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Monday, 22 July 2013


This weekend I treated my mom -who is visiting again- and myself to a small overnight trip to the Ulu Ulu resort in Temburong, the "other" part of Brunei. Temburong is only a short 2 hour journey from Bandar; a simple hop on a fast ferry to Bangar, followed by a small bus ride and another 30 minutes upstream by longboat and you'll find yourself surrounded by pristine jungle.

The last time I visited Temburong was well over 2 years ago and especially the canopy proved very rewarding then; a lot of species allowed very close views, like this velvet fronted nuthatch.
Velvet-fronted nuthatch (Sitta frontalis).
We arrived in Temburong around 4:30 PM and I spend the last hour or so of daylight around the resort. The white-rumped shama was impossible to miss.
White-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus).
During the evening we joined a short night walk up a tiny stream from the main river. 17 people on a night walk is really too crowded and I didn't have high expectations to encounter a lot of wildlife. Still I enjoyed this, as the stream proved a good place for frogs and I got a couple a great close-ups. As I am definitely not a frog specialist any correction/addition to my ID's are appreciated. I suspect the tiny fellow pictured below to be a Microhyla species.
Microhyla sp.
I think this is Hylarana megalonesa.
Hylarana megalonesa
The below frog is definitely a horned frog species!
Bornean horned frog (Megophrys nasuta).
The next morning we got up very early to be in time for sunrise at the canopy walk. Nowadays, you can only get to the start of the trail to the canopy by boat as the bridge crossing the river is in dire need of some repairs. After a half hour walk, scaling 290 meters elevation to the base and another 40+ meters to the canopy itself, you are rewarded with a wide 360 degree view over the awaking jungle. The rising fog and the morning calls of gibbons makes this almost perfect - next time I'll bring some warm coffee for a nice finishing touch!
Canopy walkway & tower, Temburong.
I spend a little over two-and-a-half hours at the canopy walk way listening to the gibbons and recording several different birds. This male black-and-yellow broadbill was seen and heard most of the time.
Black-and-yellow broadbill
A spectacled bulbul also provided some good views. Even though this is a supposedly common species of all primary forests type in Borneo, I don't see them that often closer to home and was therefore quite pleased with this individual checking me out at close range.
Spectacled bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmus).
Besides the gibbons, the calls of both rhinoceros and helmeted hornbill seemed equally far carrying. A family of 4 rhinoceros hornbills flew by over the canopy, adding to the majestic scenery with the morning fog rising through the forest. One parent lead the way.
Rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros).
 And was eagerly followed by two juveniles
Rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros).
At 08:30 we decided to move down and try for some birds lower to the ground. I had expected to see and hear more babblers, but the only ones I picked up were chestnut-winged babblers, which seemed to be everywhere, and a small family group of scaly-crowned babblers.
Scaly-crowned babbler (Malacopteron cinereum).
An incessantly calling diard's trogon was already heard from the canopy-walk and at least 2 different males and one female were seen on the relatively short walk from the tower back to the river.
Male Diard's trogon (Harpactes diardii).
As my mom had not joined the trip to the canopy walk because of a weak knee I felt some social obligation to not stay out all morning and returned back to the resort close to 10 AM. Together we walked around the resort grounds looking for some resident wildlife. Fruitbats were easily seen overhead at the wooden boardwalks. I think this is the Sunda short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopteros brachyotis).
Fruitbat sp.
Flowering bushes close to the river were a good spot for both leafbirds and sunbirds. 
Male Lesser green leafbird (Chloropsis cyanopogon).
A nice surprise was this yellow-breasted flowerpecker. Just a small bummer that I failed to get a proper photo. Oh well.
Yellow-breasted flowerpecker (Prionochilus macalatus).
Just before heading back to Bandar this very bold pygmy squirrel seemed completely unbothered by our presence and I even had to stand back to get the animal properly into frame!
Plain pygmy squirrel (Exilisciurus exilis).
Plain pygmy squirrel (Exilisciurus exilis).
Around 1:30 PM we left again, back to Panaga. A great little trip and I am certain that with a little more dedicated effort some great species can be picked up in Temburong!

Folkert, 21/07/2013


  1. Very nice Folkert. I'm not sure I could stomach the canopy walkway though!

  2. Thanks Dave - luckily there was hardly any wind, otherwise I may not have been that brave either!