During one of my Indonesia trips unrelated to birdwatching, I was lucky to have seen the Sooty-headed Bulbul at Gili Trawangan Island, located at West Nusa Tenggara.
For an easier landmark, the chain of Gili Islands is just after Bali and off the island of Lombok, and some say this is the new Bali of Indonesia.
Sooty-headed Bulbul at Gili Trawangan
Anyway, when I was here for an exploration trip with Indonesia Tourism, I stayed at the Ombak Sunset Resort, which has beautiful landscaping and this, in return, attracts many birds.
My villa unit was facing several local trees, and I noticed these bulbuls that came daily as there was a fruiting tree nearby. Back then, I only knew they were bulbul, but when I looked it up later, they were, in fact, the Sooty-headed Bulbul, which was my lifer.
However, back in Malaysia, I am yet to spot this beautiful bulbul as I have not encountered it yet. Maybe I will spot this eventually on one of my birdwatching trips around here.
The sooty-headed bulbul can be distinguished from the similar red-vented bulbul by its tan front, less extensive area of black on its head and gold-coloured vent in particular subspecies, which was the one I saw here.
They are also general songbirds and travel in small flocks, often feeding together and are also called the golden-vented bulbul. It can be found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Southern China, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
When you go to Bali or other Indonesian islands, keep an eye out for the local birds, as you may never know if you see a lifer. Well, if you are Asian, most likely no, but if you come from far, it will be a lifer spotting.
There are many birds to be seen here, but the Sooty-headed Bulbul at Gili Trawangan was probably my happy sighting. I guess the next time I return, I will probably spend more time birdwatching at Gili Trawangan.