Saturday, March 13, 2010

9-10th March: Kedah and Perlis

This trip was some time in the making - I'd been batting around the idea of a trip to Perlis with James, Peter and Mark for some time, and this week we all had a couple of days free, so suddenly it was on.

Our first stop was Bukit Wang Forest Reserve, and our first bird was a male Green-backed Flycatcher, but I hadn't got my camera out of the car by then!

A sunbird feeding on a flowering tree in the car park attracted our attention, and it proved to be a Red-throated - a species I have rarely seen and never photographed before.

Both male and female are very similar to the much commoner Brown-throated. Male Red-throated can be told from male Brown-throated by the much more extensive reddish colouration on the scapulars and wing coverts, redder ear coverts, pinker throat and paler, duller yellow underparts.

I didn't get such clear views of the female, but she seemed to be greener below and to have a less pronounced face pattern compared to Brown-throated.

This young male Wreathed Hornbill sat quietly over the track as we drove beneath him.

A rather distant raptor was identified as a subadult Grey-headed Fish Eagle after some discussion!

Our next stop was Timah-Tasoh, the large lake in Perlis, where we succeeded in getting good views of Pheasant-tailed Jacana but failed to see its rarer relative, Bronze-winged Jacana. A migrant Large Hawk-Cuckoo was another bird of note there.

A stop in the valley leading to Bukit Ayer Forest Reserve gave us a chance to compare the appearance and calls of the resident Rufous-bellied and migrant Red-rumped Swallows which can be reliably seen there.

Rufous-bellied (right) is substantially larger than Red-rumped and has a wheezier flight call.

A Rufous-bellied catching the last bit of sunlight.

The Red-rumpeds are all worn and in heavy moult, so that the rump looks whitish on some birds.

The rufous nuchal collar which is one distinguishing feature from Striated is almost impossible to see, but it's there - just!

The streaks on the underparts are finer than on Striated.

Streak-eared Bulbul was one of the northern specialities James, Peter and Mark had travelled up from KL to see! A family of these birds obliged.

At the Malaysia-Thailand border we watched Dusky Crag Martins and a few Chinese Sparrowhawks and Oriental Honey Buzzards moving north.

The picturesque skyline of Perlis State Park.

We reached the Park HQ in late afternoon, and were treated to good views of 7 Forest Wagtails and 2 Orange-headed Thrushes feeding on the ground as we drove in. There was also a fine male Siberian Blue Robin. Too dark for photography unfortunately!

We'd come hoping for night birds, specifically White-fronted Scops Owl, and mammals. Though we neither saw nor heard the owl, the night-watching did not disappoint!

The first appearance of the evening was a Black Flying Squirrel in the same tree that I photographed Red Giant Flying Squirrel in previously!

This was followed by a great view of a Colugo, most likely holding a baby.

The first of three Slow Lorises - a male!

And another. They seemed to prefer using telegraph wires to trees to travel at night.

A Large-tailed Nightjar by the road was an obliging bird...


This male Javan Frogmouth was equally obliging, and gave us fantastic views.

A moth's last moment!

Flying moth-trap!

Credit must go to James for finding us this amazing bird!

In the morning, on our way south, we stopped to admire a flock of Brown-backed Needletails. The white lores (and they really are WHITE!)indicate that these were the migratory race 'indicus'.

On our way south we stopped at Bukit Jernih, where we marvelled at the makeshift ladders used to scale the sheer cliff faces in search of swiftlet nests.

For about the fourth time the Racket-tailed Treepies eluded me and all of us!

If anyone can help me out with the id of this damselfly I'd be grateful!


Terence Ang said...

Great Sunbird photo Dave. Very Impress. Congrat on the Greay-Headed Fish-Eagle. I wander where is the closest possible area for this bird.

Unknown said...

wow..... such wonderful shots

Anonymous said...

The Grey Headed Fish Eagle is interesting to say the least.
Another bird for the expanding
Bkt Wang FR list.
Could be from Beris Dam.

Your Large Black Flying Squirrel
should be the 2nd internet photo,
see ours at

And watch out for the Civet Otter
at the pool after the Chalets at
Perlis state park.

Choo Eng.

pw said...

*LOVE* that frogmouth in flight!!