One final bash at the ground-cuckoo yielded zero returns but there was a fine pair of Rufous Piculets and a Maroon Woodpecker that actually revealed itself, contrary to the norm! There were also some showy White-chested Babblers, a brief Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Storm’s Stork, the usual two broadbill species, Green Iora, Indian Cuckoo, Blue-eared Kingfisher, and one final look at Proboscis Monkeys before we had to return to the lodge for breakfast, load our luggage onto the boat and return to our coach for the 2 hour drive to Lahad Datu.
After lunch and registering at the lodge’s office we set out on the 2.5 hour drive to the superb Borneo Rainforest Lodge in famous Danum Valley. Along the way we saw another Bornean Pygmy Elephant crossing the track in front of us, a large tortoise, Monitor Lizard and Whiskered Treeswift. Upon arrival our local guide did his best to fill us with gloom as according to him there hadn’t been any Bornean Bristlehead sightings for over a week (and we really need to see that endemic) and the pittas were all breeding and not showing! What a lovely greeting – think you need a new job mate!
We were eager to get out birding as soon as we arrived at the lodge so we just got into our rooms, donned leech socks, which turned out to be unnecessary, and walked along the main track. Despite the drizzle we picked up Sooty-capped, Chestnut-winged and Rufous-crowned Babblers, Banded Broadbill, Rufous-winged Philentoma, and another Narcissus Flycatcher. However, we saved the best for last as a fantastic pair of Bornean Bristleheads were found by yours truly high up in a large, moss-encrusted tree. Through the scope we had decent views as they fed and bobbed around the branches. What a relief. Wow! So in your face Mr Local Guide – who actually turned out to be very good and a great help to us over the next few days, but not sure what all of the doom and gloom was about….. We returned to the lodge just after 6pm and there to greet us was a male Bornean Crested Fireback. Oh yes baby!
We did the night drive this evening but it rained (yet again) and we only saw Lesser Mouse Deer, an invisible Malay Masked Civet and a sleeping Black-crowned Pitta. Never had much luck with these night drives here, although just a few days ago a Bornean Clouded Leopard was seen……..