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Hix Does Brunei

Discussion in 'Brunei' started by Hix, 15 Oct 2017.

  1. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Preamble

    As many of you may know, I currently reside on Christmas Island, the one in the Indian Ocean. The island is one of Australia’s external territories and many people – including most Australians – seem unaware of its exact location. Most people I’ve spoken to know it’s off the northern coast of Western Australia but seem to think it’s only a short distance from the mainland, like Rottnest, Thursday or Kangaroo Islands, or the islands in the Great Barrier Reef. Christmas Island is actually 1500 kilometres from the Australian mainland but only 360kms south of Java.

    The island has three commercial flights a week – two to Perth and one to Jakarta, 500kms to the North. So last year when I was thinking about where I might go for my next holiday, Asia seemed the sensible choice because it is so close – about an hour away. And I have never visited Asia before so I thought it was about time I did something about that. But with so many countries in Asia, where should I go first?

    My main aim is to see wildlife in the wild, but if there are any zoos along the way I would definitely make an effort to visit them. Singapore was my first choice, and it seemed to me to be an obvious one as I’ve long wanted to visit the Jurong Bird Park. Singapore Zoo also has a good reputation and I’ve been hearing mediocre reports about the Night Safari and the River Safari so I would visit them as well to make up my own mind.

    But there are three other things I enjoy when I go travelling – visiting somewhere most of my contemporaries have never been (or, in some cases, never even heard of), looking for wildlife in large expanses of natural wilderness, and avoiding large and dense populations of people (especially tourists). It helps if English is widely spoken too. Singapore doesn’t meet all those requirements, but I wasn’t too fussed about that for this trip. So I researched Singapore, and where I would go to see wildlife, and then put together a spreadsheet listing the birds, mammals and reptiles of Singapore so I could keep an accurate record.

    I was following Chlidonias’ mega-trip to see if there was any other places that might interest me too. Peninsula Malaysia is of interest and is close to Singapore. And then, while I was looking at other stuff on the internet, I noticed Brunei. A small country nobody I know has visited, although a number of colleagues and friends have visited neighbouring Sabah. A bit of research online quickly told me there was plenty of wilderness and lots of wildlife. More research came up with a couple of reports from expat birders living in Brunei detailing the best places in the country to go birding – one report was 86 pages long! See http://www.panagaclub.com/pnhs/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/03/JeremyMoore_Birdwatching-in-Brunei.pdf and https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5h2kl5IPWx-NGIxcWpHZmZnTXM/view . There’s also one on Mammals at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5h2kl5IPWx-SHJNU2VHcFRIb0U/view?pli=1 .

    The more I read, the more I realised Brunei was a more attractive option for me than Singapore.

    I downloaded these documents to my new laptop, a small but very lightweight unit I had recently purchased to reduce the weight in my carry-on bag (my previous laptop weighed about 3 kg and with cameras etc. put my carry-on a few kilos over the 7kg limit; the new laptop weighs only 800gms). I also created a new spreadsheet with lists of the birds, mammals and reptiles of Brunei.

    And so, in mid-April, I left Christmas Island for two weeks in a little sultanate in the very large island of Borneo.


    :p


    Hix
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I'm excited that you decided to make a thread about this trip in the end! Looking forward to your posts.
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    I've always intended to, it's just been finding the time to write it!

    :p

    Hix
     
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  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Brunei really gets overlooked by everybody. I think there are two main reasons. One is that it is simply overshadowed by Sabah, so most people who want to go to Borneo go to Sabah because there is lots of information and it is well set up for tourism. The other reason is because it has a reputation for being really expensive, which it sort of is in relation to other parts of southeast Asia, but at the same time isn't in real terms.

    I was exactly like this (the expense bit in particular). I did go to Brunei in 2009 but it was basically because I had to when going from Sarawak to Sabah. I only gave myself one full day at an easy-to-get-to National Park. In retrospect I've always wished I had stayed in the country longer. If I do another proper Borneo trip, I would include it.
     
  5. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Without giving too much away, I can say that I didn't find the expenses unreasonable. However, I do understand that the neighbouring countries are cheaper. I was disappointed there wasn't a more developed wildlife-based tourism industry, and what little there is, is expensive.

    :p

    Hix
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    yes, I don't want to step on anything you are going to write so I won't say much, but my understanding was that the country is rich from oil (real oil) so doesn't need to replace its forests with oil palm plantations as in Malaysia and Indonesia. This means that there is still masses of forest left in well-protected areas, but because Brunei also doesn't need money from tourism the reserves aren't easily accessible.

    The one place I went was the Peradayan Forest Reserve, and I chose that one for the very reason that it was easy and cheap to get to. With only one day I didn't have a huge amount of results in the wildlife-spotting department though.
     
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread and I'm sure it will make for eventful reading...just like your past journeys. Cheers! :)
     
  8. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    I imagine a lot of people have the same instinctive conceptual problem as me, which is that I can't help assuming countries which are tiny on the world map must be small in real life. That's fine for a city state like Singapore but makes somewhere like Brunei seem unattractive.
     
  9. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Hmmm..... you'll relate to quite a bit of what I'll be writing then.


    Not sure I understand what you mean. It is small. I drove from one end to the other in about 2 hours.

    As I said, being small and not visited by friends is a plus in my book (being small and unheard of is an even bigger plus). When I was younger, and people heard I was going to Los Angeles, or London, or Hawaii, I'd be bombarded by people telling me to go to this or that, or asking me to bring back this or that. And when I returned I'd be asked what I thought of this or that.

    That doesn't happen when you visit places like Brunei, 'coz nobody has been so they are more interested in why you're going, and what there is to see. Actually, only half the people ask - the other half (the sheep) - can't understand why you go there. And when you get back, half the people (the non-sheep) are really interested in what you did, what it was like etc.

    Also, little known places have less Australian (and American) tourists. Some of you will know why this is important.

    :p

    Hix
     
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  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Like anyone who has been to Bali? :D
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    ha, my Brunei bird list is only eighteen species long. I wrote that number out in full in case anyone thought I'd accidentally left a number off it. My Bunei mammal list has just one species on it, which is the Plain Pigmy Squirrel.
     
  12. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    As I'm planning a trip to this region next year but haven't really considered Brunei, it'll be interesting to hear your experience and whether or not it's worth tagging on.
     
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it's easy to get to from Sabah. Just ferry KK to Pulau Labuhan (where there's a bird park), then ferry from there to BSB in Brunei. Simple. Or bus KK to Menumbok then boat to Pulau Labuhan and on to Brunei. You can easily do it in a day.
     
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  14. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Having talked up Brunei I should also point out that in a small country like Brunei, most of the wildlife is also found across the borders. So if you've been wildlife watching in Sabah and Sarawak, chances are you won't see very much that's new in Brunei. Unless you stay awhile.

    :p

    Hix
     
  15. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Day 1 – 15th April, 2017

    My flight left in the afternoon, which left me the whole morning to finish packing, charge my camera batteries and re-organise stuff. My suitcase ended up being a little overweight so I had to take out my boots and wear them on the flight, something I try to avoid because they are steel-capped and so I have to take them off when going through the metal detectors at the airport, which is a pain. With my new laptop my carry-on bag weighed a few grams over 7 kilos so I was happy with that.

    When I was ready to drive to the airport to check-in my suitcase I put on my boots, however one of the laces broke in half. I didn’t have any spare laces but after check-in I raced to the only hardware store on the island and found they had three pairs left in the size I needed. As I rethreaded both boots with the new laces I was grateful this had happened here and not in the Bruneian jungle.

    The flight left at 3:45pm and we landed in Jakarta a little after 5:00. Having never travelled to Asia before, and having read about Jakarta and its traffic, I had organised for my hotel to have someone collect me. But before going to the hotel I wanted to change some money. Australians can purchase 30 day entry visas to Brunei on arrival at the airport, but Immigration accepts cash only and the cash must be either Bruneian or Singaporean dollars. There are cash machines in Brunei Airport but only after Immigration, so I needed to get the money before arrival. I couldn’t get either currency from the only bank on Christmas Island before I left, so I had to get the money in Jakarta, and the Airport seemed to be the best place.

    There were lots of currency exchange places at Jakarta airport – and I mean lots, twenty or more, in some places six or seven side-by-side – but they would only change into Indonesian Rupiahs. For 45 minutes the hotel representative and I wandered the airport going from one place to another before we finally found one that would give me Singapore Dollars. So I ended up with $60 and a few thousand rupiah. Jakarta Airport was hot and dusty so it was with some relief that I boarded the hotel’s shuttle bus for the short, ten minute drive to the hotel.

    I had chosen a hotel close to the airport because I had been told that it can take over an hour to travel from the airport to the city (and vice-versa) when the traffic is bad. There are a number of hotels in the vicinity of the airport, including one in the airport terminal itself, but I had chosen one by looking on Google Maps and Google Earth. The Bandara Hotel looked like a good hotel (I didn’t want something cheap and second-rate) and on Google Earth it appeared to be beside a large square-shaped body of water which I figured would attract some birds at least. It also appeared to have some well planted gardens.

    On arrival I was surprised at how opulent the hotel was, and I discovered that prior to the name change six weeks before my arrival it was called the Sheraton-Bandara. It was certainly of a high standard, but quite reasonably priced. I had a large room on the ground floor, and out the back was a table and chairs overlooking the body of water (called a lake by the hotel staff). Unfortunately, it was dark when I arrived and so I didn’t see any birdlife, but on my way to the restaurant for dinner I heard something laughing maniacally from a tree, I but I couldn’t see it in the dense foliage.

    Returning to my room after dinner I got on my new laptop and started to write up the day’s events. My last trip away was to Tanzania and it took a long time to write it up. I figured this time around I would spend some time at the end of each day writing up what had happened that day, or at least listing the salient points so I could complete it at a later date. It was 10pm when I finished and finally went to sleep.


    :p


    Hix


    Bandara Hotel: 6º 07’ 13.63” S 106º 40’ 43.42” E

    It is my intention to include co-ordinates of locations and sites so anybody who is interested can get a better idea of where I was and what I was doing. Just cut and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth or GoogleMaps. This one will not just show you the hotel, but should also show you the approximate location of my room.
     
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  16. Najade

    Najade Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think New Zealanders made up half of the population:D
     
  17. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Sometimes it feels like they do!
     
  18. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    If you saw a bay cat I will never forgive you! :p
     
  19. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Day 2 – 16th April

    I woke just before 6:00am and as it was light outside I grabbed my camera and went out to see if there were any birds to photograph. Right outside my room was a Sooty-headed Bulbul – the first bird of my holiday - but when I tried for a photo I found the battery in my camera was dead. I was certain I had charged them all the day before, but maybe I had not. So I ducked back into my room and put in the spare battery.
    [​IMG]

    The body of water (or ‘lake’) was clearly manmade, roughly square and about 300m along each side. There were men wading through the water fishing and I judged the water to be a bit less than one metre in depth. A rudimentary fence ran through the part of the lake on the hotel side, and perched on the fence at intervals were reddish herons with black and white wings. But when they flew they displayed brilliant white underwings. These were Javan Pond Herons, and my second lifer for the day. On the far side of the lake in shallower water that was strewn with rocks and some rubbish I could see a number of white egrets. I couldn’t identify them from this distance, but I took some photos and later on the computer I was able to zoom in and identify them as Great Egrets and one Little Egret. And flying over the waters were a dozen Pacific Swallows (again identified by photos).
    [​IMG]
    For the next hour-and-a-half I wandered the grounds birdwatching, sighting Zebra Doves, Spotted Doves, Pink-necked Pigeons, more Sooty-headed Bulbuls, a pair of White-breasted Woodswallows, Eurasian Tree Sparrows and Scaly-breasted (or Nutmeg) Munias and a single Indian Mynah. There was also a female woodpecker I saw sitting on a pole but I couldn’t identify it at the time; a fortnight later I identified it as a Freckle-breasted Woodpecker when I saw the male. I also found a large paper wasp nest and managed to get a few photos without disturbing the owners. So after 90 minutes I had increased my year list with nine species, five of which were lifers.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    At one point I wanted change the camera settings to activate all the focus points (useful for capturing birds in flight). My camera – a Canon EOS 70D – has one of those flip-out backs with the screen on it. I very rarely use this screen, so it came as some surprise to find the glass screen all cracked and shattered, but still held in place by a veneer. It resembled the glass panels in great ape enclosures were the occupant has found a rock or some other object (sometimes even a fist) and smashed the glass, resulting in a series of cracks radiating out from the point of impact like a giant spiderweb. This was a shock as I was unaware of the damage, but checking the camera carefully I found no other damage. Having finished looking for wildlife I returned to my room and downloaded the photos to my little laptop, and then checked them carefully to make sure there was no internal damage to the camera or lens that affected image quality. Thankfully all the images appeared OK, however I noticed the camera’s date setting had reset to January 1 2000. So I reset it, and went to breakfast. About six weeks previously I had been stalking birds on Christmas Island and I tripped and fell heavily against a limestone outcrop; I’m guessing this is when the damage occurred.

    My flight was leaving in the early afternoon so after breakfast I finished packing and was ready to leave the hotel by 11:00. The hotel shuttle took only 15 minutes to get me to the airport, and after checking in I took a little wander through the departure lounge where I found a large souvenir shop selling display cases of mounted butterflies, moths, phasmids, beetles, spiders, scorpions etc. I took a photo of them all and then afterwards saw a sign indicating photos were not permitted.

    My flight with Royal Air Brunei only took a couple of hours. I had a window seat but didn’t see much because it was cloudy for most of the way. When we landed it was bucketing down as it only can in the tropics, but had stopped by the time we taxied to the terminal. On the grass beside the runway I counted 13 Great Egrets.

    Passed through Immigration without any problems, thankful I had secured the Singaporean currency the day before. It started to rain again went I left the terminal for a taxi but it had stopped by the time we reached my hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan. I was staying at the Radisson, a nice hotel just up the road from the waterfront (a ten minute walk). It was around 6:00pm when we arrived and getting dark so after dinner in the restaurant I started to repack my luggage.

    The following day I was travelling into the interior and I had been told I could bring a maximum weight of only 10 kilograms. I told the company I would need more than that and so for an extra $20 they would let me bring more. I was still going to try and bring as little as possible. Inside my suitcase I had a smaller suitcase and so I packed the essentials into that bag, leaving the non-essentials in the larger suitcase which I would leave at the Radisson until my return. Once that was done I started typing up the day’s activities on the laptop.


    :p


    Hix


    New Birds: Javan Pond Heron; Pink-necked Pigeon; Sooty-headed Bulbul; Freckle-breasted Woodpecker; Pacific Swallow

    Radisson Hotel: 4º 53’ 41.42” N 114º 56’ 32.04” E
     
  20. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands

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    Day 3 – 17th April

    Today was going to be a big day so I was up again at 6:00am. Through the window the sun was streaming and I could see a brilliant blue sky outside. After a quick breakfast in the restaurant I finished the last of my packing.

    Behind the Radisson is a road that goes up a hill, and my room included a view of this road. Between the road and the hotel fence were a few dense trees and shrubs and while packing I noticed some movement amongst the leaves. The vegetation was only about 30 metres away so I had a good view and eventually a Pigeon moved into view, feeding on small berries. I grabbed my camera to take a photo and found the battery was dead. This was the freshly charged battery I had put in the Camera just 24 hours before. So I swapped it for the other battery and got a single decent photo before the bird flew off. And when I downloaded the photos I found the date had once again reset to January 1 2000.

    So apart from the broken screen, the camera now constantly drained the batteries (they would last about six hours) and after replacing the batteries I would have to reset the date each time, which I often forgot to do. This was very disappointing, but things were going to get worse.

    A few minutes after the pigeon flew off I saw a small brownish bird darting between the leaves and initially thought was one of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows that I’d seen around the hotel but it turned out to be some other passerine. My bird book was already packed, so I wasn’t able to identify either this bird or the pigeon (later identified as Pink-necked Pigeon and Ashy Tailorbird).

    [​IMG]

    After downloading the images to my laptop, and then copying them all on to a portable external hard drive, I quickly checked my emails, packed away the laptop and packed away my camera and the lens. In my pants pocket I had a little Canon IXUS which I generally use for scenic shots and I would use for the rest of the day

    Just before 9:00am I checked out of the hotel (leaving my large suitcase in storage with them) and waited in the lobby for my ride. My destination was Ulu Ulu Resort, deep within the Ulu Temburong National Park. The resort was built and is run by Borneo Sunshine Tours, and to stay there you have to book through them. I had already organised a four day stay which included transport to and from the resort, and just after 9:00 I was picked up by a minivan. The driver – I think his name was Bob – drove me down the road alongside a canal, then along the waterfront to a wharf.

    Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, is situated alongside a bend in the Brunei River. The river is several hundred metres across at this point and on the other side I could see Kampong Ayer, or the Water Village, a community built on stilts in the river. Apparently this is the largest community of its kind anywhere in the world and is actually comprised of 32 different villages side-by-side. But it’s not just dwellings – they have shops and schools and other services available. Although built in the river, the Water Village is on the far shores of the other side of the river. But there is no road access so if the inhabitants wish to get to the capital then they can only traverse the river by boat. However, a massive new bridge is being constructed across the river and is nearing completion.

    On the wharf Bob introduced me to a young lady whom he said worked at the Resort and would take me there, and then he left. The young lady introduced herself as Honey Roll, and after some time I realised her name was actually Hanyrol, and I had seen some of her photographs on the resort’s website. And, surprisingly, she’s a friend of someone I know in Sydney.

    The first part of our journey to the resort was by Speedboat. These boats are all over the river and are a public transport, much like buses are on land. The boat we got into was an old one, and was completely enclosed, with benches down each side of the boat and at the rear. We were crammed in, sitting on the benches with our luggage on the floor in front of us. There were twenty passengers on board (and one driver) and so the floor was full of luggage and my legs were cramped, planted in between bags and boxes. I noticed there were at least a dozen desk-fans that several people had purchased, and in this hot & humid environment I wasn’t really surprised. Above us hanging on rails were lifejackets, but I only counted thirteen. And of the twenty passengers, I was the only Caucasian.

    Because of the sound of the motor conversation was minimal. Although the boat was enclosed it had some plexiglass windows which provided a breeze but also water spray when we hit the waves, so the one behind me I kept closed most of the time. The boat headed downriver towards Brunei Bay, a large bay where several rivers discharge, with many small islands forming a delta. The boat wended its way between these small islands before reaching the bay and then heading for the southern end. The island’s shores were completely lined with Nipah Palms, a palm that grows in the shallow water and can cope with tidal fluctuations. I kept an eye out for birds, and proboscis monkeys which are known to live on some of the islands, but all I saw was a White-bellied Sea Eagle on a dead tree and a Saltwater Crocodile.

    At the southern end of the bay we entered another delta, that of the Temburong River, and we headed upstream to the small township of Bangor, arriving 45 minutes after leaving Bandar Seri Begawan. Hanyrol and I then boarded another minibus which drove us south for another twenty minutes to the tiny township of Batang Duri. There we descended a rickety set of wooden steps to the water’s edge and got into a longboat. The longboat is essentially a long, narrow canoe with an outboard motor at the back. They are also rather shallow boats and we sat on a cushion on the bottom of the boat. The river was shallower in places here and I could see the river stones in the brown waters only a few inches below us. In other places it was much deeper. The river was also faster, with quite a strong current; without the outboard there was no way we could have paddled upstream. Hanyrol commented that the river was much higher than normal, and suggested it must have been raining very heavily up in the mountains the day before.

    [​IMG]

    The river meandered its way along a winding valley that had been cut through the hills eons ago. On either side of the river were steep hills rising abruptly from the river’s edge, densely vegetated in trees, ferns and understory shrubs, the foliage coming right down to the water in places. In other places the river edge was lined with steep, black, slippery walls and rocks of prehistoric basalt. And in some places, where the river bent sharply, there would be a sandbar in the middle of the river, usually comprised of river pebbles.

    After thirty minutes we finally arrived at Ulu Ulu Resort. The resort is narrow but is stretched out alongside the river for a few hundred metres. There is a covered walkway that runs from one end to the other. In the middle is the dining room with decks and a kitchen behind. Following the walkway along the river downstream (North) takes you to the various guest accommodations. In the other direction is a staging area for day trippers, a visitor centre, National Parks office, and the Two Rivers Terrace Cafe.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After disembarking and stretching my legs Hanyrol introduced me to Martin who would be my guide for the next few days. So after a brief orientation Martin showed me to my room (which was very nice) about 100 metres from the dining room. I was very happy about this because it meant I would be able to avoid the day trippers who arrived in large groups about 10am each morning and left at 3pm.

    After unpacking a bit I went up to the Dining Room for lunch. At one point along the path the covered walkway was missing its roof, and growing beside the path was an enormous fig tree (there were a number of enormous trees in the resort as this is a rainforest). About three metres above ground level the tree had produced a dense spray of slender leafy branches which were currently bearing little figs and a number of birds were in the branches feeding on the small fruits. I recognised several of them as bulbuls but I didn’t know what species, however I had my camera so I should be able to ID them afterwards. I was about to leave when I saw something large moving in some trees about 40 metres away up the hill. Through the foliage I could see grey shapes and I guessed they were Long-tailed (aka Crab-eating) Macaques. I couldn’t get a decent photo because of the dense foliage so I viewed them through my binoculars instead. There appeared to be two adult animals, and I only had views of disjunct body parts through the leaves. I noticed the inside of one individual’s leg appeared much paler than I would have expected, and while I was thinking about this a young animal climbed up a branch through a gap in the leaves and I got a clear view of a face framed in white, and with a white chest and belly. This was not a macaque at all but a Hose’s Langur, a species classed as vulnerable and found in north-western Borneo where the populations are fragmented and in some places have been extirpated, killed for food and Bezoar Stones. Apparently the only viable population remain in Ulu Temburong. I saw the youngster for only a second as it disappeared behind leaves again, and I cursed myself for using binoculars and not my camera as I could have taken a reasonable photo of it. Unfortunately, this was my only sighting of this species.

    There is still some taxonomic disagreement about the exact classification of this species – previously Hose’s Langur (also known as the Grey Langur) was found over much of Borneo, with four distinct subspecies, however recently some taxonomists have elevated those four to full species status.

    After lunch Martin joined me to plan what I wanted to do over the next few days and when we would do it. After that discussion I decided to wander around the resort with my camera as there were plenty of birds around. The spray of figs was still attracting birds so a lot of my time was spent there. The most common bird was the Grey-bellied Bulbul, a dark grey bird with yellowy-golden wings. It was a social species with several flying in at once. There were also a couple of other bulbuls that were harder to identify as they were nondescript brownish birds, and in my book there were several bulbul species they could have been. I saw them at several locations in Brunei and in my notes I just referred to them as NBB – Nondescript Brown Bulbul. It wasn’t until some weeks later at home that I finally identified them with some certainty.

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    Despite the activity at the fig tree there weren’t too many other birds to see. It was early afternoon and the sun was very hot, plus humidity was very high and so most of the birds had decided to retire for the afternoon. I wandered up to the far end of the walkway and saw a few Dusky Munias - finches endemic to Borneo - and a White-rumped Shama. Over the river were a number of swallows constantly hawking for insects. Back near the staging area some of the swallows were landing on ropes of a bridge and I could get some photos of them – Pacific Swallows. While wandering around the building there I sighted three geckos up on the underside of the roof. One large gecko was just above one of the tables and was in a perfect position for a photo. It turned out to be Ptychozoon horsfieldi, one of the gliding geckos.

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    Something I noticed was how oppressive the heat and humidity was – even sitting still in the shade I would sweat profusely. And walking around with a largish camera around your neck only made it worse.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2017