Monday, August 17, 2009

15th August 2009: Merapoh, Taman Negara

My last morning at the Park, and it started off in customary fashion pre-dawn, hoping for one of the Large Frogmouths to show itself.

Success at last! As dawn was breaking this bird finally decided it had had enough of hiding and perched out in the open by the track, to the appreciation of an audience consisting of me and a group of visiting birders from Thailand.

Perhaps due to the overcast weather, bird activity was decidedly subdued this morning. A Ferruginous Babbler livened up proceedings somewhat.

A little way further on, I heard the monotonous whistle of a Striped Wren-babbler, and a small group of us managed to get very close views of the bird as it signalled its territory.

On my way back to the HQ to check out I was surprised to hear a Rail-babbler not far off - the first sniff of one in four days. I ducked into a trail and soon had the bird circling me doing what Chris Gooddie calls 'the blue ballooon dance of lurve' in his highly readable Jewelthrush Diaries in response to my crude impersonations of its call.

While waiting for the Rail-babbler to reveal itself, I spotted a Black-capped Babbler lurking at the base of a tree. Another bird we hadn't heard once during our stay, and this one wasn't calling either. Just goes to show! Not sure what it goes to show, but anyway, there it was.

You need to be a bit lucky to get an clear view of a Rail-babbler, and on this occasion, I wasn't!

Back where it all started. As I neared the HQ, the Moustached Hawk-cuckoo started calling - I hadn't heard it since the first day. Elusive as ever, this was the best I could manage. Anyway, it gave a kind of symmetry to a very satisfying visit to Merapoh. Thanks to James, Peter, and the Thai group for the company!


Choy Wai Mun said...

I guess it was another great trip to Merapoh for you. Frogmouths, pheasants, pitta - I envy you, Dave!.

Dila said...

I came across your blog and really enjoyed reading the post. I also love the pictures of the beautiful birds as well. Thanks for sharing them