Monday, August 5, 2019

Return of the Black Hornbills

Pair of Black Hornbills, Male on top of tree and Female just below
It was a hot Sunday morning and the White-Bellied Sea-Eagle that soared above the coffeeshop in Segamat, Johor near a freshwater canal, was an incidental raptor that signaled a possibility that the wild birds that I had seen many years ago near the marshlands of my hometown, could be making a comeback. My parents have been in and out of hospitals for the past few months, so birdwatching for me had to be put on hold during the public holidays and even on weekends. However, 45 minutes was all I had to explore the riverside area where I used to bird when I was working in Johor, many years ago. I didn't waste a single minute as I drove like mad to squeeze in as much birdwatching as I could and it was a blissful 45 minutes indeed. Just as I was about to hop back into my car and head back home to ferry my parents out for dinner, a pair of Black Hornbills (Anthracoceros malayanus) flew across the bridge and perched on this bare tree (see picture above). The Oriental Pied Hornbill was heard calling out earlier, and to see the Black Hornbills instead of the Oriental Pied was a pleasant surprise that evening for me. Need to spend some time learning the calls of Black Hornbills which are available through Xeno-Canto website.
More about this riverside area near Segamat, Johor can be read HERE. White-bellied Woodpecker was the first wild bird I encountered when I had stumbled across this riverside in early 2000. I had never seen a White-bellied before so that Woodie really brought endless happiness to me. Not everyday one gets to see one of the largest woodpecker species in the world, here in Malaysia and nearby my hometown.   

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