Friday, February 19, 2010

Laughingthrush in the Kiara Hills?

8th February 2010

On Thursday as usual, the Kiara Bunch was having their regular walk when they stumbled upon a White-crested Laughingthrush. The bird was photographed and posted in the mailing list. In response, the next day, Saturday that Gilbert got hold of Andrew to show to us the exact spot.

The Kiara Bunch saw only one bird but swear that they heard the call from a partner - in pairs, the bird seen was busy chasing the monkey away .
I place my bet that this Laughingthrush must be an escapee from the pet shop as this species is popular among collectors.
We gathered there at noon and it quite normal at that time for bird activities to be on low key. So, all that we got was a family of Junglefowls crossing the road.
On inspecting the surrounding!!!
Taken note that there was also a fruiting tree.

Like elsewhere having this was the same species of tree, it was loaded with fruits.

We arranged for another day when the walking crowd thinned off. On Monday, we would meet up at the same spot. I was there punctually on Monday. Upon arrival as if done with perfect timing, the Broadbill called. What so special about a Broadbill's call? Kiara have never recorded any Broadbill in the past. This was the bird I wanted to confirm. For over 12 months, now, I encountered its calls on 3 previous occasions but all came from so distance away, would be futile to wait for it appearance.

But this time , the call came relatively close. I would wait. True enough, another few minutes passed, the bird shifted perch.
For the first time in 12 months I finally got evidence of its existence in the Kiara Hills. I was jubilant at this find. Had my card loaded with pictures from the few perches.
Bird life was strong that morning, dropping by at that spot were birds ranging from the large Shama to the little Tit-Babblers. The resident Striped-throated stole the show for willingly acted as model.

The Tiger Shrike some distance off, too unknowingly came into focus. Suit me well, I shot anything that moved.

While waiting and shooting, I heard a soft whisper not far from me and saw this guy. First glance, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, I ID.
Well hiden, I don't mind getting an obscured pictures for a bird among the twigs. It flew away after I got my insurance shot. Moments later it came back and this time stood in full view. Ha! My practice of being satisfied having a shot for record was strategic. Repaid with better shots at a later instances. Later back home, I had the chance to examine the details of this "yellow-bellied" carefully. This is not a Yellow-bellied but a Narcissus. A bird that I video-ed 12 years ago, since that occasion, leaving me with super blurry still to be contend with for a long time. So - the second long wait of mine unexpectedly came to a good ending.
The Laughingthrush, the subject that brought me to Kiara, once again, did not show up for the day, my second trip to look for it.
As a finale, I got this rather nice looking but rather odd species of Brown Shrike. My group walks daily in Kiara and the Laughingthrush was never spotted again, now over a week.


  1. WoW!! White-crested Laughingthrush!!!
    Though it is an escapee I never see one myself. Not out of the cage as far as i can recall.

  2. Happy New Year, Khong.

    There is a small population of the White-crested Laughingthrush in Penang Island as well.

    The flycatcher is a Narcissus Flycatcher.

  3. Good variety of birds in this area. The WC Laughingthrush and the Narcissus FC are excellent find.

  4. Thanks Choy, next time I see one in Penang, I must believe my eyes.