Friday, February 10, 2012

Ulu Muda-Bio School mini expedition 120203

I was invited to join a mini expedition by my supervisor. The organizer is School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. I said to myself, this is a chance i should never miss!

So we head out on 3rd February with 3 van and a 4WD. The journey to the campsite (more of a chalet actually) starts at the Muda Dam jetty. It was a painstaking 1 hour boat ride. The sun is up on our head and i got no cap what so ever to cover myself.

We were greeted by this changeable hawk eagle while we were still on the boat. I put my camera into a dry bag and i was quick enough to get it out and capture some images.

Some shot of my friends on the boat in front..
As arrive closer to the chalet some boat got stuck because of the low water level. So we got to go down and push the boat. Along the river, the proof of elephant is present in the area in large numbers can be easily seen by looking at the marks on the river banks.

Arrived at the chalet of Earthlodge, Ulu Muda, the first building that we saw is the canteen..

These are part of the cozy and comfortable chalet with two bathroom each. What more can you expect in the middle of thick rainforest!

 A shot of the jungle behind the chalet. I was told that the elephant came to the area quite often but staying in the chalet always gives me a safe feeling.

A shot of Sungai Labua,

This is the first bird that i got just behind the chalet, a male green broadbill,
Some other birds seen,

Who am i...quite easy..a Rufous winged Philentoma.

A male Black Naped Monarch..this is the best shot i could get as it was very active and never stay still..

This is perhaps the best bird i've seen here, a Rufous Piculet. It usually travels in flock but i only saw one.

Testing my flying shot skills...this is the best as i manage to spend only an hour during late evening of the second last day.
Silver rumped Needletail.

This one is a bit tricky...but i put it as House swift. But could it be Asian House Martin?

Grey rumped Treeswift.

A pair of Banded Kingfisher.

 A blurry shot of Chestnut Winged Babbler.

A Yellow Bellied Bulbul which forage nearly ground level..

Early morning of the second day, i saw this Beautiful Squirrel, Callosciurus prevostii. But it was quite high up, so this is the best i could get. It looks nearly the same as the Black Giant Squirrel but it has the white stripe alongside of the body bordering the black and the rufous orange.

Some herpetofauna,

 Egg masses of a Microhylid, maybe Microhyla berdmorei, the picture of it is below.

 A calling male with expanded vocal sac.

 An ever shy Hylarana nigrovittata.

 Black bearded Gliding Lizard, Draco melanopogon.

 Draco taeniopterus.
 Aplopeltura boa, Blunt headed Slug Snake.

In defensive posture.

 Calotes emma, Forest crested Lizard.
 A female Pedostibes hosii, Brow Tree Toad. The call can be heard along the Labua River.

 A Dark Headed Catsnake, Boiga nigriceps.

 Trying out a wide angle shot.

 On the boat back, i manage to capture these two raptors,

 Lesser Fish Eagle

 Changeable Hawk Eagle. Could be the same individual as i saw on the first day.

 Abong and Bob on the boat ride back.

Overall, the trip was great and if i got a chance i'll surely came back to photograph the elephant which was my first aim when i came here and many other rare birds which was seen by my friends but not me....Thanks a lot.


Anonymous said...

Really missed that place, err.. Earth Lodge. What I missed most is that pair of Banded Kingfisher together.
Choo Eng

Choy Wai Mun said...

Looks like you had a rewarding trip. Great shots, by the way.

jytou said...

hi, your "House Swifts" that are suspected to be "Asian House Martins" are Fork-tailed Swifts, they looked like House Swifts but with well forked tails, as clearly seen on one of the individual that opened the fork, if you managed to watch them closer, you can notice that the underbelly is not as black as a House Swift. The Asian House Martin should have a very white underpart.