Nov 12, 2011

Sg. Pauh Photography cum Camping Trip.

Thirty eager MNS Selangor Branch members partook in a photography cum camping trip to Cameron Highlands from 5 - 7 Nov 2011. The trip was organized by one of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor Branch Special Interest Group (SIG) ie Photogroup.

The Sg Pauh campsite is managed and cared for by the Forestry Department. It has a 'friendly' campsite environment and amenities like concrete platform for tents, electricity for lighting up the campsite at night and charging mobile phones, sufficient male/female wash rooms with water, albeit freezing cold. :-) 

The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Tanah Rata took an average 3 and a half hours with stop-over for 'brunch' (breakfast + lunch). As it was a long 3 day weekend part of a 2 lane highway was jammed by the increased number of vehicles on the road reducing movement to a snail pace. Anyway it was nothing to complain about. More importantly is every member  arrived safely at the meeting point.

At briefing time (2 pm, 5/11) there was a steady drizzle and briefing had to be delayed to wait for the drizzle to ease-off a little. Below are a few pix of the heavy traffic condition enroute and of the briefing.

             Traffic build-up almost a kilometer long along the 2 lane stretch!

                                 Briefing in progress

After the briefing it was a short drive to the campsite. First item on the list was to pitch the tents. The sky was threatening to pour it's belly full, hence getting the tents built was a priority!

                                   An overview of the campsite.

                                  Tents of all shapes & sizes

Gazebo - a place to chat and have a cuppa.

                                       CHOW TIME

During the recce trip (29/09/2011) the OK Tuck restaurant was identified as a good place for paricipants to have the evening meals. The restaurant is centrally located in Brinchang town and offered the very popular chinese steam-boat spread or dishes to order. The group had the 2 days dinner here. Majority verdict: Good to best.  I think the cold weather swayed the YES votes. LOL

         Happy faces all-round bear testimony the food is good? :-)

On the second day options to explore were open. One group decided to have a very early start to go up Gunung Brinchang to try their luck to capture the early sunrise and other landscape shots of the picturesque mountains and valleys in which Cameron Highlands is famous for. Others opted for a later start and had their own schedule. It was after all a holiday and adventure trip and rules were not intended to be 'hard and fast'.

Here are some photos captured during my stay there  - without any sequential order.
It was shoot-at-fancy. :-)

                                   FLOWERS & SUCH

                               SPIDER, BUG & BUTTERFLY


                                Grey Wagtail

                                Asian Brown Flycatcher

                                Streaked Spiderhunter

                                 Lesser Yellownape Woodpecker


     Parit Falls on 26/9/2011 during recce trip. Pix taken with P & S Camera.

                      Murky Parit Falls on 7/11/2011 (after heavy overnight rain)

                                 Parit Falls - after Photoshop. Hahaha

Nov 9, 2011

Half-day birding in Gunung Ulu Kali, Genting Highlands

The morning started in what was a 'given'; cloudless blue sky and bright sunshine. An ideal setting for great bird-watching and photography. It was still good almost to the top of Genting Highlands only to see the highest point engulfed with thick clouds and mist! Feeling a little concerned about the cloudy situation we however decided to proceed to the birding location atop Gunung (Mountain)  Kali. There we were resigned to waiting for the thick clouds to clear. The strong easterly wind bouyed our enthusiasm somewhat. Well it took about an hour and a half before the clouds lifted and made the mountainous surroundings visible. 

Gunung Ulu Kali is 1800 meters above sea level and is approximately 58 kms from the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A journey by road takes about 1 hour.

We were greeted by a pair of local residents, the Javan Cuckoo Shrike. This time around they were 'friendlier' and stayed longer. 

Next up were 6 Long-tailed Sibias, comprising of adults and juveniles in tow. Again they stayed longer than usual. The extended stay presented opportunities to capture 'moments' shots like the one below. A family cuddling together.

The Lesser Shortwing is the 'icing on the cake', so to speak, for this trip. On an earlier trip I did get a couple of shots of this very skittish fella. I was hoping to get improved shots this trip. Just waiting for it to show itself took a collective total of about 3 hours! The eventual reward was just a handful of shots which required some serious post editing to mask the 'unnatutral' background. :-) Here are 2 of the pix.