Saturday, March 02, 2013

Malaysia Birding, Day 4 - Filling the Gap

We still had the whole morning to spare before we go to Kuala Lumpur for our flight back home. As we had decided yesterday, we planned to tackle the Hemmant trail. Our agreement was as soon as we encounter a bird wave then we go back after that. Quite honestly, my wife and I were no longer expecting to see any more lifers within the planned two hour excursion into the trail.

Serendipity, however, happened as soon as we stepped out of our hotel. I saw a largish bird alight on the tree right in front of us. Curiosity aroused, I followed the dark object move up the trunk (the sun wasn't fully up yet). 

"What is it?" Cynthia asked noticing the smile on my face.

"Lesser Yellownape!" I pointed to the woodpecker. "Another lifer for us!"

Our luck did not end at the Shazan Hotel parking lot. At the entrance to the Hemmant trail, the Rufous-browed Flycatcher provided a deja vu (shall I say, deja view?)

Inside the trail, the hoped for wave never came. Well, it did about several meters from the entrance as were already on the way out. There was one bird in the group (composed mostly of Mountain Fulvettas and Mountain Tailorbirds) that kept warbling but stayed under the leaves most of the time. Patience only gave us documentary shots of another lifer, the Chestnut-capped Warbler.

At the trees overlooking the golf course, we spotted some dark birds. There was a female Black-and-Crimson Oriole, an all black, unassuming bird which we had seen before at the Jelai area. Then a flash of red! At last, the male came into view showing the red breast for which it was named.

We walked jauntily back to the hotel, packed our luggage and waited for the car that will take us to the airport. When we arranged for the transport we asked the hotel manager if it was ok to request the driver to stop if we see a bird along the way, particularly at the Gap Road. He smiled and said the driver was already used to transporting birders and that stopping for a bird would not be a problem.

Noon and we're off. Unfortunately that was the time of day when only a few birds were active. Even at the Gap Road - a renowned birding place. Serendipity still happened when we saw a pair of Scarlet Minivets, our final lifer for the trip.

As we approached the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, I asked the driver if we could still stop whenever we see some urban birds to which he happily agreed. So we got pictures of the Common Myna and the White-vented (Javan) Myna. Gap-fillers they may be, but still interesting to see them in the city.

Common Myna
White-vented Myna

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