Friday 26 June 2015

Langkawi Bird Watching Tour With John and Mary Clark

I must admit that their list was a challenge. John and Mary contacted me with their list of target birds. Their wishlist was initially long and due to off-migratory season and some of them are not found on Langkawi, they have to stick to what can be found here with the current season. They were fortunate that they came during the breeding of the pittas. Pittas were their priorities on their wishlist. 

And so their list was downsized and the hunt for Blue-Winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis , Mangroves Pitta Pitta megarhynchaMangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerra, Brown-Winged Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis, Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella, Laced Woodpecker Picus vittatus and Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus began.

It was a lot of rain the night before their full day of birdwatching tour. I guess this result to a productive morning. Brown-winged Kingfisher, Mangroves Pitta showed up at the selected mangroves site. Surprisingly, Mangroves Whistler appeared! That's a wow for me. However, the whistler only stayed for less than a minute. Enough for us to have a good look at it.

We proceeded to the lowland rainforest habitat for rest of the birds. The first two hours in the late morning was a bit of a let down. The heat and humidity were getting on to us. As we decided to leave and head for lunch, I detoured to another location to check. As soon as we got off the car, I heard the call of a Blue-winged pitta. Two came out!! And were chasing one another. Another wow! 
Colourful and elusive Pitta moluccensis
The next call came. The Banded Kingfisher. We looked for it and Mary spotted the elusive Banded Kingfisher perched quietly on a branch. Triple wow!
Lacedo pulchella...He is so cute!
We were happy to hop over for our late lunch. While sitting in the coffee shop, the heavy rain came. They were contended to watch the Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker and Brown-Throated sunbird feeding on the cherry tree when the rain slowed down to drizzle.

Next hunt, the Laced Woodpecker. Woodpeckers are unpredictable. The only thing I could do was to bring them to the location where I have seen this species. 
John and Mary on the move for the next hunt. Fisheye effect picture
Surprisingly, the call of the Laced Woodpecker was heard after fifteen minutes we arrived at the plantation area. Another lifer for them!
High-Five after seeing the Laced Woodpecker
The Ochraceous Bulbul did not show up that evening after looking for it in a couple of locations. Near sunset, Mary called out, "Time for dinner!" and John agreed. Sounds like they were satisfied with what they had on that day.

My gratitude goes to these birds I mentioned for their cooperation. I had an awesome day myself. Thank you John and Mary for the opportunities and yummy dinner at the Sun cafe. And special thanks to Dave Bakewell. 

Reference used: 
A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East-Asia by Craig Robson

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