Thursday, July 28, 2011

21 July 2011: The Gap - Fraser's Hill

I started at the Lower Gate before dawn, being surprised to hear a Javan Frogmouth near the gate. Once it was light I soon located three Bamboo Woodpeckers - one of my Fraser's Hill 'bogey birds' finally laid to rest!

Getting good photos was another matter! Over the next few days I encountered this species daily, usually more than once, but never got a decent chance of a clear shot in good light.

A flock of Black Laughingthrushes was obliging, but I failed to get any sharp shots.

Having finally got the woodpecker, I now only have two Fraser's Hill residents left to see, both of them partridges (Ferruginous and Long-billed)! The first of these was my target for the trip, and I spent much of the morning sitting in my hide and waiting...! Two birds were calling further up the hill, one above the road and one below, but none came close, so I gave up the hunt towards midday.

This White-bellied Yuhina (Erpornis) was one of several species still active at the Lower Gate as I left.

At the top I headed for some lunch and an iced strawberry juice, but I met Ahli Chung and a group he was guiding, who told me they'd found a roosting Mountain Scops-owl on Hemmant's Trail. The drink was hastily postponed as I got precise directions and headed off to try to locate the bird. It wasn't where they'd seen it, but incredibly, while I was searching for it, a bird started calling close by, and, in response to my whistled imitation, flew straight in to perch about 5m away! It sat there oblivious to my attempts to manoeuvre myself to get a unobstructed shot and continued calling, stimulating a second bird to respond not far away!

While watching the bird, I noticed it peering over my shoulder at something behind me. On turning I saw two Yellow-throated Martens coming down the slope toward me. At about 3 metres away, they finally noticed me and ran off up the slope. No chance to move, still less photograph them, but it was an unforgettable moment nonetheless!

Here's a video of the bird calling. Thanks Ahli!

Eventually hunger pangs kicked in and I walked away from the bird, still in view and still calling!

The afternoon was a bit of an anticlimax after that. This female Black-and-Crimson Oriole was part of a bird wave.


Denis Degullacion said...

Always enjoyed your Fraser Hill collections.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Those photos of the scops-owl made me speechless!

Mikael Bauer said...

Wow, absolutely stunning David!!! I've spent so many nights looking for this bird all over Asia, never realizing I should have tried it in day light ;-)

John Holmes said...

A real eye-popping photo of the Mountain Scops

jytou said...

wow! I didnt even get to hear the calls of the scops owl in night, you saw one in the day..... so envy you.....