Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sukau - Day 11

This morning we had a 6AM boat cruise scheduled so we were all up early.  We departed promptly at 6AM and at exactly 6:05AM (if my camera time is to be believed) we were looking at a bright red erect penis.  Who needs caffeine to wake you up...right?

And, as you can see by the picture, we weren't the only ones "staring"...

But, size really doesn't matter because a few minutes later a Pig-tailed Macaque arrived on the same branch and the Proboscis Monkey beat a hasty retreat:

Macaque Alarm!

The boat cruise was really pretty and peaceful with the mist swirling around the tops of the trees.

Morning Mist

As you can imagine, boat trips are a great way to see birds.  However, we never expected to get close to a rare Storm's Stork:
Storm's Stork

We even saw some Long-tailed Parakeets:
Long-tailed Parakeets

Unfortunately, we spent long periods of time seeing nothing because Stephen's modus operandi was to drive slowly, real slowly, along one bank.  He would take us to a place that was supposed to have Silver Leaf Monkeys or Proboscis Monkeys or some other target but when they weren't there he really didn't seem to have a plan other than to drive slowly along the banks.

This differed greatly to our experience on the river last year where our boatman would drive quickly down the middle of the river scanning both shores and then shoot over to the shore when he saw something.  That method was a lot more successful.  Stephen was recently pulled out of retirement to help at the lodge and I honestly don't think his eyesight was that great.

At one point, while we were cruising agonizingly slow along the shore we encountered another boat and their boatman was nice enough to point out a Striped Palm Civet in a tree eating fruit:

Striped Palm Civet

Breakfast Time

To Stephen's credit, his method did find a small Saltwater Crocodile for us which was cool:
Juvenile Crocodile

We also saw a huge crocodile on this trip and a large monitor lizard hanging out on the tree but those pictures weren't very good.

After a nice breakfast back at the lodge, we ventured to the jungle boardwalk.  It was here that we saw our first Pygmy Squirrels of the trip.  These guys are so fun to watch but they are quick so it's hard to get a decent photo:
Bornean Pygmy Squirrel

As we were walking around, a guide summoned us over to see a Colugo that was just hanging out on a tree near the boardwalk looking around:
Daytime Colugo

Look at those big eyes.

We certainly had great luck seeing nocturnal animals in the daytime on this trip.

A little while later, the word came that an Orangutan was spotted back near the jungle boardwalk.  So, we headed back there to check it out.  As usual, the sighting was mostly obscured by limbs and leaves.  Orangutans just don't seem to hang out in wide open spaces with good light.  They aren't very considerate of us photographers.  But, they are still really fun to watch:
Typical Orangutan Sighting

After lunch, I went on another walk about and that's when the rain came. Luckily, I was in the covered area of the boardwalk so I didn't get wet.  It ended up raining for over an hour which was the first major rain we had in a while.  But, that didn't stop us from seeing a Sunda Giant Squirrel and another Orangutan.

SRL has both standard rooms and villas.  We stayed in a standard room that was quite nice but the walls between rooms were rather thin.  Here is a shot of the courtyard area after the rain where you can see the rows of rooms on both sides:
The Cheap Rooms (where we stayed)

By 3:30PM the rain had stopped and we headed out for our afternoon river cruise.  Our first stop was to see some Glossy Swiflets that had built their nests into the side of a cliff:
Glossy Swiftlets and Nests

And then, the slow shoreline river cruising began again.   Luckily, there were some things to see like this Water Monitor:
Large Water Monitor Basking

Then we had our first (and last) White Crested Hornbill sighting.  This is one of the rarest Hornbills so we were very lucky to see it:
The Rare White-crowned Hornbill

One benefit of the slow cruise was all the bird photos ops like this Purple Heron:
Purple Heron

And this Wrinkled Hornbill:
Wrinkled Hornbill

Next, our guide took us up a narrow channel where we spied this Blue-eared Kingfisher.  It was sitting on a branch but would constantly dart to the water to make a splash and then go back to its roost. It did this over and over.  It didn't appear to be bathing. Stephen said it was actually fishing.  Apparently, disturbing the water can attract fish.  We never did see it catch anything but watching it dart back and forth was fun.

Blue-eared Kingfisher


We also had fleeting looks at an Orangutan, Proboscis Monkeys and some Long-tailed Macaques on the cruise.

At dinner, we talked about the upcoming night cruise and we all agreed that we didn't want to see the same stuff we saw last night.  So, when we got to the dock, Tim told the boatman "No birds" and that we were hoping to focus on mammals.

So, the boatman took us up the same narrow channel we had been up during the daytime.  It actually seemed like great habitat to find a Flat-headed Cat since the shoreline was exposed on both sides.  But, since only the boatman had the spotlight it was impossible for us to find anything since we couldn't see any eye shine.

We did manage to have 4 sightings.  Two were Mousedeer, another was some sleeping monkeys, and the final one the boatman said was a "cat". But, by the time we got close the eye shine had disappeared so we saw nothing.  I did get a photo of a Greater Mousedeer:
Greater Mousedeer

The fruiting tree near the dock was devoid of Civets tonight.

Since the boat trip ended at 9PM, we decided to walk back to the jungle boardwalk again tonight just in case there was a fist sized primate with huge eyes begging for its picture to be taken.  But, alas, no Tarsier again.   However, Karen did spot this Malayan Bridle Snake on one of the posts:

Malayan Bridle Snake

So, that was a great way to end the day.

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