Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fraser’s Hill 22-25 March 2011

As we were lucky on our previous trip, we thought we would push our luck with a quick follow up. As it turned out we hit the jackpot and got our first ever view of the Red-headed Trogon on our last morning, along the Jeriau Road.
Red-headed Trogon

Green Magpie
The day before we had several interesting encounters, one of which was the very colourful Green Magpie.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Raptor Watch and more – Mar 13-15 2011

When we planned our trip to Port Dickson to experience the “Raptor Watch” organised by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) little did we expect the 3-day trip would be  more than a stay at PD.
Starting  early on Sunday 13th at 5.30am we drove to Yishun to pick up Lioe and Annie and as soon as we crossed the Causeway, the rain started.   The weather brightened up as we arrived at 10.30 am at Ilham Resort which was where the 12th Raptor Watch week-end event was held (http://www.raptorwatch.org/).  The Resort’s ground was full of activity with  exhibitor’s booths and a stage. There was information on the migratory raptors counted and announcements of the raptors sighted approaching Tanjung Tuan.  There were lots of visitors and we met a few birding acquaintances and went to explore the booths and did some “shopping” of bird watching equipment, books and souvenirs.
  Very soon we heard over the public address that raptors were coming in and over the next few hours we saw many Oriental Honey Buzzards (OHB) and other Accipters flying in, hovering above as they group up before flying on their way north.  We went up the hill to the Lighthouse and met more birding friends and also had better views of the birds coming in.   It is truly remarkable that these birds can be sighted at  this “Rachado” site on their way home from the south.    Last year the count was 73,152 raptors recorded for 43 days and this year, the organisers will continue to count their arrival until the 3rd of April 2011 so watch their website for updates.
Being new to the area we asked the MNS members for nearby birding spots and were given direction to “Telapak Buruk” an hour’s drive beyond Seremban.   This place proved difficult to locate and we failed on this first attempt on Monday, so we explored the kampongs nearby and got to see a Little Grebe and 2 Button Quails.


We returned in the afternoon to Tg. Tuan and birded on the trail on the hill which then led us to the Mangrove near the Rachado Resort. 
On Tuesday after checking out early, we went to look for Telapak Buruk again and found the entrance leading up to this hill for the submontane birds.   It was cool as we ascended the hill and we heard lots of birds calling and chirping in the forest on both sides.  We stopped at various heights and got out to look for birds. 
It was a surprise that it was so far up, as when nearing the top the GPS showed 1,200 metre.  Near the top a few Teleco masts are installed, with a military guard house at the top.  
Towards noon we descended and drove on to Muar for a late lunch and also to explore Parit Jawa.  We arrived Parit Jawa’s jetty at 3pm, and at low tide.  The flock of  Lesser Adjutants at the river mouth were feeding on the mud flats and terns were flying up and down with quite a few other shore birds around, but they were hard to ID from the jetty.
   As Lioe knew the direction to the padi fields at Sungei Balang which was nearby we left to check out this spot.   At 4.30 pm we arrived and saw a Black Shouldered Kite and many birds out for their evening forage.  We had never seen so many Baya Weavers among the scrub land next to the padi fields and the Blue tailed Bee-eaters perched on the bare trees. Two Black-capped Kingfishers were close by, as we drove along the bunds we also saw White Breasted Waterhens, Chinese Pond Herons and a Purple Swamphen busy feeding.   It seemed too soon and it was time to leave as the sun went down.   It was a long day driving but worthwhile discovering these 2 new locations for future birding trips.

More Photos

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday 7th March 2011- Morning Walk at SBG & Portsdown Road

SBG Album

Portsdown Road Album

Quick Trip to Panti –1 March 2011

An SMS from Lioe had us up early to Panti to meet up with his group.  We were the only 2 cars in the Bunker Trail that Tuesday 7 am.  While the weather was cool and overcast the bird population seems to be late in arousing from their slumber.   Early on the track Lioe spotted a dead Malayan civet which had a small graze wound on its front right leg.  On the ground there was only a tiny spot of blood on the soil so it was a mystery how it came to its end as it appeared young.
Malayan Civet
Lioe moved it off the track to avoid it being run over and sure enough we were soon disturbed by the rumble of 2 truckloads of lumber coming out, which surprised us as we thought logging had stopped. 

After 2 hours with little success on the main track we decided to move into the shrine track ahead of our friends which was a mistake.   We had missed the Scarlet-rumped Trogon which we would have love to see, it flew across in front of their car.   That means we must try Panti again.

White-bellied Woodpecker