A good birdwatching area close to our house is the Kuala Balai road. This road runs for roughly 16 km to the ghost town of Kuala Balai. The village/kampong used to be the center of the KB district and was an important trading place. The place is now completely deserted, most people having left to the coastal towns to pursue more lucrative jobs sourced by the oil and gas industry. Attempts to breath new life into the village as an eco-tourism attraction have thus far not been successful.
|Map of the West Brunei, KB district.|
I will first share some of my favorite regulars of Kuala Balai. The first one is the stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis). This magnificent kingfisher is seen, and heard (!), on most visits. It is the biggest kingfisher in Brunei and the one most commonly found along the second part of the Kuala Balai road. There is no mistaking this bird and the ditches next to the road (and the road itself) seem to be a favorite hunting-ground.
|Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)|
|Male black-and-yellow broadbill (Eurylamus ochromalus)|
|Greater racquet-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)|
|Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)|