Return to Borneo 2020

After 14 years, Anne-Marie and I returned to selected destinations in the magnificent Malaysian part of Borneo for 2 weeks in march. We started in Kuching, Sarawak, and left for home from Danum Valley, Sabah - just in time before the closedown because of the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic. We were lucky to have been only very slightly affected by the pandemic - and to have expert guidance on the different destinations.
We did not run into Pygmee Elephants or Clouded Leopards - but we saw a lot of other animals and plant species and have absolutely no reason for complaints!

Proboscis monkey - a self-confident, dominant male.
(Nasalis larvatus)

Proboscis female with an infant.

They eat all day and are rhuminators to get every bit of nutrition out of the leaves.
They regurgitate and chew the food one more time to fascillitate digestion.

Kinabatangan river and unspoilt lowland rainforrest.

The Besra is on the Birdwatcher's Top 10 list around the Kinabatangan river.
With good reason - you have to be lucky to be close enough for a picture like these.

Nesting alongside a branch some 2-3 meters above the ground - the Common Iora .
(Aegithina tiphia)

Green Iora just outside our cabin in Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge.

Long-tailed green agame lizard right next to our cabin.
(Bronchocela cristatella)

Female Pied Hornbill feeding on figs.

The passage to Oxbow Lake - an old blind arm on the river.

Brown Throated Sunbird in the Bourgainvillae.
(Anthreptes malacensis)

Vandaceous Orchid species in flower - and with several seed-pods too - in Bako National Park.

Rhinoceros hornbill male in flight - Note the big, red/orange "horn".
(Buceros rhinoceros)

Female Black Hornbill in Danum Valley.
(Anthracoceros malayanus)

The most common squirrel on our destinations.

Black-backed Kingfisher at the Kinabatangan river.
(Ceyx erithacus)

The Ruddy Kingfisher is migrating from the north to Borneo in winter, but is rarely seen.
(Halcyon coromanda)

It's quite easy to tell the two present Macaque species apart
- both the different tail and the much different haircut!

No wonder, the big Pigtailed males are sometimes called Baboons!

Lighthouse Bug - one of the more colourfull species.
(Fulgora lampestris)

Sambar Deer at Danum River - note the wound on its throat from an earlier attack - predator - or human!
(Rusa unicolor)

Red Leaf Monkey or Red Langur.
(Presbytis rubicunda)

Flying Dragon Lizzard resting on a tree.
(Draco volans)

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker at Kawag Rainforrest Lodge in Danum Valley
(Dicaeum trigobostigma)

Flying lemur at rest high on a tree-trunk.
(Galeopterus variegata)

White-bellied Sea-eagle leaping from a tree-top at Kinabatangan.
(Haliaetus leucogaster)

Only one thing counts - impressing and mating the lady!

Iban Longhouse anno 2020 at Batang Ai Dam Lake.

Traditional Iban Wellcome dance.

White-rumped Shama at Batang Ai Dam Lake
(Copsychus malabaricus)

The Sarawak Surili is the rarest primate in the World - so this is a very rare Sight!
(Presbytis chrysomelas)

These swiftlets do not have sonar-location and have to nest in daylight - and not in caves.
- and their nests are not edible, as those of a related species!

Saltwater crocodiles are abundant in Bornean rivers - also at Kinabatangan and tributaries.
(Crocodylus porosus)

A large spider on a tree in Danum Valley.

Butterfly along the River Danum.

Thousands of Vandaceous and other orchids in the impressive Kuching Orchid Garden
- but unfortunately only very few blooming during our visit in march.

Longtailed Macaque family - also known as Crab-eating Macaque.
(Macaca fascicularis)

Youngsters feeding on ripe figs - they have not yet got the white markings between the eyes.

This is how the "Man of the Forrest" is often seen at first - very concealed in the branches.

Both stalks and leaves of this plant are eaten.

Another one in the high trees - eating what it comes across.

Wax tube entrance for Stingless bees living in a tree at Poring Hot Springs.
(Trigona species)

Asian Darter at Kinabatangan River.
(Anhinga melanogaster)

The more than fist-sized seed of the Iron Wood tree in Danum Valley is heavy too.
(Eusideroxylon zwageri)

Coelogyne rupicola in Kinabalu Park.

The proboscis monkeys are abundant along the Kinabatangan river, but we also met them at Bako National Park.

This species feed on the leaves of several species of Diphterocarp trees.

There has to be time for playing - and relaxing a bit - as well.
These primates have several stomachs - like a cow - hence the big belly, even in youngsters.

Early morning mist just before the sun breaks through.

One of the most sought-after birds of prey by bird-watchers in the area - the Besra.
(Accipiter virgatus)

Common Iora at the nest - just outside the lodge gate at Kinabatangan Rainforrest Lodge.
The nest seem too small for the bird - but it isn't!

(Aegithina viridissima)

Long-tailed agame female at Kinabatangan River .

Male and female Pied Hornbill grooming their feathers together.
(Anthracoceros albirostris)

Quite a few people visit the Kinabatangan and get close to the wildlife from the boats.

Dendrobium anosmum, orchid species, with a few flowers - but more buds will come into flower shortly.

Female leaving the tree-top. The "horn" is clearly smaller .

I did not see the male - with the lightcoloured bill and horn.

Prevost's squirrel selecting the best figs at Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge.
(Callosciurus prevostii)

Blue-eared Kingfisher is a fairly common sight - but they are small and fly fast!
(Alcedo meninting)

Pig-tailed Macaque also roam the river banks.
(Macaca nemestrina)

The Pigtail and the Longtail Macaque can go in mixed groups.

Maybe something to eat?

Another type of Lantern Bug.
(Pyros sultana)

The Pygmy Squirrel is indeed small - here at Poring Hot Springs.
(Exilliscirus exilis)

Red Leaf Monkey in the Gomantong area.
They are quite common and travel in small groups.

Thorny Devil Stick insect or Giant Spiny Stick insect are usually nocturnal, hiding during daytime.
(Eurycantha calcarata )

Flying lemur with a baby hiding in unusually low branches in Bako National Park.

This is one of the biggest birds of prey around the Kinabatangan River.

Courting Black-naped Monarchs in a bush at Poring Hot Springs - oblivious of our presence!
(Hypothymis azureus)

The Iban people live close together, and sell traditional handcrafts and crops - like pepper.

Local rice-spirit were offered in large mugs during the dance.

Common Green Magpie at Kinabalu Park.
(Cissa chinensis)

Dusky Broadbil in Kinabalu Park.
(Corydon sumatranus)

A Sarawak Surili (the grey one) in the company of a group of Red Leaf Monkeys.
I'm told, that these pictures are quite unique - although unfortunately far from perfect.

Glossy swiftlets nesting as a group on a rock surface overhanging the Kinabatangan river.
(Collocalla esculenta)

An evolutionary masterpiece - unchanged for millions of years!

Black & Red Broadbill nesting at the river.
(Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos)

Butterfly in the Bourgainvilla at the Kinabatangan River.

Lots of fine Phalaenopsis plants in the shadehouse at Kuching Orchid Garden.

Male macaque feeding on oil-palm seeds, beached on this mud-flat from the plantation up-stream.

This one feeds on Water-hyacint stalk and bulb.

This Orangutan was hiding behind the bush - but then started eating it!
(Pongo pygmeus)

A toothpick is handy after the meal.

Hanging upside-down ..... .

Monitor lizzards in all sizes along the river banks, roads - and in the lodges. This big one is 2 meters Plus.
(Varanus salvtor)

Lots of orchids on a tree i Bako National Park.

Borneo Bent-toed Gecko on the wall outside the room in Kawag Danum Rainforrest Lodge.
(Cyrtodactylus malayanus)

Coelogyne rupicola in Kinabalu Botanical Garden.



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Kenth Esbensen