Monday, February 8, 2010

Asian Openbill

After a week of the sighting of the Asian Openbill by Hakim, i decided to search for the bird during the weekend with a hope that the bird will remain in the area. I called Hakim and booked him as my guide, as i'm not really familiar with the area.

We met at Petronas BKE at around 7.30 am. We make our way to the openbill site at around 7.45am. When we arrived, the bird is still around. Thank God!

It was quite far from the main road and we decided to walk a bit to get a closer view. What a nice lifer for the weekend.

I must thank Hakim for bringing me here. After the openbill there was nothing much to be seen. I was also hoping to see the Aquillas but they were nowhere to be seen. Some other good bird that we saw are snipes, peregrine falcon (too far) and black kites. On our way out of the openbill site, we met with Khoo Swee Seng n wife from MNS Selangor.

After none of the Aquillas showed up, we decided to go to Air Itam Dalam as Hakim said he didn't know where the spotted wood owl tree was. Air Itam Dalam was also quite disappointing, we didn't see the owls! On our way out we met with Mr n Mrs Hum. There were not much bird except green billed malkoha, arctic warbler, black kites, stork billed kingfisher and we heard the mangrove pitta calling but couldn't see it.

After Air Itam Dalam, Hakim and i decided to go to Teluk Air Tawar as Mr n Mrs Hum said there was black headed gull seen earlier in the morning. Hakim also thought he saw a cormorant flying along the new expressway. So another place to check.
When we arrive the tide was coming up and the birds was quite close. No black headed gull but here are some others, i hope my identifications are correct,

Curlew sandpiper, thanks to Dave for id




After 1/2 an hour, no black headed gull showed up. So we decided to go off. I sent Hakim back and drove back to Penang. On my way back i was thinking about the Chinese Egret sighted at the Jelutong expressway. The was quite right, so i decided to stop by for check. I was unlucky coz the bird was not around. This is little egret,

The bird was hunting and i noticed the behaviour as written in guidebooks, it will use its feet to chase the fish to the surface before catching them. Here is the link to the video but it was a bit blocked.
Little Egret hunting

What a weekend....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bukit Wang (Herpetofauna) 30/1/2010

Now come to the herps n night birds.

While waiting for the honeyguide, i saw this flying lizard which happens to be the rarest of them all. A Draco fimbriatus (was cristatellus, and now the original fimbriatus is called abbreviatus),

After getting a good rest in the hotel we head out for the night hunt. The first one that we saw was a bird, a Javan Frogmouth. It as spotted by Jasmine after 10 minutes of search. Thanks Jas.

After finished with the Javan frogmouth, we suddenly heard a Tockay gecko call. It was quite high and far but the call of this species is distinctive. What a good start!
While moving along the trail we tried to check for owls but none is heard neither seen.

Afterward me, Hor Kee n Evan decided to go in to the riverside while Jas n John was to tired to tag along.

Some of the herps we encountered,

Microhya berdmorei, Berdmore's narrow mouth frog.

On left is the calling male while on right is a couple on amplexus. I manage to record the call of this frog for the first time. Before this all the encounter with this species is voiceless.

A Eutropis multifasciata, Many lined Sun Skink,

Quite weird to see this fella who usually forage during daytime, at night. Its getting more and more interesting when Evan found this,

A Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus, bent toed gecko. This is the second record of the species which was thought to be endemic to Langkawi island, on mainland Peninsular. The first record was my encounter with it at Tupah, also in Kedah.

On our way back i saw a reticulated python underneath the concrete path but it decided to hide itself in.

After two hours of herping we decided to go back. On our way back Hor Kee saw a snake underneath a concrete bridge. He thought it was another reticulated python but it turns out to be a keeled ratsnake, Ptyas carinatus. A huge one, Evan was so excited he decide to catch it and pose it for us. What he got, he turns to be one smelly guy coz of the snake musk! Hehe...Thanks Evan.

This snake usually mistaken for a king cobra but a closer look would reveal the prominent stripes along the end part of the body. The scalation on the head is also different.

Other animals that we saw that night was a slow loris and a small toothed palm civet.

Turns out to be a very nice trip for both herps and birds. Thanks to Hor Kee and Evan for inviting me.

Bkt Wang 30/2/2010

After taking the Taiga Flycatcher at Bukit Wang, i was tempted to come again to Bukit Wang. Taiga was only taken outside at the parking lot as i don't have much time to do extra birding.

I received a call from Hor Kee asking whether i'm interested to go for an overnight trip to Bukit Wang. I can't resist as spending the night there means i'll also got the chance to go for herping. Moreover, Evan, my herping partner is coming along.

On birding point of view,this area has many good species in its list after the visit by Choo Eng and Choy Wai Mun earlier.

As i arrive around 10.45am, i heard a banded bay cuckoo calling quite close to the roadside but i didn't manage to see nor to lure it out. While waiting for it i heard a blue crowned hanging parrot call. I couldn't locate it and suddenly i saw a man taking down a trap called 'jebak' in Malay. This trap has a captive bird in it (in this case a blue crowned) which was use as a lure to capture other individual of the same species. So i decided to move on...

I made another stop after hearing a lot of barbets call. Pity i couldn't locate any of them. Some of them are Gold Whiskered, Blue Eared, Yellow Crowned and Brown Barbet. Some other birds from the same area are streaked bulbul, asian fairy bluebird, olive winged bulbul, spectacled bulbul and this yellow breasted flowerpecker. It perched quite low while eating a fruit from 'senduduk' tree.

After continuing my journey, suddenly i heard a malaysian honeyguide calling. I waited for half an hour before i could locate the bird. Quite high up but at least i got a record shot. Here it is,

While looking for this honeyguide lots of others are around. Some of them,
Chestnut breasted malkoha, not the best but just as record,

An asian paradise flycatcher, a male brown morph,

A grey breasted spiderhunter, taking nectar from the flower planted by somebody along the trail,

An orange breasted trogon, but a bit high for a decent shot,

A grey rumped treeswift,

One more high flyer, a swiftlet but not sure which one,

A far far away black thighed falconet,

A tiger shrike,

A black winged flycatcher shrike,

I also saw a pair of wreathed hornbill flying quite low but didn't have the chance to photograph it as i was busy looking for the honeyguide.

After a long stop,i decided to call Hor Kee asking where thay are but the phone coverage is quite bad. I manage to send sms to him and he said they are already far in. After telling him about the honeyguide he insist to come out and meet me. He also said that he met John and Jasmine from MNS Selangor. After meeting them, i showed them the honeyguide which happens to be still on the same perch. It was a lifer for John and Jasmine. Their shots are much better than mine! Hehe..nevermind seeing it is more than enough for me.

They told me there was a bat hawk perching on nearby tree, so i went for a photograph, was still around but a bit high. Good enough for me.

After birding since morning we decided to go to Jitra and check-in to our hotel. It was PJ2 hotel and turns out quite nice for RM80 per night.

I will put out the herping result in next post.