Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gunong Ulu Kali

14th March 2010

I have lost confidence in birding on this montane road. That was years now since they kept roadside free of  scrubs and ferns. This was the normal setting of forest edges. Birds emerged to feed on insects that had gathered and they spent time foraging. For some now, with that type of habitats gone, the birds in smaller numbers still come to this vicinity but no reason to stay by the roadside. They just dashed across the road to the other patch of forested area. Hardly any chance to seeing them close.

This day, the proposal came from Stephen to check out the montane road and I veto-ed that proposal. After his constant nagging, I gave in that we would give it a try, since I needed the Minla. Upon arrival, I selected the spot to park and the stretch to bird.

We waited! But hold it! Holy cows, the whole area crawling with Crickets! Hundreds upon hundreds of them in this angled road curve of 7 feet by 15 feet edge.  

The pet shop operators would strike bonanza here. All that was needed was a hard thump on the ground and the whole area came alive.
But rather strange. Since there was so much food, there was no hungry hordes waiting nor any signs that we disrupt any bird's lunch.

How we wished that the crickets would do the trick of luring a  concentration of forest dwellers.

All we could find was this luminous beetle

At about 4.30 pm, the bird wave ritual started, the entrance led by a flock of 6 Mountain Bulbuls. They were there but no signs of them going after the crickets. They were leeching off the branches of trees,on close inspection, minute fruits. There were fruiting trees.

The Minla, the bird that I was targeting, only a pair did not want to miss the feeding, appeared momentarily.

Another uncommon scene, instead of a flock, only one Sibia, turned up. This bird did not join the bird wave but came alone much later.
The bird wave here was unlike those in Frasers Hills. The birds came by themselves by species. It all happened within that narrow corridor of time.

This pair of Mesia, moved about the branches not seeking for food. The way I saw their movements, obviously in mating mode. Typical of Mesia, they would not stop for a moment. Even this frame captured is blurr on some part of the body.
The Spiderhunter came. Waited on the open branch -then dived into the bush near to us and we thought that it got a cricket. With the long legs seen - a large spider.
Moving away from that corner full of crickets, caught this beautiful species of Scrub Lizard

The Javan Cuckooshrike much associated with the peak of Gunong Ulu Kali remained on trees near to the area of the Radar Station.

When every other birds has done their rounds, the Laughingthrush came. They were the birds feeding on the Crickets. The Chestnut-capped was not among thegroup.

The species that turned up this day was beyond expectation and in good numbers too. Not shown here were the few that we wanted as well, especially the Peregrine Falcon, another Thrush with eye brow and the Flycatchers.

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