Thursday, February 27, 2014

Close and closer we get

Little Green Pigeon (Treron olax)

 From a distance I could see a pair of Punai Daun or Little Green Pigeon resting at the Cempedak tree on one of  the tallest hills at Zone G.  The male of the species has  a grey face, head and nape.  The most striking feature is the dark maroon back and orange upper breast.  The female however is greenish with a grey forehead.  The Little Green Pigeon is a permanent resident of the park.

Little Green Pigeon -male at  front, female at the back

Little Green Pigeon - female
Little Green Pigeon -male

The park in drought and floods

 The park has seen no rain for many days since we arrived here.  In actual fact, the last two months was thoroughly a drought season except for a day or two of rain.  The Kambatik stream still has water flowing but the water level is very shallow.  The above picture which shows the start of the Kambatik stream has very little water flowing when compared with the picture below when it experienced flash floods. For purpose of comparison I have compiled below pictures of other locations along the stream to show the vast difference in water level during the dry and wet seasons.
Location : Start of Kambatik stream
Location : Zone C

Location : Zone C

Location : Provinsi Carpentaria - looking south

Location : Provinsi Carpentaria - looking south

Location : Provinsi Carpentaria - looking east

Location : Provinsi Carpentaria - looking east

Zone D - looking east

Zone D - looking east

Zone D - looking west

Zone D - looking west

Zone F - looking east

Zone F - looking east

The Corn plant in flower

Corn plant - Draceana fragrans
Family : Agavaceae - Agave family

 The Draceana fragrans is normally used as a foliage plant or an indoor plant.  At Botanic Island One, there is one specimen that is grown as a treelet to allow its growth naturally. It is about 6 meters tall now and as at today produces flowers.  My estimate is that the treelet is about 6 years old. It has been noted that the plant grows initially as an unbranched treelet but finally will produce branches at its base.  The stem can be cut into short pieces. The short stems can be grown in hydroculture by placing them in water to make an indoor tabletop decoration.

Draceana fragrans grown as a treelet
Location : Zone D
At the background is Botanic Island One

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Photoshoot session with the Eastern Crimson Sunbird

Eastern Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) - Kelicap Sepah Raja- Malay

 It's one of the most attractively coloured bird at the park.  The outstanding feature is its crimson head and back. The wings are dark grey.  It is often seen frequenting the Chinese hat plant, heliconia bracts and the yellow Ixora coccinea flowers.  It is a very small bird and moves very fast, thus to get a good close-up of it I have to resort to making a hideout close to its favourite spot at the park.  The male bird produces very cheerful notes in the early morning when its forages for insects and nectar from the flowers.  The adult male has dark blue forehead and crown.

Early morning at the park

 The weather for the last month has been hot and dry. While the last three to four days hasn't seen any rain at the park.  It seems that the drought season is setting in and according to weatherman this year's drought will be quite prolonged, probably till mid March.  An early walkabout at the park saw a huge jungle tree in flowering glory.  The Jering tree threw its maroon flushes.  The earliest bird to sing out a morning melody was the Magpie-robin.
Jungle tree in flowering glory

Jering tree in flushes

Magpie-robin singing out loud

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Photo journal - 6 February, 2014

Last Cempedak fruit

The last Cempedak fruit (Artocarpus integer), plucked from tree at Zone C
Cempedak fritters

 Since ten days ago, there was no rain at the park.  This is a sure indication that the rainy monsoon season (Nov-Feb) is over.  The end of the year season of fruits is also over in Bintulu.  However there is one Cempedak fruit that is left to be plucked.  Today this  last fruit was eaten fresh, made into fritters and the seeds boiled to be eaten with honey.  The last season of Cempedak was most memorable because the trees that were here more than 60 years ago still continue to produce fruits this year.