Tuesday, 25 August 2009

22-23/09/2009: Sungai Sedim Project (Kedah)

The Malaysian Nature Society of Penang is conducting a fauna project with the help of the Kedah Tourism Department at Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest. Basically, it is to produce to book to describe the local variety of wildlife found here. The project is managed by Choo Eng and Muin. When they requested for volunteers over the email forum, I was more than happy to obliged. Naturally, I was to help out in the birds' division. This first survey was conducted over the weekend and the Bintang Sedim Villa was the choice accommodation (in fact, it is the only accommodation available here).

The team comprise of members from the Penang, Kedah and Perak MNS with a head count of about 15. The guys had to use the dormitory, while the ladies and a family group had the rooms.

This is the team getting ready to start the survey at the break of dawn. However, the weather wasn't that permitting as it rained frequently throughout our survey. I had little photographic opportunities due to the weather and the birds were quite reluctant to pose for me. However, the birds' division did quite well as we managed to record more that 80 species over the 2 days.

The ever-present Whiskered Treeswifts were hunting just above the main car park. However, they did not perch low enough for me to obtain any good shots.

Choo Eng and I came across this rather confiding Red-bearded Bee-eater that was hunting just below the canopy of the forest. Despite the close distance, the poor lighting conditions prevented me from obtaining very sharp images.

And true to its name, it was feeding on bees...

My jinx with hornbills was finally broken thanks to Choo Eng. A male Rhinoceros Hornbill resting and preening at the canopy level. Although this handsome fellow was quite a distance away, I am quite satisfied with the shots. I, for one, is in no position to complain - especially when it concerns this magnificent genus of birds.
A foraging Spectacled Bulbul provided a little excitement to the day in terms of bird photography. The yellow eye ring is not that pronounced as this bird could be an immature.

My godfather always remind me that birds are not the only living things worth shooting. Well, I certainly had more than enough time to photograph other wonders of nature found at this locality like this Oriental Whipsnake...

This tiny frog also had my full attention. I hate to break it to you buddy but I can see you...

I thought this was a wild Pig-tailed Macaque initially - until I saw the chain around its neck. It must be a pet of the caretaker at the camp site.

A rather large Water Monitor Lizard foraging around the picnic grounds...
Here birdy-birdy...come out...come out...wherever you are...

The absence of birds for long periods of time allowed me to capture some of the interesting flora that occurs here as well...

I also took a few shots of the mighty Sungai Sedim. It is no wonder that this is a quite a popular area for white water rafting...

During the night, we had a fair share of excitement at our accommodations. There were the normal insects that were attracted to the lights like these moths...

And Praying Mantis...

The insects will in turn attract predators like this splendid Kuhl's Gliding Gecko...

And the formidable Giant Forest Gecko...

About a month back, I came across a flying lizard taking a glide from one tree to another along one of the forest trails in the vicinity. Once it alights, the camouflage was quite amazing...

I also had the chance to photograph this beautiful Atlas Moth the next morning...

There is a rather big fish pond in the backyard where they keep Tilapias. The pond must be over-crowded as the fish frequently stay near the surface to "breath"...

This attractive Reticulated Python was a real handful to photograph...

Literally...It is a pet snake of the accommodation caretaker.

I took a few trips up the canopy walk as we have made an arrangement with the management for a flat rate.

Although I did not get to photograph any birds up there, the view is simply breathtaking and certainly not for the faint-hearted...

Large mammals are even harder to spot than birds here in Malaysia. Once in a while, one will get lucky. For instance, I managed to photograph a decent shot of an Agile Gibbon traveling along the forest canopy about a month ago here as well.

This Grey-bellied Squirrel made my presence felt with its loud alarm calls. I can't recall observing this species in the wild before...

There are quite a number of new chalets and facilities sprouting up in this forest reserve. If it is managed properly, I don't really have an issue about it - if...

A few raptors were seen during the survey like this Oriental Honey-buzzard...

And this Blyth's Hawk-eagle...

The team discovered a fruiting tree that was quite productive in terms of birds. Quite a variety of species came and feed on the tiny fruits. In between taking down notes, I managed to capture a few reasonable shots like this Brown Fulvetta...

I also managed to capture a few shots of the adorable Velvet-fronted Nuthatch...

7 comments:

terence said...

Very nice photo mun. I love best is the raptor. Nice photo of the male OHB..
and also... a possible male of a BHE

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Terrence. Nice meeting you there.

Richard King said...

Great place and great photos. I must get there one day.

I think the Gliding Gecko looks fantastic!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Richard.

altilyas birder said...

What a Great place for birding.Your photo's are fantastic.Do visit my blog at altilyasbirder.blogspot.com

p/s: no post yet.I just started to make blog

ADAM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ADAM said...

nice review . thanks