Birdman from Oregon - NST

An American’s obsession with birds turns into a year of adventure and breaking world records. (Pictures courtesy of Noah Strycker) I’d like to think I fell for Noah Strycker’s charm. Truth be told however, I almost fell onto the ornithologist instead, like a hurtling piece of timber. The sun’s finally out after a whole morning of rain and the chugging of boats on the deceptively-calm bottle-green lake of the Royal Belum State Park cuts through the fog of silence hanging over the virgin jungle surrounding us. We’re out on the Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition at one of the world’s oldest rainforests organised by the Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) along with Per

On the trail of Hornbills - NST

Flocks of the globally threatened Plain-pouched hornbills flood the skies of Belum. The chug of the boat is almost hypnotic as we traverse the calm bottle-green waters of the lake pierced by stumps of dead trees looking like mournful guardians in the pale light of dawn. As the sun rises, layers of rolling mountains shimmer in the distance in shades of everything from indigo to navy blue, emerald, chartreuse and shamrock green. There’s little conversation on board, just watchfulness as everyone’s eyes carefully scrutinise the skies and the tops of the green canopies that surround us. At the helm, our guide and lead expedition leader Andrew Sebastian unfolds his long limbs and leaning precario

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