At the closest holiday after March 23rd, i usually go for a great birding in different places, and find something good which i used it as my ‘year icon bird’. My first year icon bird is Red Junglefowl, a very rare bird in Java, which i found it in a very brief view after being lost for 3 hours in somewhere of Mt Merapi. My 2nd year icon bird is.. Well, I don’t really remember, i was too busy to prepare myself for the high school final exam–but Chesnut-headed Bee-eater maybe the best, since it reminds me of someone (well, it’s rather personal). For my 3rd year, i couldn’t decide which species is ‘special’ enough to be my year icon bird, since i got so many lifer that time in a trip with my generous Danish friend, but i think Javan Banded Pitta and Javan Trogon is one of the best.
This year, i really hope to find a really good icon bird. I planned to go birdwatching at Plawangan hill with my friends from Bionic Birdwatching Club, a birdwatching club from my campuss. Despite i have been here so many times (it’s only several kilometers away from my home) and i knew most of the birds here, this place still contains some mysterious bir, most of them is on my priority list. Let’s say, Javan Cochoa, Asian Paradise Flycatcher,Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Orange-headed Thrush–all of them are rare here, maybe more common in some other places but they are ‘never easy’. The cochoa and the hanging-parrot were spotted by my friend Mas Imam couple months ago, while the Paradise flycatcher appeared on the neighbouring hill, Turgo, less than a kilometer from here. I didn’t expect to much for the Thrush since it’s likely extinct in this area.. the area who considered this species as it’s mascot (what an irony!).
So at Saturday, Mach 23rd 2013 prepared myself for a hard birding. I turned on my motorcycle and took it as fast as i can to Tlogo Nirmolo, one of two national park’s main gates on Merapi’s southern slope. I stopped for a while a couple meters before the parking lot, when i saw a black-streaked long-tailed brown bird–Striated Grassbird, my first bird of the day.
I decided to wait here for a couple minutes, which provided me some species: Sooty-headed Bulbul, Spotted Dove, Long-tailed Shrike, Black-banded Barbet (audio), Lineated Barbet (a), Plaintive Cuckoo (a), Sunda Cuckoo (a), Scaly-breasted Munia, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, White-flanked Sunbird, Oriental White-eyes and.. Javan Hanging Parrot! This bird was rare before Merapi Erruption 2010, but nowadays it’s getting more common around forest border and Kaliurang village. About 20 species in 15 minutes, good start.. No, great start! Suddenly, a motorcycle with 2 passenger came–it was my friend Mas Chaerul and his friend. He said everybody else was still far behind, and we went to the parking lot. We waited here for several minutes and heard many bird voices–totally promising! I couldn’t wait to start birdwatching!
And here’s come the plot twist!
Mas Chaerul’s phone rang and when he picked it up, his face turned bad. Something bad happen: one of the new member got an accident. Two people got hurt, and to make everything become worse, they were Satrio and Ekky, my friend.
Both of them are best friend in class, we did almost everything together. I was the one who pushed them to birdwatching and conviced them to join this trip. And yeah, they just got an accident down there, Ekky’s motorcycle that drove by Satrio slipped on a sharp corner not too far from my home. My friend said that they are all right and was taken to the nearest hospital.
Me and mas Chaerul drove down in hurry. I didn’t remember about birds, or the fact that my birding day was done only in 15 minutes. I went to the hospital and saw them lied on a bed, still breath and laugh as usual. So that’s all we did, we laughed together.
For the next 6 hour, i spent my time to help down in police office and took them to my home to rest. We didn’t do any birdwatching that day. I didn’t get any lifer or any special bird, except for the Javan Hanging Parrot (which i’ve seen it many times!), while my friend up there saw many good sightings, including some Pin-tailed Parrotfinch nestling and 2 Javan Hawk Eagle in a very close distance. But it isn’t important, i can come again next time and see the same bird. The most important thing is i can help my friends, and make sure that they are all right.
So at the end i didn’t get a special bird for my year’s icon.. Well, maybe i can pick Sooty-headed Bulbul or Javan Hanging Parrot. But yeah, i have a very great day with my friends and i understand that this the real meaning of birdwatching: friendship.
Like the sooty-headed bulbul, we always together, rarely alone, forever together 😀