It has been more than a year since my last visit to this logging trail which is sadly the only way we have access to this pristine area of tropical rainforest. The day started off on a quite positive note when a Peregrine Falcon flew overhead. Every other bird that was up and about in the area immediately took cover from the mere sight of this deadly predator. Unfortunately, the falcon alighted on the canopy level of the tallest tree around and well beyond my gear’s comfort zone.
The locality was also filled the loud and distinctive calls of the Hill Mynas. After putting in some effort to locate the birds, I was slightly disappointed with the results. Although my subjects were rather close, the only way I could obtain a slightly clear image was to shoot between small gaps of the tree’s foliage. This species is a highly-prized cage bird because of its ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. And it is because of this talent that its population has been greatly reduced from many of its former strongholds.
A pair of foraging Scaly-crowned Babblers provided the main highlight for the trip. My preference for non-flash photography always made it quite a challenge for forest photography especially when it comes to babblers and their active nature. I had to rely heavily on continuous shooting and with a whole lot of luck, hopefully a few shots will turned out good. Anyway, this is the best shot out of the whole lot.
A pair of Red-bearded Bee-eater tantalizingly hawked for insects along the logging track and provided some colours and excitement to the trip. This pair of forest gems was the last birds we managed to photograph for the trip.
There was another encounter worth mentioning during the trip and it involved a snake. All three of us could have sworn that it was a cobra as the meter-long serpent raised its hood before slithering into the undergrowth. Choo Eng’s quick action resulted in a few record shots and a herpetologist researcher back home thinks it could be a juvenile King Cobra or an Indo-Chinese Rat Snake after reviewing the images. And I thought reptiles would be easier to identify...