Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked - Cage the Elephant

Just before going to press this evening we were blessed with another nation joining the readership. A little ironic really as I am on my way to the People's Democratic Republic of Lao to hand out personal invitations and to add it to my 'List of Countries Visited'. It will be a while yet so with great pleasure we welcome the reader in the hope that the news might precede me and the readership will have reached 'treble figures' before I reach there. Please pass on to all friends and family and see you soon!

Yesterday's journey to my R and R took me via the short ferry crossing at Tamam Negara National Nature Reserve to the pre-arranged mini-bus south and back to Kuantan, then sharp north to Kuala Terengganu. On the map the small town of Paka had looked an ideal spot until it was discovered this is the industrial centre for the production of Palm Oil, which was worth a miss. At my destination I was overborne with help to get me to the coast and a decent hotel, which finally ended up in a taxi, here I am at

and very nice too. I've already sampled the swimming pool and should be trying the beer next, therapeutic of course.

There I met the Assistant Manager who introduced himself as Mr Bean, and a cheery "anything you want Sir, I can get it". Try GURNEY'S PITTA for starters Pal!

The early morning sky promised much and all in all it was a fine day, but the Rest and Relaxation would have to be put on hold while a reci was undertaken.

A lovely beach, overlooking the South China Sea, from the est this time, with little in the way of litter and other debris,

while further on there was a Stone Pier and what was taken for a Fishing Port which must mean Gulls???? It was to prove disappointing on that score!

It was worth a stop to pass the time of day with this fisherman but there were more important things afoot.

First of these was a pair of


which obligingly remained perched until I had completed my business with them, and then flew away.

Next came a series of familiar favourites, starting with




However, this is where life starts to get a little more difficult with no relevant Field Guide and no Mates to help me out. I had already hugged 3 large books half way around the world, one of which was not The Birds of South East Asia, so it is going to be a struggle from here.

First contender, for which I had to rely on memory alone, was this fine Oriole which is believed to be BLACK-NAPPED.

It, or another, was joined by a BARBET of sorts, which later would come a little closer.

was added to the Trip List along with not one but 2 BARBETs

 which is a 'Lifer' along with

 COPPERSMITH BARBET familiar from previous trips.

Plenty of ASIAN GLOSSY STARLING plus a few more shots of

the not very obliging ASIAN KOEL.

new on the Trip List but will be looking for some better images.

By this time I didn't think I was doing too badly, until this tiny yellow, blue and vivid pink 'bird' flew past, throwing me a real curve.

Luckily, it settled close by and the riddle was solved,

I only wish I could have bought you an image of this spectacular insect 'in-flight'.

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