Palau Dua Nature Reserve
The name would suggest an Island, Palau, but the truth is that this is a piece of wetland on the coast of Java that is home to a varied and wide variety of bird species. With over 30 hectares of land, the nature reserve is spacious and full of wildlife for you to spot and enjoy.
Most people who visit the reserve seem to take a chartered boat from Banten, which is a beautiful way to approach the reserve yet very costly. If you are in mood for a mild walk we recommend that you approach the reserve by land and start from the small village of Sawah Luhur. This is perhaps the more enjoyable way to enter as it is considerably cheaper and you are able to take your time as you cross wooden bridges over streams and rice fields. In total it takes around 1 hour but well worth it.
Once you arrive in the park you will be amazed but the variety and density of majestic birds, with different types of Herons, Egrets and Cormorants making up the most obvious species. Although these are large birds their diet does entail insects frogs and small fish, which means that there are a lot of mosquitoes around. However even those little pests are not enough to distract you from the natural tranquility of Palau Dua.
You can visit the reserve at any time of year and still see a huge range of birds but the dry season makes for a better drier viewing. Take your binoculars with you as you can not but help be swept up in spotting more and more different birds as they dart past. Towards the tip of the reserve you will find the central meeting point for the visitors, which is the watchtower. A well constructed viewing platform that you provides you with a wonderful view over the surrounding area. It does get a little busy during peak times but it allows you to meet and quietly discuss with others what you have spotted.
Last but not least, with all these birds and fish around, you would expect some natural predator to take advantage of the rich picking and you would be right. The Fishing Cat, with light brown and dark spots this shroud and cunning assassin hides in the undergrowth and pounces onto its prey with agility and athleticism. Keep an eye out and you might be lucky to find one.