Friday, February 10, 2012

Ulu Muda-Bio School mini expedition 120203

I was invited to join a mini expedition by my supervisor. The organizer is School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. I said to myself, this is a chance i should never miss!

So we head out on 3rd February with 3 van and a 4WD. The journey to the campsite (more of a chalet actually) starts at the Muda Dam jetty. It was a painstaking 1 hour boat ride. The sun is up on our head and i got no cap what so ever to cover myself.

We were greeted by this changeable hawk eagle while we were still on the boat. I put my camera into a dry bag and i was quick enough to get it out and capture some images.

Some shot of my friends on the boat in front..
As arrive closer to the chalet some boat got stuck because of the low water level. So we got to go down and push the boat. Along the river, the proof of elephant is present in the area in large numbers can be easily seen by looking at the marks on the river banks.

Arrived at the chalet of Earthlodge, Ulu Muda, the first building that we saw is the canteen..

These are part of the cozy and comfortable chalet with two bathroom each. What more can you expect in the middle of thick rainforest!

 A shot of the jungle behind the chalet. I was told that the elephant came to the area quite often but staying in the chalet always gives me a safe feeling.

A shot of Sungai Labua,

This is the first bird that i got just behind the chalet, a male green broadbill,
Some other birds seen,

Who am i...quite easy..a Rufous winged Philentoma.

A male Black Naped Monarch..this is the best shot i could get as it was very active and never stay still..

This is perhaps the best bird i've seen here, a Rufous Piculet. It usually travels in flock but i only saw one.

Testing my flying shot skills...this is the best as i manage to spend only an hour during late evening of the second last day.
Silver rumped Needletail.

This one is a bit tricky...but i put it as House swift. But could it be Asian House Martin?

Grey rumped Treeswift.

A pair of Banded Kingfisher.

 A blurry shot of Chestnut Winged Babbler.

A Yellow Bellied Bulbul which forage nearly ground level..

Early morning of the second day, i saw this Beautiful Squirrel, Callosciurus prevostii. But it was quite high up, so this is the best i could get. It looks nearly the same as the Black Giant Squirrel but it has the white stripe alongside of the body bordering the black and the rufous orange.

Some herpetofauna,

 Egg masses of a Microhylid, maybe Microhyla berdmorei, the picture of it is below.

 A calling male with expanded vocal sac.

 An ever shy Hylarana nigrovittata.

 Black bearded Gliding Lizard, Draco melanopogon.

 Draco taeniopterus.
 Aplopeltura boa, Blunt headed Slug Snake.

In defensive posture.

 Calotes emma, Forest crested Lizard.
 A female Pedostibes hosii, Brow Tree Toad. The call can be heard along the Labua River.

 A Dark Headed Catsnake, Boiga nigriceps.

 Trying out a wide angle shot.

 On the boat back, i manage to capture these two raptors,

 Lesser Fish Eagle

 Changeable Hawk Eagle. Could be the same individual as i saw on the first day.

 Abong and Bob on the boat ride back.

Overall, the trip was great and if i got a chance i'll surely came back to photograph the elephant which was my first aim when i came here and many other rare birds which was seen by my friends but not me....Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CNY in Alor Setar

After my boy got chicken pox, i had to cancel my first birding trip of the year with my sifu David Bakewell. The trip turns out to be very fruitful and i could have had 3 lifers. Anyway, family comes first! So i tried to do some birding and practicing my macro at the backyard. Here are some of the findings..

My first ant-mimic spider,

A nice damselfly,

A bluish dragon,

A house fly,

A mosquito, maybe the larvae?

A nice green spider with prey,

A flock of red rumped swallow and lots of jungle myna came to feed on insects while the harvester starts cutting the paddy. 

A considerably threatened bird in the wild caused by pet trade, a red whiskered bulbul came close as a respond to its calling caged friend. I heard that another wild individual was caught two weeks before. 

A robberfly,

A nice spider,

A yellow bittern caught a climbing perch,

trying to swallow it and it succeeded.

It is not too bad Chinese New Year holiday after all. Thanks all for reading!