Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Endau Rompin National Park

Endau Rompin National Park, Kampung Peta - 7/6/2008 - 9/6/2008

How does Endau Rompin National Park came to birth
Endau Rompin being identified in 1976-1980 the 3rd Malaysian Plan as the proposed site for the second National Park in peninsular Malaysia. This place is poorly explored, not much scientific information has been obtained then. Moreover at that time this patch of lush forest is also going through on heavy logging activities.

After a great lengthy discussion over the years an official permission to carry out scientific expedition was being obtained from Johor and Pahang state governments. In the initial stage there is no fund existed for this expedition exploration. The MNS president who was also the President of FRIM then makes the first move. He feel that in order for it to be a successful expedition it must involve more peoples and allow them to feels and witness themselves of the great diversity of flora and fauna found within.

On Apr 30,1985 Dr Kiew who was being appointed as the expedition leader lead a few others went in to select a site for the base camp. To officiate this Heritage Scientific Expedition with only Rm10,000 initial funds from MNS. On June 2 1985, our first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman flagged off 3 vehicles from his residence to Endau Rompin for this Herritage Scientific Expedition. This marked officially the start of the Scientific Heritage Expedition. As the news spread contributions of cash in kind, canned food, toiletries, useful tools and as well as loan 4WD pours in to facilitates this big nation expedition. Over the one year (1985-1986), the base camp is constantly being flood in by peoples. Scientist, school children, universities students and many more volunteers to conduct short and long-term experiment, nature photography and collecting specimens of fungi, soil, rocks and as well as listing of animals that can be found in Endau Rompin being lead by some appointed expedition leader/scientist.

The Landscape of Endau Rompin
Today this Endau Rompin National Park is covering an area of 48,906 hectars or 800 sq. km. It is one of the few remaining lowland forest in Malaysia. As one travelled on the Jeep Track (56km from the Kahang Park office) leading to the Park in Kg Peta, you would noticed that a long stretch of oil palm plantations, secondary forest, Orang asli settlements at kampung Peta. This remote orang asli (aboriginal) settlement in Johor are the Jakun or could refer as orang hulu. This National Park have rocks formation dating back in 248 million years, it comprises of some sandstone plateu, waterfalls, rivers (selai, Jasin & Endau), pristine rainforest, secondary forest and a heath forest, rubber tree plantations. Endau-Rompin is mostly hilly with some prominent sandstone plateaus. It also happens to be the watershed of several rivers such as Endau River, Selai River and Jasin River.

What can be found at Endau Rompin
Botanists have found many new species of flora and fauna along the stream and on the nearby hills in Endau-Rompin National Park. The most spectacular of the discoveries of this endemic fan palm species Livistona Endauensis which seems to dominating plants on the plateau of Gunung Janing Barat. Others interesting plants is the walking stick palm Phychorapis Singaporensis. Besides this is also have many varieties of toadstools/fungi, orchids, herbs and medicinal plants.

This lush and relatively untouched remaining tropical lowland rainforest is also the housing the large animals. Tigers, elephants, wild boar and the sumatra rhinoceros which is highly protected and endangered can be find here. Researcher also found this forest also is the home of the world smallest dragonfly (Nannophya Pygmea). Regarding birds, Endau-Rompin is home to over 250 species of birds ranging from hornbills, Argus Pheasant, Eagles to the smaller passerine birds.

Up to date there still lies numerous hidden treasures waiting to be discovered from here. There are still conservationist/researchers visit this national park and off and on they would have new discoveries of plants, insects, frogs and mammals. The diversity of the habitats and species found here is of major conservation significance.

More details about this place can be found at Important Bird Area Factsheet at.
For Region pls choose Asia and Country Malaysia, then look at Endau Rompin.

What are the interesting site.
Part of Endau-Rompin's attraction is that the park is intrinsically tied up with numerous legends and myths handed down through the years. One such legend is that of Upeh Guling, which is located midway to the Buaya Sangkut waterfall. This Buaya sangkut waterfall got his name from the Orang Hulu Legend of it used to lived a crocodile above the waterfall. One day it went down river and it was stuck and trapped by rocks.

The heath forest is sill consider a mystical/scared place by the orang hulu. It could be they realised that the vegetation in the heath forest is much different. Heath forest is a type of tropical moist forest found in areas with acidic, sandy soils that are extremely nutrient-poor. For such conditions you would notice dominated by trees of small trunk diameter or stunted plants. For such low nutrient soil the carnivorous Pitcher plant is the best surviving plants.

Upeh Guling is another mystical place where the cascades gush force from the waters downwards causes the softer rocks to wash out and over the years some pools "bath tubs" are form.

Sungai Kinchin and Sungai Kemapan is the fishing ground if you are interested in fishing. Padang Tujuh is the site of vast varieties of bonsai trees, where Kelapa Gading Cave which is 25 metres high, is situated in the midst of a waterfall.

How to get there.
As this National Park is only established recently the road access to it (about 56Km) is not a nice roads compare to out 1st National Park. For Endau Rompin there are two entry points to the park kampung peta and Kampung Selai. It is preferably arranged 4WD transfer to the park from the Park Office, this is due to the rough stretch of 56km would be too much to be bear by a normal car. The 4WD would travel along the dirt tracks that is used to be the old logging track pass by rubber, oil palm plantations, orang asli settlement. This rough journey on the road takes 2 hrs.

To head to the park office in Kahang
by own vehicle
Use the North South Highway exit at Ayer Hitam, proceed and follow the road direction to Kluang/Mersing. That would leads you to Kahang town which is the midway to Mersing.The Endau Rompin National Sign Board would leads you to the Park office at 11, Jln Bawal 1. Tmn Kahang Baru. 86700 Kahang, Kluang. Johor Tel: 07-7882812 Fax 07-7882813 which is on the ground floor of a 2 story shop lot. Entry permit and registration need to done at this park office.

If you are driving on the highway with the speed of 80/90 kmph from Sg Besi toll to Ayer Hitam would takes 3.5 hrs. Ayer Hitam to Kluang - 40 mins and from Kluang to Kahang - 45 mins.

by Train
From Kuala Lumpur Sentral Train Station, there are daily train stops at Kluang. Prior arrangement need to be made with the Park staff to transfer you to the national park.

By bus
From KL get to Kluang. Kluang is one of Johor's main transportation junction. Buses are frequent from JB to Kluang. From here, grab a taxi to Kahang. Make prior arrangements with the park officer at endau rompin national park on transportation from Kahang into the park.

There is no other accomodation beside what is being provided by the Park. There are a few types of accomodations to suit everyone. You can choose from dormitory, family chalet, standard chalet and camping.

For more information, please contact: National Parks (Johor) Corporation. JKR 475, Jalan Bukit Timbalan,80000 Johor, Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia. Phone : 07- 223 7471 Fax : 07 223 7472

My trips reports
Day One 7/6/2008
The journey from KL to kahang park office was a smooth one despite the weather condition is not a very promising for field trip. At 10:09am while all of us in the trip leader's car car dwell in a deep conversation. Suddenly a loud "pupppf" sound... OOps the windscreen start to crack into a fish net/spider's web design.. This was due to a small stones hit the windscreen. The driver is going through a little bit pressure then as the view is very much obscure. He quickly slow down the speed to 50/60km per hr. Anyhow we managed to make our way safely to the park office at Kahang. Once reached there I quickly walked into the park office to request assistance from the park staff to source out which nearby shops that this about to shattered windscreen can be replaced. To my surprise I saw a familiar face the park manager whom I first met in year 2005 at Hutan Lagenda another site of the Johor Park which he previously was based. Unfortunately there is no car workshop that would be open until Monday in this small town.

After a quick lunch and registration all 24 of us are were assigned to five 4WD to transfer us to the National Park. It rained very heavily through out the 2 hrs journey. The jeep track (laterite road) was wet and slippery for sure can't be accessible by the normal vehicles. It continues to pour even when we reached the park. I do recall all of them very excitely got down to step on this 2nd national park once we reached there even though it was raining very heavily except 3 person. I'm one of them. Through this journey I have learn how important to pack our clothings into a plastic bag before re-pack it inside the luggage bag due to the condition of the road that this 4WD have to go, it may have have loosen certain parts. This would enable rain water to sip through. A few of our teammates ended up having wet clothings. The humidity of this forest may need longer time to dry up the wet clothings.

The journey by the 4WD you would notice that you would travel on a few bridges. About reaching to the Park a wooded bridge due to the big monsoon flood has washed it away. The local forks together with the park staff temporary erected a floating bridge made of large -diameter bamboo lashed together with thick ropes to enable crossing of this river. With this condition of course it would not a suitable terrain for a normal car. However it seems that a new and solid bridge would be ready by this november.I opt for a bed space in the dormitory. We seems to be living luxuriously in this clean nice big dorm. During our visit the ladies dorm the 1st night we only have 4 of us. I have in mind to have a harder bed, therefore it is one of my brilliant ideas to stack up 2 mattress.. anyhow it does not work. I wish I can lay the mattress on the ground but it is the pathway. For 2 night I seems to sleep like a log hardly turn and toss.
This is the toilets and bathroom meant for the dormitory, area for female and male. NO hot shower but in terms of cleanliness I can rate it "A+".Every bed space in the dorm are equip with a locker. This remind me of my school days where I stay in a hostel for a period of time.If exploring nature is not your cup of tea and you discoverd it is too late to turn back cause definitely you cannot trek back 56km back to the main road. This civilised domestic cat could be your playmate. The canteen takers have a few more others for your choice. :- I found this creature crawling on the road. Moth do comes by as well.. This I found it resting at the window of our dorm.
Kak Noor found this while she had a walk to the orang hulu settlements. Beside this she saved a river terrapin from the cooking pot by purchasing it and later releasing it at a safer place.
The 1st day we are having free and easy programme. Even though it is still raining many of them could not wait to get out to the field to clock their lifers and see more birds. Some put on the raincoat and umbrella walking up and down with their binoculars. I'm not afraid to get wet after the most unforgettable experience I had when I trek down from mount kinabalu a few years back. I do recall that day it rained very heavily the trail seems to be a small ravine, slippery. I wore 2 layer of clothings and pants as well as I have my rain-coat on. I was still shivering in cold then. Nowadays it is the equipments that I lug around my camera could not withstand rains, therefore I find a nice shelter spot to wait for birds to come by. I noticed this..AAArh what do you all think it should be ?
I noticed this Saraca (Gapis) tree blooming, there are 2 spp of Spiderhunter seems to frequent here (Grey Breasted Spiderhunter, Little Spiderhunter).By position myself at that shelter, I have Little Spiderhunter, Ruby Cheeked Sunbird, Cream Vented Bulbul, Yellow Bellied Flowerpecker, Scarlet Minivet (a flock of them), Leafbird spp, Oriental Magpie Robin, Grey Breasted Spiderhunter.

Rained seems to subside, I started to venture out. I noticed this Yellow-Breasted Flowerpecker feeding on this big fruit. When they feeds on a smaller berry they would pick it up in their beak and squeeze out the juice and they will discard the skin away. For a berry in this size it takes a small nibble at a time.

Another small nibble. It takes it time enjoying it's meal.
Besides this Yellow Breasted Flowerpecker, I also sighted a Rufous-Tailed Tailorbird. The sun is about to set, lighting is getting lower I packed off and get ready for dinner. The menu for our dinner catered from the Park's Caterer is chicken rice,fruits and vegetables. The rice cooked with a few spice looks very appetizing and smell good, I have never tasted rice cook in this manner. To my surprise I have never seen a chicken over cooked in this manner as well. Fried Chicken marinate with honey. The sugar content would turn black and burn under very hot oil. Haiyah ..she should consult us on the way how the chicken should be cook Arh... Despite all this we just finish whatever laid on the table.

After dinner we have a short briefing by our trip leader on the assignment of members into a smaller group and introduced them the field trips leader. I'm one of the field trip leader :-). After that our trip leader wish to show us Buffy-fish Owl where most of the time it would frequent at a certain spot. All 24 of us marched down... well chances of seeing an owl with so many is certainly a very slim chance. No Owl ..time to retired for bed..

Day two 8/6/2008
I was suddenly awake at about 5am. I heard someone said this statement " The Buffy-Fish Owl is there.. ". I quickly grab my pair of spectacles, my birding gears still in my pyjamas rush to the site. Buffy Fish Owl perched majestically on a branch. This is my second sighting of a Buffy-Fish Owl, unfortunately the lightings is too low for me to capture any record shot of this owl.

Johor Park never fails to extend great hospitality to me in every of my visit to their parks. Thank you very much from the deep of my heart. To safe us the energy from walking up to NERC a 4km walk per way, the park staff ferry us to the spot. The 1st batch of peoples climb into this lorry at about 6:30am. I and some others friends took the second trip.
Birding can be done along this jeep track. I wonder what deep discussion there are into. :-)
This is one of the spot at NERC. NERC would be open only after it is fully furnished. We likes the environment here. We told the park manager that we would be coming back again but he have to arrange to accomodate us at NERC.
Me and my teammates trek down back to the Visitor Complex as some of them wish to be at the lunch table at 12noon. It was a glommy wet day, we have drizzle off and on. Most of the time I have to put a black big plastic bag over my gears to shield it from rain. Along the way we have Drongo Cuckoo, White Rumped Shama, Moustached Babbler, Maroon Woodpecker, Scarlet Minivet, Spotted Fantail, Blue Winged Leafbird, Dark Throated Oriole, Stripe-Tit Babbler, Hairy Backed Bulbul, Banded Woodpecker, Grey Bellied Bulbul, Rufous Piculet, Yellow Breasted Flowerpecker, Dark Necked Tailorbird, White Bellied Yuhina, Crested Serpent Eagle, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Rafles Malkoha, Black-Capped Babbler. I still can remember very well as I'm about to have a good look at a Babbler suddenly pop out to the road. The lighting of that time is quite low, but looking at this jizz of the bird my brain map it to the bird that was my lifer at Burmese Pool, Taiping. I suspect that bird it is the Black-Capped Babbler. Unexpectedly another bird fly in an perched very nicely at the dry twig that lied on the ground. I do recall very vividly that the bird have white head, brown body... it is not the white headed munia... AARRRH I got a lifer a White-Hooded Babbler. Lifers only comes once a while for me. Unfortunately I did not managed to take any of it's photos but I console myself that I have to leave it to another time where I met up with this species again.

Along the way we noticed somewhat like a destroyed bird nest, trampled vegetation and some uprooted wild ginger plants. Well my friends their mind are all flooded with everything related to birds. I looked at it I do recall saw somewhat similar to this at Panti Forest. I do recall this Thai birder educate me "this is elephant dung...ok.." This is a fresh looking dung... What dung do you think it is.. cow...? Buffalo ?Just halfway back to the Visitor centre, our team being the first team who trek back heard snapping sound (Peet.. PEET ... PAT.. PAT), shrub moving vigorously, trees moving as well. OOOh my we have wild Elephants just about 11-12 feet away from us only. There is only one layer of low shrub that separate us from them. None of us scream.. I did not either. We instruct each other in our team to walk off cause we would not know weather this animals would charge out. I dare not have any direct eye to eye contact with this herd of wild elephants.. I walked as fast as possible.. I keep remind myself I should not be running and keeps uttering a small prayer to GOD.. God. Almighty please help to keep them there 1st.. don't let them come out.. I really scared. If you asked me now how many wild elephants are there ... I not sure .. maybe 3 maybe 4 . All I know I have a small glimpse of their greyish body and suspect that they are Asian Elephants.

After we walked away from that spot, we heard of a faning sound (the flight sound of a hornbill). We saw it landed and perched. We all scaned through... Aaarhh I found it .. it is here.I have a a quick look at it's casque.. and then I look at it's eyes OOOps why is so different, the eyes suppose to be red or whitish ..the casque should be long. I quickly pronounce out "Rhinoceros" to my teammates.

Well we have a short discussion about this sightings with a few pair of binoculars looking at it..
And the conversation sound something like this. Definitely is not the Great cause it does not have the wing bands.. Oriental Pied maybe.. Huh.. Oriental Piep Hornbill in this big size ? Ok maybe Oriental Pied.. but in here ?
How old is this bird ? I not sure I guess it just fledged not too long
Suddenly an Adult Rhinocerous Hornbill fly in to attend to this juvenile. We witness the Male Adult bird regurgitating berry one by one to this juvenile.
It is doing stretching exercise. I just said this statement..."wait don't tell me such a beautiful forest where are the trogon..."
And he appeared, I could not believe myself that I can called out bird..

After lunch we trek out again. I wonder what are the rest of my team mates starring at. OOh a Black and Yellow Broadbill feeding it. Female Cuckoo normally would carry their egg to drop into some spp nest and before they do that they would destroy their host nest. They would fool their host to raise their youngs as themselves. (Brood-parasitism).
To know more about brood-parasitism click on below url

OOi...Ooi you seems to be know how to preen. Aren't you too big a burder for your foster parents ?.
Another look at it..
For this Cuckoo photos I should thank Dr Fong's wife for allowing me to stand at her spot.
After this Indian Cuckoo flew off.. I saw a Green Broadbill. I pointed to my teammates.. Green Broadbill..
The White-Rumped Shama sweet melodious calls would echo in the forest as you walk along the jeep track.
A few of us continue to trek...and finaly I managed to keep track with the rest of the teams at NERC. By the time I'm there.. I quite tired. We rested for a while as the sun is about to set we trek backed to the Visitor Center. Along the way we have Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Blue Winged Leafbird.

After a good bath, we all met up at the dinner table. For tonight I eating whatever I pack along, I'm "chicken out" by yesterday chicken menu.. :-) . After dinner we sat down to share our sighting .. We have a total of 99 spp saw and heard..Someone saw Red-Billed Malkoha... AAAArh I wish I'm at the spot and wish to photograph it as well.. Well I have to be contented with my lifer "White Hooded Babbler".

The Park Manager told us that a possibilties of another species of Owl who use to frequent NERC. Well I yet to hear i'ts call and have it as lifer.. I booked a place and jump into that interest group. We reached NERC in pitch darkness, no stars, no moon.. We sat at the jetty to wait. Owl did not turn out but we have the Great Jungle Frog calls far-away. As we drive along the jeep track back to the Visitor Center,..sudenly we heard a load groan sound of a wild elephant. The park manager quickly switch off the engine of his vehicle and we wait in silence for a while.. Silent no more groans and he switch on the jeep engine to continue the journey... Haiyooh I encountered Wild Elephant twice in a day.. This time I'm not scared compares with my first encounter much earlier.

Day three 9/6/2008
Today we only have up to 11am in the field. Today the sky looks quite a promising day.. no more rain clouds. I heard a few spp of Babbler very vocal. Moustached, Horsefield's and Chesnut-Rumped Babbler. I trek up and down around the spot having in mind that one friendly Babbler of such spp appear for me to have a good looks.. but..but they are very cozy inside the shrub.

We have Chestnut-Naped Forktail, Red-Bearded Bee eater..,Bubul Spp. I walked ahead of them to another spot. As I stand at that spot I realised some movements I picked up my binoculars and scan at that clump of ferns.. AAAAArhh.. that is what I'm looking for ... brown top..chestnut rumped.
With the above Babbler.. I seems to have a satisfied field trip... I trek back to be with the rest of the teammates. Along the way we have flocks of White Bellied Yuhina, 1 Purple Throated Sunbird male, a few Scarlet Minivet.. If your interest on bird is not as great as I am.. at this patch of forest you also can find butterflies.
Below are some of the peoples in our trips.. I thank you for company. I really have a good time birding together with you all. Hope that you could accompany me again in some future trips.. :-) In the meantime takes care... I wish to thank Liung too for allowing me to share out some of the photos taken by him.
We have a total sightings of 101 spp.

Crested Serpent Eagle, Emerald Dove, Little Green Pigeon,Thick Billed Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Blue Crowned Hanging Parrot, Drongo Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo, Chestnut Breasted Malkoha, Greater Coucal, Raffle's Malkoha,Red-Billed Malkoha,Green-Billed Malkoha, Buffy Fish Owl, Grey Rumped Tree Swiflets, Pacific Swallow, Silver Rumped Swiflets, Scarle-Rumped Trogon, Cinamon Rumped Trogon, White-Throated Kingfisher, Blue throated Bee Eater, Red- Beared Bee Eaters, Black Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Blue-Eared Barbet, Banded Woodpecker, Crimson-Winged Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Rufous Piculet, Orange-Backed Woodpecker, White-Bellied Woodpecker, Common Flameback,Banded Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Green Broadbill, Black and Red Broadbill, Blue Winged Leafbird, Great Iora, Greater Green Leafbird, Green Iora, Lesser Green Leafbird, Cream Vented Bulbul, Grey-Bellied Bulbul, Grey-Cheeked Bulbul,Hairy Backed Bulbul,Red-Eyed Bulbul,Spectacled Bulbul, Streaked Bulbul, Bronze Drongo, Greater-Racket Tailed Drongo, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Dark-Throated Oriole, Black-Naped Oriole, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Black-Capped Babbler, Black-Throated Babbler, Brown Fulvetta, Chestnut-Rumped Babbler, Chestnut Winged Babbler, Moustached Babbler, Rufous Crowned Babbler, Rufous-Fronted Babbler, Scally Crowned Babbler, Striped Tit Babbler, White Bellied Yuhina, White-Chested Babbler, Horsefield Babbler, White Hooded Babbler, Common Tailorbird, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Rufous Tailed Tailorbird, Chestnut-naped Forktail, Magpie Robin, White-Rumped Shama, White-Crowned Forktail, Verditer Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Grey Headed Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-Naped Monarch, Spotted Fantail, Rufous Winged Monarch, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Black-Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Scarlet Minivets, Grey Breasted Spiderhunter, Little Spiderhunter, Long-Billed Spiderhunter, Plain Sunbird, Purple-Naped Sunbird, Purple Throated Sunbird, Ruby Cheeked Sunbird, Crimson Breasted Flowerpecker, Orange Bellied Flowerpecker, Plain Flowerpecker, Yellow Breasted Flowerpecker, Yellow Bellied Flowerpecker, Everett's White Eye, White Rumped Munia, Wreathed Hornbill.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lesson I learned today - What to do when met up with an injured bird.

25/5/2008 - Outing with the Selangor MNS bird group - Bkt Rengit

With only about 3 hrs sleep waking up early for a birding trip is not really a task compare it mean for a day I need to go to the office. I only reached home about 12 midnight after attended an eye-opening event organised by "NASAM". Thank goodness for this National Stroke Association of Malaysia existence that allow a numbers of peoples struck with stroke to have their life back again.
The dinner performers was power pack by the the stroke survival who was once bed-ridden, half body paralyse, lost their speech. You would not believe it if you did not see it yourself that as of today they can walk, talks and even sing and dance.

Thank goodness for this birding event today I got a hitch ride from Bing (the assistant bird group coordinator) as today the birding site is at Bukit Rengit, Lanchang. It is about 2hrs journey from KL. In order to reached there at 7am, we need to start the journey the latest by 5:30am. It also mean in short that I have to get out from my house at 4:45am in order for me to arrived at Bing's hse at 5:30am.
The instruction to reached this birding site read my early posting

It has been a period of time since I turned up for the day trip organised by the MNS bird group. This morning as we reached our meeting points Lanchang Toll. I noticed alot of new unfamiliar faces. As it is much more appropriate to limit the amount of cars to this birding sites, car-pooling arrangements are being made. Some of the participants cars are parked here to be picked back after the day trip.

I took the opportunities to talked to some of new unfamiliar ones to find out is it their 1st time., Do they enjoyed birding, what is birding? Is birding meant for old people ?... and 101 questions and doubts that I can for see clog up in their mind. I told them that my first outing years back for low-land forest birding is indeed quite frustrating to me. Birds in the low-land forest one need patience to spot them. Most of the them they only allow just a very small glimpse of them. To find the birds thru the pair of binoculars is quite a chores to master. I carried on to encouraged by bring out the points that good Low-Land Forest is indeed quite a treasure only found in Asia. Many foreigners takes their trouble to fly in to have a feel to step into our Low-Land forest that is full of flora and fauna and not to mentioned of what living beings that it supported. I also brought out the points that our Low-Land forest birds and montane birds are very colourful. Birding requires one to load with tons of patience. Birding has enable me to learned to slow down a little of my hectic working life. Observing birds behaviour also have unlocked many life questions of mankind.
As some of us are busy trying to spot for any birds. I spotted this gorgeous butterfly resting. I took a few shots of it before it flew off. Joe Pan from Sabah help me to ID this as Parthenos sylvia, common name The Clipper. Family: Nymphalidae.

Patrolling up and down with the the normal crowd of at least 30 peoples who turns up for a birding day trip of course would makes birds sighting a little bit challenging. I could have spotted a bird before I could have describe a good directions to my others friends. The bird most likely have left that perched. Nevertheless I always says a birding field trips would not enable you to have all the lifers, some you see and some you have to leave it for your future trips.

A Yellow-Bellied Bulbul that turn up for while for us to admire for a while
OOh this Blue-Eared Barbet is busy making it's cavity holes. Barbet have a strong and powerful beak can keep knocking on. Maybe it's brain is also well cushion like Woodpecker.
A few of the participants as they head out from their allocated spots, they saw a motionless bluish bird lie on the road. They need to makes the decision to leave it there or not. This crucial decision could have cost this beauty being crushed and be a "bluish pancake" when some vehicles run over it. This birder pick this bird up. Unknown what is the next steps she scoops this bird up and ferry it to where the spots where we need to met before we end this day trip. I think she did a good job.
There is one of my field trips, my heart still ache as I replay back from the back of my memories this incidence. In this field trips I went with a few bird photographers. I was wondering why this few friends are crowding around at a spot not too far away from where I stood. I was wandering what is their model. I walked to that spots.. to my alarmed they were taking photographs of a juvenile bird that is quite motionless with both of it's leg on the air, beak open wide as though is kicking for it's last breath. I have no heart to have such a condition of creatures as my model. I quickly rushed to the park staff to ask for help. The park staffs quickly scoops up this bird.. I remind them to check it's legs, neck, wings and notice any born damages. They instruct me to pour a bit of my drinking water to let the bird drink.. The park staffs are being given the instruction to scoops up a bird in such conditions and put into a small cage/enclosure to allow the birds for self-recovery or to asked for further assistance if needed. I month later I went back again for my field trips to this place the park staff told me that this juvenile starling did it's self recovery and it was then being release. Many of us are not aware what to to in such a situations.
What to do when met up with a sick/injured/look like an injured bird.
1. Are there signs of physical injury or illness?
Check and look out for inability to flutter wings, bleeding, broken bones, wings
drooping unevenly, weakness, or shivering.
2. Any minor bleeding
3. Do not force water into the bird’s beak, thinking that it will revive or strengthen a bird.
You may cause more harm and possibly drown the bird. Leave the water outside it's enclosure.
4. Always practice safe handling of injured birds. For big birds - wear hard leather gloves
cause it beak and talon can injured your hands.
5. Understand it's stress/shock it has gone thru. Gently scoop it up.
6. In the events this injured bird need to be transported to the vet. Place it in a well-ventilated
enclosure away from pets and extreme noise.
For this incidence we discovered that no injuries and most probably it is going thru a stress/shocked being knocked down from something. We think that just allowing a few hours rest and recuperation is all that is all being required. A bird group Commitee member makes a small pouch to place this bird in. This bird is then put on a branch. This Black-Naped Monarch is just resting, notice it close it's eyes.. Well it's eyes is not injured.

After a while it open up it's eyes..
As I stood there to observed it, suddenly I realised that this bird is a little bit more active, turn its head to look at it's surrounding. Deep in my heart... Ok at least you seems to bit fine..

OOOpps... AARRh.. guys and gays look. He flew out and perched on this branch... yeah he recovered. He perched here for a little while. I keeps step backward.. bird too big for my 400mm lens.
This is the lady who scoops and rescue that blue beauty.. Well you did a good jobs dear.
With the above happy chapter we head out for lunch as some of us wish to linger a little bit longer after finish to bid goodbye to the day trippers.

After lunch we spotted a few more birds and I managed to capture some of them..
A few Banded Broadbill and Black and Red Broadbill hang out together.
Arrh a Raffle's Malkoha also turn up.

Someone spotted this red small bird.
Black-Backed ? Rufous Backed ? that was our conversations after we spotted this red bird. With a few of us carefully observed it, we nailed down all the distinctive ID field marks points..

A juvenile Rufous-Backed Kingfisher ...

We also sighted a flying lemur - colugu. It is indeed another lifer. Due to it is beyond the reach of of setup I could not take it's picture. I indeed have a good look at it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hutan Lipur Sg Perdik - 19/5/2008

19/5/2008 - Hutan Lipur Sg Perdik

Today as I'm approaching to the entrance of this forest reserve, I notice a few cars and motorcycles park underneath the trees. These vehicles are not really familiar to me, cause this are not belongs to the owners of the "big bazookas" who occasionally would drop by. After I parked my car I notice that these groups of local men seems to be very engrossed in a discussion of "...peruntukan... kita mula..." (available funds... we will start...)

I quickly gobble up my 2 pieces of bread and mounted up my gears. I wonder what kind of meetings and what are they up to... buying a piece of land...what funds are they referring too. Anyway in the asian culture when men are in their serious discussion among themselves they would appreciate the female to stay aside. There are some are yet to accept the facts that female in this era most of us are educated , capable, intelligent and yet are as femine as before.

I walked to the spot where I last sighted the Rufous-Backed Kingfisher. I saw a few Plain Sunbird perched quite high up on the branches at their usual spot. No chances to capture their looks in my CF card. Therefore looking at then through my pair of binoculars do gives me the same satisfactions even though they are quite plain looking. While waiting for others spp or individual birds that comes by I notice 3 Blue Jay (butterfly) congregated at a patch of water nearby. I took a few snap shots of them, wish that they could change position perched on some green leaves and with minimize movements.

OOOPs wish came true this individual perched on this favourite trees of the flowerpeckers. The fruits of this tree are yet to ripe for the flowerpeckers.

OOps I wrongly ID this as the Common Bluebottle much earlier. Well I'm not the only one :-). It's Common name is Blue Jay a Graphium spp. The very much identical one that looks quite similar like the Blue Jay is the Common Jay.

Description : In Singapore, the Blue Jay is often confused with the Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon luctatius) when in flight. There are other similar looking species in Malaysia, but the Blue Jay is the only one of the group which occurs on the main island of Singapore (the other species in the Graphium genus which was recently discovered on Pulau Ubin is the Common Jay (Graphium doson evemonides)).
It can be distinguished from the other species by its black costal bar on the underside of the hindwing, which is united with the dark basal band. It is a fast-flying species and is more often distinguishable only when it stops to rest, feed or puddle. The wings are black above with a pale bluish macular band. Both wings have a series of bluish submarginal spots.
Habitat & habits : The species flies very rapidly and erratically, and is fond of flying up and down open sunlit jungle paths. The bright blue upperside often shows itself as it flits quickly by an observer. The Blue Jay is a common butterfly in Singapore, and can be seen on most sunny days in the nature reserves. They are very fond of puddling on muddy dirt paths and stream banks.

Nevertheless I notice only a few Orange-bellied Flowerpeckers and no others spp. I wonder could it be the group of the local men keeps create a heavy traffic this morning. As I move in further I notice a big patch of empty space without vegetation that has been cleared, a small hut and quite a decent looking camping site has been carved out. Who created this ?? Could it be that man who use to ride a big motorcycle and he use to frequent that little hut beside this river ?? I trek inside to another part. I notice alot of the lower scrubs has been cleared. Hei.. what happen? Was this resulted from the lack of rain lately?

I trek out and station back myself to where the Plain-Sunbird, Purple Naped Sunbird, Little Spiderhunter use to frequent. There is one man who involved in that "mens serious discussion" with great curiosity ask me what is the purpose of my visit. I then found out he is the ketua kampung (village head). I told him that I notice alot of changes compare to my previous visit. I also told him that I lives quite nearby and I use to frequent this place for my bird-watching and nature photography. I use to come alone and there are a few local here are use to my present. I then find out that the newly elected local YB from the recent elections have allocated some funds to turn Hutan Lipur Sg Perdik Forest Reserve to Recreation Forest. This bunch of local folks spare their holiday weekend spending with their families to clear up the scrubs, carve out some camping grounds.. I told him that it would be nice that they do very minimum changes cause they could have accidentally clear up the favourite perched and food for some birds. They also could have destroyed some insects. After much discussion I could have wrongly press my car alarm, I excuse myself to check on my car. He went into the other patch of the forest then to catch up with the rest of the mens.

I walked back again and I notice a black looking bird. Soon I manged to spot it.. OOOh it is a Black and Red Broadbill. It catch a prey.

This is not a blurring photo of mine. Actually this Broadbill is in such a vigorously movements. It process it food by hit it's prey by swing it left and right on a hard surface. For this instance it use the branches for this purpose. After hit it a few times it would then swallow up the grasshopper.

Here it comes to a nearer perched after a satisfactory meal.. Wow!! wat a beauty..
Aaarh with a bird in this distance I can notice it has bristle and the patch of orange at it's wings.
I have a good satisfaction time observing this Broadbill. OOpps the group of mens are out now from the other patch of forest and some are armed with parang. They started to clear this part now.. OOOH no!!! there goes the scrubs.. AAArh.. they only leave behind the ginger plants.. chopped down the whole wild banana trees that the Little Spiderhunter use to frequent.. The trees of where I photograph the Common Blue Bottle are being chopped down branches by branches.. Deep in my heart says... OOOOH no there goes the food for the Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker, Orange Brested Flowerpecker... The Bulbuls who use to frequent here have lost their landing/resting place. I'm lost of words and I know very well that those words that I try to sinked into the Ketua Kampung is all in vain. They think that a female words is just airing our some rubbish ... OOOh no I cannot bear to see this I told myself it would be long I would visit this place again and wish their funds would vanish fast..

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bukit Rengit on 5/5/2008

Birding at Bukit Rengit on 5/5/2008

Having in mind to wrap up our low-land forest birding escapee with our special friend from North Thailand we head to Bukit Rengit. We only head off from Raub, Pahang at about 8:40am from Kim's nephew house. We thank Kim's nephew (a church lay worker) and his whole family for hosting us for that night. From the bottom of my heart I wish to says thank you for your hospitality and I can feel the warmest from this Lim family. The journey to this patch of forest only took us about 1 hr from Raub.

In one of my field visit with a few friends to this place in Oct '2007, Encik Abdullah the deerland owner informed us that very soon this good sites might be depleting. The cause is because a logging license has just being approved and these contractor would very soon to start works. Bukit Rengit situated at the border of Krau Wildlife Forest is not a gazetted Forest Reserve nor it is actually a National Park. Would the loggers practise sustainability logging? Would the demands of wood products from the ever growing populations of Malaysia sustainability really is just a talks only? How much would the depleting for wildlife at Bukit Rengit due to loggings ? Soon and very soon this another good patch of low-land forest who is rich with birdlife will be loose to farm land. I send a list of birds that have been sighted here to Adbullah. He is one of the working committee member who wish that this place can be safe and leave it as of it is. I also wish that this place would be left intact but the demands for taking out more natural resources seems to be increasing. Well it is time that we should forgo the good quality wood furnitures and fittings and churn out less print out from our printers. Hei ... would you ever think that the earth would be such a depressing stage when the time that there is no more trees, rain, birds, animals, butterflies, dragon flies, damselflies, insects..the soil is no more furtile. We would then force to fill our stomach with "protein tablets" made from another dead person ?
To Bukit Rengit from KL
Drive along karak highway the 1st toll is Gombak toll (E801), then go all the way until Karak toll, in between will pass by Genting Sempah (E803), Bukit Tinggi (E805), Bentong (E810), and you will reach the Karak Toll (E813B). Take the ticket and go further and then exit at Lanchang, Raub, Kuala Lipis (E816), pay the toll fare. You would then reach the T junction, turn right and go all the way. Bukit Rengit is at the right hand site follow the signage to Deerland. The jourmey from KL is about 2hrs.
As we wish not to overwhelm Mam with our beautiful low-land forest birds, today we only spend 2 hrs here. Hope that the Trogon would show up for her. We managed to spot a Black-Naped Monarch nesting. The distance of this nest is very far from where we stand. I have in mind that we spotted an Asian Paradise Flycatcher, cause even my 10x binoculars do not allow me to notice the field mark. Only when I process my photos start to realised that I indeed mistakenly ID it..
This Red-Naped Trogon appear.
A Hairy-Backed Bulbul who decided not to be camera friendly..
We were here only from 10am - 12noon. Here we have Hairy-Backed Bulbul, Crested Serpent Eagle, Purple-Naped Sunbird, Red-Naped Trogon, Scarlet Rumped Trogon, Black-Naped Monarch. The good sightings that we three ladies have was the Male Banded Pitta. We have a good look at this Male Bird.
Haiyoh.. times flies we need to pack up as the time is approaching noon. We have a lunch appointment with Lam.
Birds can be sighted as you walk along this stretch of road.
I turn off once I came out from bukit rengit and It took us a journey of 1hr and 15 mins travelling along the curvy road at Lakum Plantation to head to Bentong.. Well girls sorry for you all have wrongly board into a slow coach :-)
Here is one of the signature dish at Bentong.. Thank YOU very much Lam for that delicious lunch.

Birds that can be sighted at Bukit Rengit

Rufous bellied Eagle,Crested Serpent Eagle,Blyth's Hawk Eagle, Black Thighed Falconet,Emerald Dove,Little Green Pigeon,Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-rumped Parrot, Drongo Cuckoo ,Moustache Hawk-Cuckoo,Raffles Malkoha,Chestnut Breasted Malkoha, Black Bellied Malkoha, Red-Billed Malkoha, Black- Bellied Malkoha, Javan Frogmouth, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Diard Trogon, Red naped Trogon, White-throated Kingfisher, Rufous Backed Kingfisher, Oriental Pied hornbill, Rhinocceros Hornbill, Brown Barbet ,Gold Whiskered Barbet, Blue Thoated Bee eater, Red Bearded Bee eater, Blue Tailed Bee eater, Dollarbird, White-bellied Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodpecker, Crimson Winged Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker Grey, Buff Woodpecker,Rufous Woodpecker,Buff Rumped Woodpecker, Banded Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Green Broadbill,Black and Red Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Dusky Broadbill, Banded Pitta, Blue Winged Pitta, Barn Swallow, Ashy Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Grey Chined Minivet, Lesser Green Leabird, Greater Green Leabird, Blue Winged Leafbird, Black Headed Bulbul, Buff Vented Bulbul, Olive-winged Bulbul, Red Eye Bulbul, Spectacle Bulbul , Yellow Bellied Bulbul,Cream Vented Bulbul, Hairy backed Bulbul, Grey Checked Bulbul, Dark Throated Oriole, Greater Racquet Tailed Drongo ,Bronze Drongo, Crow Billed Drongo, Black Magpie, Crested Jay , Scaly-crowned Babbler, Chestnut Winged Babbler, Rufous Crowned Babbler, Stripe Tit Babbler, Black Throated Babbler, Sooty capped Babbler, White Rumped Shama, Chestnut Naped Forktail, Malaysian Blue Flycatcher, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Rufous Chested Flycatcher, Black Naped Monarch, Maroon Breasted Monarch , Hill Myna , Asian Fairy Bluebird, Asian Glossy Starling , Tiger Shrike , Purple Naped Sunbird, Ruby Checked Sunbird,Thick-Billed Spiderhunter, Crimson Breasted Flowerpecker Yellow Breasted Flowerpecker. The lastest news someone sighted a Crested Fireback here..