Wednesday, 3 June 2009

01/06/2009: Kek Loke Tong Temple (Perak)

On my way back from an assignment in KL, I decided to make a detour to Ipoh and do some birding in one of the limestone cave temples. This particular temple is noted for its rich bird life apart from its impressive appearance. Well, I'm not much of a temple-going person but I think I can make an exception here.

Although I did not get to observe most of the species I hoped to encounter here but I did received a wonderful reception from the resident Blue Rock-thrushes. It is that time of the year where the birds are busy breeding or tending to their chicks. The parent birds have a handful trying to satisfy the ever-hungry juveniles. The male bird is quite distinctive with their stunning blue plumage.
The plumage of the female birds can be quite varied. They range from being brownish...

To almost as blue as the male birds themselves...

And the noisy and tame individuals all over the temple are the juveniles...

In fact the whole population here is rather accustomed to human presence. These birds can be seen at the car park of the temple, foraging among the stationery vehicles.

I even saw a male bird picking up scrap left by visitors and they don't even bother to wait for the visitors to leave before they dived in and feed.

They are not called Rock-thrushes for nothing. Here is a juvenile in its typical habitat and it is among the limestone crevices that these fascinating birds make their nests.

The highlight for the trip is this exceptionally tame male bird that foraged towards me when I was crouched down on the lawn capturing shots of him. He came so close to me at one time that my telescoping lens could not even focus on him. I swear I can even pat him on the head if I reached out my hand.

I have been putting off a visit to this temple for quite a period of time as I prefer to visit birding localities with a lot less people around. But if I can obtain wonderful images and experiences like this, I don't think this will be the last visit I will pay to these Temple Thrushes.


yen said...

great stuff, and I have been to Kek Long Tong but I didn't know Kek Long Tong is also good place for birding, mind if I call upon you on one of birding weekend?

Mun said...

Thanks, Yen.
For the birding weekend, you have to let me know earlier as I have to work on weekends sometimes.

AMIT said...

Very well written about this bird.

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