Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3rd - 4th March 2009: Borneo Highlands Resort, Sarawak

Borneo Highlands Resort is a luxury golf resort located near the summit of Mount Penrissen on the Sarawak-Kalimantan border. The resort has done a good job of leaving quite a bit of submontane forest untouched, and has developed a number of interesting trails. The Malaysian Nature Society (Kuching Branch) has been developing a bird list for the site, which includes a good number of Bornean endemics (see website article), most notably Blue-banded Pitta, Pygmy White-eye and Bornean Barbet.

The Resort also boasts a spectacular look-out point which reveals a panoramic view of south-west Kalimantan on clear days.

The view as the sun rises is constantly changing.

We found a fruiting tree near the carpark at the look-out point that provided us with a constant source of entertainment. In the tree fed ... at least 5 Mugimaki Flycatchers...,

two Blue-and-White Flycatchers...,

...and two stunning male Narcissus Flycatchers, as well as an Asian Brown Flycatcher.

This confiding male Narcissus stole the show every time it dropped in to feed. What a beauty!

However, the flycatchers weren't the only visitors to the tree. This Ashy Bulbul provided lots of photo opportunities.

I was amazed to find that it was wearing a ring! Anyone know who put it there?

Brown Fulvettas were commonly heard but less often seen.

A couple of Green Ioras dropped in once in a while.

Best of all was a flock of Pygmy White-eyes that returned periodically to feast on the fruits.

Not stunningly attractive but rarely photographed - this could be the easiest place in the world to see this species.

Sharing the limelight with a male Mugimaki Flycatcher!

Some more shots.

Walking the road, we heard three different Blue-banded Pittas, two extremely close, but the cover was so dense that views were unobtainable. Bornean Barbets were also conspicuous by their call, but difficult to get good views of as they invariably stationed themselves at the very tops of tall trees.

Other fruiting trees produced good views of Orange-bellied Flowerpecker...

...and Streaked Bulbul.

Birds were a little harder to view on the trails, as expected, but they produced yet another flycatcher - Ferruginous...

...a Rufous Piculet...,

some Rufous-fronted Babblers...,

...and a noisy party of Crested Jays.

We also recorded Bornean endemics Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker and Chestnut-crested Yuhina and totted up 57 species in our one and half days' birding. With it being such a short trip from Kuching (an hour), this site should be an interesting proposition for any birders who might be in the state capital.

A small group of Wreathed Hornbills overflying the summit of Mount Penrissen.


Jason Bugay Reyes said...

Best pictures of the Pygmy White Eye my friend hahaha :)

Wong Tsu Shi said...

The male Narcissus is just lovely, Dave.

zzlaloq said...

Seen some birds with rings at paya indah wetlands, it is done by perhilitan i guess. pic here

Anonymous said...

Fascinating! Very interesting write-up.

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing pics of Pygmy Ibon! Seems like a great place to visit! Too high up for Hose's Broadbill?

Unknown said...

That ring looks like some of the ones we turn up here at Kinabalu. They say UMS Kuching, not sure who's project exactly.