Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Fool On The Hill - The Beatles

Hugh & Janet I don't have your E-Mail address for Fox-Sake!

Today will be my last at Fraser's Hill and as has become the norm, the Dutchmen were quite happy to start the day the same as the past couple. There was nothing new to see at Jelai but it was a final chance to marvel for a last time at some of the birds that have delighted me during my stay.


and CHESTNUT-CAPPED LAUGHINGTHRUSH have been a delight, and while I'm aware

SILVER-EARED MESIA has featured during most posts from here,

the temptation was just too great as this one caught a large CICADA

that was just too big for it to deal with - Note the bulging eyes, on the Insect that is!

On our way back for breakfast it was my moment to shine as I found and photographed yet another 'skulker' BUFF-BREASTED BABBLER

with Durai turning up at the opportune moment to identify it.

There was also another bird to add to the World List as I had managed to 'overlook' GERMAIN'S SWIFTLET but not surprising given the number of birds buzzing around here.


first seen during my walk down the hill put in another appearance

and a reasonably good photo call before

flying off.

Of the maybe dozens of shots taken of


these of a female were all that were of much use. The 'red' male only ever came out as a blur.

Some more Fruits of the Forest

before the next 'Lifer' appeared in the form of


in fact there were 3, and it was developing into another good session.

This Ear Shaped Fungi was covering many of the fence posts at this elevation,

while up ahead there was a stream where the lads had seen another good bird just a couple of days ago.

This is the 'dark side of the ravine which Ben was peering into before calling the rest of us over. What he had at first thought was a Mouse or other small Rodent manifested itself into one of the most significant species thus far - can you see it yet.

Probably being next to latch onto it, I simply pointed in the approximate direction and rattled off a few shots. The bird, a PYGMY WREN BABBLER is the all time skulker rarely showing long enough to see let alone photograph. It was collecting food or nesting material at the base of the shallow gorge, but then flew towards us, crossed the road and disappeared into the mossy bank from which it never reappeared. To tell the truth I was disappointed and was about to delete the wild shots to free up some memory on the card when a hunch stopped me. Later back at base this image was found from which Marc was able to sex and morph it as a 'pale male'!

After watching yet another stunning Butterfly there was a very quick hat-trick as a pair of BLACK-THIGHED FALCONET settled in a distant tree to deal with their latest catch. They were followed by RUFOUR-BROWED FLYCATCHER which along with BLACK-BROWED BARBET annoyingly escaped the lens.

The noises now issuing from the forest sounded Mammalian and soon a troop of

while a little further back in the trees there were an unknown number of

(photo from Wiki)

The bird that had been sought at the riverside suddenly appeared before us settled on the road, but only blurred images through the car windscreen were captured of the charming pair of SLATY-BACKED FORKTAIL. LONG-TAILED BROADBILL, STRIPPED TIT BABBLER, WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA and BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL presented the same problem although the latter pair were not 'Lifers' but

allowed a slightly closer approach.

There was another FLOWER before the final photographable bird of the day a

but that was not the end. We claimed a RICHARD'S PIPIT on the golf course, which we were told was by no means a regular bird here. It could have been a Paddyfield Pipit so I will have to dig the 'record shot' out and offer it to the forum. Apart from that, other certainties included BANDED & BAY WOODPECKERs, MOUSTACHED BABBLER and YELLOW-CROWNED BARBET.

During yet another fantastic day with Dutchy Hollander it was discovered that we were all leaving The Hill at the same time, on the same date and for the same destination. By the time we reached the hotel the lads had decided that it would be a good idea to take me with them and so the deal was done. We also fortuitously bumbed into occasional Portland Bird Observatory visitor Dave Willis who had just arrived from where we were destined and gave us the low-down on what was to be seen. The bird news was excellent, but conditions were less so, all we can do is wait and see! The pieces keep fitting nicely into the Avian Jigsaw!

PS - Dave sends his regardes to all in the Portland/Weymouth area who may remember him!