Sunday, 26 March 2017

LANGKAWI BIRDWATCHING TOUR: Burnice's Bird Blog

Burnice's bird wishlist for Langkawi would be the Hornbills, all three of them. She wasn't chasing after the Brown-Winged Kingfisher as she has already seen it while kayaking nearby Pulau Dayang Bunting. That would mean the priority was to head up to Gunung Raya, the highest peak of Langkawi.

Burnice and Hans are currently on their sailing adventures with their sailing boat all the way from Australia. Having to spend some time at Rebak Island, they made their way to Pekan Rabu after sailing through rough wind condition. We met at the Pekan Rabu pier on our birdwatching morning.

The birdwatcher is Burnice and Hans will enjoy whatever that is presented to him. Little did I know that Burnice is also a blogger like me and I got lots to learn from Burnice's blog. Like me, Burnice will take photos of birds so she can share her images via her blog:  https://burneysbirdblog.wordpress.com/

Below are some snapshots of her blog. Please click here to read Burnice's entire post about her birdwatching experience in Langkawi and her bird list. 






The leaping lizard that Burnice mentioned in her blog was a gliding lizard, Draco spp. I spotted it gliding about 10m across the Gunung Raya road while driving. It landed on a tree and it was just nice for us to observe it through my scope in which I managed to set it up before it was gone. 


The above picture is the juvenile raptor that I was looking for. I managed to snap a photo while it was circling before making a perch into the dense forest. It hid itself very well. We waited for it to fly out again but it didn't. My suspicion at that moment was a juvenile Oriental Honey Buzzard. But I was still doubtful due to lack of details of a Oriental Honey Buzzard such as the prominent tail bands and black tip on the primaries. Just to be sure, I forwarded this image to the raptor sifus in the Raptor Study Group. Thank you to Liung and Aun Tiah for their quick response confirming that it was a juvenile Oriental Honey Buzzard due to its pigeon-like head. I likely think it may be a juvenile female.

The reward for us stopping there for awhile is the appearance of the male Wreathed Hornbill not too far away and it was posing for us.

Many thanks for the nice review on your blog, Burnice. Looking forward to seeing you back on Langkawi for more lifers and your birds stories in Thailand. Bon Voyage!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Langkawi Bird Watching: PULSE

I didn't expect this coming and indeed very thankful for their appreciation on their birdwatching tour with me. Aimee and Stephen from Australia came on my birdwatching tour while on their honeymoon vacation in Langkawi. 

Stephen has started DSLR photography not too long ago and is very keen to take wildlife shots. Both of them are new to birdwatching. And I am new to this camera gadget device that Stephen was using on that day, which is Pulse by Alphine Labs.

Pulse is a camera remote gadget to control a camera wirelessly from a smartphone. It allows control over shooting photos, time lapse or video in real time. Stephen cleverly showed me some of his time-lapse photos and I was impressed. 
pulse wireless camera control timelapse camera remote
Image from https://alpinelaboratories.com/products/pulse-camera-remote
This is a photo taken by Stephen's Canon 70D with his wide lens with Pulse attached:
Aimee, me and Stephen on Langkawi Bird Watching tour with a photo taken using remote control gadget, Pulse

Guess what arrived in my postbox a month later?
My New Year gift from Aimee and Stephen Baird. Thank you!

Thank you so much for this gadget and your encouragement, Aimee and Stephen. I got a new toy to play with...Yipppeeee!

Towards the end of our birdwatching tour, we were rewarded with a dozen of Black-Winged Stilts! And I didn't expect a big turn up of this wader species. 
Langkawi bird watching tour: A flock of Black-Winged Stilts, migratory waders

Not only Pulse, Stephen and Aimee have kindly wrote me review  via Langkawi Nature Guide facebook page

One is a pure birdwatcher and the one is a photographer. Perfect match to complement each other! The heavy rain on their first attempt did not dampen their spirit to go out again. Wishing both of them all the happiness

All the very best to Aimee and Stephen and I like to see more birds photos from them.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Refreshing 2017

First of all, Happy New Year to my readers and followers. Excuse me for my long absence as I had some private nature tours running during the festive season.

With the rainy, cloudy weather and a couple of hot days in between for the past two weeks, I would say it is a refreshing start for Langkawi in the new year 2017. At this time of the year, it is supposedly be the dry season. In year 2016, we had extended dry season and could this be the compensation? 

In related to my guiding work, rainy days generally bring cancellation to birdwatching tours. I can't do much about this reality and might as well enjoy the nice cool rainy days when Langkawi has a lot more hot and sunny days to offer for the whole year. I personally like rainy days.

I had people who have asked me on what can they do when it is raining? 

If it is raining cats and dogs, the best thing to do is to sit in a nice cafe and have cuppa of coffee or tea or simply relax and do nothing in your hotel room. If the rain slows down or has stopped, take a car or scooter and ride around the island, eat some local food or better still is to head out to the waterfall area. However, be mindful of hazards while visiting waterfall areas during the rainy days.

The island was rained on from January 7th to the 8th. There were a few times when the rain was heavy but there were no thunderstorm and a lot of light drizzles in between. 

And so it was the opportunity for me to check out the Temurun Waterfall, supposedly the tallest waterfall on Langkawi.
Look at it! It was bursting with life and so much of energy! 

It was cold swimming in the pool but I love it! The energy has created surface waves that can push you to the edge. Anyone standing at the edge of the pool for more than fifteen minutes will find themselves soaking wet with the sprays.

This is one of the uncommon sight of Temurun waterfall and you only get this during the rainy days. On most days, is like a small stream or even trickle of water running down. 

Indeed it is a refreshing 2017 start for me. I had a challenging and as well as rewarding year 2016 and may the blessing of Temurun waters help to wash off the negative ones and start anew. I foresee more challenges coming for this 2017 and may the blessing enable me to remain positive during these times.

This is how a Temurun Waterfall will be like in between the dry and the rainy season:

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