Sunset from a beachside cafe doesn't go astray.
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Monday, 20 February 2012
When we returned to the park office we were taken to the restaurant where four huge dragons were hanging about. This image gives a perspective of the size of these extraordinary animals.
Occasionally one of the animals would seemingly eye us with interest and move in our direction, when the rangers would promptly deter them with the aid of forked staffs.
There were plenty of Timor Deer, the natural prey of the Komodo Dragon, about.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
This great gecko was the only saving grace of the otherwise grotty seminary we stayed in at Kisol.
Monday, 13 February 2012
We moved on to the village of Oenasi, where we met with the villagers who are the custodians of the forest there. We formally sought permission to enter their forest at a little ceremony.
Friday, 10 February 2012
We were ably helped along the way by our Indonesian crew including local guide Freddie, left in the foreground, and to his right Darwin Sumang, highly recommended to organise your visit to Indonesia.
Just to disprove the theory that birders only care about birds, a touch of culture. We stopped by some rice paddies on Sumba, west of Lewa, when the women workers in the field suddenly started up some sort of traditional dance, singing and chanting with considerable vigor and rhythm to match as they moved through the rice. Very nice.
Friday, 3 February 2012
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Hery explained that there are only about 15 free-flying Bali Starlings left in their natural environment in the national park. A captive breeding program has worked well - about 100 birds are nesting in captivity and several pairs are released annually into the park. Poaching for bird collections was the initial problem, but following a successful crackdown on poaching, the worry now is predation by the likes of monitors and palm civets, numbers of which may have risen to unnaturally high levels. Two weeks ago, the last of the truly "wild" Bali Starlings in the national park was killed and eaten by a civet.
One of the rangers holds up a sign outside the park headquarters. They are a dedicated bunch battling against the odds. Let's hope their efforts succeed in saving this beautiful bird.