Tuesday, July 28, 2009

25th July 2009: Whistling Thrush Project: Perlis State Park

Despite a hike up to Wang Burma, an upstream cave, there was still no evidence of whistling thrushes in the vicinity on our third day at the site.

In fact, bird activity overall was pretty low, with only one bird caught all day - an adult female Rufous-collared Kingfisher.

An Orange-breasted Trogon put in a brief appearance in the morning, and a confiding Red-bearded bee-eater sat over our heads and digested a large bee for some time.

In the afternoon I went back to the swallow site about an hour earlier than yesterday to take advantage of the light. I couldn't resist a few photos of an idyllic little house at the edge of the rice fields.

Back to the swallows and swifts...

An adult Asian Palm Swift...

... and a juvenile, showing a shorter tail, paler rump and underparts and pale-tipped coverts and remiges.

One of a few House Swifts zipping around.

The swiftlets here seem small and have very pale rumps and underparts. They are similar to the ones which breed in 'swiftlet hotels' around Penang, only here they probably breed in caves as there are no artificial nesting sites in the area. My guess is that these are the nominate race of German's Swiftlet.

I caught one flying temporarily upside down as it shook itself after a bath.

The Rufous-bellied Swallows were again cooperative today. I noticed some variation in the intensity of streaks on the underparts. This one had quite noticeable streaks.

While this one was apparently unstreaked.

I managed to improve on yesterday's efforts.

At night I went out again in my quest for the elusive loris. Here's another colour version of Humerana miopus.

And I believe this is Polypedates leucomystax - Common Tree Frog.

A spider guarding its nest under a leaf.

I found this Wagler's Pit Viper while scanning the canopy for a calling Collared Scops Owl.

After two hours of lorisless searching I was on my way back to the dorm when there was an enormous crashing sound of something heavy falling to the ground in the nearby undergrowth. After initially thinking that maybe a branch was hurtling toward my head I turned round to see a pair of Lorises scuttling hurriedly across the road. Putting two and two together, I realized that the sound must have been the lorises falling out of their tree, possibly getting carried away in amorous pursuits! Calculating the direction of their hasty entrance into the forest on the other side of the road, I walked down the valley in an attempt to head them off, and was duly rewarded with the sight of the male climbing a small sapling.

On the scoresheet at last!

And to finish off with, who could resist buying these "Lie Fallow Puffs" in the border market? To quote from the packet, "Made of choice material, adopt advance technology, best enjoyment. We like the new taste. We need the quality and we need the best food. Here you will find what you want. You are the new man. How delicious can not forget. Special taste."

Well, we didn't find what we wanted in the form of a whistling thrush, but after scoring a last minute equalizer against the lorises, I was feeling slightly like a new man. Lorises - so slow!


Richard King said...

Some really interesting and great photos as usual!

digdeep said...

Thanks Richard. On a steep learning curve with those herps!

seken polansky said...

great snapshot..love u'r photos

but i'm not sure with your polypedates leucomystax. the common tree frog have about 4-5 stripes on their back. that is one of some points to identificate Polypedates leucomystax

Wong Chun Xing said...

Just a friendly neighborhood entomologist dropping by to inform you that the spider is a Lichen Spider (Pandercetes).