Day 4 (Sunday, 26th March)
There had been torrential rain the previous evening and for most of the night, evidenced by the piles of sand and clay deposited on the paths throughout the resort. Passing an Emerald Dove plodding its way through the cabins, we went straight to the Bumbun Tahan hide, and spent 1½ hours there. Many of the previous resident familiars were there again, with a few House Swifts overhead, which also harboured a couple of Silver-rumped Needletails. Among the many more common Bulbuls were a few Streaked, which initially took some sorting out. The bare tree to the rear of the clearing held many Thick-billed Pigeons, but searching revealed a rather large Gold-whiskered Barbet. Blue-throated Bee-eaters joined the throng, as well as the late arrival of a male and female Little Green-pigeon, alongside a Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot.
We had a short stroll around the resort, where we found a sunning Raffles's Malkoha, and another nearby Chestnut-breasted Malkoha. A single Black-thighed Falconet was on a bare tree in the centre of the resort. Two decisions that we then made proved quite fruitful. The first was to go back to the Bumbun Tabing trail alongside the river, and the second was to don the ever attractive leach socks, since standing for some time did attract one or two of the little miscreants, possibly following last nights rain. After passing the regular site of the Black-and-red Broadbill, we chanced upon a Buff-necked Woodpecker. This landed briefly next to the footpath, but it also put us on to a pair of Green Broadbills, which frequented the vicinity for about quarter of an hour. This proved to be a very good spot, since we were also visited by a few Black-naped Monarchs and Greater Racket-tailed Drongos. While searching for the Black-and-red Broadbill, we picked up a very small, rufous and virtually tail-less skulker - a stunning Rufous Piculet. We were a little surprised by its habit of feeding more or less in the undergrowth. We did pop down to the river to look for kingfishers, which we didn't find, and the water level looked to be about 20-30cm higher after the previous night's deluge. On the return, we successfully relocated the Black-and-red Broadbill, with a small group of Crested Firebacks ghosting out of the forest on to the path.
Last stop before departure from Taman Negara was at
the Bumbun Tahan hide. It was now midday, very hot, and despite the array of
common Bulbuls, variety was less than earlier in the morning, apart from the
addition of Long-tailed Macaques playing around the central tree. We were just
about to leave when a White-bellied Woodpecker was found edging its way up a
bare tree to the rear of the clearing.