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Monday, 8 October 2012

Another visit to KB road

I hadn't been to the Kuala Balai road for quite some time. This weekend I took my mum there, who is visiting her grandson (and us to a far, far lesser extend), to show her some nature close to our house.

We left the house at around quarter past six and the morning mist was still covering the low-land shrub and fields as we pulled onto the Kuala Balai road. While I was pointing out a dollarbird, a red-billed malkoha flew by and landed relatively close by. Hadn't seen red-billed malkoha's yet at the Kuala Balai road so a great start of the morning! Still waiting for a glimpse of the black-bellied malkoha to complete my malkoha-list along this road.

I did manage to pull of a couple of quick snaps - but with the morning light, distance and the typical malkoha habit of hiding between the foliage, these turned out rather poor. I have therefore also included a better attempt, made sometime last year at Labi ridge.

Red-billed malkoha (Phaenicophaeus javanicus).
Labi ridge, March 2011.
Red-billed malkoha (Phaenicophaeus javanicus).
KB road, October 2012.
The melodious song of the yellow-bellied prinia's was heard a couple of times. The rapid and loud wingbeats of the prinia's are often just as diagnostic as they move around between the long grass.

Yellow-bellied prinia (Prinia flaviventris)
At the far end of the road another nice surprise: this lesser cuckoo-shrike flew into view just as we were about to go back home. While described as a common resident I don't see them that often. I got to see the markedly undulating flight pattern quite clearly this time. The bird is a male, the female is much paler and has a barred underside.

Lesser cuckoo-shrike (Coracina fimbriata)
The morning ended with a flat tire! I had driven over a huge nail that had pierced my tire fully and had to stop the car to put on the spare. The offer to help of several people passing by is a great illustration of Brunei's friendly nature and with some combined effort we were quickly on the road again.

The visit was unexpectedly fruitful with a couple of great species, two of which where new to me at this locality (cinnamon bittern and red-billed malkoha) and white-bellied munia's are also not seen every day. And, most importantly, my mum also definitely enjoyed the whole experience!

Folkert, 08/10/2012

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