Night walk at Kubah National Park

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

Huntsman Spider

Wallace Flying Frog

WITH the current warm and dry weather, there is no better place to spend a night than at Kubah National Park. Twenty-two Malaysian Nature Society members, their spouses and children descended upon Kubah National Park earlier this year.

The night started with participants registering and being allocated accommodation. After a quick bite for dinner, all assembled for the introduction and briefing. Then off we went on the short climb (about 1km) towards the famed Frog Pond.

Almost immediately we sighted numerous spiders by the roadside, then fish and prawns in the drain. Next we encountered the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher sleeping on a branch overhanging the road edge, barely two metres off the ground. We approached it very carefully and photographed it without flash from about a metre away. As the night was just barely cool, the bird did not puff itself up (blanket itself with its feathers) and we were able to capture minute details with a macro lens. Everybody observed the radiant colours with awe for quite a while. The bird kept calm and stayed put, as it could not see at night to fly.

Moving on, we encountered more creatures of the night, including the tiny Microhyla nepenthicola frog. As it was not mating season, we only saw female and juvenile frogs. However, we saw many tadpoles in the Nepenthes ampullaria pitcher plant. This frog, though not the smallest in the world, is close to it. This makes looking for them difficult except for those with experience since the larvae are barely the size of a regular ballpoint pen tip. We had to make very sure we did not step on any of these tiny frogs by using our bright lights as we inched back.

The famous Frog Pond lived up to our expectations. Frogs were everywhere, on the plank walk, trees around the plank walk and in the pond. We were very excited when we saw four Wallace Flying frogs. It was indeed an exciting frog watching evening.

Wandering Spider

Microhyla nepenthicola tadpoles

File-eared Frog

The Malaysian Nature Society
Established in 1940, the Malaysian Nature Society is the oldest scientific and non-governmental organisation in Malaysia. Our mission is to promote the study, appreciation conservation and protection of Malaysia’s nature heritage. Our 5,000-strong membership, spread across 12 branches nationwide, come from all walks of life, bound by a comment interest in nature. For further information on membership or our activities in Kuching contact us at mnskuchinggmail.com. For information on our activities in Miri contact Musa Musbah (sammua@yahoo.com). You can also visit www.mns.org.my, http://mnskuching@blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/mnskb.

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