Monday, 14 October 2013

Malaysia part 2

Taman negara was our next port of call, a 130 million year old rain forest reached by boat. This place has a swish resort at its entrance where we stayed for 3 nights, trails into the forest were well managed with modern plastic boardwalks. Birding was difficult but what was seen was usually spectacular. On the first morning before the sun was up a Tapir showed its self, cue great excitement, but on the last night a different very tame Tapir was rolling on the grass surrounded by kids. That took the edge off my initial sighting making me doubt the status of wild Tapir around the resort.
Dark throated oriole
dodgy Tapir

8 inches of millipede
 I found the best way to see birds in this dense jungle was to sit in a hide smoking, over looking a clearing. The Tahan hide proved to be the best and sitting for a while the sweat stopped streaming off me and every now and then a few birds would show themselves. The light was not good and the image below was typical of many shots, but I always viewed birds with my bins before trying to get a shot so a lot got away from the camera.
Black and red broadbill (pin sharp as usual)

Jungle pigs

Crimson winged yellownape
 A bird I had always wanted to see is probably the commonest in the world in its domesticated form, Red junglefowl showed well from the hide with 2 hens in tow, although in eclipse form still proved a cracker.
Cock a doodle do
 A group of Chestnut breasted malkoha that arrived in a wave of birds around the hide proved a highlight and I even managed to get a half decent pic. Lots of butterflies flitted about some of them huge and very pretty. A high and long Canopy walkway was a good laxative and a boat trip up river past native villages was good.
chestnut breasted malkoha

200x zoom action  Black thighed falconet

Brown shrike
Next part is from the Camron highlands and Penang

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Malaysia part 1

 I returned home last week after a cracking couple of weeks in Malaysia. The first 2 days were spent in KL we went to the Bird park which has the largest walk in aviary in the world. To be honest it was a bit disappointing with very few species on show. Next port of call was the botanical gardens for my first taste of Asian birding. Oriental magpie robins were the most obvious birds and there were Mynas about. Both nights were spent in Chinatown food was tasty and very cheap House crows were plentiful  even in the city centre.

Magpie Robin

Asian glossy starling

House crow
Our next stop was up in the mountains at Frasers hill a small place spread out among the hills surrounded by forest, this is home to an annual bird race and has a very good interpratation centre. The birds did not give themselves up easily but I did see some crackers including Green magpie and Little pied flycatcher. Getting good photos however prooved difficult, the dense foliage and poor light coupled with the fact that birds appeared in waves and vanished in to thin air meant that little of what was seen made it in to the camera. What did make it on to the SD card were taken with shutter speeds of 1/20 second at times so few are up to my usual super sharp standerd.
Spectacled laughingthrush

Streaked spiderhunter

Large niltava

Trapdoor spiders home

Black and crimson oriole