Blambangan Peninsula, What the Hell(s)?

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.

The only Javan Hawk Eagle photo for 2 days in APNP

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!

A tame Green Peafowl with his such of model pose.

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!

My first record Grey-and-buff Woodpecker

Ok, I don’t want to be a talkative. Just show you my best photos from the worst two days in APNP.

A female Banded Kingfisher
Black-banded Barbet with his meal. It’s very easy to see and photograph this rare-endemic bird in APNP
The most common barbet, even bird, in APNP. Blue-eared Barbet.
A common babbler, Horsfield’s Babbler.
An Java endemic, Grey-cheeked Tit Babble. You can even see him all day and almost all places in APNP. What the Hell #4!

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.

What this peafowl thinks? Does she think that the cow so stupid to be wooed?
And the exist most endangered bird in Java, Black-winged Starling with his soul mate.

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.

I and masbro Gendut (a truly name)

8 thoughts on “Blambangan Peninsula, What the Hell(s)?

  1. subhanallah, makin bening dan mantap saja fotomu mas 🙂 dan oh plis itu lensanya udah kayak mau motret bola kayaknya seru yaaa! 😀

    suka foto yang burung ama kebo itu deh. kok humanis sekali ya.. *padahal yo kewan
    **hehehe makasih mbak, foto2 landscapenya sampeyan juga oke banget tuh. kayak di luar negeri aja 🙂


  2. Wahhh asik banget foto-foto burungnya…! *mangap*

    Itu lensa berapa mas? saya aja belom pernah make lensa diatas 300mm haha. Btw salam kenal ya.

    **makasih mas, salam kenal juga…


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