Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Talang Forest - Hidden Green Gem in Negeri Sembilan

Black-Bellied Malkoha
Meeting up with my friends from Malacca and Negeri Sembilan to birdwatch on a Sunday morning at a forest in Talang really brings back fond memories. I was a workaholic and due to work travel commitments from 2007 to 2013, I didn't go birdwatching regularly. It was a workshop on waders in 2014 (which you can read about HERE) and helping a dazed Black-backed Kingfisher (which is on the cover of my blog) that led me slowly back to the birdwatching community of Malaysia. I started out birdwatching with my friends from Negeri Sembilan and Malacca, not all of whom are as crazy about birds though since some of them are more into macro-photography, and just enjoying the flora and fauna in the forest. These were my friends whom I joined during a trip to Cambodia in 2014. It was not strictly speaking a birdwatching trip but more of a leisurely group trip to explore Siem Reap, Cambodia. However it was during some stops along forest and paddyfields that some of us could not resist whipping out our binoculars to look for birds. The Blue Rock Thrush even showed up outside our bedroom window where we stayed at Siem Reap almost on the dot every morning at 6.45am. I still remember that rock thrush hopping up onto the tip of the rooftops. The Trips to Tonle Sap and a bird sanctuary within the edges of the lake can be read HERE and the visit to Angkor Wat temple HERE.
Bug in the forest that looks like a firefly
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher
Blue-winged Leafbird in thick green foliage
Cream-vented Bulbul extracting nectar from these ball-like flowers
(Photo Credit: Vuthy Taing)

We were greeted by Asian Openbills flying over and above us as they glided gracefully above us and across town when we stopped for breakfast at the sleepy town before Talang. Checklists submitted through eBird Malaysia portal for incidental birding can be viewed HERE and for Talang forest HERE. It grew blisteringly hot by noontime and we bade farewell to each other after having our lunch at town. By chance, I stumbled across a Cendol and Iced Shakes stall in Senawang as I stopped for a quick break at Petronas Station. The Mango Ice-cream Shake was a refreshing cool drink on a blisteringly hot afternoon. The cendol jagung was so-so. Worth checking out this stall when there are traffic jams along North-South Plus Highway.  


Friday, March 1, 2019

Asian Pied Starling and Incidental Birding

Asian Pied Starling, a lone bird was first spotted foraging on the lawn behind Palace of Golden Horses as I was leaving my office which is nearby this iconic hotel in Mines Resort area. Then a pair showed up and I got my camera ready. This Starling is considered a feral species, and was introduced into Peninsular Malaysia. How so remains a mystery to me. It was described as an invasive species in Japan, the impact on which is unknown and apparently this species has a record of breeding in Tokyo. Read more from National Institute for Environmental Studies website HERE.   
The sighting and more pictures of this Starling species recorded in my checklist through eBird Malaysia, and that checklist is available HERE.
Mangrove Pitta (Learn more about this pitta species via eBird HERE) is one bird I'd like to encounter and it would be such a treat to find it when I least expect to. 

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