Monday, 30 November 2009

28/11/2009: Kuala Gula (Perak)

Choo Eng and I decided to visit this locality at the northern coast of Perak which is basically mangroves and mudflats for a day trip.

As it was high tide, some of the water birds can be seen resting along the canal like these Common Redshanks.

In the case of Purple Herons, you have to be "quick on the draw" or you will end up with only "butt" shots...

We came across quite a number of Silver Leaf-monkeys on this trip, including this troop that was foraging along the access road.

A rather confiding Drongo Cuckoo was a much welcome sight as there was nothing much about. As the name implies, it is a cuckoo that looks very much like a drongo.

And this is the real deal - an Ashy Drongo.

This foraging female Ashy Tailorbird was a little too active for me to capture any good images although she was just on the bush in front of me.

The Peaceful Dove on the other hand, remained perfectly still...

One thing about birding in the mangroves is that you must be able to bear the heat. As noon approaches, your tolerance level is really put to the test. Anyway, 3 Lesser Adjutants were making full use of the heat and were seen riding on the thermals quite high up in the sky.

What does a bunch of dead trees at the fringe of the mangroves hold for a couple of tired birders?

Well, that's the beauty of birding. You just don't know what to expect. And which winged jewel could be waiting for you to discover around the next corner. In this case, it was a handsome Large Hawk-cuckoo.

I can still remember my first encounter with this species and the first word to come out from my mouth was "Sparrowhawk" because this species has a distinct similarity to the raptor especially in flight. Well, 14 years later and I still blurted out the same mistake to Choo Eng. The only difference is the time it took for me to rectify the error was almost immediate.

Although it gradually moved deeper into the vegetation, it remained in the vicinity for quite a while - much to our delight. The encounter alone made it worth the while to travel here all the way from Penang.

The lake was particularly deserted this time round...

The only consolation of walking all the way to the lake was this group of about 30 Black Bazas circling in the sky above.

Brahminy Kites are a common sight here as well...

One individual really put on show and came so close to me that I couldn't fit the entire wing span into frame.


Hawkeyes a.k.a Kiah said...

Excellent write-up of Kuala Gula, i must visit there one day.

terence said...

Great Write up and great photo.
Nice Large-hawk cuckoo.

yen said...

quite a trip, just the two of you?
The flight shots are fantastic.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks all for your compliments.

Yes, Yen. It was just the two of us.

Neeraj said...


Hope you are doing well! This is Anamika Tiwari from At present we are interviewing entrepreneurs and now we are starting another section to feature (interview) bloggers and their blog on

We find your blog bit interesting and would like to feature your interview on our website.

I was not able to find any contact details of yours so using this comment box. Please let me know your email id or else contact us on, so that we can send you the questionnaire and feature you on Please visit to know more about us.


deep_end said...

Hi, last September I went to Kuala Gula for the 1st time and followed the mangrove trail to the left of the Perhilitan office. But I didn't see any boardwalk as you did in your picture above. How do you get to this boardwalk?