From Nick Brickle, Bogor
A year long quest to see Sumatran Ground Cuckoo alive and in the wild is finally over!
Last week, Firdaus Rahman, Simon Cockayne and myself headed into the forests above Liwa in central Bukit Barisan Selatan National park, Sumatra. Armed with a voice recording from the still recuperating captive bird that was obtained in January, we were finally rewarded with excellent views of a pair Sumatran Ground Cuckoo; the first ever recorded sighting of truly wild
The site was about a 4-5 hour gruelling walk in (up!) from the village of Landos, about 5km south of Liwa. The birds were seen at about 950m in primary forest. A third bird was heard calling about 1 km further away at a similar altitude. We managed to get some voice recordings of the wild birds calling which anyone is welcome to. The call is a long way removed from Bornean Ground Cuckoo.
The area also had a good number of other Sumatran sub-montane endemics and niceties including:
The area is likely to hold several of the others, given more time to explore. Camera trapping nearby and local hunters reports suggest Schneider's Pitta, Salavdori's Pheasant, Sumatran Hill and Red-billed Partridge, Blue-masked Leafbird, Sunda and Sumatran (white-headed) Laughingthrush are all present.