Saturday, June 19, 2010

HCV Assessment 9-10th June: Pahang 2

Our second site visit took us about 40 minutes' drive north, to the north-east corner of Bukit Ibam Forest Reserve.

Here too we encountered a Rail-babbler, and had a little more time to try to get some reasonable views.

The bird spent over ten minutes calling from a spot frustratingly just out of full view!

It then gave tantalizing glimpses through the dense foliage as it circled round us.

In good sunlight, the colouration of the bird is strikingly intense.

But more often than not, in the semi-darkness of the forest floor, the white supercilium was what gave the bird away.

In small forest pools, Ictinogomphus decoratus is the commonest large dragonfly.

We identified these tracks as belonging to a Pig-tailed Macaque.

Some orang asli families use forest produce for their livelihood. This tree is known locally as 'pokok kuin' (Keruing (Dipterocarpus sp)). A hole has been made in the trunk to collect oil - 'minyak kuin'. The hole is first fired to 'clean out' any impurities. Then it is left for the oil to collect. Oil is harvested weekly. Two hundred litres of the oil can sell for RM600. The oil has various uses, especially as resin in boat-building.

Collecting of minyak kuin may be a sustainable use of the forest, but the levels of hunting we heard about probably are not. In one home we found this baby Binturong. It had been caught three days previously and was in a sorry state, though still quite lively and strong.

We persuaded the family to part with the animal, and we released it back into another part of the forest. This photo was taken just before release. The poor animal no doubt thought its end had come, and started wailing pitifully and struggled vigorously! Once released, it climbed a small tree and promptly curled up and went to sleep!

The estate had one of the healthiest populations of Barn Owls we have encountered anywhere. We counted 16 birds in one two hour nocturnal survey!

Owls are so numerous that the estate no longer uses chemicals to control rats.

Or maybe because the estate no longer uses chemicals to control rats!

And the owls weren't just Barn Owls...

There were Spotted Wood-owls...

Buffy Fish-owls...

...and Barred Eagle-owls!

On our final morning I had chance to snap a few of the common estate species:

Black-naped Oriole...

Jungle Myna (the birds here were distinctly blacker than the ones we around Penang)

...And a smart male Little Green Pigeon.


Terence Ang said...

nice shot of the owl

Redzlan aka Tabib said...

Wow!.. so many Owls in one night hunting.

Dede - Life Healthcare said...

Wow, cool owl

Denis Degullacion said...

Dave, more good luck on the rail. It always a pleasure reading your post.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place full of owls!
Wish I knew a place like that in Thailand!