Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bird watching at Off Marudi Road Jakat-Empaling, lambir.

Time and Date: 6:30am - 9am 20th December 2009
Place : Off Marudi Junction to about 5km along Jakat-Empaling road, Lambir
Weather : fine
Participants: Steve, Musa, Sara and Rosie

Friends of mine invited to come and join a night camping at Empaling an area to the left of Marudi road distributary’s. We went out there late evening and set up camp at eight at night. They set up camp with small wood as floor plank and plastic roofing. Mine was easily setup. I place the chicken on a gas burner with an aluminium foil, which I prepare at home.

The three kids that came with us are their children were running around. While waiting the food to cook, I scanned the area with my night scopes. There are plenty of moths flying around. Occasionally a lone huge firefly flew from tree to tree. At a distance tree I saw two sets of bright eyes of possibly a civet cat.

When the foods are ready all of us sat around a cut tree trunk as our dinner table. We enjoyed the food, though it only chicken but the surrounding situation makes all taste nice.

On the previous night Steve called to join him for a bird watching. I have invited him to come and join us. He is not keen to change his plan.

The night was cold and there is no wind blowing. They started fire to deter mosquitoes. The children are playing badminton, while we are discussing of what they are going to do the next day. I told them that my friends are coming to join us tomorrow.

I was already tired and enter my camp about 10. It was warm inside. I could not get into sleep because the children are playing around all night. I could not remember when they got to sleep. But, not until I get into a deep sleep I heard someone was coming to ask for help. He needed a transport to send him to a long house near by. One of my friends sends him there.

I do not remember when my friend came back. It was the sound of the woodpeckers that woke me up. The woodpeckers were scanning the tree above me for insects. When I came out of the camp the two birds flew off.

I boiled some water to prepare an instant mee. The only item for breakfast was not available as we forgotten to buy them yesterday.

My three friends are all sleeping on the wooden plank, while the children in the camp below. I wake up all the kids and the rest. Then we scanned the area for birds. I managed to see a black hornbill some 6 km away with my scope.

Few green hanging parrot call and a few flew by. A pair of Hill Mynas passed by. Steve called if I am in the camping area, and passed his hp to Sara so as to let her know where about we are. They are at this time still waiting for Rosie.

Not within half an hour my friend saw a white Dmax truck some two kilometres down the road. My friend told me that it could be Steve group. I pointed my scope to the truck; indeed it was Steve and the gang. They are stopping looking at a hornbill. According to Sara one of the hornbills had a white stripe down the eye to the nape on both sides, making a V-shape at the back of the nape

They arrived at our camp minutes later. Sara was shouting if there is any breakfast ready. I told her we have forgotten to buy our breakfast.

My friends have been burning the cut area, which they clear to plant Ginger. The land is belonging to his father for generation and has been planted with few Jackfruits and wild mangoes. The smokes from the burning are really suffocating me. Steve is not very happy about the burning.

We saw a Provost Squirrel still sleeping on a branch at a distance tree. Later we see two black hornbills too. Then we saw five long tailed parakeets perching high on a bare tree branches. Hill Mynas flew by.

Steve was not keen to enter a timber track in front of the farm. He suggested we go to Jakat junction road. I brought over my camera and binocular and follow Steve group to do bird watching along the road.

Rosie spotted a black birds like a crow just to the left of our car. Then we stop to find out what they were. We could hear bell like calls and other odd noises. I thought it was an Asian Koel at the first sight. We stop the car and slowly move toward them. We observe them for about 5 - 10 minutes, 3 of them were flitting from tree to tree across the road back and forth, one was somewhere down the ridge in the forest. The birds are totally black, displaying the crest. The birds came out into the open and were identified as Black magpies. Steve was surprised to see the birds here as the forest has been cut down several years ago and is only secondary with large areas already cut down for oil palm and fruit farming. They kept crossing the road into a small clump of bare trees and green bushes, had a good views of the red eye that are very obvious and having a small crest. The birds bowed when calling but no bell calls heard. We heard the low trrrrr. . . sound made by one of the birds. Then came another pair from lower down a wooded slope. This reminded Steve the birds of paradise. A rare encounter indeed

There are also few Little Green Pigeons feeding some fruits between two trees.

Then we went to look for Jakat junction. I thought I knew the area well, but miss the junction. We back track and found the junction. The entrance of the Jakat Junction is of very narrow steep clay road. The road look unpassable but Steve was keen to enter. We saw a flat area on the right some 500 meters from the junction. Not until a kilometre inside we encounter an area that is not passable. We turn the car and stop at the side of the road overseeing the tall tree below.

Then Steve dropped me back to my camping area and they went home.

Bird list
Dusky Munia
Jungle crows at nest
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Asian Black Hornbills
Eurasian Tree Sparrows
Long-tailed Parakeets
Black Magpies
Brown Barbets
Blue-throated Bee-eater
Little Green Pigeons
Barn swallows
Pacific Swallows
Red Eyed Brown Bulbul
Unidentified small falcon flying away
Spotted Doves
Yellow Vented Bulbul
Wood Swallow
Hanging parrot
Rufous woodpecker

Mammal – Provost Squirrel

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