Friday, July 3, 2009

Bristlehead Birdday!

Today was my birdday! I got one of the best presents I've ever had. In our fist day in the forest we saw the elusive Bornean Bristlehead - 4 of them - a bird we missed in 1993 and a monotypical family. Another milestone. I've seen at least one representative of all but two of the world's families of birds. Wahooooooooooooooo. Also, on the first hour in the forest we came across a young female orangutang, No.107 written in a magic marker on her inner thigh. She hung by an arm and a leg and ate fruit while we watched. Glorious!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Six flights later

We are sitting on a porch about one half mile from the forest at Sepilok. After three days of flying, we'll finally enter the forest at 3:30 pm this afternoon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Good night's sleep in Malaysia

Nasai goreng for breakfast starts the next leg after a night's sleep on the 15th floor above the Kuala Lumpur train station in a luxury Hilton. We're getting there. We're getting there. Salamat pagi. Good morning.

Japan is a doorway

No matter how many times I go to Asia, Japan has always been my favorite doorway. And a Japanese inn (ryokan) in the city of Narita one stop and ten minutes from Tokyo airport is my favorite first night stopover. Wakamatsu Honten greeted us after the long flight from LA with an incredible meal and a view of Shinshoji Temple. The next morning we joined the obosans (priests) for a morning chant at 5 am and walked the temple grounds in the mist to bow to the images of the buddha, and Fudomyo, the destroyer of passions and seducer of enlightenment.

We heard then found uguisu (Japanese Bush Warbler) in the woods behind the temple, and heard Japanese Hill Patridge in the bamboo. Doi san served a big breakfast and we were driven back to the train station to get back to the terminal for our flights to Singapore, then Kuala Lumpur.