Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Brown Dragonfly

For the record, I stumbled upon a brown dragonfly which I have not seen before in the park.
Location : Zone B, at the wetland or swampy area. 

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.