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Thursday, July 15, 2010

An overnight stay at Kubah

NO ESCAPE: The group examines frogs. — Photo by Robert Yeoh

IT’S SO DARK: The group members use lights to see the camouflaged creatures and move through the jungle.

Sunita Shamsul

LAST month, I joined 19 others for an overnight trip to Kubah National Park organised by the Kuching Bird Group of the Malaysian Nature Society.

I found myself ‘ooh-iing’ and ‘ah-ing’ at everything I saw and heard. I suppose that was natural for one who is new to bird-watching and frogging. Although saying that, I must admit I have been to a frog-watch, but getting to know those amphibians is rather tricky.
Trying to determine the types of birds with my friends also proved to be hilarious — it could be this, it could be that, but in the end I just gave up to happily sit and enjoy their calls. But we did later find out what they were via mini discussions with the expert birders and photographers. A little drizzle did not hamper my enjoyment at all — after all, we are in the tropics.
The things that did intrigue me were the caterpillars — a friend led me to a small shrub by the road near the hostels. They were of a pretty green shade with light green-white ridges on their backs that reminded me of icing on a cake. They were happily munching on the leaves when we saw them. And they were huge — perhaps 10 to 12 centimetres long. I wonder what they will turn out to be.
So, thinking back about the trip to Kubah National Park makes me smile because it was not just about the types of frogs or birds we saw or heard, or the caterpillars, it was all about enjoying and sharing nature with people.
CAN YOU SEE THEM?: The group moves along the cement path that leads to the summit of Gunung Serapi to catch a glimpse of elusive forest birds. By 10.30am we saw eight of the over 40 species of birds sighted or heard by expert birders Daniel and Yeo.

PRETTY BIRD: The group spotted trogons at the national park. — Photo by Vincent Wong

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