Wednesday, April 30, 2014

But-But Kecil

 Somewhere in the middle of the picture above is  a But- But which in Malay refers to the Coucal bird.  Here there are two main varieties the Greater and Lesser Coucal.  However , in this post are the pictures of the Lesser Coucal.  What is striking about this bird is the chestnut coloured wings.  It has bill, legs and feet in black.  They are not easily seen but when they are around they like to hunt for lizards, insects and other small mammals.

Wonder fern at the park

Miding (Malay) - Stenochlaena palustris growing on the oil palm trunk

 There are many types of ferns at the park, some have epiphytic habits.  The Miding is one wonder fern here that grows luxuriously on wet areas as well as on palm trees.  Today the Miding is a 5-star vegetable that is served at many 5-star hotels or restaurants in Sarawak.  It is about the healthiest vegetable  at the park because it grows naturally without receiving fertiliser or pesticide.  Here's how to eat this fern vegetable. 

Collect as many young Miding stalks as you can (above).  They may vary in size and age, but that does not matter.  Separate the hard section of the leaf stalks to be thrown away as shown below.
How to cook the Miding:  Firstly, prepare a 'sambal' paste by pounding shallots, garlic, anchovies and 'belacan' or shrimp paste and chilies.  Secondly, stir fry the paste for about 2 minutes with a little bit of cooking oil.  Thirdly, put in the Miding vegetable and sprinkle salt to taste.  Cook for only two minutes because this type of vegetable gets cooked very fast.  Finally, served hot with rice. 
The fern Miding vegetanble cooked in sambal belacan paste, or what the Malays called "Miding tumis belacan".

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sambar Murai Gila or the Pied Fantail

Sambar Murai Gila (Malay) - Ped Fantail
Location : Zone B

 Living in a lowland dipterocarp forest one is able to find the "Sambar Murai Gila" comes out from the jungle to checkout the forest fringes.  It is only one of the many fantails in Sarawak that has the habit of coming close to human habitation.  Today it came close enough to show off its beautiful fantail.  The tail feathers have a broad white tip that are of progressive length and when fanned out form a semicircular-shaped tail.  Today it was busy moving about the branches of the Shrubby Dillenia to devour some red ants.

The Oriental Magpie-robin

 In between the rains, I saw the Magpie-Robin hopping  around the open space at Zone F apparently looking for food.  Drenched but not beaten I saw a few of them perching from nearby oil palm fronds and Pong-Pong tree branches to quickly land on the wet ground searching for things to peck or eat.

A gliding lizard

 You just have to be there at the correct time and camera-ready too.  This is what I experienced today when out of the blues a flying object I saw gliding  from the Mango tree to the Cempedak tree was in fact a gliding lizard.  I was not able to get a closer glimpse of it but was pleased  to see it 'flew' and landed on the trunk of the Cempedak tree.  Here's more shots of the incredible lizard...

Common Gliding Lizard or Common Flying Lizard
Draco volans

The stream overflows but the flash flood subsides quickly too

 Today at about 8.30 am it rained at the park.  Thus not much outside work can be done in the morning.  Time to rest from work.  When it rained heavily the Kambatik stream will get flooded very quickly.  This is because the park is located at the headland of the Kambatik stream.  At many locations along its 500 meters meandering route through the park there are blockages that slowed down the current and causing the stream to overflow.  This phenomena is however short-lived.  Once the heavy rains are over, the floods quickly subside.  Below are the images of the stream overflowing in a matter of minutes....
Kambatik stream, viewed from the 'Abaq' ( Bintulu Melanau for  verandah)
Time : 9.30 am

Kambatik stream, viewed from the 'Abaq' ( Bintulu Melanau for  verandah)
Time : 9.45 am

Kambatik stream, viewed from the 'Abaq' ( Bintulu Melanau for  verandah)
Time : 9.55 am

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three birds that got into frame today

Three birds, from top to bottom :-
Little Green Pigeon - male of the species
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Chestnut Munia

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Loving the plants

The Drunken Sailor climbing the Jackfruit tree

 Back again in Bintulu after a 10 days holiday
 in Kuching (14-24 April).  So the first thing I did on a Saturday morning at the park is to take some new pictures of what's new.  Talk about plantlife.  The Drunken Sailor has managed to climb the Jackfruit tree reasonably well.  The Jering tree is flowering while another one has just started to show its beautiful maroon flushes.  The white flowers of the Tabebuia alba stood in sharp contrast to the overall greenery.  Moving about the park, I saw the Hippeastrum hybrid have produced many tulip-like flowers and the Pinang Lakka is everyday showing off its deep orange leaf sheath, Saturday included.  Such is the pleasure of just having a brief Saturday morning walk in the park.
Jering flowers
Zone D

Jering flushes

Mango flushes

White flowers of the Tabebuia alba

White flowers of the Tabebuia alba

Sealing Wax Palm ( Pinang Lakka - Malay) with colourful dark orange sheath

Hippeastrum hybrid
Family : Amaryllidaceae

Hippeastrum hybrid
Family : Amaryllidaceae

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Berkek Ekor Kapas or the Common Snipe

These birds are seen very regularly at the park especially near marshy or wet and swampy areas.  But they are sensitive to the sound of approaching footsteps and would normally dart away at the sound of danger.  But today of all the days I managed to have a good shot of it at a distance to have it finally on record.  The interesting feature of this bird is its almost camouflage look that meshes well with the grasses and leaves.  The adult has a buff median crown-stripe, bordered on both sides by dark, broad lateral crown-stripes.

More wildlife to see

Blue -throated Bee-eater
Location : Zone B

Blue -throated Bee-eater
Location : Zone B

Squirrel - can be seen at all 9 Zones of the park.

More extreme cu of the Nightjar and its eggs

Photos taken on 6 April'14

Monday, April 21, 2014

Finds at Botanic Island Four

Partial view of Botanic Island Four, looking north

 On the 6th of April, I started to open up the Botanic Island Four to look for some surprises.  Indeed I was pleased to see the Licuala spp. producing a flowering stem, a Bauhinia spp. and a Dipterocarp spp. with the latter  producing red winged fruits.  I would expect more unusual finds in the near future as I begin to clear more of the jungle undergrowth and scout the island for more interesting finds.

Licuala bearing lowering stem

Bauhinia spp.

Red winged fruits of a Dipterocarp family