Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Recent routine patrol along the coast by the Park staff led to a sweet finding!

A malnutrition looking Muntiacus seen wondering at the edge of the forest close to the beach, about 500m from Kuala Similajau.

The poor looking Deer

Wildlife surveys conducted back in 1982 and 1986 resulted to at least 34 mammal species occur in the Park, Muntiacus being one of them.

Although it's a common mammal species, we are all delighted to know it's still surviving despite present as well as upcoming threats in its surrounding.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Night Excursions

Apart from the popular River Cruise package along Likau river for reptile spotting, one may also try Jungle Trekking for better chances to see mammals like the Wild Boar, Mousedeer or tiny, little creatures like spiders, crab and others. Or just Night Walk around the Park Headquarters for some interesting nocturnal birds.

Some of the possible sightings includes the following;

Stork Billed Kingfisher

Blue Eared Kingfisher

Brown Wood Owl

A hatchling of Crocodylus porosus

Another hatchling of similar species

Friday, October 9, 2009

Waders in the Park

Probably i was ignorant before, but that day 6th October was the first time I've seen waders here, other than the Common Sandpiper. A Sanderling and a Greater Sand Plover seen together feeding at the beach in front of the Park Headquarters.

7th October- Photos not clear therefore unable to identify which Plover species but they were 3 of them.

8th October - A Sanderling and a Kentish Plover.

Sanderling wondering who...

It wasn't ready to fly, just flapping the wings

Kentish Plover

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover, Sanderling

Footprints of Sanderling

Thursday, October 1, 2009


This Hari Raya weekend, I put on my hiking shoes and trekked the longest trail in Similajau National Park to Golden Beach.

Seven of us left the Park HQ around 7:30am with the sounds of Black Hornbills calling overhead. We hiked through the forest, bypassing countless streams, streams that came in different sizes, widths, depths and colours. Fringed by lush vegetation, all of them ran happily towards the sea, as if they couldn’t wait to go home.

Some streams were shallow and clear, filled with boulders and fallen logs. Some went a little bit deeper and therefore cloudier so we couldn’t see all the way to the bottom. Some had white sandy beds, the water was crystal clear but had the colour of tea. Some were decorated in green mossy rocks; others were narrow, bubbling along and covered with abundant river ferns.

The bigger and deeper streams on the other hand had the colour of milky tea, they flowed slowly, almost still, making one wondered whether there were crocodiles lurking beneath, hmmmm . . . . . worry not though, the Park has put up footbridges which provided safe passages over these water channels so there's very hardly any need to wade across murky waters.

Even when a bridge was taken down by a fallen tree in one particularly heavy storm about a week ago, the Park quickly intstalled a temporary log bridge for hikers. We found out later that we were the first group of tourists testing out this bridge. A rope had been fastened from one end to the other to assist the hikers, but wow, crossing log bridge definitely counted as the most exciting part of our hike, requiring a huge dose of courage, concentration and balancing act from all of us!

The 9.8km forest trail to Golden Beach followed the coastline closely. The sounds of the crashing waves accompanied us most of the way. Sometimes through the dense vegetation we could catch a glimpse or two of the lovely coastlines and sandy beaches. The temptation to stop and explore these places was great but we had to press on.

The forest along the trail was mainly lowland mixed dipterocarp dotted with pockets of kerangas trees. Selunsur trees were sighted lining some of the river banks. They were easily recognisable from the others by their smooth and orange coloured tree trunks. Fungi were abundant too. One of our greatest finds must be the dramatic looking stinkhorn fungus (Phallus indusiatus) with veil-like netting hanging down its hollow stem.

En route to Golden Beach, we stopped by the 2 turtle beaches at KM6 and KM7. There were reports of Green Turtles nesting on these beaches. We couldn’t find any turtle tracks, perhaps the nesting season was well over.

We reached Golden Beach, another 3km hike further on after 1pm. The beach is so named because of its golden sand, which appeared to have a high content of small and transparent quartz crystals that sparkled under sunrays. Unfortunately, most of the rocky shoreline was submerged under high water, so we didn’t get to explore that part of the scenic rock formation here. That we have to leave it for another day. Nevertheless we did check out section of the sandstone cliff by the beach and found a small cave full of bats!

Despite the gently undulating terrains, Golden Beach was still a demanding trek due to the distance and dense roots which we had to step over, concentrating on not tripping over. As dusk approached, the last of the group members finally crossed the suspension bridge over Likau River, and limped into Park HQ. We were mighty glad to make it back to Park HQ just before nightfall.

Congratulations to all for another great hike and looking forward to another outing to Similajau National Park!

Delicate moves across murky waters.

In the midst of living giants.

A row of selunsur along the banks of a meandering stream.

Subdued looking Golden Beach at high-tide, the beach here has a high ratio of silica content in its coarse grain sands. The rocky crags hides an amazing array of life of the intertidal zones.

Write-up and pictures by Sara Wong, MNS Miri Branch, Sep 2009