Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Mount Kinabalu - Day 3

Another whole day on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu proved to be another rollercoaster ride and we began at the Timophon Gate area where we discovered a fruiting tree along one of the trails which only held a pair of Eye-browed Thrushes. We staked it our for a while in the hopes of a Fruithunter but alas it wasn’t to be. In fact it was very quiet here this morning so we descended and staked out the area we’d glimpsed the broadbill yesterday. Another briefest of glimpses followed after a few hours here, but a pair of Whitehead’s Trogons showed incredible well, and in fact the male appeared about 20 feet right in front of me.

The stunning endemic Whitehead's Trogon

What views we had and it was a real privilege to see this beauty up close and personal. From here we followed the Silau-Silau Trail fro a long way seeing very little until all of a sudden the magic happened and a Whitehead’s Broadbill flew into a tree about 100 yards away and remained for some 20 minutes. OMG! 

Whitehead's Broadbill - simply stunning!

What an absolutely stunning bird and I cannot adequately explain our emotions having been trying for 2.5 days for this baby. Nearby an endemic Eye-browed Jungle-Flycatcher showed well – please don’t call it Bornean Shade-Dweller…! 

Eye-browed Jungle-Flycatcher

Once we had all reassembled at the road we refound the broadbill again, but this time much, much closer. Just look at this vision of emerald green and black. Votes are suspended for Bird of the Trip already…!

Whitehead's Broadbill - it doesn't get much better than this..

Lunchtime was enlivened by close Temminck’s Sunbirds and a very vocal Blyth’s Shrike-Babbler

Blyth's Shrike-Babbler

Temminck's Sunbird

Afterwards we tried repeatedly for the elusive Whitehead’s Spiderhunter but did get a White-browed Shortwing (split by HBW/Lynx as Bornean Shortwing and yet another endemic), some confiding Black-capped White-eyes, Orange-headed Thrush, the endemic Bornean Forktail, Asian Brown, Blue-and-white, Snowy-browed, Indigo and Mugimaki Flycatchers, and more Bornean Whistling-Thrushes.

Black-capped White-eye
Bornean Forktail

Raptors were more in evidence today between the low cloud, mist and surprising lack of rain with Crested Honey Buzzard and Changeable Hawk-Eagle being seen. We returned to the Timophon Gate late in the day but all we had to show for our efforts was the rare Red Langur.

Other species seen today included Little Cuckoo-Dove, Mountain Imperial-Pigeon, and several Bornean Whistlers.

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