Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pinang to Kota Baru, 1st - 2nd Feb, 2007

Took a very quick trip to Kota Baru, capital city of Kelantan, last week on a business trip, but managed to squeeze a few birds in en route!

First off was the Bat Hawk tree. The pair has been in residence for at least 5 years, according to a local man we spoke to. They have recently begun incubating their second clutch of eggs in the last six months; they raised a single juvenile late last year.

When we arrived in the late afternoon, the wingtip of one bird was just visible in the nest, while the other bird roosted quietly in the same tree.

Also nearby were a flock of Fork-tailed Swifts of the race cooki or kanoi, with their barely visible white rump patch.

A quick snack break at the Banding Island Resort provided distant views of this Grey-breasted Spiderhunter.

One more stop was to watch the sun set over Tasik Pergau, one of the lesser known lakes in the north of the Peninsula.

We stayed at a resort called Pasir Belanda, just outside the city, and it's a place we'd recommend highly! Full details can be found here.

We stayed in a beautifully-crafted chalet built in traditional style, and enjoyed our breakfast overlooking the river in amazingly cool and breezy surroundings.

A view of our chalet by night.

Having breakfast overlooking the river.

The river was rapidly being clogged by invasive water hyacinth, but it proved attractive for waterbirds, and we saw Yellow and Cinnamon Bitterns and Slaty-breasted Rails as we ate breakfast, as well as commoner waterbirds.

This water buffalo seemed to have put its horns on the wrong way round (and you might want to count its legs)!

This Green-billed Malkoha was another interruption to our late breakfast.

A view upriver...

...And across to the far bank. We weren't sure what animal this tree was trying to be - a rabbit, or a giraffe with an Elvis quiff were two suggestions!

This Clouded or Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) was a nice alternative to the commoner Water Monitor. It can be distinguished by the crescent-shaped nostril about midway between the snout and the eye.

Flocks of White-rumped Munias constantly patrolled the patches of long grass in the river.

I tried to take a picture of a Collared Kingfisher in a frangipani tree at dawn. The flash didn't fire, but I still quite like the result! (you may need to click on the picture to enlarge it if it's too dark on your screen).

And here's a frangipani flower taken at the same time.

On our way home we stopped to take a picture of this amazing advertisement, with slogan: "Avoid tiger attacks! - make sure that your orchard is always clear of undergrowth."

A view north into Thailand from the top of the Titiwangsa Range.

We reached the Bat Hawks at about 5.30pm. At just before 6, the bird on guard duty began calling the to incubating bird.

The incubating bird flew from the nest and joined its mate.

The first bird then flew off and out of sight for about 5 minutes...

...before returning to the nest carrying a small stick.

It then settled down to take its turn incubating the eggs. The bird which had just come off the eggs settled down to snooze, and had not moved by the time we left at 6.45pm.

A flock of swifts descended above us as dusk fell. More pictures of 'cooki' or 'kanoi' race Fork-tailed Swifts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog accidentally while I was searching some photos of the Fraser's Hill for my project. And I was very impressed by your bird knowledge as well as your admirable photos.
I am studying Design in PJ, Malaysia and we're going to do posters about the beautiful nature, especially in Malaysia.
Since your work is really nice, I would like to use your photos as inspiration, surely more than a source, and of course with your permisson.
Please let me know if you don't mind. Thank you!
This is my email: