Monday, October 15, 2018

The lowland rainforest ecology.


 The lowland rainforest ecology.
The preservation of lowland tropical rainforest at the park while at the same time being integrated into agro-forestry practice in the Kambatik tradition has for the last 15 years brought renewed hope in an ecological oil palm farming model.  This model is sustainable even without any government help or subsidy and goes a long way to prove that competitive posture by small holders is a better bet for the preservation of ecological diversity in Sarawak.  

The richness of the flora quality here even at lowland level i.e. about 30 meters above sea level (baseline= mouth of Kemena River) amazes me.  The resulting freshness in the air is beyond description when compared to the air quality in Bintulu town.  The hiatus of music from the birds at any time of day and the company of small animals (tree shrews, frogs, crickets, squirrels etc) are a boon to normal living.
Though the trees have been the main reason for preservation of the evergreen jungle,  other plants like epiphytes, climbers, stranglers or lianas add much needed interest.  Orchids (especially the ground ones), tree ferns, bird's nest ferns, fungi and herbs ( e.g. wild gingers species) excite me when exploring the jungle.
 The biggest animal that still roam the forest (at night ) is the Sambar Deer.  Monkeys are very rare now but squirrels, snakes and monitor lizards are constantly being encountered.  Carpenter bees and colourful butterflies spring many surprises in the park.

I believe the presence of water as in the swampy locations of the valleys and the frequent rains have life-sustaining qualities ans as such are not to be disturbed. The swamps and tall grasses mix well with the shrubby dillenia treelets and become increasing attractive to small birds that establish their nests in their thickets.



 I observe too that the Ong Lumok trees seem to thrive better now that they are transplanted in many locations where the ground is wet and dry at the same time.  It is like saying that the Ong Lumok tree prefers to have one foot in water and the other on dry land.

Living in the Kambatik Park over the last 12 years have given me a rare opportunity to intervene in nature's development, while at the same time enjoying its presence for the air it produces and the company of its noisy and sometimes stealthy denizens that depend on the forest to thrive.  The lowland rainforest ecology is a jewel to keep for posterity. 



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A lifer of the Raffles Malkoha

Raffles Malkoha (Rhinortha chlorophaea) - male of the species

After a slight rain in the morning was over  I decided to explore the jungle behind where we stay. At Botanic Island One I,  my attention was directed to some movement in the branches above me.  I quickly get my zoom lens ready and then it was a series of clicks, clicks, clicks.. Checking in the camera later and counter referencing with my birding guide book I was pleasantly elated to discover that I had come across a lifer.  It was the Raffles Malkoha (Rhinortha chlorophaea).  On this encounter I was not able to meet its female as it is commonly reported that this species prefer to foraging with its partner.  The main characteristics that strike me was its white-tipped tail and its beautiful rufous upper parts.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Eco-marketing the Kambatik Park through FB


A short reflection.
I have great liberty in using FB to spread the word around the world about the Kambatik Park and connecting the name 'Bintulu' to it. It is not merely marketing the park as an ecological niche but also the name Bintulu. That's killing two birds with one stone. More than that, I enjoy contributing original experiences, photographs and design work. The park has given me vast opportunities to combine my various interests (and passion) in plants, wildlife, nature, beauty, design and planning a wildlife sanctuary. My time spent at the park for more than 12 years now has been most fulfilling and an important milestone in my life.
To see more examples of the FB cover pages please follow this link....>>>>https://kambatikpark.blogspot.com/…/label/FB%20cover%20pages
(This is a reeposting from FB, 23 June'18)

Friday, June 22, 2018

FB Cover pages for Kambatik Park - April - May'18

April Cover

April Cover

April Cover

April Cover

May Cover

May Cover
Note: This posting is done in Kuching while spending the Hari Raya holidays (the end bit) in order to update stories about the park.  More importantly is the fact that I have over the years used fb or Facebook to spread the word around regarding  this place especially on the lines of eco-marketing the park. Lots of effort are taken to get the best of pictures, editing them and putting them in creative design format, all works I totally enjoy. These original stories and design are part of my contribution to the understanding of ecopreneurship or eco-marketing using facebook.

Festive Covers

Every year in Sarawak the  start of Gawai holidays are fixed on the 1st of June and the many ethnic groups ( Ibans, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu etc.) celebrating it would be given two public holidays :  1st  - 2nd June.

The Eid Mubarak festival or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Malay) was celebrated starting the 15th of June and we took three days of no work at the park to spend time with family and relatives in Bintulu.

The month of June this year is filled with holidays.  It started early with the Gawai, then Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and in between the school holidays.I have prepared cover pages/banners in welcoming the festivals and holidays as there were times of rest and short holidays for us too at the park from the hustle and bustle of work. Enjoy your holidays.

From Brood to Born Free

A brood of Pipit Rawa (Chestnut Munia)

I have been observing a brood of Pipit Rawa (Chestnut Munia) at Zone G.  After freeing them from its nest two weeks ago, I had on many occasions seen them flying about the park in a small flock.
I am happy that the ecology of the park has managed to sustain its population. Pipit is a common word used by the Malays to name birds that are commonly known as munias, sparrows and of course the pipit itself (e.g the paddy field pipit).  Here the presence of wetlands and large areas of tall grasses provide the chief food in form of grass seeds to the pipit birds.

Juvenile Pipit Rawa ready to fly off.

Adult Pipit Rawa or Chestnut Munia

A Fungi and a handsome fungus beetle.



At Botanic Island Two I came across a huge thick fungi that had a beetle below it. The beetle belongs to the Endomychidae family and are commonly called 'Handsome Fungus Beetles' due to their association with fungus. The four yellow dots on its black elytra (hardened forewings) were in striking contrast.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Home is where the heart is.


 Home is where the heart is. It is walking under very tall palm trees, breaking the silence along narrow jungle paths, touching leaves of a thousand shades, shapes and sizes and admiring the varying colours of sunset




Cover dated 27 April '18 in facebook.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Flash floods and some views of the park in April

Zone F  in heavy rain.

 It has been raining heavily for the last three days (mainly nights).  The parkland is situated on a very hilly area and is the headwaters of a stream, which for convenience I call the Kambatik stream.  The heavy downpour would normally create flash floods.  However, due to its hilly landscape the excess downpour would race downstream.  This event is exciting to watch and offers some fine photographic moments.
After the floods, I walked up the Cempedak Hill and found a lone Plaintive Cuckoo.  This time it is the female of the species, a lifer for me.
Here are some views of the park taken in April’18.
Flash floods at Zone F

Zone B

View towards Zone A, looking east, from Cempedak Hill (Zone G)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Large-tailed Nightjar has laid two eggs.


 Ssssshhhhh…..now you see it, now you don’t.  The Nightjar is still around and what a surprise – it is settling on two eggs!!

The Large-tailed Nightjar has always been a permanent resident of the park.  Here they hunt for insects and  produce a familiar garden call which sounds like ‘tok,tok,tok’.  The sounds can be heard every day here at dusk and dawn and throughout the night.

The Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus ) has a black bill and a body that is very well camouflaged with its preferred environment of open grassland.  It does not build the typical nest and would lay its eggs on bare ground.  The eggs (see inset)  as if by rule are two in numbers and are blotched.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

A monitor lizard at Kruak wetlands

Monitor lizard basking at the edge of Kruak Wetlands
Edible young 'Miding' fern.
The Kruak wetlands has  brought a big surprise today with the sighting of a monitor lizard.  A tall dead tree nearby was a perfect place for it to bask in the sun.  The area seems to be a favourite place for the lizard primarily for its damp and wet ground, thick vegetation to hide and probably for the availability of food.  It is also my favourite place for collecting the "Miding' ferns for vegetable cooked with the popular local paste called 'Belacan' of course! On the sidelines I met a lone Shield Bug clinging to the broad leaf of the 'Simpoh Air' (Dillenia suffructicosa).  The Kruak wetlands is thickly populated with the Simpoh Air plant.
The tall dead tree is seen in the middle of the picture.  In front is seen a section of Kruak Wetlands that is thickly populated with the Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffructicosa) shrub.
Shield bug, many are seen clinging on to the broad leaf of the Simpoh Air.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Early days of March

View of Zone I, northwards from Zone D.
Note the Hill Myna at the lower branch, left of tree.

Zoom in view of 'Tiong' (Hill Myna) 
 The early days of March have seen a return to the 'normal' climate of Bintulu which is rain at night and most days sunny.  There is thus plenty of time to do birding.  The very tall and huge jungle tree at Zone I which has been standing proudly was the arena of loud calls from the Tiong bird (Hill Myna).  Walking around the park is a daily routine to observe as many wildlife, plant life and scenery.  The Jambu Air tree ( Syzgium aqueum) is starting to bear more and bigger  fruits. The preservation of original jungle habitat as in the form of botanic islands have ensured the survival of stick insects of various types and sizes.
Early morning view

Jambu Air (Syzgium aqueum) - Zone B

Miding at Zone A.
Stick insect at Botanic Island Two

Botanic Island One with 'Draceana kambatika' at foreground