Tuesday, July 29, 2008
24th July 2008: Sungai Relau, Taman Negara
Looks can be deceptive! This doesn't look like a particularly promising venue for wildlife at first glance. A group of 13 of us stayed here for 2 half days and 2 full days, and we managed to record 163 bird species, with only 1 migrant among them!
We stayed at the HQ (marked by the red oval) and did most of our birding along the main jeep track up to about 2km into the park. The mountain to the right is Gunung Tahan, the highest peak in the peninsula - 42 km from where we stayed!
Our chalets were very comfortable - air con was a welcome luxury after a day in the incredibly humid forest conditions.
Since there are no cooking or restaurant facilities, we chose to have food catered, and Encik Roslan did not disappoint, either in terms of quantity or quality!
The Wild starts here! The entrance to the Park.
The birdlife around the HQ was quite interesting, with a mix of open country species and forest birds, like this Yellow-vented Flowerpecker.
The trails were very wet, and I have never seen so much evidence of large mammals on the ground, with elephant and wild boar tracks and dung commonplace, and a fresh set of Sun Bear footprints. This is the front foot.
Tetrathemis irregularis was a new dragonfly for me, resting beside a forest trail.
Hornbills could be heard often, but were typically hard to spot. This female Rhinoceros Hornbill was more obliging than most.
This female Jambu Fruit Dove flew up from the ground and then posed nicely!
At dusk the unearthly calls of Black Hornbills could be heard, and this one flew over the HQ.
Night walks were disappointing - no owls and few mammals - perhaps there is too much for them to hide in? Javan and Gould's Frogmouths were heard but not seen. This spider was the only creature photographed.