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Monday, 10 September 2012

Teraja at 6 AM.

Finally, after a handful of hikes to the Teraja waterfall at mid morning, I decided that there would be no more excuses for the track to be explored at sunrise. Kolbjorn was again prepared to join me, so this Saturday I got up at 04:00 and after an uneventful drive parked the car at the end of Labi road and the start of the waterfall trail at exactly 06:00 AM.

We quickly gathered our gear and set off on the trail. The forest was still only just waking up when we crossed the stream into the primary forest. There was plenty of activity to be heard, alas we didn't see anything. This is, until we happened to come across a small fruiting tree with the fruits sprouting directly from the trunks and branches. We stayed for a little while and saw some flowerpeckers, bulbuls and a male fairy bluebird. The grey-cheeked bulbul was already a nice surprise, but my bird of the morning was definitely the grey-bellied bulbul, a lifer for me! As luck would have it I even managed a half-decent picture (and also the only half-decent picture taken in the forest this morning).

Grey-bellied bulbul (Pycnonotus cyaniventris)
After observing the activity for a good period we decided to continue to the waterfall. Along the way we saw some unidentified fluttering and heard quite a few interesting calls and songs.

Teraja Waterfall
After a short pitstop at the waterfall we decided to head back to the fruiting tree. Along the way we did see a little more now: yellow-bellied bulbuls, some babblers and spiderhunters and we heard a helmeted hornbill. A passing kingfisher was too quick to identify (banded?). At the fruiting tree there were some different species, incl. puff-backed bulbuls and a female red-throated barbet. Most enticingly we heard a pitta-like call that with reasonable certainty we think was a blue-winged pitta.

Barn swallow (Hirunda rustica), opposite the parked car.
Note the bend tail-feather.
Barn swallow (Hirunda rustica)  
On the way out we did see a spotted fantail, probably quite common but still a first for me in Brunei. As expected Teraja really offers good opportunities to see some great new species. But it does require a lot of dedication as good views are hard to come by! The morning's Teraja list:

puff-backed bulbul, yellow-bellied bulbul, cream-vented bulbul, red-eyed bulbul, grey-cheeked bulbul, grey-bellied bulbul, asian fairy bluebird, spotted fantail, red-throated barbet, little spiderhunter, spiderhunter sp., black-throated babbler, ferruginous babbler, chestnut-winged babbler, ruby-cheeked sunbird, yellow-rumped flowerpecker, yellow-vented flowerpecker, kingfisher sp., barn swallow

Folkert, 10/09/2012


  1. plus: Greater Coucal (heard), Swiftlet sp, possible Bushy-crested Hornbill (5), Helmeted Hornbill (1 heard), Blue-eared Barbet (heard), Green Broadbill (1 heard), Black-and-Yellow Broadbill (4 heard), Slender-billed Crow (1 heard), Puff-backed Bulbul (2), Yellow-bellied Bulbul (5), Yellow-bellied Prinia (1 heard).

  2. Thanks :-). Had only listed my visuals: have also drongo-cuckoo and raffles' malkoha on the audio list, and the likely blue-winged pitta!