Monday, May 30, 2016

Highlights today at the park

Jarum Tujuh (Malay) - Pereskia bleo

Stream at Zone I, nearby Provinsi Rattan

View from Zone F, looking south-west.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Views of the park

Views of the park  @ 30 May'16

It's harvesting time

It's harvesting time and the fresh fruit bunches price is as good as the Malaysian Ringgit currently - RM 450 per ton (ramp price). Note: The whole of last year the best price of ffb was RM350/ton.)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seat taken by Black Magpie

It's the turn of the Black Magpie  to occupy the tall tree at Licuala Hill

 Around 7.30 am I could hear the distinct calls of the Black Magpie from  the very far end of the neighborhood.  The Black Magpie gives out three distinctive calls, a hollow whistle followed by an imitative call of the 'Tiong' or Hill Myna and finally a coarse in drawn growl.  At the very tip of the tall dead tree the Black Magpie was seen perching. It has a peculiar habit of bowing and raising its head while perching and when making calls.  This bird has been visiting the park more frequently lately especially in the early morning hours.  I have yet to come close to the bird to get a fairly clear image of it.  According to the literature, the bird is commonly seen in the lowland areas of Borneo.
The Black Magpie joins the list of large birds that frequent the park.  The tall perch is favourite to another visitor to the park, the 'Tiong' bird (Hill Myna)

Free, fresh and fulfilling fern

Lunch at the park.

A small basketful of Miding
 It is one of my favourite food at the park.  It is free, fresh and fulfilling.  This morning I collected the 'Miding' ferns ( Stenochlaena palustris) in ample quantities for a decent lunch (see inset).  These ferns grow wild and naturally in damp areas near the Kruak wetlands.  The quantity I collected this morning would have cost me RM 2 if I were to buy it at the local 'tamu' ( jungle produce market).  The miding ferns have first of all to be fried with the famous shrimp paste of Bintulu called 'belachen' in the local Melanau dialect ( Belacan - Malay) .   The paste is pounded with other ingredients like anchovies, red chillies etc. Once fried you need to consume the freshly cooked miding  with hot rice and perhaps a little fish meat. That's the fun of it.  Quick to get, quick to eat.  Very fulfilling. Thanks to nature.
Free, fresh and fulfilling fern.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Checking out the birds

A pair of Black Hornbill
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

Zone E
 I was very keen to checkout the birds early this morning.  At Licuala Hill the largest of the birds that visit this place was there waiting for me.  A pair of Black Hornbill was seen perching on one of the tallest perch at Licuala Hill.  I thought a good walkabout was in order as I became much spirited with the sighting of the hornbills.  I went to another tall perch at Cempedak Hill and observed a Pink-necked Pigeon in good light. Click, click, click... my camera was in fast shooting mode.  Yes, I got it.  The Pink-necked Pigeon in colours of the rainbow.  My walkabout proved fruitful as later I was greeted by the Yellow-bellied Prinia at the Kruak wetlands area.  It has an attractive bubbling call. Finally, to cap my walkabout I caught sight of the panicky Pied Fantail.  It is healthy to walk up the hills here to do bird watching.  I feel this is the kind of sanctuary that makes me feel great in my efforts to attract wildlife to the park.  Birds are really wonderful and pleasant neighbours.
Yellow-bellied Prinia has an attractive bubbllig call
Location : Kruak wetlands

Pink-necked Pigeon at Cempedak Hill, Zone G.

Pink-necked Pigeon in flight

Pied Fantail
Location : Zone G

A party of four Little Green Pigeon

 It is good to be back and be greeted by the Little Green Pigeons.  Climbing up the Cempedak Hill I was able to watch a small party of four of this fast flying bird perching on the Cempedak tree.  This tree is a favourite perch for the pigeons for years now.  Today, its the turn of the Little Green Pigeon to take a rest before night fall and survey the view of the park.  Sometimes this perch is shared by a close relative of the Little Green Pigeon i.e. the Pink-necked Pigeon.
View of the park at Zone G

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Black-tipped Archduke

Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea merguia)
Zone C

Underside wings
 While many butterflies are attracted presently to the nectaring plants that flower profusely at the park especially the Eugenia oleina, the very attractive Black-tipped Archduke is seen favouring the rotting fruits like banana skins,on the forest ground.  I find great pleasure observing the bright and luminous blue colours of the Archduke.  This is in contrast to the dull brown underside wings.  This butterfly can be seen scavenging on the forest floor and move about slowly without being unnecessarily alarmed by human presence, thus my ability to get closer pictures of it.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Blue Tiger drops by

Blue Tiger - a name I give to this butterfly species

White flowers of the Eugenia oleina
 The Blue Tiger drops by at the park this morning.  A rare moment because it has been for more than a year that I have not seen it around.  It is a species of butterfly that I hardly come across in many areas in Sarawak ( or the island of Borneo) whether it be in pictures or in the google stock of images.   Nevertheless, it does appear in the park when the Eugenia oleina tree flowers.  Its sighting today makes my day.  I hope it will visit the park again tomorrow and give me more close-up and personal encounters for photography purpose,  Cheers to the Blue Tiger.
Blue Tiger - front wings tipped with blue-black stripes and hind wings in yellow-black stripes.
Location : Zone C

Its flowering time for the Eugenia oleina trees here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Loving the emergents

Botanic Island One

Botanic Island One
 I love the emergents.  For in the rainforest ecology of the park,  these super tall  trees rise above the landscape with a respectful 20 - 40 meters  high from the humid and leaves-littered forest floor below.  These are the forest wonders that delight me in my daily walks, their majesty proclaiming their age, rising above the competition and giving the iconic canopy and structure of the lowland dipterocarp forest.  These trees are retained as part of the agro-forestry practice of the nature park.  They are the answers that I worked hard on for many years now i.e. to re-live the green landscape of the village where I was born.  I am blessed daily to watch them grow,  close enough to walk below them, touch them and feel the ameliorating air below them. Trees are basic to any landscape, the taller the more original is the landscape.  This is so because we are living in the tropical rainforest zone on Borneo Island which contains one of the oldest and richest ecological diversity gems on this planet.  Life is really worth living with them as neighbours,
Zone D

Zone C

Monday, May 2, 2016

Highlights today at the park - 2 May'16

Angel's trumpet (Randia macrantha) flowering at Zone C

Skink at Zone D

Autumn leaves of summer still showing intense colours
View of park looking south -west from Pazau lookout
Zone C

Dragonfly at Zone B

Pink-necked Green Pigeon at Cempedak Hill
Zone G