Monday, December 28, 2015

A Tree, Birdwatching at World Youth Hotel Malacca and Seafood Dinner

Start of Queue
The Queue gets shorter and I can almost SEE the seafood!

Sometimes, birdwatching can be done just looking out of a hotel room window. Armed with my Minox binoculars 10 x 42, my room was on the Second Floor of World Youth Hotel, at eye-level with huge Tree. Shade for my car. Spent 35 minutes admiring the birds and a raptor. Brown Shrike perched on top of the Tree for a few minutes. A pair of Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker flitted about near it. I only saw the flame-like redness on the back of this flowerpecker for a few seconds before both flew off to a nearby Quinine Tree. Brahminy Kite soared above the Tree on that hot Sunday evening. Pink-necked Pigeon was the last bird I saw perched quietly at the Treetop. Left by 6.20pm as Waze estimated it will take half an hour to reach Muara Sungai Duyong, famous for its seafood and nasi lemak specialties. Was there many years ago with my friend from PIKOM, Ong Kian Yew and office colleague, Fara.

I had to literally pick up my Ikan Kembong (Mackerel) with my hand and plonk it into a basket that a kind lady customer had passed to me when she saw that I was "basket-less". I had to dip my hand into one of the buckets containing the squids (for the record - these were not live squids), and luckily when it came to the bamboo clams, the pakcik helped me to scoop those clams onto the weighing scale to verify my 300 grams. Watermelon juice and a packet of nasi lemak arrived earlier than my Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish ie the Mackerel), Deep-fried Squid and Bamboo Clams which were stir-fried with Chilli, Ginger and Onions. It was literally dark when all my dishes arrived.

My seafood dinner bill came to RM32.50. Worth every cent and the wait since Patience is a Virtue:) Ayer Keroh Botanical Park, according to my Waze was 5-minutes drive from World Youth Hotel. Couldn't make it this time as I had to make my way to Multimedia University Malacca campus for work-related event.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Allen J Talk on Brown Bullfinch in Fraser Hill

Mr Allen J updated members of the Wild Bird Club Malaysia about the status of Brown Bullfinch in Fraser Hill, on a very cool and misty Sunday. Brown Bullfinch has not been seen for many years since 1992. He gave us a worldwide preview of this species including the various bullfinches found in Asia and Southeast Asia region. He pinpointed the difference between Brown Bullfinch male and female species from the beautiful illustration in the "Birds of Malay Peninsular" by Robinson and Chasen. I had blogged about this book earlier which had this illustration of the Bullfinch. Possible reasons for the decline of Brown Bullfinch in Fraser Hill and other montane highlands within Malaysia were highlighted by Allen in his final slide.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 2 Birdwatching in Fraser Hill and Informative Talks

Lesser Racket-Tailed Drongo at Jalan Genting near entrance gate to Fraser Hill. Black & Crimson Oriole was flying nearby as well and perched momentarily on same branch with this pair of Drongo. Breakfast at Pine Resort by 6.30am followed by Talk on "Raptors of Malaysia" by Mr Lim Kim Chye at 7.30am that Sunday morning since it was a very misty morning due to dawn drizzle. Short break for us to birdwatch for over two hours before second talk started at 11am. "Brown Bullfinch" by Mr Allen J. Brown Bullfinch has not been seen in Fraser Hill for many years since 1992. Checked out of Pine Resort after lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon birdwatching near Methodist Bungalow, Jelai highland resort, High Pines (where Brown Bullfinch was last seen - quiet Sunday afternoon with no sight nor sound of the bullfinch that day for us), and Jalan Lady Maxwell. Started raining so we decided to call it a day in Fraser Hill and Ang started the drive down to Kuala Kubu Bahru. Whilst driving down new Gap Road, Ang parked his Isuzu nearby one of bridges since we decided to walk a bit, lo and behold............
Flock of Long-Tailed Broadbills appeared and flew across us along New Gap Road. Eight to ten broad bills. One by one, the broadbill flew further up into the trees after we have had a good few minutes observing it. Luckily Raj and Ang were able to get a few pictures before these broad bills disappeared into the forest. Funny looking bird with its very parrot-like head, bulky green body and long tail (hence its first name) with bluish tinge in the middle. Broad bills were wishing us safe journey back home on Day 2, our last day of birdwatching in Fraser Hill. Friendship was also forged with fellow birders from Malaysia including friends from Singapore and India.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 1 Birdwatching in Fraser Hill and Inaugural AGM of Wild Bird Club Malaysia

Attended inaugural Wild Bird Club Malaysia Annual General Meeting on 28th November, Saturday. Parked my car at Kuala Kubu Bahru, and met up with Raj and Ang there. Hopped on Ang's Isuzu Four-Wheel (thanks Ang!) and off we went on an adventure in Fraser Hill. Red-headed trogon, male and female were sighted in Hemmants Trail. Streaked Bulbul seen along 8km long old Gap Road. Alfresco lunch at picnic hut on the way to Pine Resort with home-made curry chicken from Malacca (thanks Raj!).
Fire-tufted Barbet at Jalan Lady Maxwell on a Saturday evening. Had earlier sighted a flock of Starlings flying overhead near exit of Bishop's Trail. Fantastic to learn that our fellow birders had
identified this flock as Purple-Backed Starling during the information-sharing session that Saturday night at Pine Resort. Estimated to be 100+ starlings and this flock was also seen at the new Gap Road.
Started birdwatching in Fraser Hill since 1998. Always feel like my second home. Mountain Scops Owl heard along Old Telekom Loop on Saturday, 28th November 2015. Finally after 17 years of birdwatching in Fraser Hill, I saw this owl for a few minutes before it flew off into the dark of the night. Reached Pine Resort slightly after midnight. Tired but thankful that I got to see the Owl.



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