The discovery of the elusive Chestnut-necklaced Partridge last year in the wild interiors of Kedah state is one of the most exciting birding news up north. Through my years of birding I have come to terms with the fact that most of our rare forest birds do not have happy endings waiting for them. However, the Chestnut-necklaced Partridge proved to be an exception for now and they are doing just fine going into the second year of their discovery. With the aid of a hide and a little patience, I was transported into their realm once again. Together with James Neoh, the two of us enjoyed yet another memorable and fascinating performance.
The location this time was slightly brighter than previous encounters and this enabled the true splendour of the partridge to shine through the lush green landscape where it calls home. It was a prolonged and intimate encounter. I even had the privilege to put down my photography gear and just bask in the presence of such an intriguing creature. It was very accommodating of our intrusion and you rarely get to say that about gamebirds found in this region of the Malaysian rainforest.
The birders were the ones to retreat away from the encounter this time and the partridge quietly watched us packed up to leave from a hidden corner of its domain. I am not sure if it was the reassuring presence of the partridge or the jungle air was exceptionally refreshing and revitalizing today. Everything was just blissful and beautiful. I can only hope the resounding territorial calls of the Chestnut-necklaced Partridge will continue to echo through the locality for many more years to come and amazing encounters like this are more than just figments of imagination.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those celebrating a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!