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Day 3 (Saturday, 25th March)

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Following a hearty curry breakfast at 7am, we had the full day in front of us to explore the forest tracks. We set off to look for the entrance to the Bukit Teresek trail at the eastern end of the resort, but ended up loitering at this location for about an hour, due to the constant avian traffic here. The taller trees to the rear held birds such as Chinese Pond-heron, a strange visage when perched about 30m up, a small flock of Daurian Starlings, numerous Blue-crowned Hanging-parrots, and a Golden-throated Barbet perched directly overhead. Some Green-pigeons were unfortunately too brief for identification. Chestnut-breasted Malkohas were a constant feature throughout the hour, and we had fun trying to sort out the swifts overhead. With occasional good views, we eventually spotted the white vents of needletails, and then tried to pick out the colours on the back. Most seemed to have the dark back of Brown-backed Needletail. Following the Malkohas to the river boundary, we found a single Asian Fairy-bluebird, leading to superb views of Crimson-winged Woodpecker. As yesterday, Bulbuls were common, adding Olive-winged to the growing list. A juvenile Cuckoo next to the river defied identification, being of the Banded Bay / Plaintive persuasion. A Coppersmith Barbet added to the earlier Golden-throated, which by coincidence was perched in the same tree.

Just as we were about to proceed to the forest, a group of 15 or so tourists with guide were milling around the entrance gate. Potential disaster! However, we leapfrogged past them, and immediately stirred up an Abbott's Babbler. We followed the course of the river for over 1½km until we reached the canopy walkway. It was a fairly intensive trudge to this point, and all we had to show for our efforts was a pair of Brown Fulvettas. Dark forest birding at its most difficult! The intention was then to traverse the canopy walkway, offering the potential of a new habitat for wildlife, but we were immediately put off by the crowds gathered and the amount of noise they were making, and so we cut off towards Buket Teresek. The initial climb was quite steep, and up until the junction with the Jenut Muda trail was festooned with noisy tourists.

Bukit Teresek

Bukit Teresek

Trail to Bukit Teresek

Little Spiderhunter

Little Spiderhunter

The decision to then take the Jenut Muda trail proved to be an instant success. We encountered our first bird wave after only about 50m, which was initiated by Spotted Fantails and White-bellied Yuhina. It was also found to contain Asian Paradise-flycatchers, Large Woodshrike, and Arctic Warbler. We feasted on this for 15 minutes, walked a little further, and discovered Black-naped Monarch and Blue-winged Leafbird. It was hot and humid throughout, but some high potential semi open areas interspersed the darker canopy covered forest. Half way along the trail, we encountered a group of 2-3 large Woodpeckers, and one of the pecking birds was seen to be Orange-backed. The other 2 were Crimson-winged. A group of 2 male and 2 female Crested Firebacks then appeared on the path in front of us, seemingly totally unperturbed by our presence. More Blue-winged Leafbirds preceded a small group of Ferruginous Babblers next to a stream. Another benefit of this trail was that it was almost humanless, apart from one lone hiker who passed by late on. We eventually reached the junction with the Bumbun Tabing trail, deciding to take a break from the undulating and tree root festooned paths to sit by the river for a short time, made all the more pleasant by feeding Tickell's Blue-flycatcher.

Orange-backed Woodpecker

Common Flameback

Orange-backed Woodpecker

Common Flameback

River

Trail

Tahan River - swimming area

Bumbun Tabing trail

Tickell's Blue-flycatcher

Abbott's Babbler

Tickell's Blue-flycatcher

Abbott's Babbler

The long walk to the Bumbun Tabing hide was scrapped for the ease of the Bumbun Tahan hide, located adjacent to the resort. This was held back a little due to a Spiderhunter rush, with initial Grey-breasted followed by a stationary Little, a male Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, and unidentified female sunbird. Just behind was the impressive sight of Long-billed Spiderhunter feeding briefly. Another stop had to be made for our first Dollarbird. The Bumbun Tahan hide is only a 50m boardwalk away from the resort cabins, and is a two storey concrete hide looking on to a single tree positioned in the centre of a large clearing in the forest. Over the next couple of hours, quite a few impressive species were unearthed. Black-headed & Yellow-vented Bulbuls were the predominant resident, with Asian Fairy-bluebird almost as common (up to 7-8 at any one time). More impressive visitors to the tree included an Oriental Pied Hornbill feeding on the fruits, a handful of Thick-billed Green-pigeons, and a single White-breasted Kingfisher. 2 Black-and-red Broadbills together added to the first earlier in the day, with Hill Mynas regular visitors. From the edge of the jungle, we were surprisingly happy with the arrival of a chicken in the guise of wild Red Junglefowl.

Bumbun Tahan

Black-headed Bulbul

View from the Bumbun Tahan hide

Black-headed Bulbul

Oriental Pied-hornbill

Red Junglefowl

Oriental Pied-hornbill

Red Junglefowl

Straw-headed Bulbul

Straw-headed Bulbul

We dragged ourselves away from the hide at 5pm, to cover the western end of the resort until dark. As time progressed, the clouds approached and the thunder began, but the rain staved off allowing us enough time for a stab at some extra birds. Looking over the river, the Blue-throated Bee-eaters which had been seen from the boat on arrival were landing on the wires across the water. The lack of tail streamers confused matters a little, but all were of this species. While studying them, a Spotted Dove flew in, and a Hornbill passed overhead. Perhaps best addition to the Bulbul tally was a pair of Straw-headed, which landed near us enough for a good examination of this scarce species. Following them led us on to a pair of mating Black-bellied Malkohas, and retreating to the front of the cabins we discovered a single female Dark-necked Tailorbird and 3-4 Black-naped Orioles constantly calling from the treetops.

Home

Paintings gallery

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Contact

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Species list

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