Wednesday 12 March 2014 80 °F
Today was, as you can see, my last full day in the absolutely perfect island of Bali.
Before I expound on the day's events, I would just like to give a shout out to our fabulous staff at the villa who have cared for us in such a friendly, safe manner. The villa is so peaceful and beautiful being nestled up on a wooded hillside. I will miss hearing the gamelan and the native music in the mornings and evenings.
Today my dad and I took a rafting tour on the nearby beautiful Telaga Waga River. The whole family was supposed to come, but my mom stayed at home at the villa with my little sister Pearl because she woke up with a fever and an ear infection.
Upon arriving at the launch station, I found these two cute kittens. The sad truth is that free-ranging cats like these are the #1 reason for songbird fatalities in the USA and one of the most dire reasons worldwide. These kittens were simply just too cute for me to resist snapping a photo of them:
The rafting was awesome. My dad and I were on the same boat with a couple from Hong Kong conveniently named Mary and Gary, as well as our Indonesian guide. The entire trip was down a lushly wooded river valley with occasional rock cliffs shooting up from the river as well as magnificent waterfalls, some of which we rafted under a few times. The rapids on the river, class 4 by the way, were very exhilarating and my dad and I were laughing harder than we had for quite a long time.
After the rafting trip, we had lunch at the company's buffet-style restaurant and then were driven back to the villa.
The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the villa for one last day before we start our last push of travel for this trip.
During the evening, my dad stayed home with the poor "sickpot" Pearl while my mom and I went out to dinner at a restaurant that was supposed to be good for birding. However, this is what happened:
"Since the weather outside was frightful,
And there were no birds around at all,
And the food inside was delightful
I stayed in and ate it all!"
And I did eat my entire, delicious meal of chicken satay, peanut sauce, white rice, and a nice strawberry drink:
Soon it cleared up a bit outside so I took a photo of the view from our window during dinner:
Sadly, even though the weather got better, the birds remained quiet for the night.
No new life birds were seen today, although it was a very fun day nevertheless.
Tomorrow my family and I will take a plane to Singapore, then we will stay in Singapore for two nights, and finally we will head home. I can't believe we're reaching the tail end of our trip!
Since I will most likely not see too many birds in Singapore, I will give the run-down of the trip birding-wise for each country so far.
90 life birds
Best bird: Little Spotted Kiwi
Runners-up: Brown Kiwi; Wandering, Royal, Shy, and Buller's Albatross
91 life birds
Best birds: Superb Lyrebird and Glossy Black-cockatoo
Runner-up: Australian King-parrot
31 life birds
Best birds: Ruddy-breasted Crake, Pintail Snipe, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Greater Coucal, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Common Iora, and Brown-backed Sunbird.
I think overall I enjoyed birding in New Zealand the most. Bird-of-the-trip to the Little Spotted Kiwi (which was found in New Zealand). It was an amazing experience seeing such an extremely rare and unique creature so close and even photographing it! Runner-up to the Wandering Albatross, which were also found in New Zealand, because they have the largest wingspan of any living bird!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's overview on the travel day to Singapore!
World Life List: 639 Species (no new life birds today)