Explored Sungai Chodan on a late Sunday morning as I took the road less traveled which is the exit from Paya Pulai towards Muar, as I made my journey back to Kuala Lumpur from Segamat, Johor after the week-long Chinese New Year 2016 holidays. Kampung Chodan is the nearest settlement to this riverine area, and it is accessible via trunk road from Labis or from Muar. Taman Rekreasi Kuala Sungai Chodan signage on the bridge as pictured below. It was a Hot Sunday mid-morning birding stop as I had not visited this area for many years now due to work commitments in KL and 2015 heavy floods in this area caused by the unusually heavy rains in January and February that year. I drove past a Sugar cane plantation on the way to Sg Chodan Recreational park. No inner roads to reach this Sugar cane plantation so I was unable to walk closer and scout for bird life in the sugar cane fields. It looked to be a relatively small field of sugar cane, still jade green. Doesn't look to be a large-scale plantation compared to the sugar cane fields of Chuping, Perlis. No factory in sight. This sugar cane field looks to be on private land. Used to see corns being grown in this area of Paya Pulai.
Spotted Little Green Pigeon perched high on tree that was alongside the road above. The pigeon's wing and underparts were a deep maroon colour, and it had a lovely orange on its neck, breast and a green body. Heard Oriental Pied Hornbills and saw one flying across the river. Also saw three big flocks of Cattle Egret flying across the bridge towards the other side of the River. Crested Serpent Eagle was soaring in the sky above the secondary forest. An Unidentified Accipiter was soaring near to this Eagle. It had distinct white underparts. Comparatively smaller than the Eagle and had very rounded wings. Fluttering and soaring as it flew above the forest so can only guess that it is a either a Sparrowhawk or a Goshawk. I have seen Crested Goshawk in Segamat Country Club in 2015 but I cannot confirm that it was this species of Accipiter that was soaring next to the Eagle that day in Sungai Chodan. Feeling frustrated in my car that day not being able to confirm this Accipiter:( Three big flocks of Egrets (possible Cattle - missed the colours of its beak. Black legs & feet, with Creamy White Plumage) flew across the bridge to the other side of the River.
Have seen Wild Boar foraging among the grasses in picture above a few years ago. Flooded road to the other side of the bridge. Use to see otters (Mum and Babies) in the quieter parts of the river.
River has risen to almost same level as the road alongside it. Heavy rains in Segamat before and during Chinese New Year 2016 week. News of heavy floods in Malacca (Alor Gajah), Negeri Sembilan and Johor (Segamat) that first week of February 2016. Yellow-bellied Prinia was singing away in the acacia bush as I drove back up towards the bridge.
Tarred road extended beyond the bridge to the other side of the River. Section of that road was underwater from under the bridge onwards. That was the section that led to the quieter (and undisturbed) parts of the river. Lovely (though late morning) birdwatching moment for me on 14 February 2016 Sunday, which was Valentine's Day.