Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 2, 2016

Bornean Sun Bears

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 3:58 am

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Bornean Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus) are only found in Borneo and are threatened with extinction. The Centre in Sepilok homes more than 30 rescued sun bears. Their Malay name is Beruang Madu.

lazy sun bear
Sun Bear relaxing

Sun Bears have long tongues that are thought to be an adaptation for licking honey from bee nests and eating insects such as ants and termites.

Bornean Sun Bear with long tongue
Sun Bear with big tongue

It looks like this sun bear was roaring but he was just having a yawn. But it looks very fierce.

Bornean Sun Bear
What big teeth you have.

Every Sun Bear has a completely unique chest mark. Sun Bears have large sickle-shaped claws that enable them to grip onto trees. These claws are also tools for digging and rippeing apart decayed wood to reach termites, ants and beetle grubs.

sun bear
Up a tree

Sun Bears eat a wide range of food in the forest including fruits, insects, invertebrates , small animals and honey.

Bornean Sun Bear
Climbing down.

Source: BSBCC pamphlet.

Sepilok Birding #2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:29 am

Sepilok Forest Edge Resort Day 2

Day 2 started with a walk around the gardens and into the forest trail. This shot of the Crimson Sunbird shows the typical moustache under the chin.

crimson sunbird
Crimson Sunbird

This White-breasted Waterhen was hanging around the pool. I never noticed what big feet they have, mister wolf! But I have seen them in Thailand walking on the lily pads, so the big feet would help.

White-breasted Waterhen
White-breasted Waterhen

I could not decide if this was an Olive-backed sunbird or brown-throated sunbird. But I finally went with the Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum). It is hard to identify these sunbirds because a bunch of them look the same, but I am going with the Purple-naped Sunbird because of the streaks from chin to abdomen. And they are found mainly in lowland forests.

Purple-naped Sunbird
Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum)

Similarly, I had to decide if this was a Crested Myna or a Javan Myna, but it is surely a Javen Myna because of the white vent.

javan myna
Javan Myna

Again, I cannot identify this one. There are a group of bulbuls that have red eyes and non-descript bodies. I am totally lost. Maybe a Puff-backed Bulbul or Olive-winged Bulbul. I have no flaming idea.

bulbul but which one?
Unidentified bulbul

I have been seeing the huge black bees all through Sabah. I finally got a decent photo of them.

big black bee
Big Black Bee

Sepilok Bird List

Crimson Sunbird
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum)
javan myna
Zebra Dove
Puff-backed Bulbul. or Olive-winged bulbul or nfi.
Common Kingfisher
Common Sandpiper
House Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Chestnut Munia
Yellow-vented Bulbul

November 1, 2016

Sepilok Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:32 pm

Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.

I arrived at Sepilok and went for a walk around the gardens of the resort I was staying in.

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker
Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker

Blue-throated Bee-eater
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

Spectacled Spiderhunter
Spectacled Spiderhunter

crimson sunbird
Crimson Sunbird

Sepilok bird list

Swiftlet
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus)
Olive=winged Bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus)
Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird female.
Spectacled Spiderhunter yes. or Yellow-eared Spiderhunter
Crimson Sunbird

October 31, 2016

Poring Hot Springs

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:46 pm

Sabah Birding.

I was at Poring Hot Springs for two days and did not see many birds. The place was super packed out with Malaysian tourists, but. I went for a walk along the edges of the park, following the river to the camping area.

Yellow-vented Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul

I came across this weird worm looking thing with a hammer head. So I named it the Hammer-headed Worm.

Hammer-Headed Worm
Hammer-Headed Worm

This Common Sandpiper was lurking around on top of a bridge covered in muddy water. I have no idea what he was feeding on.

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

I think this is a Plain Sunbird, but I really have not much idea. My books are totally crap.

B7D-9427
Plain Sunbird, maybe ?

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

And last but not least, a chocolate tree. I did not know they grew cacao in Borneo. doh!

Chocolate Tree
Chocolate Tree

Poring Hot Springs bird list

Yellow-vented Bulbul
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Oriental Magpie-Robin
White-breasted Waterhen
House Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Lesser Cuckooshrike ???
plain sunbird ???
Chestnut-crested Yuhina or White-bellied Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca) no.
Asian Brown Flycatcher

October 29, 2016

Last Day birding on the mountain

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:22 am

Mount Kinabalu Birds.

The last day at Mount Kinabalu. I just went for a walk along the road from the lodge. Down in the garden, I was lucky to spot this Bornean Treepie.

Bornean Treepie
Bornean Treepie (Dendrocitta cinerascens)

The Bornean Treepie has a rufous face and underparts with pale grey cap and back. The wings are black with white patch. It has a very long grey tail with black tips. It is a Borneo montane endemic.

martin or swallow
Swift or Swallow ?

I am not sure what this is. I cannot find it in any of my books. Tearing my hair out.

scarlet minivet
Scarlet Minivet

I found this track off the road and ventured down this hill near a nursery. Luckily I found a couple of nice birds.

Chestnut-crested Yuhina
Chestnut-crested Yuhina (Yuhina everetti)

I am not too sure what this is. Is it a Streaky-breasted Spiderhunter (Aracnhothera affinis) or Whitehead’s Spiderhunter ???

id needed
Proper ID needed

Mt Kinabalu birds

Bornean Treepie (Dendrocitta cinerascens)
Scarlet Minivet
Chestnut-crested Yuhina (Yuhina everetti)
Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush
Spotted Dove

October 28, 2016

Burung di Gunung Kinabalu

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:32 pm

Borneo Birds

Another walk up the hill to the park. This time I went along the Liwagu Trail and then went back along the Silau Silau Trail. I did not see anything. Near the Botanic Gardens I spotted a bunch of woodpeckers and just managed a photo.

Checker-throated Woodpecker
Checker-throated Woodpecker (Chrysophlegma mentale)

The Checker-throated Woodpecker is distinguished from Banded and Crimson-winged Woodpeckers by the lack of red on the crown and by the throat pattern. Found in lowland hill dipterocarp and lower montane forest up to 1600 meters.

jungle creek
A creek in the jungle

Along the road back to the lodge, I spotted a Chestnut-crested Yunia. Lighting is really shocking but I wangled it somehow.

Chestnut-crested Yuhina
Chestnut-crested Yuhina (Yuhina everetti)

The Chestnut-crested Yuhina is found in Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia where it is endemic to the island of Borneo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Back at the lodge, another Black-capped White-eye.

Black-capped White-eye
Black-capped White-eye (Zosterops atricapilla)

Mt Kinabalu birds

Checker-throated Woodpecker (Chrysophlegma mentale)
Chestnut-crested Yuhina (Yuhina everetti)
Ashy Drongo
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Black-capped White-eye

Zoology 101

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 8:30 am

Bugs of Borneo.

These are some of the weird bugs and moths that I have seen up at Mount Kinabalu. There are heaps of interesting animals in this neck of the woods. This strange horned katydid looking thing bit me. And it drew blood.

horned bug thing
the horned devil that bit me!

Some of the moths hanging around the lodge.

moth 1
Moth 1

moth 2
psychedelic moth

These moths

huge moth
huge moth

Mt Kinabalu Botany Tour

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 7:59 am

Plants of Borneo.

I went on a tour of the Botanical Gardens at Mount Kinabalu and he showed me all sorts of amazing plants.

slipper orchid
Slipper Orchid

orchid
Orchid

The Pitcher Plant, also known as the monkey cup, is a group of carnivorous plants in the genus Nepenthes. Kinabalu, with 11 species, in the centre of biodiversity of this genus. Pitcher Plants can be found as far as Madagascar to the northern tip of Queensland in Australia and up north to southern China.

Pitcher plant
Pitcher Plant. Malay name Periuk Kera.

These are wild bananas with seed inside the fruit. Cultivars are different. ha ha.

wild banana
Wild Bananas

mushrooms
Fungi

October 27, 2016

Birds of Borneo

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:15 am

Birds of Kinabalu.

Breakfast at 7am this morning. While waiting for breakfast, I spotted a few birds in the garden at the lodge. I have no idea what this first bird is. I thought Ashy Minivet but no. Was it a white-vented whistler ? no. Finally I have no idea what it is. edit.: Asian brown flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)

ID needed please
Asian Brown Flycatcher

In the distance these hornbills flew past. They turned out to be Wreathed Hornbills.

 Wreathed Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulates )

Ashy Drongo
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)

Then I trudged up the hill to the Kinabalu Park. The clouds had parted enough to see the top of the mountain. It was very rugged.

rugged mountain
Rugged mountain

Paid my 15 ringgit entrance fee and walked down the hill towards the Botanical Garden. I had a tour of the Botanical Gardens with the ranger and spotted this Bornean Whistling-Thrush.

Bornean Whistling-Thrush
Bornean Whistling-Thrush (Myophonus borneensis)

 Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

I was not sure if this was a Black-capped White-eye or a Everett’s White-eye, but I think the black cap did it for me. The yellow stripe down the tummy was a bit of a dummy pass.

Black-capped White-eye
Black-capped White-eye(Zosterops atricapilla)

And finally, a Kinabalu Squirrel, spotted near the lodge.

Kinabalu Squirrel
Kinabalu Squirrel (Callosciurus baluensis) tupai, in malay.

Kinabalu Birds

Yellow-vented Bulbul
Spotted Dove
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Olive-backed Sunbird
Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Black-capped White-eye(Zosterops atricapilla)
Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis)
Bornean Whistling-Thrush (Myophonus borneensis)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulates )

Kinabalu Squirrel (Callosciurus baluensis) in malay tupai.

October 25, 2016

Kota Kinabalu – Sabah

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:51 pm

Fish Markets and Wetlands.

This morning I woke up early at 6am, had a kopi-o down the road and headed to the harbour.

Me at KK harbour
Me at harbour

There were heaps of fish being sold and bundled around here and there. The floors were slippery with fish slime and you had to be very careful or you could go arse over tit real easy.

fish market
Selling Fish.

The bad dudes wanted me to take their photo, so I obliged.

bad boys in the fish market
Bad mofos

Lots of trawlers were docked in the harbour.

Kota Kinabalu Trawlers
Master of all I survey.

After breakfast, I arranged for a taxi to come take me to the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands. The tide was high so it was not the best time to go there I think.

Kota Kinabalu wetlands
Mangroves.

I managed to get at least one tick, the Ashy Tailorbird. This one is a juvenile which is paler and has a whitish throat. They are found low down in mangroves, scrub, riverside bush. They range from Burma to Palawan and Java.

Ashy Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird (Orthomotus ruficeps)

Mangrove Skink
Mangrove Skink (Emoia atrocostata), Bengkarong in Malay.

The Mangrove Skink has smooth and brownish to greyish metallic skin. Eyelids are movable and the tail detaches easily. Retreats at night in bases of the tree buttresses. Active at dawn whilst foraging for insects. Most active when the body temperature is between 25-27 degrees Celsius. Most skinks lay eggs but some bear live young.

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