I have been told from an early age that one only has to fear two creatures that roam the tropical rainforest of Malaysia – the Asian Elephant and the King Cobra. There are numerous other species of animals that can cause mortal harm but I guess these two, being unpredictable and deadly, are right at the top of the list. I have to thank my lucky stars for not having to face any of them on foot so far. So when Choo Eng and I came across fresh elephant dung along the access trail at Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest in Kedah, it was enough to send a slight shiver up my spine.
The thought of elephants lingered in the back of my mind. I also told myself to be a little more caution today and do not let the birds take over my senses and logic again. That worked for a little while until a Diard’s Trogon started calling from the forest edge. We managed to locate the bird after some effort and it was a stunning male bird. Unfortunately, the shooting conditions really tested my equipments’ capabilities.
A male Red-throated Barbet foraging way below the canopy level is something you do not get to see very often. Barbets on a whole are usually heard rather than seen. Their persistent call is the only thing that will give away their presence. Each species has its own distinctive call and easily recognizable once learned.
Another forest denizen that usually keeps out of sight is the Broadbills. Again, their calls are the only indicators of their presence and for most of the time records are based on calls alone. This morning, a lone Banded Broadbill perched much lower than its preferred canopy domain and allowed me to take one single shot before it disappeared out of sight.
Bulbuls are well represented in the forest here but today, only this Buff-vented Bulbul was willing to be photographed. Well, maybe not that willingly…
The Oriental Honey-buzzard can be quite varied in appearance. Sometimes, it is the smallish head that gives its identity away. This individual that was circling above the forest canopy had a plumage that resembled the Crested Serpent-eagle.