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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Updates from Panaga

I haven't been posting a lot on this blog this year. The fact of the matter is that I have still been out a few times, but just haven't found the time to document it here.  So, without ado…here are some brief highlights of the last few weeks. 

Mid July I spend a couple of early morning hours in the Badas area. First time that I came across a small bird wave there. In its wake I heard and spotted this male green broadbill. 
Green broadbill (Calyptomena viridis)
Obviously a nice encounter as this is a stunning species. What's more, this was also the first time I encountered a green broadbill in the peat swamp forest, so not a bad record either.

The most prominent species in the bird wave were some drongo's, two different malkoha species and a pair of crimson-winged woodpeckers. A couple of scaly-crowned babblers also passed close by.
Scaly-crowned babbler (Malacopteron cinereum)
And the wave wouldn't be complete without a couple of hook-billed bulbuls, this is after all a peat swamp area. I am still hoping to get that killer shot one day...
Hook-billed bulbul (Setornis criniger)
Another highlight was an evening walk through the Teraja forest last week. We walked in late afternoon and walked back when darkness had fully set in. The real aim was to record some night birds. Of course we didn't hear a single owl, nightjar or frogmouth (the real target) on the way back, but the walk was still excellent. It is always a special feeling to walk in perfect darkness surrounded by all the sounds of the forest. We still managed to see some animal life, like this rough-sided frog, a common lowland species.
Rough-sided frog (Hylarana glandulosa)
We also came across a stunning huntsman spider. Not sure if these awesome colors serve a specific purpose, but I did know that I wasn't going to pick it up!
Huntsman spider sp.
A pair of bright eyes in the canopy proved to be a black flying squirrel. Only the second time I've ever seen this species.
Black flying squirrel (Aeromys tephromelas)
Finally, the migration season has started in earnest. I had a spare hour last Sunday after lunch and decided to try for some pictures of the terns that can typically be seen close to the shore this time of year. While looking for the terns a flock of mixed waders landed right in between some foraging plovers. I was quite pleased to see 3 curlew sandpipers.
Curlew sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
The curlew sandpipers were joined by close to 10 terek sandpipers, which is a species that is not often recorded on the beaches close to Panaga.
Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinerea)
The plovers were also showing well. Here is a greater sand plover.
Greater sand plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
And here 2 lesser sand plovers.
Lesser sand plover (Charadrius mongolus)
In addition to species shown here I also saw red-necked stints, redshank, golden plovers and numerous common sandpipers and wood sandpipers in the coastal grasses and mudflats. 

A final update is that I recently learned that my time in Brunei is coming to an end. End October we will move on to our next location in the United States. Still a few weeks to reach the magic 400 species in Borneo - I'll either need a good dose of luck in Brunei or another venture across the border!

Folkert, 19/08/2014


  1. Nice Hook-billed Bulbul, Folkert and all the best in US of A.

  2. Been reading your blog and have learnt quite a bit on Brunei's bird species (using your blog as a reference). Good luck with your new venture in USA, introduce us to some US wildlife perhaps.

  3. Thanks guys! I am not gone yet though. Hope to still share some more birds of Brunei before I close the proverbial door.