My wife and I took a much-needed break from our working schedule and headed towards the cool and misty hill resort of Cameron Highlands. She has a sweet spot for this locality due to the availability of strawberries and other agricultural products. I was more than glad to agree on this destination because I knew I could do a little bit of birding over there at the same time.
We stayed at the Lutheron Bungalow and most of my birding this time was done in the compound itself and the nearby vicinity. Small bird-waves will occasionally travel past the compound and I made the most of whatever time I had to enjoy the birds. Blue-winged Minlas are quite common here but they usually don’t stay put for very long.
I was rather disappointed when I missed out on a pair of foraging Green Magpies. The birds were simply too wary of my presence and dodged every attempt I made to photograph them. However, I got over the magpies when a beautiful Fire-tufted Barbet alighted right in front of me.
I have not seen the Black-and-crimson Oriole for quite a while now but this male perched just a little too far for my camera and there was no way to reduce the distance between us.
A flock of about 20 Large-billed Crows were seen flying at a distance. I observe the flock just to be sure that the crows were not harassing a raptor or something. When crows congregate and fly about the same vicinity, they are usually up to no good. Anyway, I think they are just heading back to roost for the evening this time.
My wife was really excited to see her first wild owl when a handsome Brown Wood-owl decided to hunt from the poles of the clothes line in the garden shortly after dark. For me, it was a slight compensation for missing out on photographing a Mountain Scops-owl earlier on. However without the aid of my external flash, obtaining good images was simply impossible.
We did make a visit to Gunung Brinchang, the highest point by car in Malaysia, to visit the Mossy Forest habitat and the stunning views. It was not very fruitful in terms of birding but we had a rather close encounter with a couple of Golden-throated Barbets. However, it was much easier for my wife to photograph me trying my best to photograph the birds than me successfully photographing the birds.
Apart from that, we also made a visit to Sungai Palas tea estate as my wife was looking forward to having some tea at the new lounge-like terrace. And from the look of things, she was not the only one as the place was packed with visitors upon our arrival.