Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Kambatik Park in photo rendart

 The Kambatik Park can be a source of inspiration for creativity.  One type of creativity is in the manipulation of images taken from the camera, in this case it is a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1,  and using the apps' Paper artist' to create digital manipulation images from the original photos on the tablet.   Here are a few examples  I did in just a few hours, inclusive of walking around time photographing the subject.  I call the process of manipulating digital images done in an artistic style as "photo rendart' or photo rendered digitally artistic.

( Note all images above done on 31 December, 2015)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bee for breakfast

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker with bee for breakfast
Locatio : Zone C 

After the flash floods

Flash floods on 25 Dec'15
The stream back to normal size on 30 Dec'15
Location : Provinsi Carpentaria, Zone F
Note: The tall tree at the foreground is a wild 'Rambutan' tree species.  This is one of the oldest cultivated tree at the park and despite its 70 years old age has been fruiting luxuriously this year.

Tiongs in loving gesture

Tiong (Malay) - Hill Myna
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

Loving gesture
 In the distance I could see the Tiongs broadcasting their regular calls  over the neighbourhood.  Their calls would normally alert me to go to Zone I especially to the tall dead tree which is becoming their penthouse. Before the sunset,  I slowly  climbed up the Licuala Hill to catch a better glimpse of the couple.  Once at my hideout I took my camera from the bag and started to aim.  Today it seemed to me they were very loving.  Apparently they did not see me in my hideout and this enabled me to observe their behaviour closely.  They were seen preening  and grooming one another.  They were in playful mood and were eager to return to their nest before the night falls.  It's another happy day for me to see them back at the park.

The Tiong's penthouse - a hole in a tall dead tree
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The 'Queen of Sarawak' palms bearing fruits

The top branch is showing inflorescence and the lower branch shows the ripe fruits.
The  inflorescence (flowering structure) is highly branched to 3 orders and spreading.
Picture shows the orange variety.
Location:  Provinsi Lakka,  Zone F

 I have great love for this 'Queen of Sarawak' palms – the Sealing Wax Palm or 'Pinang Raja' or 'lakka' as it is variously called. It grows naturally in Bintulu's peat swamp forest areas but what I have done here is to transplant it in a lowland dipterocarp forest environment. No problem. It is a palm that can thrive well even when removed from its original habitat. There are two species I plant here viz the orange form and the red form. The brilliant orange or red colours that one sees is actually the sheath or leaf bases. Seen from a distance these leaf sheaths form colourful crown shafts and thus make the palm a preferred choice for the 'exotic tropical look'. These leaf sheaths will fall off the erect stem when they are old and in the process leaving leaf scars. The Sealing Wax Palm has a clumping habit, which I think is a blessing because offsets can be cut off from the clump and become new planting materials. Another way to propagate this palm is by germinating the seeds. From my experience the growth rate and germination rate is poor when grown from seeds. Thus better get fresh materials from the main clump's offsets.

After flowering, fruits are formed in shallow pits on the rachilla or branch bearing the flowers ( and later the fruits). Guess I'll try my luck again to germinate those seeds below.

Ripe fruits of the 'Pinang Lakka'  held in shallow pits.
Sealing Wax Palm - Cyrtostachys renda
Syn: Crytostachys lakka

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A swift moment of power

Flash floods at Zone D, 25 Dec'15.

It was midday yesterday when the clouds deposited tons of water around the park. Within an hour of torrential rain the stream grew 20 times its size and created a scene of extraordinary beauty and power. The plains around the stream was for a moment of time a watery playground. I took time to wade in the swift current and took photographs for the record. This phenomena is prevalent in December when Bintulu is under the mercy of the monsoon rains. Once the rains stopped, the flash floods quickly subsided and by the next hour time it back to its normal self. Over the years I begin to admire this natural occurrence and treat it as nature's gift to the park.

Stream at Provinsi Carpentaria, Zone F
25 Dec'15

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First time encounter with the tiny Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum )
Location : Botanic Island Two

Sepah Puteri Merah (Malay) - Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
It is a tiny bird and is the first time I come across it at the park.  It was accompanied by its female counterpart but I couldn't get a good picture of it.  The female of the species has more olive-green upperparts.  What is attractive about this bird is the scarlet forehead, crown and continues to the rump.  The rest of the body is a beautiful dark blue colour.  It moved quickly among the branches and if not by a stroke of good luck I wouldn't be able to get a glimpse of the bird for record purpose.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Highlights today at the park - 20 Dec'15

A not so common squirrel with beautiful long light grey  fluffy tail.  The underside or belly is a striking reddish brown colour.
Location : Botanic Island One

A small flock of Little Green Pigeons at the Cempedak Hill
Zone G

Colourful flushes of a jungle tree at Botanic Island Three
Zone I

Little Green Pigeon - male of the species
Zone G

Friday, December 18, 2015

Falconet on the hunt

Borneon Falconet (Microhierax latifrons)
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

 This morning the weather was a bit cloudy and taking pictures can be problematic especially when taking long ranges.  The Borneon Falconet came early looking for breakfast and was well-rewarded on this trip when I saw it devouring its prey on the branch of the tall dead tree.  I saw it making short sallies down and even circling around a group of trees before making a swoop and then rushing back to the branch to enjoy its catch.  Falconets are the smallest raptors of the world.  It's only this year that I stumbled or 'discovered' its presence at the park.  I guess they love the intact environment of the lowland dipterocarp forest ecology here, tall dead trees, and its forest edges that support a myriad of insects, bees, lizards etc. I hope they visit the park  more often because food is plenty here.
About 100 meters away on a tall dead tree is the falconet.
Location: Licuala Hill
Zone I

The rains and birds

Flash floods at Zone F

 It rained the whole day.  The stream overflowed and there was flash floods for about one hour.  Despite the rains  and cold weather  the birds did show up but preferred to conserve energy by resting on branches.   Seen were the Oriental Magpie-robin and a small company of Little Green Pigeons.  At another location I noticed a Brahminy Kite was surveying the park from above the canopy of trees.  It circled with the aid of the strong winds and then left the scene.
Oriental Magpie-robin

A small flock of Little Green Pigeon resting at the Cempedak tree

Brahminy Kite

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Highlights today at the park - 16 Dec'15

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker at forest edge
Location: Zone I

Furry jasmine ( Jasminum multiflorum)


Colourful jungle creepers over-topping the forest canopy
Location : Zone I

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Is it an eagle or a hawk-eagle? I wonder.

 Before the day ends I went to Licuala Hill with the hope that I could get another glimpse of the Borneon Falconet. Upon arrival at the tall dead tree I was greeted by the Myna birds. The weather was not so clear as it is often these days of the North-east monsoon when there are more cloudy skies and torrential rains. After a while, I heard a strange sound not heard before. When I turned my eyes to the tall tree I noticed a big bird was resting where the Tiong birds were. The Tiong birds flew away when this big bird perched on the tree. I quickly focussed my lens hoping to get a picture of the bird. Got it. But I could not confirm what it was. Upon checking the guide books I am caught between a Lesser Fish Eagle and a Changeable Hawk -eagle. Perhaps one day I'll get a better picture and am more certain on the identity of the bird. Today' I'll just leave it at that, happy that I saw something new.
Location : Licuala Hill

Friday, December 11, 2015

Even humans cannot whistle as loud as the Tiong

Hill Myna or Tiong Mas (Malay) having a perfect view of the park and whistling ...
Location : Licuala Hill

Gracula religiosa - Hill Myna
 The Tiong came in before sunset and was calling for its mate.  The mate answered its call from the surrounding hills but did not fly over to join the company.  Unnoticed by it, I took as many pictures as I could get for stock photography.  It appears that this December the Tiongs will continue to stay at the tall 'condominium' in a special hole that faces a northerly direction.  In the meantime while waiting for its mate it produced all sorts of sounds and calls and many a time threw out a whistling sound that even a human cannot compare.  Tiongs are normally liked as pets for its ability to mimic sounds.  They do seem to be able to 'talk'.
It's time to fly away and locate my mate!

The Tiong's  favourite spot in the park.  It prefers the 'penthouse' level.