Thursday, December 15, 2016

Butterworth Penang - wader watching at Bagan Belat

Little Egret amongst the Great Egrets with a Grey Heron just about to land, in the waters of Bagan Belat. This stretch of the beach in Butterworth, Penang is a haven for waders. Didn't venture further to Teluk Air Tawar to explore the beach there.
View of Penang Island in the distance. Was wader watching under the shades of Warung Kulat which was closed since Monday was a public holiday in Malaysia. My late grand-aunt used to reside in Butterworth. I remembered visiting her home during my school holidays. My maternal aunts took us to the beach in Butterworth to dig for clams and bought us Pasembor for tea. The scenery in Bagan Belat brought back fond childhood memories for me. My eldest aunt is now residing in Perth, Australia. 
Solitary Brown-headed Gull amongst the waders. This gull is significantly larger than the terns that were out and about that Monday afternoon in Bagan Belat. Choy Wai Mun has a much clearer picture of this Gull in his blog where he writes about Bagan Belat below:-

The Penang Birder: The one that didn't get away: Air Hitam Dalam has been struggling to return back to its former self after the uprooting of one of its main trees. This morning’s birding ...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest on a Sunday

Just back from attending Asian Bird Fair 2016 in Jingshan county, Hubei province, China. Heard so much about Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest and the birds there so when there was news of Pin-tailed Parrotfinches visiting this forest, went to look for them on Sunday morning, 4th December 2016. Left KL around 6am and reached Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest at 6.50am. Had to pay toll at Batu 9 Toll Plaza and take the immediate exit on the left after this toll plaza. Signboard to Hulu Langat town was too small so had to rely on Waze. Plonked myself on a moss-covered bench in the forest and waited. Oriental Magpie-Robin was the first to appear that morning at 7.05am. The flock of Pin-tailed parrotfinch was sighted from 7.15am onwards, mixing with a flock of White-bellied Munia. Pure bliss for me to oberve these birds (particularly the Parrotfinch:) for 45 minutes. Parrotfinches are such flighty birds, flying about quite high above and around the bamboo grove. Flock was feeding on the bamboo seeds and don't stay perched for very long. Parrotfinches are slightly bigger than Munias, primarily due to the former's long pin-shaped tail. A Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher joined this flock at the grove of flowering bamboo. Last bird sighted was the Grey-breasted Spiderhunter feeding on this flowering plant (see right picture) at 8am. I left the forest by 8.20am. There is a fee of RM1.05 (including GST) charged for each car that drives into the recreational forest. However this place looks better maintained compared with Ampang recreational forest. Didn't venture further to look for the Rufous-Collared Kingfisher, Dusky Broadbill which could be found in Sungai Congkak forest area as well since there were errands to run that Sunday. Definitely plan to visit Sungai Congkak recreational forest again since Gunung Nuang is nearby. Looks like it has to be a full day trip - hornbills have been sighted in the foothills of Gunung Nuang! Will post pictures in Facebook. I have entered the sightings including that of the Pin-tailed Parrot finch in eBird Malaysia



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