Sep 30, 2010

Birds of Gunong Ledang ( Mt Ophir), Johore, West Malaysia - 25-26 Sept 2010

It was like killing 2 birds with 1 stone, figuratively speaking.  :-). Whilst attending and also participating in the recently concluded MNS 63rd. AGM and Council elections I decided to spend a couple of hours on 26th Sept Sunday morning to do some birding in and around the meeting venue - Taman Rimba Lagenda, Johore National Park, Gunung Ledang, Johore, Malaysia. It was a good diversion from an equally eventful MNS AGM in which a new President and  new Council members were elected for a 2 year term.

   The prominent 'WELCOME' signage in front of the resort.

MNS Banner at the entrance to the resort. A reminder that 'Green Is In'.

    Directions to the various facilities within the resort.

    The wooden bridge on the way to the Huts, accomodation for the weekend.

   Prestine stream of refreshing and inviting mountain water cascades and meanders through the resort.

    The 'HUT' - a one room studio just big enough for 2-3 persons. The good news is there were
    no 'mossies' throughout the night.

   Birders getting ready to go up Gunong Ledang (Mt. Ophir) and bird along the way.

   Below are some of the birds, mammal and reptile 'shot' within Taman Rimba Lagenda.

   A common squirrel feeding on a oil palm seed.

A Red-eyed Bul Bul

   An Ochraceous Bul Bul

    A Chestnut Bul Bul

   A Gold-whiskered Barbet

   A Green Lizard

   Taman Rimba Lagenda, Taman Negara Johore is very strategically located. Just over 2 hours by road from
   either Kuala Lumpur or Johore Bahru/Singapore. You should go check this place out sometime soon.

   Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

Sep 6, 2010

Merdeka Day @ Kemensah.

It was an ad-hoc decision to do some birding in Kemensah, Ampang, Malaysia. It's one of  the birders favorite spots due in part to the wide variety of birds which could be found here. In my view Kemensah would easily score 7 on a scale of 10. New birders may find some sections of the trail which actually loops around in one big circle to be quite challenging - given the requirement to track upwards in gradients of between 70 and 80 degrees in some parts. However ardent birders and bird watcher will 'swear' that this is not an issue. Encountering lifers and other avian life forms will erase any body aches and sooth the muscle pain almost in an instant! LoL

About 50 or 60 yards into the trail a Drongo Cuckoo flew out from some thick brush on the left hand side to perch on an elevated branch on the right hand side. It provided a very clear view although not the best in terms of lighting. With camera ready I inched my way closer to the target. Below are 2 pictures of the 'black knight' in shining armor.


A couple of tiny birds caught my eye and I instinctively pointed my camera in their direction. During post processing the ID was that of the Oriental White-eye. Below is a record shot of one of them.

Then came a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias feasting on grass seeds, in their usual hype-active selves.

There was the Olive-winged Bul Bul taking temporary rest on a large banana leave some distance away.

At this point I would strongly recommend bringing insect repellents with you. In some sections of the trail mosquitoes would attack like there is no tomorrow. The insect repellents will keep them away so you would not be distracted by the stings and the itch and stay focused on your mission.

Further into the trail I spotted a silhouette of what looks like a Malkoha high up in one of trees. Unable to ID the specie at first sight I decided to track it. It turned out to be a juvenile Chestnut-bellied Malkoha. A handsome or pretty bird depending on the gender, the Malkoha never fails to get even seasoned birders 'excited'.  Below are 2 pictures. Note that the chestnut color under the belly is just starting to show.

Amidst the excitement over the Malkoha out flew a Little Hawk Cuckoo to perch on a thick branch just 30 ft from my position. Spontaneously my attention switched to this newcomer. It was one of most 'friendly' wild bird I have had the opportunity to encounter. It stayed on it's perch for a good 20 minutes or so according me a field day clicking away. Below are 2 photos for sharing.

It was by now around noon time and the sun was at it's peak whilst rain clouds are also gathering and the rumblings of thunder could be heard in the distance. Both the heat and rain are a no no for birding. I decided not to proceed further up the steep ridge and instead turned around to descend in the direction of the exit point. Along the way I recorded the following interesting 'happennings' in this wonderful forest reserve.

Intricately weaved birds nest hanging on a tree branch. I waited to photograph and record the bird specie responsible for building the nest but no bird turned up. :-(

Random photographed of a large specie of dragon fly as I walked pass the edge of a pond.

To cap the trip I observed a large colorful wasp trying to carry a spider heavier than it's weight. It was struggling to fly but the weight of the victim weighed it down. Not about to give up the wasp resorted to half walking and half flying with the spider in tow. I do believe it was eventually successful to cart the spider to it's nest to feed the family. Here are 2 photos.

The wasp struggled to fly with the spider in it's grip and actually did get off the ground albeit for only a short distance each time. Under powered & fueled by pure determination!!!

The timing of my descend was almost perfect! As I sat on the edge of my car's boot with the bonnet openned and sipping good old H2O, the rain drops began building up to a torrential downpour. I made my exit from Kemensah, glad to be 'dry'. :-)))

Thank you for visiting and browsing. I hope you like what you saw as much as I have putting them together to share. Cheers!