Monday, 18 January 2010

16/01/2010: Bukit Wang (Kedah)

My first trip to this locality made quite an impact on me and I was just itching to make a second one. When the opportunity finally presented itself, I hit the road before dawn and reached the car park of the locality about the same time I saw the rare migratory Taiga Flycatcher on my last visit. Much to my delight, the flycatcher was already out and about…

Gradually, it got used to the presence of my vehicle and I got pretty close to the celebrity bird. As the lighting got better, so did my images. It has started to develop its breeding plumage as I could make out traces of light red on the breast region.
I even managed to capture it feeding on some kind of a caterpillar...

This Black-thighed Falconet was perching way beyond the reach of my camera. Although it is not uncommon, I am still waiting for my chance to capture this adorable little raptor from a close distance.

This Pig-tailed Macaque was camera-shy and gradually made a retreat to the forest when I tried to capture its image.
This striking male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker was not much better and kept himself partly hidden from me most of the time.

If only all my targets are as obliging as this one…
My spirits were lifted when I managed to locate a calling Malaysian Honeyguide from the canopy level. Although the angle and distance prevented to obtain great shots but I was quite satisfied with my record shots. This scarce canopy species is rarely documented and ever since my first encounter back in 2003, it has always been high on my wanted list.

A pair of Bushy-crested Hornbills was kind enough for me to capture their image as the pair rested on a far tree. Although I could only obtain record shots due to the distance, I am quite please with how the shots turned out.

In birding, there are lifers and there are MEGA-LIFERS. When an unfamiliar raptor flew quite high over the forest, I took the “shoot first, talk later” approach. Based on past experiences, a photo is certainly worth a thousand words – especially when one is alone and comes across a rare bird. It turned out to be a juvenile Himalayan Griffon and that certainly qualifies as a MEGA-LIFER. Vultures are extremely rare in Malaysia and the Himalayan Griffon has been recorded only as vagrants. Coincidentally, one was seen in Singapore on this very weekend as well. As this is my first encounter with a wild vulture, it was by far one of the most exciting 30 seconds of my life and that was roughly the time I was given to aim, focus and shoot. Although my image was a rather poor one, it was good enough to help me identify the species and for others to help with its identification later on. What a terrific start to the year!

7 comments:

hasyimi said...

Nice photos! The hornbill can be considered as Megalifer for me too.

yen said...

Mun, what a trip! I bet you are making another trip soon ; )

The migratory flyctacher is new to me and geat shots.

Well done.

terence said...

great shot and well done on your mega lifer. keep it up

madibirder said...

Nicely documented. Congrats on the lifers. Love the flycatcher shots.Looks like a great birding location

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks all for your compliments.

Tabib said...

What a great birding day!
Rare migratory Taiga Flycatcher and Malaysian Honeyguide.
Super rare Himalayan Griffon.

Congratulation!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Tabib