Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ulu Kali Genting Highlands and Migratory Season 2018

Black-throated Sunbird, female and male
Ulu Kali is a well-kept secret of Genting Highlands. Nestled at 1,000m+ above sea level in the mountain ranges of Peninsular Malaysia, this area houses a radar station with the last green remnants of montane forest located nearby a place more well-known for international concerts, shopping malls, theme parks (20th Century Fox being the latest to open) and most famously - a casino, the first to operate in Malaysia under "Uncle" Lim Goh Tong, whom every Chinese in Malaysia would dream of being related to. Montane birds can still be found in Ulu Kali and the migratory season is already in full swing with the likes of Grey Wagtail, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (also known as Korean Flycatcher), and an unidentified mystery raptor that flew past the distant horizon.      
Rufous-winged Fulvettas were very active that Saturday morning, hopping alongside the undergrowth before catching the insects on the wing. These fulvettas were very gregarious, not staying still for long as they hopped onto the fences alongside the radar station, some on the mossy grounds before flying off into the opposite side of the road. Some snapshots of the Rufous-winged Fulvettas captured "in flighty and hoppy action" that morning are as below:- 

One of the fulvettas had even hopped onto the Police box inside the radar station. This flock looked to be gorging themselves on the insects, together with the Grey Wagtails, Mountain Leaf Warblers, Large Cuckooshrike, Asian Brown Flycatcher and Mountain Bulbul. 
The Siberian Blue Robin turned up only for around a minute, inside the radar station. My friend and Wader Sifu Ang Teck Hin managed to snap a picture of this migrant male. His picture has been entered in the eBird checklist for Ulu Kali, the link of which is provided below.
Chestnut-tailed Minla playing Peekaboo behind this fruiting shrub
Chestnut-tailed Minla finally revealed

Whilst my friend Ang and myself settled in for lunch, which consisted of Nasi Kerabu (for me) and Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (for Ang), a Peregrine Falcon decided to fly by the horizon. Its bullet-size shape and flight patterns are so fascinating. A pair of Peregrine Falcons were seen in Goh Tong Jaya area and my write-up on this pair is available HERE. Blythe's Hawk-Eagle also turned up that mid-morning earlier, circling above the mountain range. Its high-pitch calls were distinctively different from that of the Crested Serpent Eagle. The Eagle was the first raptor we saw that morning as we approached Ulu Kali.   

Full checklist of birds seen at Ulu Kali, Genting Highlands entered into eBird Malaysia is available HERE.

On a separate and non-nature related topic, Genting Highlands Resort is operated by the Genting group, a well-known brand originating from Malaysia that has registered their own top level name HERE.

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