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)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Miri Malaysian Nature Society

Well we got back a few days ago from our trip to Sarawak Borneo and at the moment I'm suffering from a severe case of 'Borneo Belly'. Not the best way to end a wonderful long week of birding in Miri and surrounding areas!

Liz and I were very lucky to be able to travel and bird with members of the Miri branch of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), going to many places that only local birders know.

One well known tourist and good birding area is the Niah Caves National Park, which actually is on the other side of the river from the main entrance and can only be reached by boat.

Members of the MNS getting ready for some serious photography and birding in the national park.

Once across the river, there is a good network of trails to the caves and limestone hills.

Liz and Steve have a  rest and scan of the rainforest for birds, along one of the muddy trails. The highlights in this area were stunning views of 2 species of Trogon and a beautiful Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher (after I left!).

One of the many big caves found in the area.

I may have missed the kingfisher, but I got great views of an Olive-backed Woodpecker and this interesting Rufous-sided Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma). I learnt very quickly that you don't try to pick him up for a better photo, as he releases a white glue from his skin and then you cant get the stuff off your hand!

Lots of different butterflies in the rainforest.....

That often only show their wonderful wing colours when they fly.

I seen these before. Some type of young shield bug I think.

Another great butterfly, with this one showing it's colours when the wings are closed.

One of the caterpillars of what must be a big butterfly or moth.

This one was interesting, with big spots on the wings that look like big eyes, probably to scare off predators, as well as a tail that looks like a head, so they may just grab or approach the wrong end.

One of the birding trips with Musa from the MNS was along the sea looking for coastal birds. The forest here had good numbers of Blue-throated Bee-eaters, Pied Trillers and lots of flowerpeckers and sunbirds.

The villages in this area are close to sea level, so these banks had to be built to stop flooding during storms. I don't think they will help much when global warming really kicks in.

The flooded swamp forests, such as this one in Brunei have some really unique birds and animals. These forests sadly are disappearing in Borneo, as palm oil and acacia timber plantations are replacing them at a shocking rate. The new roads into them also bring huge numbers of hunters that shoot everything on sight!

Some of the interesting signs we saw during our travels.

My wife wanted me to stand next to this one.......what does she mean?


Denis Wilson said...

Caterpillar looks like a Hawk Moth caterpillar, with that distinctive protrusion.

madibirder said...

Hi Richrd,Great images from Miri.

Bostjan Dvorak said...

Fascinating pictures! The caterpillar is a younger specimen of Theretra nessus - on a Dioscorea species (Yam).

Nice wishes from Berlin,
Bostjan Dvorak