Monday, January 31, 2011

AWC Sg Miri

The route we took 0700-1100hrs along Sg Miri from PBC jetty to 100metres past Taniku ferrypoint, then back with a short excursion to Sg Maloi.

Intermediate Egret taking flight.

Members of the Miri CFZ team gathered 0700hrs at the PBC jetty to meet up with Musa who've woken up even earlier to sort out the boat with Mat Shah and drive it to meet us.

The trip was planned for our team to conduct CFZ Daytime Assessment of Sg Miri, Sg Adong and Sg Maloi, this will be reported separately on Sarawak Fireflies. While the team was busy with collecting visuals for firefly display trees along our route, birders took the opportunity to make observations along Sg Miri for birds of course.

Along the route, there were a few roosting Cattle Egret (20), feeding Intermediate Egret (5), Little Egret (5) and surprisingly a Chinese Egret (1). This could be the Little and Chinese pair we always observed at Lutong Beach.

Black-crown Night Heron was spotted on many points along the route; most were observed with a juvenile. The adults were seen with food in their beaks with juveniles nearby. Piasau Camp area had a parent and a juvenile team low on the branches close to the tideline.. Lutong town (on the opposite bank) had the highest number we've seen so far. Three adult BCNH (3) and eight juveniles (8) were seen at the river's edge together. All were observed within the same 5m radius.

Other birds sighted along tour route to Teniku Ferry and back to the ends of Sg Maloi :
Brahminy Kite (1), Dollarbird (2) , un-id Bulbul (4) , Blue-throated Bee-eater (5), Little Heron (2), White-breasted Waterhen (5), Long-tailed Parakeet (6), Little Green Pigeon (10), Stork-billed Kingfisher (1), Red-bearded Bee-eater (2), Asian Glossy Starling (50), Black-and -Read Broadbill (4, nesting; 2 nest site located), Raffle's Malkoha (1) and Maroon Woodpecker (1).

At one point during our journey, we also spotted a large hornbill (most likely Oriental Pied Hornbill (1) but id was not confirmed due to distance and the fleeting view afforded). There were also several Greater Coucal (4) seen either flying between trees, sunning itself on top of branches and one observed calling.

We carried out AWC for Sungai Miri only once before previously and decided to drop it from our site list due to the dearth of birds observed (other than roosting CE and LE). Sg Miri is a major river and still functionas a main river thoroughfare connecting locals to the heavily developed (oil palm) sections of Miri, perhaps this alone is already a good reason to put it back on the list.

One mistnet (already damaged) was observed throughout the trip.

A strange looking Little Egret, perhaps it's been exposed to too much of Sg Miri.

Cattle Egret and Intermediate Egret (in the background) roosting.

A juvenile Black-crown Night Heron, there were others in the area.

Greater Coucal.

Un-id Bulbul.

White-breasted Waterhen taking flight.

Upper Sungai Maloi, a tributary of Sg Miri. What used to be a forested area is now laid bare in preparation for a plantation, Lambir Hills is in the far distance.

Happy little faces excited seeing "tourists" in their backyard.

Write-up and images by Nazeri Abghani/MNS Miri/Jan 2011.

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