Monday, August 03, 2009
1st August 2009: Whistling-Thrush Project - Perlis revisited
Abbott's Babblers were vocal and showy early in the morning.
While Streak-eared and Stripe-throated Bulbuls were the common bulbul species. The latter is shown here tucking into a breakfast of berries.
Blue Whistling-Thrushes seemed to delight in teasing us by sitting in the trees above the nets!
Another bird caught itself and then escaped before we could lay hands on it, compunding our frustration! The problem is that whistling-thrushes are such big birds that they don't easily get entangled in the small-sized mesh of our mistnets.
But finally...! At the third attempt, one 'stuck' and we had our bird!
It's difficult to describe the elation after hours and days of waiting for this to happen! The bird was duly measured, fitted with colour-bands, and released. This northern 'crassirostris' race of Blue Whislting-Thrush is longer-tailed, smaller and bluer than the southern 'dicrorhynchus' race, but the differences are subtle.
Having got our bird, we decided to pack up and go birding! We visited Bukit Ayer and Bukit Bintang Forest Reserves. There is a small Bird Park at the former, and guess what we found there...!
Judging by the dusky marks on the lower mandible and and the lack of prominent hook to the bill, we guessed that this bird must be a juvenile.
On range, this juvenile blue flycatcher must have been Tickell's.
This beautiful Ornate Tree Snake was very much alive, climbing rapidly up a tree trunk.
This equally attractive bronzeback was unfortunately less so, having just been run over by a car (not ours!).
We were entertained by a flock of Moustached Babblers, showing off their characteristically heavy bills.
This photo is interesting since it shows that the worn, older feathers in the wing and tail are actually brighter and more rufous than the fresh ones. Brighter colours quite often emerge in feathers as a result of feather wear.
This was one of a small party of Orange-backed Woodpeckers foraging on fallen trees quite close to the ground. They proved more obliging than a Banded Pitta, which came very close, but never revealed itself to what would have been an appreciative audience!
Nevertheless, I was more than happy with the result of our short trip, having accomplished our goal of measuring and banding a Blue Whistling-Thrush.