Friday, November 22, 2013

Views of the park

Zone F, provinsi Carpentaria area is open area seen at left of the picture...
Zone C
 This week most of the areas at Zone B, C and F have been cut of long grasses.  The areas that are regularly cut are mainly the  recreational activity areas.  However, it is the philosophy of  the park's development that certain areas reserved for wildlife will have grassland in natural setting.  Such grassy areas are either swampy areas for the hideouts and nesting areas of water hen or foraging areas for the pipits.  Here are some pictures of Zone B, C and F that have undergone grass cutting works.

Zone B, looking south-west
 Notice the long grasses at the background of the picture of Zone B above.  The grassland area is preserved for wildlife.  In the muddy patches of the grassland can be seen the Sambar deer hooves prints or  feet of the water hen.

Zone B, road passing zone B area with Eugenia oleina as roadside trees.

Zone B, looking south-west

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A pair of Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha - male

 Today is the third time the malkoha birds dropped by at the park within this year.  They are the largest malkoha species on this great island of Borneo and fortunately can be viewed at the Kambatik park. However, what's significant today is the fact that the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha came in a pair.  The malkoha birds moved silently.  I only noticed them when I was walking near Botanic Island One.  I saw something big passing in front of me in colours of blue.  I immediately focused my camera lens on a moving object among the thick cover of leaves.  It was the female of the species that I managed to photograph first.  Later I walked to Botanic Island Two to watch the male of the species hopping from branch to branch .   I am glad that I have preserved the original lowland rainforest ecology at the park by creating three ecological enclaves termed Botanic Island One, Two and Three.  In the islands are thousands of insects like bees, caterpillars, and small animals like lizards that the malkohas can feed on.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha - female
The female malkoha has red-orange iris and a broader band from chin to ear-coverts.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha - male
The throat and underside of body is a rich chestnut colour.
It's back, wings and tails are a glossy blue-green.

MY facebook cover page depicting the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo journal - 20 November, 2013

The betel-nut palm

The 'Pinang' tree rises above all the other fruit trees and oil palm trees
Location : Zone F

Areca catechu - in flowers and fruits
 Easily one of the tallest trees in the park is the 'Pinang' tree (Areca catechu) or sometimes called the betel-nut palm. The tree is planted for the fruits which have nut-like seeds.  In many cultures throughout the world (India, China and South-east Asia) betel nut chewing is a favourite pastime and such act is associated with many ceremonial functions in these countries. Below is the fruit cut in cross-section and in vertical section to show the nut clearly.  It is the nut that is chewed with leaves of the Piper betel (Sirih in Malay) and other ingredients that are popularly consumed among the elder folks nowadays in Sarawak especially the Malays and other native races here.
The endosperm which is the nut removed of its fibrous covering (as shown at bottom left in the above picture) is sliced and combined with the leaves of Piper betel ( Sirih in Malay) together with lime and other ingredients and made into a wad for chewing.  The nut is said to be strongly astringent and contains up to 25% of catehol tannins which provides some protection against tooth decay when the nut grounds down the teeth.

The inflorescence begins to develop inside the leaf sheath and grows fully once the leaf sheath is shed (seen above the group of fruits above). The inflorescence are sometimes used in ceremonial functions in Sarawak.  Ripe fruits become yellowish to orange in colour and unripe ones are green.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tiny but very attractive Crimson sunbird

 The park is visited by the Crimson sunbird on a daily basis.  A recent photograph I took showed it resting on the orange bracts of the heliconia psittacorum (parrot flower).  It's small light body was kept stable on the bract and from that vantage point was able to punch the flower to get to the nectar.  The Crimson sunbird also hunts for small insects, spiders and flies.  Besides the heliconia it also takes nectar from the Chinese hat plant (Holmskioldia sanguinea). The Crimson sunbird moves fast and it's very difficult to get them posing a little while for a more stable and focussed image.  Here's more images the the sunbird.
Male of the species are more colourful than the dull olive green colours of the female.

Punching the bract to get to the nectar...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Photoshoot session with the lime butterfly

Lime butterfly taking nectar from the Clerodendrum x speciosum flower...

Lime butterfly
Papilio demoleus malayanus
 Today the lime butterfly or so called " Chequered Swallowtail" dropped by at Zone C area of low flowering shrubs and  vines corner.  She gave me a fabulous time photoshooting her in long shots, medium shots and extreme close-ups.  The name suggests that the species is found where the citrus fruits are planted.  The female of the species has a large black spot next to the red spot on the hindwing.

The purple flower is called locally " Seribu bahasa" (Berawan) - Centratherum punctatum

Siphoning the nectar from the Clerodendrum flower

 It is planned and executed gradually for a flowering shrubs and vines collection at Zone C to attract more butterflies to the park.  Here they could be easily observed when they fly or rest in the flowering shrubs corners.  Here's more close- ups to show the tubular probiscis as it is thrusted into the flower to extract the nectar.
The lime butterfly thrusting its probiscis into the Clerodendrum flower

The female lime butterfly has a large black spot to the red spot...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Views of the park

Zone D, Provinsi Borneo looking west

Working at Zone D and E  this morning allowed me to take images of the better views in the areas.  At Zone D (top picture), the tree at left is the Durian tree.  The grass has just been cut this morning and it is the intention to plant low hugging grasses to the Provinsi Borneo area soon. More views of Zone E are shown below.

Zone E, looking south-west

Zone E, looking south-west

Pick of the park - Calathea crotalifera

Photo Journal - 17 November, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fruits of the 'Ong Lumok' are in season at the park

Oil palm planted together with exotic fruit trees.....a signature idea in the Kambatik park

This month the 'Terap' trees (Artocarpus odoratissimus) or ' Ong Lumok' as called by the Bintulu Melanaus are bearing fruits.  They are seasonal fruits and this season seems to be bountiful.  The concept of oil palm cultivation integrated into existing or newly introduced exotic tree planting is a signature idea in the Kambatik park. In the top picture the over topping tree is the Balem fruit tree and below it the Terap tree.  The oil palm or 'Sawit' in Malay is at the bottom of the picture. Today I gathered a few of the half ripe fruits and will keep them for a day or two for ripening purposes.  The ripe fruits are very soft, sweet and tasty.  Checkout more stories of the many ways to eat the fruit in my blog here ...>>> my Kambatik world...
Fruits of the 'Terap' or Ong Lumok (Melanau) - Artocarpus odoratissimus

Photo journal - 15 Nov'13

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The park in autumn colours

FB cover page on 14 Nov'13...

FB cover page depicting the park in autumn colours  due largely to the flushing of the Eugenia oleina trees.

Back at the park

Two Tiong birds (Hill myna)

 For the last two weeks we have been away in Kuching and just got back on the 11th of November.  On the morning of 12th November we were greeted by two Tiong birds.  They have made an early morning call at the park.  After having been away for a brief while  would normally have a walkabout at the park to play catchup.  This morning  was glad to come across a dragon fly and two butterflies.  It was a fitting encounter as I have earlier planned to start a watch album on butterflies at the park.

Note: All pictures taken on 14 November'13.