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Showing posts from September, 2015

Animal of the Month

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Welcome to Animal of the Month for September 2015. Every month, we will announce our favourite animal that has been featured on the blog at some point during the month.

Which animal has been our favourite this month?

Contenders
Bornean Tree-Hole Frog
Wallace's Hawk Eagle
Collared Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Buffy Fish Owl
Lantern Bug


Winner: Buffy Fish Owl
September featured all the birds from the Borneo trip which means another tough decision for AotM. But the Buffy Fish Owl was definitely the most exciting bird of the trip, mainly because it was the one we most wanted to see. The circumstances in which we saw it also added to the speciality. It was just after we had finished our evening meal when we got a shout from our guide, Shirou, that there was one right next to the lodge. We also managed to get very close; it was a very special moment.




Sabah, Borneo: Minibeasts

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Many people associate rainforests with creepy crawlies, big spiders and all sorts of nightmarish critters. And this is kind of true. But many of these creatures are not that of your worst dreams, but are in fact the building blocks of the rainforest ecosystem. They provide food for other animals, decompose forest waste, pollinate and spread seeds, just to name a few. 

This post will be heavily pictures, so sit back and have a look at some pictures featuring spiders, beetles and crabs that live in trees!

I'll start with, in my opinion, the most unusual. This animal isn't strictly a minibeast, but it didn't fit into any other post so it's here! This is a tree crab, seen on our night walk near Sepilok. 


And from one eight-legged creature to another. The spiders. Walking through the rainforest at night showed us a lot of spiders. In fact, everywhere I pointed my torch there was at least a dozen spider eyes shining back at me. I have never seen so many spiders in one small spa…

Sabah, Borneo: Birds

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The biggest list from the Sabah trip has to be that of the birds. And what makes it even more exciting is that every bird on the list is a new species for me, so every bird I saw I saw for the first time. Our bird list includes:

Great Egret, Pacific Reef Egret, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Wrinkled Hornbill, Helmeted Hornbill, Asian Black Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Brown Wood Owl, Ferruginous Babbler, Banded Broadbill, White-crowned Shama, Little Spiderhunter, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Silver-rumped Spinetail, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Green Imperial Pigeon, Maroon Woodpecker, Pacific Swallow, Red-crowned Barbet, Bornean Crested Fireback, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Oriental Darter, Purple Heron, Crested Goshawk, Oriental Dollarbird, Chesnut Munia, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Buffy Fish Owl, Greater Coucal, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Eastern Crimson Sunbi…

Sabah, Borneo: Tree Hole Frog

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I left one frog out of the reptiles & amphibians post because, after I identified it, I think it deserved its own, admittedly quite short, post. So here it is!

The frog in question was the Bornean Tree-hole Frog, endemic to the island. We came across this miniature wonder whilst walking through rainforest near Sepilok after dark. There was an strangely loud sound coming from near the path, but when we searched the trees, we couldn't see anything. It wasn't until our guide pointed out a tiny frog inside a small, water-filled hole in a thin tree that we had our answer. At first, it didn't seem possible. It was only when we saw the vocal sac moving that we realised that the tiny frog in the hole really was the critter behind the sound. I got out my camera and filmed the frog calling for a bit. Here's what I got:




I found it incredible that such a small frog can create such a loud noise. But there is a scientific explanation behind it, and its very clever. It turns out th…