INDONESIA BIRDING TOURS: MORNING, HALF-DAY, 1-DAY, AND SHORT (2-DAYS AND 3-DAYS) BALI BIRD TOURS
Indonesia: Half Day, 1-Day, and Short (2-3 Days) Bali Bird Tours
AVAILABLE AT ANY TIME
With Andy now living in Bali, Indonesia, we are able to offer a wide-range of morning, half-day, full-day, or short (two to three days) Bali birding tours. If Andy is unavailable or on tour, we now also have a team of excellent Bali-based ornithologists who can step in and give you an excellent Bali bird tour.
The Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Bali Myna is endemic to just the island of Bali in Indonesia where it persists in a few remote locations.
If you are coming to Bali for a holiday and would like to fit in some Bali birding, please let us know. We have a range of options and can tailor our Bali birdwatching itineraries to your every need. For example, if you are in Bali for the start or end of a cruise, having a cultural visit to enjoy the many ancient temples or some yoga in the town of Ubud (where Andy now calls home), relaxing down on the coast near Denpasar or some of the famous beach areas like Canggu, Kuta, Jimbaran, or Seminyak, and fancy a short birdwatching break, we can help with a range of options depending on your location and time available.
Bali has a long list of highly sought-after species and subspecies. We have our long (17-day) Indonesia Birding Tour: Bali and East Java – Bali Myna and Other Rare Regional Specials set departure birding tour, but the following options could work if you have less time available and would still like to experience some of Bali’s great birds. Some of the top birds in Bali include Bali Myna, Black-winged Myna, Sunda Teal, Green Junglefowl, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Javan Owlet, Beach Stone-curlew, Javan Plover, White-tailed Tropicbird, Christmas Frigatebird, Javan Kingfisher, Cerulean Kingfisher, Javan Banded Pitta, Flame-fronted Barbet, Yellow-eared Barbet, Javan Bush Warbler, White-crowned Forktail, Javan Scimitar Babbler, Javan Munia, White-capped Munia, and Java Sparrow.
In addition to the above big-name birds, there’s something for everyone in terms of enjoyable walks through bird-filled rice paddies and coastal marshes, mountain and volcano hikes full of montane forest birds, estuarine, saltpans, and beach habitat, featuring resident and migrant shorebirds, and lowland forest full of exciting birds and other wildlife.
The rice paddies around Ubud, in Bali are a great place to see Javan Kingfisher.
Birding the Ubud Area
We have numerous options for morning, half-day, 1-day, and longer birding trips around the Ubud area (e.g., you could combine a few of the options below).
Ubud Rice Paddies, Campuhan Ridge Walk, Bali Bird Walk (suitable for a morning trip)
Our rice paddy and rice terrace walks offer the chance of seeing some common and widespread birds of Bali but also include some of the special birds to be found here, such as Javan Kingfisher, Javan Munia, Javan Pond Heron, Cave Swiftlet, and with luck, the stunning Java Sparrow (they move around a lot depending on the rice farming). These walks around Ubud include the awesome Campuhan Ridge, the Bali Bird Walk, and other sites that Andy has been exploring over the last few years. Some of the other birds possible may include (Javan) White-crowned Forktail, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Sunda Scops Owl, Savanna Nightjar, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Ruby-throated Bulbul, Black-headed Bulbul, Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Striated Swallow, Short-tailed Starling, and White-headed Munia, to name just a few. During the northern winter months (and a little either side) it might be possible to find shorebirds (waders) like Pin-tailed Snipe, Swinhoe’s Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, and Long-toed Stint, and raptors such as Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk, and Crested Honey Buzzard. During the Eastern Cattle Egret breeding season (around Christmas) there is a huge colony to visit for excellent photo opportunities.
The Coast near Ubud (suitable for full-day tours)
We have got several excellent coastal birding sites not far from Ubud that make for a great full-day birding session, with a wide range of species possible. We can usually find some secretive species here, such as White-browed Crake, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Barred Buttonquail, Greater Painted-snipe, and Yellow Bittern, along with Javan Plover, Cerulean Kingfisher, Javan Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Savanna Nightjar, Golden-headed Cisticola, (Double) Zitting Cisticola, migrant shorebirds including Swinhoe’s Snipe, Pin-tailed Snipe, Pacific Golden Plover, Oriental Plover, and Australian Pratincole, along with Streaked Weaver and White-headed Munia. During the northern winter months Eastern Yellow Wagtail and Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler can be found too. This area is also great for finding rarities and is where Andy found Bali’s first Black-browed Reed Warbler in 2022!
Secretive White-browed Crakes can be found in the coastal marshes on Bali.
Mountain Birding Sites near Ubud (suitable for full-day tours)
We have lots of different options for some higher-elevation birding within easy reach of Ubud, whether this be Gunung Batur near the famous volcano viewpoint of Kintamani village (enjoy birding while looking at seriously impressive landscapes featuring Gunung Batur, Gunung Abang, and Gunung Agung – more on the latter, Bali’s highest peak, below). Or there are other upland sites with excellent forest, such as those around the town of Tabanan and one of the best sites, Bedugul Botanic Garden. Gunung Agung offers something special too, with great birds and views all the way across the island (and it’s possible to get this without strenuous hikes!).
The mountains are home to some of Bali’s most sought-after and poorly known resident species and we can find Javan Owlet, Javan Bush Warbler, Aberrant (Sunda) Bush Warbler, Javan Cuckooshrike, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Brown-cheeked Bulbul, Flame-browed Barbet, Yellow-eared Barbet, (Javan) White-crowned Forktail, Spotted Kestrel, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Javan Scimitar Babbler, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Banded Fruit Dove, Sunda Thrush, Javan Whistling Thrush, Mountain Leaf Warbler, and Sunda Warbler.
Javan Owlet is unusual for Glaucidium owls as it is predominantly nocturnal.
Siberian Thrush is one of several great migrants to be found in the hills around Ubud.
In addition to the many wonderful resident birds in the hills around Ubud, during the northern winter it is possible to find migrants such as Siberian Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Arctic Warbler, and Blue-and-white Flycatcher.
Birding the Denpasar Area
Estuary and Wetland Birding (Serangan Island, Nusa Dua Lagoons, and mangroves) (suitable for a half-day or full-day tour)
There are numerous wonderful birding sites around Denpasar, and these are all easily accessible for anyone staying in the city, or other tourist areas like Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta, or Sanur (or even if you are staying further afield in Ubud). They make for a perfect half-day or full-day birding trip, and with careful attention to the tide times can make for an entertaining day out.
The birding sites around Denpasar and Nusa Dua are great for a number of resident and migrant species, with top targets including Sunda Teal, Javan Plover, Beach Stone-curlew, Siberian Sand Plover, Tibetan Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great Knot, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Far Eastern Curlew, Cerulean Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Nankeen Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Gull-billed Tern, Australian Tern, Greater Crested Tern, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Bar-winged Prinia, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Racket-tailed Treepie, White-shouldered Triller, Pied Triller, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, and Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker. Some of these sites also give good opportunities for photography.
Javan Plover can be found around the coast along with other resident and migrant shorebirds.
The tiny Cerulean Kingfisher is strikingly plumaged and sure to delight
Sea Cliffs (Birding Uluwatu Temple) (Half-day best)
Uluwatu Temple is a famous Hindu temple site perched on the edge of some high cliffs at the southwestern-most part of Bali Island. A great site for seawatching for a morning or photographing the sunset in the evening! Our birding trips here and in the surrounding wider area look for White-tailed Tropicbird, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, Lesser Frigatebird, Great Frigatebird, Christmas Frigatebird, Streaked Shearwater, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Sooty Tern, and other seabirds (telescope required). Conditions need to be just right though to get the most out of the site. There are interesting land birds and passerines in the area too.
A Little Further Afield – Birding at Bali Barat National Park and Surrounds
Birdwatching at Bali Barat National Park (2-day and 3-day tours best for here)
Situated on the northwest tip of Bali is the famed Bali Barat National Park. This is Bali’s only national park and protects a vast area of low-lying wilderness which is a scarce commodity on this heavily developed island. There is a patchwork of habitats here including mangroves, palm savanna, and evergreen forest. This site is the prime location for finding the extremely rare Bali Myna and the almost-as-rare Black-winged (Grey-rumped) Myna. The best option for birding here is by taking two or three days to explore this wonderful area, this would enable you to really get the most out of the site and the surrounding area – which also includes saltpans and interesting estuaries and mudflats. There are lots of accommodation options in the area to suit a range of budgets.
Bali Myna is always one of the top targets when birding at Bali Barat National Park.
Black-winged Myna is another rare bird to be found in Bali Barat National Park.
A stay of a couple of days around the Bali Barat National Park area can be incredibly rewarding with lots of rare and localized species and subspecies possible, including highly sought-after birds such as Javan Banded Pitta, Javan Cuckooshrike, Hair-crested (Javan Spangled) Drongo, Green Junglefowl, Sunda Scops Owl, Black-thighed Falconet, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Barred Eagle-Owl, Laced Woodpecker, Oriental (Rufous-backed) Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Oriental Dollarbird, Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (during the northern winter months), Mangrove Whistler, Oriental Magpie-Robin (of the local subspecies), Grey-rumped Treeswift, Javan Myna, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, and Orange-breasted Green Pigeon.
Birding Saltpans near Bali Barat NP (half-day while in area on 2-day or 3-day trip)
The saltpans around the area can be great for resident and migrant shorebirds and waterbirds such as Javan Plover, Pied Stilt, Greater Painted-snipe, Beach Stone-curlew, Greater Sand Plover, Siberian Sand Plover, Tibetan Sand Plover, Malaysian Plover, Terek Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Pacific Reef Heron, Cerulean Kingfisher, and Sunda Teal. With Sunda Collared Dove, Javan Myna, Pied Triller, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Javan Munia, White-headed Munia, and Streaked Weaver all also present.
Birding Estuaries and Mudflats near Bali Barat National Park (half-day while in area on 2-day or 3-day trip)
The estuaries and mudflats of the local area can be excellent too, with chances of Great-billed Heron, Lesser Adjutant, and Beach Stone-curlew, along with numerous terns, frigatebirds, jaegers, herons, and shorebirds. In the right season, Aleutian Tern might also be possible.
Terek Sandpiper is present at the saltpans during the passage/non-breeding season.
Greater Sand Plover overwinters in the saltpans and by March are starting to color up nicely.
Javan Banded Pitta Photography (while in Bali Barat area on 2-day or 3-day birding tour)
Sometimes while in the Bali Barat National Park area, we can gain access to a couple of bird blinds (bird hides) to look for and photograph the shy and secretive Javan Banded Pitta.
Javan Banded Pitta is one gorgeous bird that brightens up the dark forest.
The bird blinds (bird hides) can also attract other secretive birds of Bali, such as Oriental (Rufous-backed) Dwarf Kingfisher, Laced Woodpecker, Horsfield’s Babbler, and more. Please ask us for costs for this extra activity (if the birds are “available” at the time), to be added into your 2-day or 3-day Bali Barat birding tour.
Seeing Oriental (Rufous-backed) Dwarf Kingfisher away from a photography blind when birding in Bali can be tough work but a great highlight when seen!
The guide for day trips is allocated only after you have booked, as all of them are run as private trips. But we always use the country’s top birding guides.
Green Junglefowl is an attractive bird and Bali is a great place to see this species.
The rarely seen Red-legged Crake can be found in Bali, with some luck!
“Andy provided an amazing 1-day tour around Bali. He knows every bird and where to find the key treasures. Loved spending the day with Andy and looking forward to more birding trips with him.”
Our 2-day and 3-day Bali Barat birding tours include premium accommodation. This accommodation has been selected as it grants access to the national park area, where many of the main target birds can be found. Note that there are budget options for staying outside the park and birding the outside area only, where you’d see some, but not all of the key species. If you’d like to find about a budget tour to the Bali Barat area, please contact us. Please note that our preferred accommodation in Bali Barat books up far in advance, so if you are interested in a 2-day or 3-day Bali Barat birding tour we recommend booking as early as possible.
Expect hot and humid weather conditions in Bali year-round. There is little temperature variation across the year with average temperatures ranging from 78-82 oF (26-28 oC). Temperature highs of around 95 oF (35 oC) occur in some months. It can feel cooler in the mountains and hotter at the coast. Humidity levels hang at around 85-95% across the year. The rainy season tends to run from November to March and afternoon showers are common through this period. The rainy season may extend from October to April, but usually April to October are the drier months. January is usually the wettest month of the year with 13.5 inches/34.5 centimetres of rain falling on average during the month and rain falling on 27 out of 31 days! We tend to have to maintain some level of flexibility with birding in Bali due to the weather, particularly during the wet season.
We will provide specific advice on what to bring on a Bali birding tour (e.g., suitable clothes and footwear) ahead of your day trip as it will vary depending on which tour you take.
Please note the traffic in Bali is bad, roads are small (narrow) and congested with vehicles, many badly driven/ridden and so journey times usually take much longer than expected, especially if there is a religious ceremony, when roads can be closed without any warning.