This would be my first birding excursion to the wettest part of Peninsular Malaysia since the pandemic. We have been experiencing excruciating hot weather in Penang and unfortunately, it is not much different here in Taiping as well. I decided to visit the stakeout at the foothill of Bukit Larut and a juvenile Siberian Blue Robin reminded me just how challenging photography can be at this particular spot.
The migratory Green-backed Flycatcher did not fare any better for my photography endeavour. My feeble attempts did no justice to the vibrant colouration of this adult male and in the end, this is the only image that I can barely justify to share in my post.
Any pitta encounter is a good encounter in my books. Despite the lighting condition, this Hooded Pitta provided a much-welcomed dose of exhilaration to my time here in this gloomy gulley. And the throng of hikers making their way up and down the steep access road finally had a reason to stop and look at my unreserved birding antics set off by this mesmerizing species.
I cannot help but to feel a little disappointed with the results at the stakeout so far. Years of birding may have made me a patient man but I have my limits. The absence of any resident species to the stakeout was another setback to my plans for the day. But life goes on and I then started to explore the vicinity by foot. This old school approach yielded a female Rhinoceros Hornbill flying above this lush landscape.
A pair of Banded Broadbills was nesting in the locality as well and as expected, a congregation of bird photographers marks the spot. Photography at nesting sites is a controversial matter – always has been and always will be. As long as one does not go overboard with his or her attempts for the perfect shot, there are worse threats to a nesting site as far as I am concerned. Anyway, the chicks successfully fledged at the time of writing and here are some images of the female bird carrying out her parental duties. As you can see, I do practice what I preach.
While waiting for the Banded Broadbill, some other forms of local wildlife helped to keep me occupied like this Gliding Lizard.
Slight movements near where I have planted my feet (when there is a crowd, good shooting positions is a prized commodity) turned out to be a Flat-backed Millipede. Invertebrates are not really my cup of tea but I made an exception for this creepy crawly.
Once I obtained the images I wanted of the Banded Broadbill, I continued with my search for more avian delights which have proved to be difficult throughout this warm and sunny morning. A female Large Woodshrike managed to convince me that the world is not such a bleak place after all with a commendable performance.
A foraging Grey-breasted Spiderhunter could not keep the momentum going and refused to give up the safety of the forest canopy. And a distant, harshly lighted image was all I have to show at the end of this rather brief encounter.
The Black-thighed Falconet is not uncommon here but its diminutive size can be easily overlooked. This tiny bird of prey does have a preference for exposed perches and this individual doing exactly that, wrapped things up for this time.