Saturday, April 1, 2017

Borneo Day 12 - KJC

We were up really early and met at 6AM for a river cruise.  The skies were overcast but it was still dry which was a good thing.  The plan was to cruise downriver and explore oxbow lake.  We would stop for anything along the way of course.

Our first sighting was another small troop of Proboscis Monkeys but they were even more wary of us than the group last night so we didn't get any good looks at all.

But, the next group of primates we found were much more cooperative.  It was a group of Silvered Langurs.  I was hoping that it was the same ones we saw the night before but if it was, the mother and orange baby were no where to be seen.  But, that was OK because we got great looks at this troop.

Silvered Langur

Silvered Langur

Silvered Langur

Silvered Langur

There was even a Pig-tailed Macaque close by that also cooperated:
Pig-tailed Macaque

The wood seats on the boat were really getting to me now.  I looked at boats from other lodges that we would pass and they appeared to be more comfortable.  Some even had actual chairs instead of benches.  Mmmmmm...chairs.....

To try to reduce the pain in my butt (insert marriage joke here), I resorted to sitting on my life jacket.  That did make things better.  While we saw nothing of interest at the Oxbow lake, there were a few birds around the small channel leading to it.

Malaysian Blue Flycatcher:
Malaysian Blue Flycatcher

It actually had an active nest and we saw both the male and female going in it.

Malaysian Blue Flycatcher at Nest

We also got another good look at the amazing Rhinoceros Hornbill:
Rhinoceros Hornbill

That was another great boat trip.  But, boy it felt good to get up off that boat and walk around.  Surprisingly, the Water Monitor and Bearded Pigs were still hanging around.  In fact, there were more of them than yesterday.

Big Water Monitor

Geez, they are large AND can climb:
Water Monitor Climbing

Bearded Pigs

As I walked around by the restaurant, I realized why all the animals were hanging around.  They apparently throw scraps of food out for them.  Hmmm...that's not good.

There were a few critters on the trees by the restaurant.

Bornean Pygmy Squirrel:
Bornean Pygmy Squirrel

Striped Tree Skink:
Striped Tree Skink

Despite the warm humid windless air of the rainforest our laundry didn't air out at all over night...go figure.  Karen ended up washing some critical stuff by hand in the sink to get us by for a couple days.

Our afternoon river cruise started at 3PM instead of 4PM since we opted to skip the night cruise the previous night.  The skies were looking ominous but we set out exactly at 3PM.  And exactly at 3:05PM it starting to rain.  The initial boat tour plans were scrapped and John had the boatman head toward what we thought were clearer skies.  We thought just rained harder.  It was pretty miserable and at this point I just wanted to go back since even if we saw something we certainly couldn't take any pictures.  After some discussion, we decided to head back.  If the rain let up by the time we reached the dock, some folks could opt to go back out.  But, it didn't stop at all and we arrived back at the dock right as the rest of the guests were heading out on their 4PM cruise.  They were brave souls indeed all bundled up in their plastic.

After a quick dry off, we headed up to the restaurant deck to chill.  As I was up there, our driver Munair yelled over to me from a about a hundred yards away and did the strangest thing.  He started to dance from side to side swinging his arms and then turned and pointed.  He did this twice.   I was beginning to think he had lost it when John saw him and translated his gyrations..."Orangutan!"

Yes!  I thought as I grabbed my gear and yelled to the others.  When we got to where Munair was pointing we could just make out the dark shape in a tree.  When I looked at it through my long lens I could tell it was an Orangutan. In fact, it had a bunch of leaves on its head to try to stop some of the rain.

Over the next hour, we watched as the Orangutan moved slowly from tree to tree.  We ran around the camp to look from all angles to try to get good looks and we were lucky enough to get a few.

Wild Orangutan


Look At Those Arms

How's it Hanging?

Unlike the Orangutans at Sepilok, this one was 100% wild.  It was great fun watching it move around the canopy.  The Orangutan was just a juvenile but it was really cool to see and the few times it looked over at us were thrilling.

Someone needs to work on their abs:
Somebody Needs to Work on Their Abs

As we were watching the Orangutan, there was movement in the trees behind us.  A troop of Long-tailed Macaques was coming through looking for food.

Long-tailed Macaque

Well, what started as a miserable boat trip sure ended nice with great looks at the Orangutan.  That was certainly a big highlight for the entire trip.

The dinner at KJC was very good.  In fact, all their food was really good.  I just wished they had ice and the others wished they had booze to go with that ice.  The two lady hostesses were great and they joked around with us a lot.  Rice was served with just about every meal and tonight the hostess handed Karen a plate with a huge helping of rice on it as she started down the buffet line.  That was way too much for Karen so she asked for less.  The hostess then grabbed a fresh plate and spooned about ten grains of rice on it.  "Better?" she asked smiling the whole time.

During dinner, the two biggest geckos we had ever seen came out.  Each was close to a foot long.  The were both Forest Geckos but they look nothing alike.

Large Forest Gecko

Another Large Forest Gecko

The day did end on a sour note.  In addition to throwing food scraps out for the animals we were really disappointed to see some of the staff hand feed the wildlife.  After dinner, one of the guides hand fed a Common Palm Civet right on the deck.  This is apparently a common occurrence since they announced they would do it and invited all over to take pictures (which we didn't).  We weren't very happy about this practice and let the guide know but his response was that "It was hungry".  Feeding mammals is a really bad practice since eventually someone will get hurt and the animal will be the one to pay for it.   The next morning, another guide hand fed a Prevost Squirrel right on the tables in the dining area.  The staff at the KJC should know better and management should stop this practice.

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