Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Bird Watching Trip to Awana, Genting

After a hearty breakfast a Gohtong Jaya, Genting, an excited group of 30 took off for another birding trip along a narrow roadadjacent to the Awana Golf Course. On a cool, wet morning, we were transported into a different terrain teeming with giant bamboos and ferns jostling in the wind with senduduk bulu, wild gingers, and even tall rattan climbers with their treacherous hooks. The sound of flowing water over boulders provided the background music as we moved forward slowly with our bins and scopes.

It was a very fruitful morning with many sightings of lower montane birds. 3 Bushy –crested hornbills distinguished by their distinct brown square tails with black tips were the first ones to be spotted. Long -tailed Sibias flew by in small groups. Olive-backed punky- haired Mountain Bulbuls caused some excitement. Soon, we came across Chestnut-capped Laughingthrushes and a few different species of barbets. A birdwave got us arguing over a small flock of blue drongos. We finally agreed that they could just be juvenile lesser racquet-tailed drongos yet to grow their long cigar-shaped racquets!

As we slowly moved up the road, we spotted several species of monkeys, namely, the langur, siamang and the dusky leaf-monkey. These sightings amidst the calls of others in the distant, misty hills evoked in me a very humbling feeling. We were the intruders into their habitat!

Before the morning was over, we were able to identify a Little cuckoo-dove, a Buff-rumped Woodpecker, several Grey-chinned Minivets, a Blue-winged Leafbird, a Verditer Flycatcher and a couple of Shrike-babblers. A Black-browed Barbet was seen feeding its babies in a hole high up on a dead tree. The sighting of a Changeable Hawk-eagle, which flew by quite low, rounded up the outing.

After a quick lunch back in the little settlement, a few of us headed back to the same venue, However, as the weather got a bit warmer, besides a Brown Barbet and a Little Pied Flycatcher, very few other birds were seen. A vote of thanks to Julia, Seng and Bing for organizing this interesting adventure. I’m learning to appreciate and enjoy our natural heritage with every trip.

Membership No: O N 06357 B

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