Whos keeping an eye on me....

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Far out in the East....

Wow.... a birding trip to Asia. 2 weeks in Malaysia on a birding holiday.....without a guide! What could possibly go wrong? Well in all honestly nothing did go wrong..... all the logistics were very smooth, the company was good and 200+ new life birds, easy peasy.

Week 1:
Kuala Selengor in the lowlands and then upto Frasers Hill at around 1600mtrs.

Before I start I will quickly get out of the way the sad fact that I saw the best owls on the planet (maybe a slight exageration, but only slight).... but I didnt have my camera, and the guide couldnt believe how dumb this was... he had a Buffy Fish Owl in the spotlight for 5 minutes at a range of 20ft.... looking at us and I didnt have my camera! I will never forget those 5 minutes.....  a while later we had a Barred Eagle Owl in the spotlight at a range of..... 20ft......anyway back to the .....more mundane, ok not so mundane but nothing will ever compare to those 2 cameraless moments (oh why did I leave the camera????.

Day 1
Travelling from Kuala Lumpur was always going to be stop start.... whats that ? its a crow...stop I need a photo. Well it could have been but we decided to make some headway and leave the expressway behind before we started to get too excited. The first stop was actually for coffee, I sat outside the cafe watching the Tree Sparrows but could hear a few other sounds from around the back, we paid up and ventured to the rear where I quickly got 7 new life birds.... Common Myna, White Throated Kingfisher, Zebra Dove, Pacific Swallows, Asian House Martins, Brown Shrike and a lovely pair of Olive Backed Sunbirds.


and She .....
Further on along the roadside the first raptor caught our eye... a Black shouldered Kite sat atop of a dead tree eating prey...... I think I maybe spooked it as after a few seconds it juggled with its prey and lost it

a lost catch and rightly miffed!

We soon reached Kuala Selengor, over head Brahminy Kites were in good numbers, soaring right above our hotel

Other birds soon followed ... and in good numers too: Zebra Doves, Oriental Magpie Robin, Yellow Vented Bulbul, Black Naped Oriele, Spotted Doves, Blue Tailed Bee-eaters..... the nicest suprise being this Sundra Pygmy Woodpecker that landed right outside the Chalet!

other bird images from day 1

Ashy Tailorbird

Striated Heron

Scaly breasted Munia

however the highlight of the day possibly goes to the Long Tailed Nightjar that we had in the spotlight sat on the fence of the hotel gounds. However at 03.30am I could have happily strangled it as it constantly woke me with its call.... that was so loud I am sure it was camped out on the veranda!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A scarce garden visitor

Much to my delight this male Reed Bunting has been visiting my garden for 3 consecutive days

It is usualy common in reedbeds and open areas such as moorland and cultivation. However during harsh winters they are known to feed from garden bird tables, so it was as much a suprise to find this fella on a glorious sunny spring day..... even better to see it is still visiting after 3 days
Happy Days indeed