Sunday, June 28, 2009
One of the main birds we missed is in a family all of it's own called Bornean Bristlehead. I missed it. If I see it this time, then I will have seen at least one species of all of the families of birds in the world but two more - Hypocolius and the new family of Rosefinch. Jeez. Seeing all the families would be a milestone, although Ben King told me in Sumatra that I would just find another "millstone" if I succeeded in that one. I'm in no hurry.
It's all about the birds we didn't see, some of which were not even being seen. One of them is Bornean Ground Cuckoo, which hadn't been seen for decades. We're heading to the Kinabatangan River to try for it. Here it is when others saw it. I hope we are as lucky.
This is a symbolic return to Borneo for me. In 1993 Joseph and I went there on our first overseas birding trip and we didn't know what the hell we were doing. We were there in the rainy season, freaked out a time or too trapped in moldy rooms, Joseph fell, we didn't see all the birds because we thought we could do it without a guide - basically a fantastic adventure filled with orangutangs, mystery, adventure and some great surprises like the tribal lady on the bus with the Gucci scarf on her head or the coffins in the cave off of the Rhino trail in Danum Valley, and the proboscis monkeys. The alpha male has a perpetual hard on, the awesome hornbills flying over us with wingbeats like rustling taffeta. Sixteen years later we're going back............