Today was a freezing hot day! After a few sweaty weeks of slow lowland birding this weekend we decided to head up high.
The original plan was to go to Frasers Hill, but when we woke at 4.00am it was raining cats and dogs and I was in no mood for two hours of dark narrow winding roads in heavy rain. Instead, we decided to hit the high ridges behind Genting Highlands. At 2,000 meters above sea level it’s always cool up there, but we were stunned to find the temperature at the top to be a cold 14 degrees C! For Malaysia this is cold, and for the first hour and a half until the sun chased away the early morning mist we were freezing. The good thing is the birds were hungry and all-in-all it turned out to be quite a productive morning.
The star of the day was a Mountain Bulbul who posed on a moss covered branch in perfect light. Not a single frame shot of him was bad. Every shot taken was good, something that seldom happens.
Another wonderful little bird that was absolutely not shy, despite the fact that it was feeding its young was the Streaked Wren Babbler below. This is a beautiful little bird with a reddy brown eye that sets off its wonderful feather markings. Often it would come within two meters of where I was set up, too close for a shot.
Also surprisingly cooperative were a pair of Large Niltava’s. These birds are usually quite shy and only come out from the undergrowth for a few seconds at a time. But not today. Today they didn’t seem to be in such a hurry. The male Niltava is a mixed charcoal black and striking deep royal blue. The female is a more plain brown but sports a fantastic blue necklace.
Stunning birds that are always a pleasure to photograph.
The Laughingthrushes were also out in force. Usually I don’t waste much time on these birds anymore as I have hundreds and hundreds of shots of them, but a bunch of Malayan Laughingthrushes where unusually tempting. So, being a sucker for posers I had to shoot a few frames.
Last, but not least was a first for us in the form of a White Browed Shrike Babbler. These birds are not uncommon but until today had remained elusive. Fortunately this guy hung around long enough for me to get in position and shoot a few frames. The angle was not the best, but at least I finally have a few shots in the files.
Today started off a freezing 14 degrees, warmed to a cool 20 degrees before finally hitting a modestly humid 34 degrees after lunch. But no complaints. After a few weeks of hardly any rain, at least it rained again which means it’s going to be a nice day after all.