Thursday, 20 April 2017

Danum Valley

Breakfast was at 5.30am and we were away in the truck at 6.15am to a distant trail. But first some excellent birding along the road gave us a pair of cracking Bornean Crested Jays which gave superb views although I was going to have ‘one of those days’ with the camera, getting lots of poor images of great birds. 

Bornean Crested Jay - record shot... Yep messed this one up a treat..

Then a Bornean Wren-Babbler began calling and appeared several times – what a bird. And we had the double-whammy when a Black-throated Wren-Babbler showed up as well.  There was also Scaly-crowned Babbler, Silver-rumped Spinetail, Whiskered Treeswift, better views of Bornean Bristlehead, but this time closer and really nice through the scope, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Scaly-crowned Babbler, Blyth’s Paradise-Flycatcher, and a Dark-sided Flycatcher. Just a shame we couldn’t locate a calling Helmeted Hornbill, but that would have to wait until later. Much Later..!

Then we hit the trail and it was dark and gloomy and full of leeches – I counted over 70 on me by the end of the 4 hour hike, during which we covered a tad over 2kms. A Red-bearded Bee-eater showed, along with Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Chestnut-winged Babbler, Spotted Fantail, Dark-fronted Oriole, and a Yellow-bellied Bulbul

Red-bearded Bee-eater

But it was particularly quiet along here and we spent most of the time trawling for pittas despite the ridiculously loud volume of cicadas here. Eventually they quietened a little and we could hear a Blue-banded Pitta but despite trying this for an hour we couldn’t locate it and it didn’t want to come in and show itself. Next up, a Blue-headed Pitta did the same, along with a heard only Banded Kingfisher. So the trail was hard and we’ll give another trail a bash this afternoon.

We walked the long way around the Hornbill Trail later in the afternoon, hearing Giant Pitta. There was a mum Orang-Utan with a young one and later on there was a large male sleeping high overhead. We also saw Rufous-tailed Shama, Abbott’s Babbler, Grey-rumped Treeswift, and not a lot else.

Gould's Frogmouth

A night time walk for some of us proved to be very, very good with walk-away views of Gould’s Frogmouth, as well as sleeping Horsfield’s Babbler and Rufous-backed Kingfisher to round the day off nicely.

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