And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort

With Liz working at the Miri Curtin University campus, I had a few days on my own and there is only so much birding you can do in a city. The Miri City Fan though, is a lovely ornamental park that’s not bad for birding, right in the heart of the city. I did get great views there of Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers, Pied Trillers and Plain-throated Sunbirds, but it was time to head out into the proper rainforest.

I headed for the Lambir Hills about an hour’s drive from Miri and booked in for two nights at the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort.

A good place to stay with nice rooms, but the food can be a bit basic at times if you're not part of a big package group buffet. Plus take lots of bottled water as there are no shops nearby and water is not sold at the resort.

 Birding in the main entrance carpark can be good at the right time of year, with pittas feeding at the jungle edges. The restaurant also has good views into the forest.

The large network of walkways is what makes the resort so good for birding, plus it's adjoins the Lambir Hills National Parks. When there are no package groups during the week, you basically have the place to yourself.

These beautiful Giant Black Bees were often flying along walkways, sounding like large bombers.

Amazing eyes.

The resort has this large pond, which had fruiting plants on the edges and attracted large numbers of birds, such as Grey-bellied Bulbuls and Yellow-rumped Flowerpeckers. 

Some colourful dragonflys were also in the area.

One of the best birding areas was the walkway to the waterfall for birds such as woodpeckers.

The road to the waterfall was equally as good, as it runs along a ridge area which was attractive to hornbills and raptors.

The late afternoons always brought huge thunderstorms that rained most of the night. I almost got caught by this one at the waterfall, which was a good half hour's fast walk back to the resort.

When it's pouring outside, you can still go spot-lighting for animals under some of the covered walkways. This is a Smith’s Giant Gecko (Gekko smithii) found hiding in the hallway. The largest Bornean gecko, just over a foot long and with a loud yelp that sounds like a dog.  

He was big and moved fast, so I didn't run around trying to catch him. He seems happy about that.

The night rain brought out this big two foot jungle earthworm.

He had nice yellow and black markings along the body.

A lot of the geckos were hiding along the rafters of the walkways, including this one.

He turned out to be one I have always hoped to see, a Horsfield’s Gliding Gecko (Ptychozoon horsfieldii). These geckos use the extensive skin folds on their bodies to glide between trees. 

Bird list

Chestnut-winged Babler

Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler

Blue-eared Barbet

Brown Barbet

Blue-throated Bee-eater

Black and Red Broadbill

Grey-bellied Bulbul

Hairy-backed Bulbul

Red-eyed Bulbul

Spectacled Bulbul

Yellow-bellied Bulbul

Emerald Dove

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Crested Serpent Eagle

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Crested Goshawk

Black Hornbill

White-crowned Hornbill

Green Iora

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha

Red-billed Malkoha

Black-naped Monarch

Dusky Munia

Hill Myna

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Oriental Magpie-Robin

White-rumped Shama

Little Spiderhunter

Silver-rumped Spinetail (Needletail)

Purple-naped Sunbird

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird

Glossy Swiftlet

Ashy Tailorbird

Rufous-tailed Tailorbird

Crimson-winged Woodpecker

Maroon Woodpecker

Rufous Woodpecker

White-breasted Woodswallow

Mammal/Reptile list

Plantain Squirrel

Prevost’s Squirrel (subspecies caroli)

Treeshrew Sp.

Green Crested Lizard Bronchocela cristatella

Smith’s Giant Gecko Gekko smithii

Asian House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus

Three-keeled Ground Skink Mabaya rudis

Many-scaled Litter Skink Sphenomorphus multisquamalus

Horsfield’s Gliding Gecko Ptychozoon horsfieldii

Malayan Softshell Turtle Amyda cartilaginea


Birding Sometimes said...

The resort looks likea great place to stay!Some nice bird species seen too...

Wilma said...

That gliding gecko is fabulous looking. Were those ants on the earthworm?

Richard King said...

The resort would be fantastic at the right time of year!

Yes Wilma, the ants may have given the earthworm a bit of a hard time before I found him.

yen said...

Came and Gone, was planning to visit Danum Valley later part of this year

Ecorganic Stays said...

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