03 December, 2009

My last sanctuary for wildlife

A forest fringe left intact and preserved to provide conducive environment for attracting wildlife at my farm. Here wild pigeons savour the berries and figs, sambhur deer hunt for edible fruits and young shots of the dillenia shrub, tiny munias hop on the long grasses to eat the grass seeds and the white-breasted water hen roam on the grassy and wet ground below.

Today I' ll devote my time on the interesting subject of wildlife. In Bintulu, I live in an eco-farm with much of nature's environment intact despite it being developed as an oil palm holding. On any day I can hear birds chirping and see them all over the farm. The merry company includes the red-eyed starlings, singing magpie robins, brightly coloured scarlet sun birds, noisy woodpeckers and talkative hill mynas. On rainy days I'm bound to bump into scorpions and millipedes as they sneak along the external walls of our house to have a chance to enter the relative safety and warmth inside. In the early morning and late afternoon, the swifts will display their almost acrobatic maneuvers above the forest canopy as they dive to catch insects or sip water from the three streams that transverse the farm. On many occassions I marvel at the hornbills as they make a fleeting visit over the farm. On some nights I could hear the shrieking bark of the sambhur deer and the ceaseless cries of the crickets punctuated sometimes by the late night calls of the owls and the night jars. Walking by the farm in broad daylight, I may stumbled upon the squirrels as they squander the ripe fruits of the cempedak, pineapples, papayas or oil palm. Occasionally a bat would be seen hanging upside down a banana leaf unwilling to leave after a night's hangout. By sheer good luck, I have encountered a monitor lizard and a band of monkeys. There is so much to discover in the many vegetation islands that I purposely conserve and I always feel happy to steal a little of my hurried time to have a peep into them and play catch -up on the many things I would normally missed seeing during my last visit. Just like the other day, when I bumped into a grasshopper that was clothed in leaf-like wings as camouflage . Once I caught a tree shrew inside a trap that was meant for rats. Or have you seen the nocturnal civet cat? (see inset)
What kept me attached to my farm? It is when you drive the rugged country farm road and being chased regularly by wild pigeons or water hen that habitually love to cross the road just as when you are about to meet them. Then it's the heart-warming presence of squirrels jumping over your roof to hold on to the next tree branch for freedom. And finally the incessant wait for the next barking call of the sambhur deer in the stillness of the night just yards away from your bedroom windows. In perfect clockwork nature has kept me astounded of its diversity
and richness that to me my eco-farm is my ultimate sanctuary of wildlife.
Cast of appearance




Giant millipede

Tree lizard

Green lizard



1 comment:

  1. Ah this was a wonderful read! I am with you all the way; what a gem of a farm you have there. There is nothing that gets me as excited as nature, whether it is plants, trees, bushes, flowers or animal wildlife. I love to watch them and I bet your place is magnificent. I love all the pictures and I love the affection for your surroundings that is so clear in this post.


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