Thursday, July 03, 2008
2nd July, 2008: Bintang Hijau Forest Reserve, Perak, Part 2
As soon as I got into the forest I found that logging operations are continuing apace. It is tragic to see this beautiful area being destroyed in such a short time. The term 'Forest Reserve' means, I am slowly realizing, 'reserved for timber extraction.'
One good thing is that the magnificent tualang trees should be safe, as the Sultan of Perak has apparently forbidden any to be cut down in the state. And what the Sultan says goes.
Having said that, the Bat Hawks' tree is now flanked on three sides by logging trails,so the tree may be safe, but the habitat is going.
Wild honeycomb. Almost every mature tualang tree has its own wild honey bee colony, and almost all have the most amazing lattice of struts and rungs attached to the trunk by the traditional honey collectors.
Honey collectors climb these frail structures only on moonless nights. They always leave some of the honeycomb in place to make sure the bees don't desert the colony - sustainable harvesting way before there was such a phrase.
Rufous-tailed Tailorbirds seemed to be everywhere - and all seemed to be feeding fledgelings
An anxious parent.
Brown Fulvettas are always numerous at this locality, and their sweet, flycatcher-like song catches me out everytime!
This isn't a great shot of a Banded Broadbill, but it's the first and only one I've taken, so it will have to do!
This young Purple-naped Sunbird was very curious, and obliging.
This is what a forest highway looks like! It's a well defined pathway that leads through a gully in the forest and down to the river. From the footprints in the wet mud it is clearly used frequently by elephants and tapirs. A good place for a camera trap!
I heard a couple of Diard's Trogons calling, but they were not responsive. This Scarlet-rumped was much more territorial, coming out to see who was responding to his 'song'. Not too difficult to spot in the green foliage!
When I stopped to watch the birds coming to a fruiting tree, this miniscule froglet hopped onto my backpack. Compare its size with the zip and you'll get an idea how tiny it was!
This Spectacled Bulbul was among the bulbuls feeding on several fruiting trees.
Bintang Hijau is the best place I know of in Malaysia for dragonflies. Here are just a few:
This large dragonfly never landed, and would patrol its territory in an irregular darting pattern, making getting a picture of it very difficult. I think it's Macromia moorei, a new one for me.
I saw another like this at Bukit Pancur in Penang. No idea what species it is, it doesn't seem to fit any that are known to occur in Malaysia. Any ideas?
This one was similar to Macromia moorei, but without the yellow banding, and a bit more predictable in its flight pattern. Another Cordulid?
This one is Orthetrum luzonicum.
And this one is definitely my favourite! Rhyothemis plutonia goes by the motto, "If you've got it, flaunt it!" It sits on a perch in the sun, tilting its whole body from side to side so that the wings irradiate a rainbow of colours - an unabashed show-off!
By midday the forest was getting quiet, and, having spent 5 and a half productive hours I decided to head back to the car. On my way back I was distracted by a pair of confiding Hairy-backed Bulbuls.