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Ubud bird walk

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Su stands before me, hand far too close for my comfort to a four-inch St Andrew’s Cross Spider. “Here in Bali, we don’t have dangerous animals—just dangerous traffic” she quips. And so we begin our four-hour birdwatching ramble through the paddy enveloping Bali’s cultural heart of Ubud.

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Sumadi (Su to friends) has been leading birdwatching walks around Ubud along with (now sadly passed) Brit Victor Mason for around two decades. Su has eyes enough for all of us as she leads up Jalan Raya Ubud from our meeting spot at Murni’s Warung.

The birds are out there. Photo taken in or around Ubud bird walk, Ubud, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

The birds are out there. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Not ten metres into the walk, Su darts to the left and points up. “There, to the tree, eleven o’clock: white bellied swiftlet!” But before I can even find the tree, never worry about the darned bird, we’re under attack from the right. “Three o’clock!” Some kind of bulbul, from memory. I missed that one, too. We catch bemused looks from passing cyclists as the five of us strike poses with binoculars all cast in different (and invariably wrong) directions; Su of course hasn’t even drawn hers.

But the frustration evaporates when you finally see one. My first was a yellow vented bulbul, and I couldn’t help but exclaim a “Got one!” as if I’d just trapped an elephant which, by the way, I reckon I’d do a better time of spotting. I watched it sitting there, doing nothing actually, but it did nothing for long enough for me to stare at it.

Su chattering away as she leads our group down the path. Photo taken in or around Ubud bird walk, Ubud, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Su chattering away as she leads our group down the path. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The number of birds is surprising. Once you start looking, they really are everywhere. I ask after the effect of Ubud’s fast-paced development on bird habitat, suspecting it would have reduced the population. But according to Su, the number of birds has increased dramatically since her childhood. “No more people with guns. Every morning in my village people would walk through with guns to shoot, shoot, ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Ubud bird walk
Meet outside Murni's, Ubud.
T: (0361) 975 009

Location map for Ubud bird walk

Popular attractions in Ubud

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ubud.

Best places to stay in Ubud

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ubud.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ubud.
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