Whaler Shark
Drab Thick-tailed Scorpion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Species Photos updated:

Lanner Falcon
Rock Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel
Southern Tchagra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Giant Petrel
Cape Rock-jumper
Springbuck
African Buffalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lark-like Bunting
Yellow-bellied Eremomela
White-necked Raven
Bank Cormorant

Northern Natal (Hluhluwe, iSimangaliso, St. Lucia)

A recent trip to Northern Natal has added a number of new lifers and many new photos.

7 Bird, Mammal and Amphibian lifers, 3 new species galleries and many additional photos.

 

Lifers

Neergaard’s Sunbird
Pink-throated Twinspot
Purple-banded Sunbird
Plain Grass Frog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Bush Squirrel
Rudd’s Apalis
Rosy-throated Longclaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Galleries

Black-winged Lapwing
Lemon-breasted Canary
Sand Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated Species

Collared Pratincole
Green Malkoha
Crested Guineafowl
Green Barbet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Gorgeous Bush-shrike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey-rumped Swallow
Livingstone’s Turaco
Narina Trogon
Red Forest Duiker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pied Crow
Southern Black Flycatcher
Western Yellow Wagtail
Tambourine Dove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novice
Diurnal Copper Dung Beetle

 

Kruger National Park – Aug 2021

Photo galleries updated after our visit to Tsendze and Satara

 

Cardinal Woodpecker
Waterbuck
Greater Kudu
Yellow-throated Longclaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kori Bustard
Lion
Steenbok
Shikra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-throated Robin-chat
Common Greenshank
Lowveld Large-scale Yellowfish
Magpie Shrike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-crested Helmet-shrike
Common Scimitarbill
Burchell’s Coucal
Kittlitz’s Plover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark
African Wood-owl
Black-backed Jackal
Purple Roller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puffadder
African Barred Owlet
Common Buttonquail
Western Barn Owl

Hermanus July 2021

An unplanned visit to Hermanus in July 2021 added some nice surprises in 2 lifers.  Residents probably were thinking this guy was quite mad to sit in a ocean facing parking lot during some of the worst storms the cape has had this year, but this is ideal conditions to see peleagic birds closer to shore.

 

Lifers added were:

White-chinned Petrel
Sub-Antarctic Skua

 

 

 

 

 

 

New photo gallery for:

Southern Giant Petrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New photos for the following species:

Southern Tchagra
Jackal Buzzard
Orange-breasted Sunbird
African Marsh Harrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Crane
Large-billed lark
Rock Kestrel
Denham’s Bustard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Penguin
Cape Rock-jumper
Ground Woodpecker

Kameelpoort Game Farm Species Update

A  number of species have new photos added after a visit to Kameelpoort Game Farm close to Northam in June 2021

Dark Capped Bulbul
Lapwing African Wattled
African Wattled Lapwing
Crowned Lapwing
Red-billed Oxpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Waxbill
Coqui Francolin
Meyer’s Parrot
Jameson’s Firefinch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-winged Kite
Black-faced Waxbill
Green-winged Pytilia
Chestnut-vented Warbler (Tit-Babbler)

New galleries

New Location gallery added:

Greater Karoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Species galleries added:

Birds:

Agulhas Long-billed Lark
Denham’s Bustard
Namaqua Warbler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tractrac Chat
Karoo Long-billed Lark
Karoo Korhaan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mammals:

Namaqua Rock Mouse
Elephant Shrews (Sengi’s)
Southern Right Whale