Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A lifer

I was so excited to read Dave's blog and a few days later, Mun's blog on the story of their Pelagic trip.Dave have seen most of the species but for Mun he got 5 lifer in one trip!

So i decided to get an arrangement done for the same trip during weekend. Luckily Choo Eng (Penang MNS President) did an arrangement for a saturday trip on 14th May 2011. We went together with John Steed, Jasmine, Kheng Hong and Liong.

The day started off slowly, we only saw white bellied sea eagle and some tern mainly Black-naped Tern. Later the boatman said he called a few friend whom on other boat which catches anchovies (the seabirds usually congregates close to this type of boat when they drop their net), but there were stil no sign of 'Itik Air' (Shearwater). So he brought us to a rocky isle close to Song-song island. There were breeding Black-naped tern on it and we manage to locate 2 chicks.  
Black-naped Tern
Feeding its chick

Two chick in total...

After that we decided to give it a rest so we landed on Son-song island for lunch. I heard mangrove whistler metallic call as soon as we set our foot on land. There were many other bird on the island. We met two locals who guarded the island,they said there'll be chalet build here. There was no forest trail so i scrap my intention to wander into the forest for a short herping. Anyway, i may come back in future for it...

After about an hour, we went off to the sea again. Still the birds didn't show up.....after half an hour ride towards the anchovies boat, Choo Eng shouted, 'Shearwater!'
n it woke everybody up.. there were two of them sitting on the water. Maybe having some rest. As was said in Dave's and Mun's blog, this bird is quite tame. We manage to get pretty close to it.

Running on the water....

After that we head closer to a group of anchovies boat. There were a few more Short-tailed Shearwater around,feeding close to the net. I took as many photos as i can as i'm not sure when can i see this bird are some of my best shots.

 the underwing pattern
 look! No head!
 most of my flying shot are with the bird flying away. this is the only shot that i can show the leg projection.


There were so cooperative, til everybody got their best shot and we don't care about it presents anymore....hehehe...

Other than shearwater, there were many terns but not as much as i've seen on my first pelagic trip. They were mainly Bridled Tern which i only saw one during that trip.

I think this is stil Bridled Tern and not a Sooty. Sooty suppose to be darker and much bigger.

Little tern in breeding plumage, notice the yellowish bill.

Although in total i only got 1 lifer instead of 8, i'm still glad. Thanks for reading guys.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Raub Pahang

I was glad that i've been invited yet again to do some preliminary survey for an area in Raub, Pahang by USM.

On 29th April, we arrived at Raub using PLUS highway and cut across Tapah-Ringlet,Cameron Highland (would actually be closer using Simpang Pulai). Although the road from Cameron Highland to Raub still ungazetted, it seems to be in quite a good condition except for a slight landslide at Pos Betau after Ringlet. With improper signage, we miss the junction going up to Ringlet on our way back to Penang. The junction that should be taken is a left turn to Pos Betau just after Felda Sungai Koyan.

 Back to the survey, the forest that we suppose to explore this time is in between Tersang Forest Reserve and Batu Talam Forest Reserve. We were told that the logging road is inaccessible by normal car, only 4WD.

So we decided to go for a herping at a nearby recreational forest called Lata Jarum, Ulu Dong, Raub. Here are some of the herps found, not many and mostly are the usual suspects.

 Lrut Torrent Frog, Amolops larutensis
 A huge female Poisonous Rock Frog, Odorrana hosii
 Four clawed Gecko, Gehyra mutilata. You can see that its fifth right hand finger is barely visible and if you observe closely,it has no claw as others do.
A calling male Dark sided chorus frog, Microhyla heymonsi
 A spotted House Gecko, Gekko monarchus

A bird sleeping on a ginger tree, could be an olive winged bulbul.

The next day, we were brought into the first site for the clone rubber project (actually one side of it). The forest consist of mainly bamboos and banana tree. Nothing much to see and we didn't even set up our trap here. We hope on the next day, we'll get to see a more suitable place by entering the area from another side. Anyway, there were a fruiting tree, identified as 'Pokok Kedondong Kerantai Licin', Canarium sp. In total there were about 21 species of birds sighted i the area, here are some of them,

 Black Headed Bulbul
 Blue eared Kingfisher...i'm stil considering on the id. Thoughts anyone? (conform id given by Dave Bakewell)

Grey Breasted Spiderhunter (corrected id as pointed by Dave Bakewell, Thanks)
 Red eyed Bulbul
 Streaked Bulbul
A juvenile, yellow eared spiderhunter i supposed...nope, Dave Bakewell pointed out that this is a juvenile Little Spiderhunter.

 A mother Southern Jungle Crow with a young. The photo below showing there's two young birds around..

On the third day we went into the plot using another entrance, its a logged forest but wisely logged. The birds diversity is still quite high, around 53 species. It has some good herpetofauna too. Here are some of them,
 The steep road going uphill.
 Rhacophorus nigropalmatus, laying eggs

 Rhacophorus appendiculatus, my lifer...
 Kalophrynus pleurostigma, my lifer too
 Hylarana nicobariensis, yet another lifer!
 Glyschropus tylophus
 Macroglossus sobrinus
 Murina muricola
Rhinolophus affinis

That's all folks. Thanks for reading.