Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fraser's Hill: Day 2

It was as late as 10.30 when we were finally able to leave our hotel. The birds were still very good and the weather was brilliant, but we also needed to go somewhere else. We decided to go to the "New Road", where Hor Kee found a fruiting tree deep in the valley. This road was once closed because of the big landslide, but is now secretly opened, and we also secretly used it. At the fruiting tree we found a pair of Rhinoceros Hornbills (Buceros rhinoceros) and another pair of Helmeted Hornbills (Buceros vigil), a species not easily found here. All of them were just too far away for my 300mm to reach. However, the scenery was breathtaking and I had a lot of fun walking with my old 350D plus 18-55mm lens taking photos of this and that.
I love taking photos of ferns!

And I was most excited about the tree ferns. They're huge!
After watching the hornbills at New Road, we decided to try our luck at the Long-tailed Broadbill's nest in one of the trails which I've already forgotten the name. We waited for about half an hour but the birds didn't turn up, so we decided to go out and have lunch. We did find our first Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus) of the trip inside the trail though. After lunch, we went up to the famous Telekom Loop, where I got my first Cutia there many years ago. Birds were a bit quiet, but we did manage to see a pair of Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis) fledglings perching closely by the roadside.
Long-tailed Broadbill's nest
Glossy Swiftlet's nesting colony
At Telekom Loop, there's a big nesting colony of the Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila) just by the roadside. The birds occupied a small abandoned building and gathered together in a large number. The bird is a scarce resident in the southernmost part of Thailand, and I've only seen it in Thailand once in Hala Bala, so I had a great time taking photos of them at close range here. They usually appear all blackish when perching at nests, but they actually have white underparts. It was a real challenge for me to get a decent photo showing the white belly!

Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila)

While taking photos of the swiftlets, Mam came and told me that there's a Fire-tufted Barbet sitting in a fruiting tree nearby. This bird is one of the Fraser's Hill's specialties, which we all aimed to see and photograph. It was also recorded in the southernmost part of Thailand, but is very rare. Although the fruiting tree was a bit too high up on the slope, the bird was showing quite well. It also has one of the strangest calls which sounds just like a cicada! After taking photos of the barbet, we walked up along the road, where Mr Mark spotted 2 greenish lumps in a bush just by the roadside, which turned out to be 2 Common Green Magpie fledglings. They were just so cute, and it was my first time to see the fledgling of this species. We had fun watching and photographing them for about 10 minutes before their extremely shy parents came and brought them away down the hill.
Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)

Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis robinsoni) fledglings
Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)
Male Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki)
After the green magpie fledglings have gone, I walked further along the road to follow my father. Along the road I found a small flock of Grey-throated Babblers, Mountain Fulvettas and a couple of Black-browed Barbets (Megalaima oorti). One of the barbets seemed to be looking for a place to build its nest. I also came across a beautiful male Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki) along the way. Unfortunately, the bird was not so obliging, so I only got a few shots of it. My father said he also saw a few Rufous-browed Flycatchers along the way as well. After we finished our birding at Telekom Loop, we decided to go back and rest at the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. I then spent my time taking photos of the usual stuff in front of the hotel for the second time of the day.
Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)
Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis)
Blue-winged Siva (Siva cyanouroptera sordidior)

Female Silver-eared Mesia (Mesia argentauris tahanensis)


Phil said...

A brilliant series there Tony. Loved the landscape shots and the i guess that Long-tailed Broadbill nest just blends into the landscape too - good camouflage. Like all those green birds that blend in too, the magpie, the barbet and that superb Streaked Spiderhunter. What a great spot to bird!

Stu said...

Great shots there Ayuwat. My fave is the Mesia.

The Mugimaki looks much nicer than the dowdy immatures we get in Japan in autumn........

John said...

I've seen the swiftlets in that garage, or whatever it is !
Wonderful to see them again, thanks !

Peng said...

I like your photographs of the ferns. They would make lovely wallpapers. If I'm not mistaken the trail you went into is the Hemnant Trail.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Thank you all!
Siew Peng> Thanks! I just forgot to note down the name of it.

Friend of HK said...

The Glossy Swiftlet nests are amazing! I have never seen so many of them before. Thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

You have so amazing bird around. The swiflet colony is amazing but the green magpie is definitively my fav!