Tuesday, October 26, 2010

19th October 2010: Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge

A few pics from last night's night drive to start with...

A Black Flying Squirrel

And a Slow Loris performing a comical stretch!

It was worth checking the spiderhunters coming to the Indian Coral tree this morning. Yesterday's were Spectacled. Today there was Yellow-eared.

We headed back to where we'd heard the Giant Pitta yesterday, but it wasn't interested today. After some time of Wang Kong's best imitations, we gave up and headed elsewhere. This Great-billed Heron looked 'atmospheric' in the morning light.

A Purple-naped Sunbird stopped long enough to be snapped.

It's difficult to give an impression of how small pygmy squirrels are from a photo, but they really are tiny! This is a Plain Pygmy Squirrel.

We photographed this anglehead lizard - Gonocephalus bornensis - while waiting for a Black-throated Wren-babbler to show itself. It did, but not well enough for a photo!

Chestnut-necklaced Partridges seemed quite common once they started their loud duets. Getting a clear shot was another matter, as they were shy.

On our way back for lunch we came across this beautiful Common Bronzeback.

We met Glenda, Maye and Eileen from MNS HQ, and they showed us a pair of Maroon-breasted Philentomas. Here's the male.

Displaying to the female.

The view from my chalet after lunch, before the skies went grey!

A Rufous-tailed Tailorbird near the restaurant.

The rainclouds gathered and the thunder rolled, but the rain didn't arrive, so we set out for our afternoon session up the main access track. We hadn't gone very long when a Giant Pitta started calling from the forest to our left. Seven of us (including two guides) made our way none too silently into the undergrowth and tried to call the bird into view. After some minutes of frustration, Wang Kong decided we should make our way uphill till we met the trail. We had circled the point where the pitta had been calling, and were now above it. However, I seriously doubted the bird would still be interested after all the noise we had made moving uphill.

To my surprise, it did respond to Wang Kong's whistled imitation, and after some time, the bird - a male, hopped onto the trail and perched motionless in full view for 20 glorious seconds! It was a bit too far away for my flash to reach, but who cares - the mythical Giant Pitta has been well and truly grilled!

The Holy Grail of the Malaysian rainforest? Well, one of them!

I don't remember much after that1 I think we turned round and headed straight back to the resort without lifting our bins to look at another bird!

Oh yes, and we saw a Thomas's Flying Squirrel on the night drive.


Paul Wu said...

Dave, amazing catch on the Giant Pitta!

Wai Yien said...

not a bad trip after all. how many have encounter a giant Pitta ? great stuff

Wong Tsu Shi said...

It seems that it is real hard work to get the Giant Pitta.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Congrats Dave! Giant Pitta!!

[MarK LouiS BenedicT] said...

Wow!! Giant Pitta!! Havent seen it since the my last sighting in Sepilok - Mangrove Trail, about 3 years ago. Simply superb!

Mark Young said...

The anglehead Lizard looks like a great little reptile.

Unknown said...

Amazing view of the ever elusive Giant Pitta! Choo Eng's big target...

Erwin said...

Very nice pictures again.. ^^
This place looks like a very nice bird watching location, I loved the hornbill pictures (but I am a real hornbill fan).

I am thinking about buying my first slr camera (well, actually a dslr, since I want to be able to make short movies with it as well).. I am currently using a bridge camera (sony dsc-h50), but the image quality is starting to annoy me more and more..

I am currently looking at the nikon d3100. But, I do not know that much about what to look for in the specs. Do you have any recommendations for me??
Or would you advice me to continue saving money and buy for example the nikon d7000...
maybe that camera is a bit too complicated for a beginner, isnt it?

All the best!

Harold Stiver said...

A wonderful series. Thanks!!