Thursday, August 04, 2016

Lost in Birding: To the Bat Cave!…BORNEO

Over the previous few days we had changed venue twice; we finished up in Danum Valley, with a nerve-racking battle with a Bornean Banded Pitta.

This species had taunted us daily, but left it until our final morning to finally show itself. This was a good parting gift from Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

From there we traveled to Sepilok for a single night, and a morning to admire birds like Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot and Red-naped and Diard’s Trogons from the state-of-the-art canopy walkway there.

After that we transferred by boat to Sukau, quickly chasing after a pack of Bornean Pigmy Elephants, (by canoe), on our first afternoon, when 27-40 animals were seen in a large noisy herd, regularly snorting and trumpeting from the banks.

For our full day out of Sukau, we began our day just as the sun rose, by boarding our private canoe, and gently making our way down a forested creek-named Menanggol.

We spent the first part of the morning there, even taking our very well organized breakfast in the canoe-sipping hot tea with the sounds of the Bornean rainforest all around is no bad thing!

A highlight of the creek was a pair of White-fronted Falconets perched on a dead tree; and all getting crippling looks at the crippling looking Hooded Pitta, as it called from a rainforest vine.

In the late morning, and still missing Sukau’s most famous bird, the endangered Storm’s Stork, we returned to the main river, the Kinabatangan, one of the longest rivers on the island at 560 km long, and tried another spot.

This led to a series of good raptors, with Jerdon’s Baza, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Lesser and Grey-headed Fish-Eagles, and Rufous-bellied Eagle all featuring before the end of the morning.

The undoubted highlight though occurred when two large shapes were seen on the wing overhead. This time though, they were not raptors but storks, and no other than Storm’s Storks, our main morning target species.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Lost in Birding: To the Bat Cave!…BORNEO