Monday, November 17, 2008

Birding Hotspot at Langkawi Island - Part 3

Birding at Datai
Datai is at the northwestern tip of Langkawi Island. One side of this luxurious stay resort is facing the Andaman Sea and the other side is facing a tropical forest the Mat Cincang range. Birding spot at Datai is on the main road 1.5km slow walk from Datai Resort lead to a private villa. This is a good spot for forest birds.To head to Datai Bay you need the to head to Telaga Habour Park. This marine park is near Pantai Kok. This was built to promote Langkawi for yatching destination. Previously this is a fishing village now it has turn to be a self-contained with this landscape tastefully design. Due to calm sea water here, this habour is an ideal destination for transit and park various size of yachts. Telaga Habour Park is one of such habour within this region. From Perdana Beach resort there is where this trip accommodation based are, the journey to Datai Bay takes about 40mins drive. Along the way look out for wildlife crossing and keep an eyes for calves, cows running and loitering on the road. I do recall one morning about 6:30am as I was heading to Datai Bay driving along the Airport from far I notice some medium size animals runs very fast across the road chasing each other.. I thought it as a big dog but as I approached nearer only I realised that they are calves. Phew... lucky they are dash across before I approached..

If you have some time do stop-over to admire the many luxurious yachts at various size that are park at Telaga Habour Park.

This nearest township to Datai Bay is tastefully design. Do take sometimes to walk into "The Loaf" a Japanese style finest bakery shop owned by Tun Dr. Mahathir. A live jelly fish that caught my attention as I admire and imagine how is the lifestyle of rich and famous on those luxurious yatch.
Once you reached Telaga Harbour Park you would start to notice signboard to Datai Bay at the junction with the petrol station on your left and left turn to the LOAF. Take the right turn to head to Datai Bay.

Park the car on the road just immediate you pass DATAI resort. Take a slow walk about 1.5km from here to the end of the road where there is a gate to someone's Villa.
We we shown to this place on the 9th November about 4pm - 11pm. When we reached there it was raining. AAARGh... We have to wait in the vehicles for about 30 mins. I and 2 other birders friend whom we extended our stay came back here again on 11th Nov morning. Rain pour again on the 11th morning, due to unsatisfaction both us ladies whom extended our stay tried again this place on the 12th morning.

Red-Eyed Bulbul can be seen here at Datai. This photo is actually taken at Gunung Raya.It was nearly dusk we noticed a flocks of Large-Green Pigeon flocks in for roosting.
Pigeon normally moves in pair. As the other counterpart flock in they seems to have a courteous bowing ritual to the other bird. A somewhat of communication among each other.

On the 9th of November it was a long day birding for us, we know that the possibilities of seeing Oriental Bay Owl, Collared Scops Owl and the Brown Hawk Owl here. We came back here again after our dinner at the nearest town (Telaga Habour Park). After a brief briefing session on the ethic of night birding especially on how we approach a nocturnal bird, we walked again in silence and in darkness on that 1.5 km main road.

Due to that time I just came back from the Forest that is so alive. (Endau Rompin - Johor Park) I was surprised as I walked on this road.. it was indeed total silence .. no insects sound.. Unlike the majorities of them I and few others give up knowing well that night, luck on seeing an owl is not on our side.

On 11th of November we sighted a small flocks of Ochraceous Bulbul. Here Orange-Bellied Bulbul seems to be more inclined to feed at the low shrubs.
Walk into Datai Resort's ground I noticed the forest floor have many Archduke butterflies (male and female) whom normally prefer primary forest. Rajah's Brooke butterflies are around as well.Giant Squirrel is the largest squirrels around. It generally prefer to be high canopy. It's diet is fruits and seeds, occasionally to supplement it's diet they would consume birds eggs and insects.

The species once ranged extensively from Nepal and Assam through Burma, Indochina and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Its population declined due to lost of primary forest.

Normally sighted solitary but that very afternoon we notice a few of them. I have to makes my preference choice to choose which one I prefer to takes it photos. It was hard with so many leaves and branches in between as an obstacle for the camera.
Hah... let me share with you all a few shots to depict what this Giant Squirrels is doing. It was preening. This is my first encounter to notice a squirrel do preening.. It use it teeth and both front claws to hold up it's tail and start to bite it with the motion from back to front and front to back a few times.

Due to a very small open windows among the branches and leaves this is one of the best shot I could share with you all how a Giant Squirrel looks like.
I have a feeling that this is a Low's Squirrel named after Sir Huge Low.
A Dark-Necked Tailorbird freeze a few mins for me to be capture it's moments.

To me this is an interesting insects that suddenly fly in to perched very near to me and my birder friend as we are look out for more birds.

Another look at this beautiful insect.
As Datai is being sandwich in between of the sea and primary forest. The White-Bellied Sea Eagle make use of the primary forest tall tree to raise it's young. It was an active nest during my visit to this place.

Birds we sighted and heard
Dollarbird, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Large Green Pigeon, Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker, Forest Wagtail, Ochraceous Bulbul, Red-Eyed Bulbul, Hill Myna, Greater Flameback Woodpecker, Dark-Necked Tailorbir, Stripe-Tit Babbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, White Bellied Sea Eagle (nesting), Temmick's Sunbird, Artic Warbler. Not to left out a Malkoha that perched too far away that we could not ID, Brown Shrike, Ruby-Cheeked Sunbird.


aiksiong said...

hi Susan,

Thank you for your comprehensive report and I will use this for my next birding trip to Langkawi. Hope you are well. Thank you so much

Aik Siong

Susan Wong Chor Mun said...

Hi Aik Siong,

Thank for dropping by at my blog.
Thank you for comments and concern.
I am doing very well.