Friday, June 15, 2007

Sabah trip, Day 11: 7th June, Kinabalu Park

Our last day, and I decided to start by repeating my walk of yesterday evening, down the road from the Gate.

At dawn birds were coming into the power station compound to feed on the insects attracted to the lights used the previous night. Among them were Bornean Treepies, Ashy Drongos and a pair of Bornean Whistling Thrushes.

Along the road my attention was drawn to a song that sounds a bit like the start of a car alarm. I'd been hearing it since the first day, but attempts to draw the singer out into the open had proved futile so far. I rather half-heartedly tried to imitate the call, and this time the response was immediate. A Sunda Bush Warbler came straight out looking for his competitor. I'd seen several before this, but this was the first time I'd managed to get uninterrupted views.

A Sunda Bush Warbler at point blank range!

A short way along there was another movement by the roadside and this time, the skulker proved to be a Mountain Wren babbler.

A rear view ...

And one to show what the front looks like.

Since there seemed to be more bird activity than usual I decided to give the BUT one last try - my 6th attempt - I must be a sucker for punishment! Once again the horseflies descended, once again the forest seemed totally devoid of life, till I came round a corner to find a pair of Crimson-headed Partridges on the trail ahead of me. They scurried off fairly smartly, and then reappeared briefly further along the trail. No photos but I got a good look through the bins, and I felt the BUT had redeemed itself - well, at least partly! Here's a rare picture taken in the field.

I returned to the road and continued my descent with good looks at a number of birds.

This Golden-naped Barbet was one of a number of barbets feeding in a fig tree by the road.

This Mountain Imperial Pigeon had chosen a nest site right next to the road.

A view of part of the summit - a pair of outcrops known as 'The Donkey's Ears'

A closer view of the top of Kedamaian waterfall.

Further down the road I had a rush of blood and decided to attempt the Kiau View trail. Needless to say, this proved to be a mistake. In addition to the usual low density of birds, the trail was now extra wet and slippery due to last night's rain.
I managed to add one bird to our trip total, which proved to be the last of the trip - a male Jambu Fruit Dove.

These are really smart birds - it's just not a very good picture!

So our trip total ended on 172 species, which, considering we really only spent time at two sites, and it wasn't the migration season, wasn't too bad. No Whitehead's, but good views of the Partridge, and plenty to come back for!


Minnsy said...

Some wonderful birds and images. Especially love the swifts, treeswifts and swiftlets and the hornbills, trogons and that Temminck's Sunbird.

Kinabalu is a place I have always wanted to visit.

Guess I need to do a bit more birding elsewhere in SE Asia first.



digdeep said...

Hi Sean

You've got one or two birds up there I wouldn't mind seeing one day too!


The Clown said...

How often do you think about parrots?

Not often enough. These 5 tips will have you rushing out to the pet store.

In fact, don't delay. Don't even read the rest of this article. Don't even get dressed, get in your car and go buy one.

Then rush back to find out how darn useful they are. Why are you still there? Get going now.

You back? Take the wrapping off of your parrot. Sit it on your shoulder, peering at the screen with you, so you can learn together. Prepare to be amazed.

1. Parrots mimic what you do. There...did you see? They are amazing creatures. In that split second, they discovered how to use a PC, keyboard and mouse. You can now get a proper job, and your parrot will blog for you all day. Better still, when you get home, they'll tell you the best posts they read, recite any comments you've received, and save you trolling through the usual nonsense.

2. Not many people know this, but parrots are fantastic swimmers. They love it. And they can save you a fortune on plumbing bills. Blocked toilet? Simply flush your parrot. They get right to cause of the blockage and their beaks are especially designed to break up the crap. When the parrot emerges for air grab it straight away. They love it so much, they'll just dive straight back in otherwise. Can't be bothered washing them? Stick 'em straight in the washer. They adore the spin cycle.

3. Lazy? Overweight? Unfit? Pissed off with society telling you to eat less or exercise more? Fear not. Parrots are not only IT-savvy, they are amazing chefs. And you can combine those skills together. They can internet shop. Have the ingredients for your favourite meals delivered, and a most fantastic gourmet delight served piping hot for your arrival home from work. Parrot feathers absorb grease, oils and other leftovers. So when you have finished, simply wipe your plate with your parrot. Voila! a clean dish for your next meal tomorrow.

4. Take them to the office. Perched on your cubicle, specially adapted bluetooth headsets make them ideal secretaries. They can take sales calls. Answer the usual bull you have to listen to from colleagues. And shit on them if they really get on your nerves.

5. Improve your sex life. Chase your parrot around the room vigorously for 10 minutes. Make whooping noises. It has to be frightened. The adrenaline transfers an irresistible hormone which can be extracted from the sweat. Wipe it with a cloth. Dab your neck with the cloth before your date. DON'T go into the restaurant. Instead meet her for a drink. One whiff of your parrot-aroma will save you a fortune. She will want to go back to your place straight away. Just try stopping her undressing you in the cab home.