It is my second visit to Alas Purwo National Park since 2004. Alas Purwo NP (APNP) is the nearest national park from Baluran NP, though it doesn’t mean I got there at any time I want. I thought Ijen crater more interesting to be a photograph spot for both wildlife (birds) and landscape. Ijen, with the mountainous rain forest was supposed to be the greatest place for any bird photographers, and the view of the crater could be more beautiful than any, even Bromo! So, I went to Ijen more frequently was reasonable, wasn’t it?
But, at least, until yesterday, seemed like that I’d been wrong. 2 days trip in APNP was enough to made a proof that this place is absolutely the best place as bird photographing or birdwatching as well. With 227 list of bird species by Grantham (2000), APWP is one of the best of the rest of lowland rain forest in Java.
APNP is located in southeast corner of East Java, on peninsula which is called as Blambangan. The name of Blambangan referred to the name of the last Hindu empire in Java (about 17th century). When the Sultanate Demak (first Islam era in Java) conquered all Java land, there were Blambangan and Sunda kingdom which survived. That’s why, Blambangan (now Banyuwangi) has quite different cultures with other Javanese ones. In the era of Majapahit kingdom (the 14th century) conquering all Nusantara, much of Blambangan people evacuated to Bali island. Until now, only Bali and Tengger is the only large Hindu tribe survive in Indonesia.
Now I’m here accompanied by Masbro Gendut, the only birdwatcher in APNP, we arrange to get Javan Hawk Eagle photos. After he shown his immature eagle to, that’s really cool: a roosting Javan Hawk Eagle, makes a inevitable reason to visit here!
Friday afternoon on 16.30, we arrive to main gate then just right to the eagle site. No need to wait any longer, the eagle welcomes us with her shrilly voice (you can hear the voice here, the recordist was Masbro Gendut Hariyanto). But it was too dark to took the photos then we arrange come back to the site tomorrow. Tommorrow day and after, we got a bad weather which was rainy. What the hell #1! Absolutely not a good time for photographing. Though I got the one photo of the immature eagle, but it’s supposed to be more if we have good weather. But it’s enough as my first shoot roosting of Javan Hawk Eagle. And I’m happy.
Day one, in early morning, a single male Green Peafowl is already get prepared to be a nice model. This beautiful bird even like a domesticated chick with all of its behavior. He grab feed from the metal plate behind the post guard in Rawabendo. I can’t imagine, how come this endangered species to be benign when many people hard to see him from all his range? I must even step back my position because it’s too close for my lense range! Of course it’s not my reason to be surprise as I’ve been watching like this in Baluran. But, it’s worth then I say What the Hell #2!
What is the happiest for me? That’s the new record of my list! It’s Grey-and-buff Woodpecker (Hemicircus concretus). A such of tiny (14 cm) bird with striking red crest. I can’t get perfect frames, though I really excited with this one. What the Hell #3!
Ok, I don’t want to be a talkative. Just show you my best photos from the worst two days in APNP.
Visit to APNP, you must get to Sadengan where all big mammals of this national park inhabit. Usually Green Peafowl display their awesome feather here.
The last, I’d like to say a very much thank you to Masbro Gendut Hariyanto who has served me very well as long as stay in APNP. He’s a good men, great ranger and nice partner. Now he arranges to write his book about birds in APNP. It’s being my honor walk with him and help him to collect the bird photos for his book. Soon we will meet again and get much more great photos.