Saturday, 21 May 2016

My Langkawi Today: Woody Woodpecker Morning

LANGKAWI TODAY: Another birding day today on my no-tour day on a rainy day. The place today? Kubang Badak mangroves.

I have a few occasions of seeing a Ruddy Kingfisher in this area and the previous time was a sighting of  two individuals. On that day, I spotted one individual perched right at the top of a tree and another one flew across the road. As I was guiding, my camera was inside my pack and by the time I reached for my camera, the Ruddy dived into the bush. Sigh...

And so I do not have a good photo of Ruddy until now.

Another gloomy morning today and I do like days like this to be honest even though it is not a preferred day for photography. When I arrived, a bulldozer was there doing some road works. Then I thought that there is no way the Ruddy will show up this morning. And so, I decided not to hope for Ruddy and will take whatever comes.

I walked around for five minutes and tit..tit...tit..., the call echoed from above and followed by two woodpeckers flew above me.

They perched not too far away which enabled me to follow them. The presence of the woodpeckers startled a Little Heron and the heron flew out to another nearby tree. Why not? My first shutter clicking for the morning.
Little or Striated Heron Butorides striata
The pair of Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus were moving up and down, pecking on a tree belonging to a Rhizophora genus. They did well, at least for me. I got close enough to have a few shots.  
Anybody wish to guess which is the female and the male?
Both woodpeckers were on the same tree at the same time and the original images were taken separately. In order to make a fun comparison of the gender, this image was edited. I simply love to play around with digital images with a photo editor. Not a lucky shot, I am afraid.

Within the one and a half hour I was there, a pair of Copper-throated sunbird Leptocoma calcostetha was sighted.
It is good to know that they are still around and I have not seen them for almost a year now. I only captured the silhouette of the sunbird and the images were deleted. Pittas were calling, some were far and there was one calling nearby. It was a Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis. The call got closer and I tip-toed towards the sound. Then a local on a motorcycle came from behind me, drove past me and I saw the pitta took off from the top of a tree. AAArrrrrGGGgghhhh! Oh well, the pitta was on the same tree where the Copper-throated sunbird was. Even if I managed to get a shot, it will be a crappy photo anyway. I was consoled with this thought.

House swallows or  commonly known as Pacific swallows Hirundo tahitica were observed picking up mud in which I think that they are collecting nesting materials. 

 
The one on the left has some mud on its beak
Unlike birds like the hornbills and our local lapwings which have already finished their nesting season, swallows will start theirs when the rain returns. With water, the dried soil will be wet and muddy for the swalllows to build their nests.

After having enough with this area, I moved on to the foothill of Gunung Raya to check on the Red Wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus  juveniles. They were there. Full story of this lapwing family later. 
The two juveniles with an adult in the background
Then I arrived at a village area near Kuah town where my dog loves his walk there. I just wanted to see a Blue-winged Pitta before I go home. A quiet road and some mozzies have already buzzing in my ears. Twenty minutes later...
Can you spot this pitta?
Me: <Knock> <Knock>..."Is there anyone home?"

The pitta was keeping still and quiet.

Me: <Knock> <Knock>..."Hello there, I see you...and I am looking at you."

The pitta was still being quiet and it moved a bit.
Cropped image revealing this little rascal
Me: <Knock> <Knock> <Knock>..."Hello, I know you are inside. Can you please come out?"

The Blue-Winged Pitta flew out of the undergrowth and straight into the forest. And it didn't want to speak to me. Well, I did see you alas and time to go home for lunch.

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