Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fraser's Hill - 31/10/2014 - 1/11/2014

Friday 31/10/2014

A very foggy morning saw us at the now deserted Jelai Highland Resort car park waiting for the sky to lighten up. The car park used to be a hotspot for photographers because of the lights that were left on overnight attracting insects and thus birds for that matter. The resort has since then been abandoned and left to rot with no one care to take over. We saw some rice left out at a spot at the edge of the park lot with a nice “setting”, presumably left by pre`vious photographers. We saw little except for Long-tailed Sibias and Streaked Spiderhunters. Back outside Alan’s Water we saw Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo and a few tamed Spectacled Laughingthrush. A single Brown Shrike as well as a pair of Fire-tufted Barbets was nearby.

Long-tailed Sibia










Streaked Spiderhunter






Spectacled Laughingthrush





As the sun rose and mist lifted, we decided to tackle the Bishop Trail, the trail is not very long, but lack of maintenance meant the trail was blocked by numerous fallen trees and some wooden railings have already rotted away. It was however still walkable, just not what you will call easy. Leeches wasn’t too much a problem but we did encounter plenty. Birds were very quiet, we saw little except a few Mountain Fulvettas and Streaked Wren-babblers. The Wren-babblers remained very silent and did not response to any of our playbacks. A very shy Red-headed Trogon fluttered past. We heard a pair of Malayan Partridge near the last sharp hair pin turn of the trail and decided to give it a try and call it out, they responded well and came very close but never came down the ridge, after nearly forty minutes of frustration we decided to move on, just as we got around the corner of the hair pin and started to go up hill, there they were standing in the middle of the trail! I caught a glimpse of them before they ran off into the undergrowth.

Streaked Wren-babbler




After the Bishop trail we decided to go somewhere easier and drove down to the Jeriau Waterfall, the road leading to the waterfall entrance proofed quite productive, we came across a large bird wave with the usual birds as well as Buff-breasted Babblers, a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Bar-winged Flycatchershrike, White-bellied Yuhinas, Common Green Magpies, Lesser Yellownapes and Greater Yellownapes, The later were especially responsive to playbacks and got great views of a pair.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo


Bar-winged Flycatchershrike


White-bellied Yuhina


Common Green Magpie






Lesser Yellownape


Greater Yellownape








The walk to the waterfall was pleasant; Slaty-backed Forktails and Grey Wagtails frequent the roads near streams. The waterfall itself was not very impressive but is a popular tourist attraction at Fraser’s. It started raining so we took shelter in one of the many rain shelters at the waterfall. We headed back up the road as rain subsided and saw s Speckled Piculet, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Everett’s White-eyes, Grey-chinned Minivets and other usual species.

Grey-chinned Minivet




An afternoon English tea at Ye Olde Smokehouse was relaxing; we enjoyed the nice weather after the rain. Scones and Tea is highly recommended, served with strawberry jam and whipped cottage cream. During tea we saw a few Germain’s Swiftlets circling above and a distance Black Eagle that drifted past.

A short walk down New Gap Road followed, nothing much seen except an extremely distance pair of Siamangs, if they hadn’t move we would have mistaken them as simply oddly coloured tree trunks. Another short walk at the Jalan Lady Maxwell gave us good views of a pair of Greater Yellownapes again. There were also a group of White-thighed Leaf Monkeys, they are the most common around the hill station.

Greater Yellownape




White-thighed Leaf Monkey








We had a Steamboat dinner at the restaurant in town centre below the Bird Interpretive Centre, basically hot pot with Tom Yam Soup. A night drive around the Telecom Loop was a bad decision, as the fog got very thick and driving was extremely difficult in the dark winding roads. Nothing was seen except a toad that hopped across the road.


Saturday 1/11/2014

This was our least productive day. My Dad and I started the morning at the Telecom Loop again, caught a glimpse of a Dark Hawk Cuckoo that flew past at the entrance road, but could not locate it after it landed. The walk was enjoyable but little were seen except good views of yet another pair of Malayan Partridge, which responded well to the playbacks, I managed to see them through my binoculars this time but whenever I reach for my camera they will run off.

Encountered a bird wave near the end of the loop and saw a very cooperative male Red-headed Trogon, which gave very good views and allowed plenty of time for good photographs. Other bird seen includes Greater Yellownapes, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Spectacled Laughingthrushes, Silver-eared Mesias, Golden Babblers, Grey-throated Babblers, Sultan Tits, Grey-chinned Minivets, Chestnut-crowned Warblers, White-throated Fantails, Long-tailed Sibias and Fire-tufted Barbets. A few Black-browed Barbets fed on a fruiting tree by the roadside. The best bird was a single Bay Woodpecker that finally gave good views.

Red-headed Trogon








White-throated Fantail


Fire-tufted Barbet








Black-browed Barbet






Bay Woodpecker


Met the others near the Paddock afterwards and caught up with a group of bird photographers nearby, saw a bird wave including the usuals plus a pair of Black-and-Crimson Orioles, a Blue Nuthatch and a female Little Pied Flycatcher that came close. While others decided to head to Raub for a curry lunch, I decided to stay behind and bird some more.

Blue Nuthatch


Little Pied Flycatcher


I headed down the Old Gap Road alone. A few Buff-breasted Babblers were seen, followed by a bird wave with again the usual, in exception of a few Ochraceous Bulbul. A Black Eagle drifted slowly past above my head. Heard a lot of Siamangs calling and kept looking out for them but no luck, however luck struck when I was going back up and encountered a group of six Siamangs passing by! Right above my head! The group remained quiet during the encounter but gave amazingly close views. A dominant male led the way with a mother caring for a baby Siamang. They swung across the trees and crossed the road before disappearing again into the dense forest.

Siamang














Met up with the others back at the hotel and enjoyed a nice take-away curry from Raub at the outdoor sitting area of the hotel restaurant. Afternoon was birdless, we drove up Mager Road and encountered Mr. Goh, a local house keeper of the Istana Pelangi; a large mansion own by the Pahang Royal family. He sells wild collected honey and Durian, a very interesting character indeed. We called it a day and had dinner at Shan King; Saturday’s tourists packed the place!

Magpie Robin

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