Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sepilok & The Rainforest Discovery Centre

Continuing our search for trogons for the first few hours of the morning turned up absolutely nothing on that front. However, we did get an Everett’s Thrush feeding on the road in front of our minibus – a major moment for me as it is a Zoothera thrush after all. There was also a few Snowy-browed Flycatchers, as well as some previously seen birds. But we had to leave and head back to the hotel, pack up, load the luggage onto the minibus and begin the long drive to Sepilok. But not before we discovered a pair of Bornean (Pygmy) Ibon apparently nest-building in the hotel gardens – and I’d thought we’d missed this endemic. Along the way we stopped when a superb White-fronted Falconet was seen perched on a dead tree beside the road – so we’d seen 3 endemics so far today.

White-fronted Falconet

We eventually arrived at a superb resort just a few minutes drive from the Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre, where we spent the rest of the afternoon on the famous canopy walkway. A brilliant experience being up in the treetops on the long, but very stable pathway through the trees. And amazingly one of the first birds we encountered was the main reason for coming here – Bornean Bristlehead

Bornean Bristlehead - probably the most wanted Bornean endemic?

In fact, there were 3 of them moving through the treetops several hundred metres away but the views through the scope were brilliant and they were in view for several minutes, giving everyone the opportunity to observe them at leisure almost! Wow! And what a relief I can tell you. So with that one done with we could enjoy birding once more, no pressure….. In fact there was quite a lot of activity with a party of Bushy-crested Hornbills on view for a while, a pair of Rhinoceros Hornbills calling and flying around us and a family group of 3 Wallace’s Hawk-eagle constantly in the vicinity. Everyone was enjoying their time up here and we continued with Red-eyed Bulbul, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird and Black-naped Monarch below us, some brief Brown-backed Needletails zooming around overhead, a flock of Long-tailed Parakeets flying over, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Bronzed and Greater Racket-tailed Drongos and a Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike. A huge contrast to Mt Kinabalu.

Barred Eagle-Owl

In the evening a stunning Barred Eagle-owl was spotlighted close to the restaurant – wow!

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