Thursday, April 29, 2010

Group visit to Similajau National Park

Our group met at Taman Awam at 1:30 pm sharp as promised. We didn't waste anytime in getting ourselves to Similajau National Park, we left at 1:45pm. Not having visited the park for quite a while now (last group trip there was Sep 2009), everyone was most excited.

We reached Similajau National Park at 3:30 pm. We were joined later by Denis, Junis, and Anne. After dumping our gear at the boat landing, we proceceeded to the Park office to register.

With the boat all set up, we left for Golden Beach a short while later with Julai driving and Jolani navigating.

According to Julai, the sea has been a bit rough since morning according which would make landing on Golden Beach a tricky task. As a safety measure, we decided to only execute the trip in small groups, five per person per boat per trip. Since it's only 45 minutes to the beach, it wouldnt be too long of a wait.

Wet golden sands at Golden Beach, Similajau NP.

We landed on a site close to Golden Beach at an already established trail maintenance base camp without any problem. The softness of the coarse high silica sand was quite memorable. Your feet sinks in to a depth of 6in even without any mud being present. Pure sands. The large sand grains were easily shaken off.

When the boat left us on the beach to get the next group, we felt like a group of standed travellers being left out on a strange island to our own resources much like Crusoe while in fact we are less than 10km away from the main road!

We set up camp for the night. While the rest of our party went in to explore the trails surrounding Golden Beach that evening, a few of us sat around the fire and shared stories about past trips and other jungle experiences.

Denis setting up his luxurious portable accomodation for the nite, beachfront property.

While at the camp we were visited by civet (likely Palm Civet) and we observed it roaming by the treeline for quite sometime. The trekkers returns around 8:30 pm without much to report except for a few crawling insects. You would've thought for a wild place like Similajau especially for Golden Beach being in a rather secluded area would harbour more nitelife.

After a long day, all decided to call it a nite. Julai and Jolani took off in the nite back to Park HQ.

That nite we had to shift our camp on account of the rising tide.

After a quick and most abbreviated breakfast of biscuits and cold water, we broke up into two groups again: those trekking back to Park HQ and those taking the boat back.

The boaters went for a quick visit to Batu Mandi before proceeding to the park office to wait for the rest of the trekkers.

The trekkers came back finally with lots of stories to tell. By the simple fact that Denis and Junis were the last ones to arrive already pointed out to the fact that there were a lot to see along the way. Both avid birders related their encounter with an owl and a couple of poisonous snakes.

Listening to the sounds of the rainforest.

Birdlist as compiled by Dennis (visit his blog here and his flickr photostream here) for Similajau NP, 15 April 2010 :
1) Plain Sunbird x 1
2) Yellow Vented Flowerpecker x 1
3) Blue Crown Hanging Parrot x 10
4) Olive backed Sunbird x 6
5) Orange-bellied Flowerpecker x 8
6) Greater Coucal x 4
7) Yellow vented Bulbul x 2
8) Green Imperial Pigeon x 6
9) Plaintive cuckoo x 2
10) Hill Myna x 2
11) Pied Fantail x 1
12) Barn Swallow x several
13) Pacific Swallow x several
14) Eastern House Sparrow x several
15) Straited Heron x 2
16) White Bellied Sea Eagle x 2
17) Common Sandpiper x 1
18) Brown Wood Owl x 2
19) Plaintive Cuckoo x 2
20) Black Bellied Malkoha x1
21) Large Tailed Nightjar x 2
22) Stork Billed Kingfisher x 2
23) Black Hornbill x 6
24) Black and Red Broadbill x 2
25) Barn Swallow x several
26) Pacific Swallow x several
27) Green Iora x 1
28) Yellow Vented bulbul x several
29) Red Eyed Bulbul x 1
30) Velvet Fronted Nuthatch x 1
31) White Chested Babbler x 1
32) Chestnut winged Babbler x 3
33) Magpie Robin x 4
34) Ashy Tailorbird x2
35) Pied Fantail x 1
36) Maroon Breasted Philentoma x 1
37) White-breasted Wood Swallow x 2
38) Asian Glossy Starling x several
39) Hill Myna x 1
40) Oriental White Eye x 3
41) Brown Throated Sunbird x 2
42) Purple Naped Sunbird x 1
43) Crimson Sunbird x 1
44) Yellow Eared Spiderhunter x 2
45) Little Spiderhunter x 1
46) Thick billed Spiderhunter x 1
47) Greater Green Leafbird x 2
48) Lesser Green Leafbird x 2
49) Spotted Dove x several
50) Blue Throated Bee Eater x 2
51) Collared Kingfisher x 4

That evening we prepared ourselves for Sg Likau's first CFZ-Firefly Survey. Read about it here.

Musa Musbah, MNS Miri, April 2010.
Photographs by Sara Wong, MNS Miri unless indicated otherwise.


  1. 51 species... great lists... i wish i can do birding again..

  2. Hi there, this is Stan from Sibu, I tried to contact the Similajau office through the following numbers:
    1. 086391284
    2. 086327284

    But could never get through, I made a reservation for a company trip on September (Raya) and I have some more queries that needs to be answered.

    Has the office been moved or the phone number changed?

  3. I have the same number 086-391284. Please try during office hours 8-12am;2-5pm.