Birding at Pamanukan


Coastal mangrove, fish ponds and rice. A good site for Javan White-eye, Javan Plover and munias.

Key bird species:

Milky Stork; Javan Plover; Former site of Javan Lapwing; Javan (Sunda) Coucal; Javan White-eye; White-capped Munia

Birdwatching locations:

Pamanukan is the name given to an area of coastal mangrove, fish ponds and rice paddy north of the town of Pamanukan, around 1.5 hrs drive east of Jakarta. The area is famous as a site where Javan Lapwing were formerly ‘common’! Today there doesn’t appear to be any Javan Lapwing present, but the area is still very good for a few of the hard to see lowland Javan endemics, namely Javan White-eye, Javan Plover and White-capped Munia. It probably also supports Javan Coucal.

To find birds in this area is as simple as parking up somewhere interesting looking, and wandering off in any direction you choose. A good first option is to take the road north of Pamanukan (also signposted to ‘Pondok Bali’) and follow it until you get to the transition between rice paddy and fish ponds. Park here and start walking. Javan White-eye will be found where mangrove is present, Javan Plover will usually be on the bare banks of fish ponds, and White-capped Munia will be around rice paddies, particularly ripe ones.

To look for Javan Coucal here a good bet would be a track heading to the east along a raised causeway (see map). This passes through the sort of scrub and wetland habitat that the Coucals like. Trying this early in the morning would be the best bet.

Access and Accommodation:

Pamanukan is pretty easy to get to by car. If you are coming from Jakarta it would probably be best to try and hire a car and driver for the day from your hotel (usually around Rp 400,000-600,000) rather than take a taxi. You then follow the main toll road east out of Jakarta and follow it to the end (about 1 hour) and then keep following the main east road (towards Indramayu) for about another 40 min until you get to Pamanukan. From there take the small road north from the centre of town, as described above.

The town can also be accessed via public transport. From Jakarta buses go from the southern and (probably also) the eastern bus terminals. From the airport a bus to Terminal Pasar Minggu (southern terminal) will then allow you to get a bus that takes the coastal road through Pamanukan with an end destination of eg Cirebon. With the horrendous traffic around Jakarta, expect a journey on public transport to take 6+ hours.

There are a couple of small hotels in Pamanukan. Most people would visit this site as a day trip from Jakarta.

More info:

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Site map:

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