Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Leaving Koh Lanta for Bangkok and home

Early morning  a Olive winged bulbul obliged before leaving from the quay a Black Kite showed
briefly as we boarded our boat.
The speed boat journey produced lesser crested and black naped terns.At Krabi pier we drove to
the airport noting Smyrna kingfisher on route.An  hours flight to Bangkok was easy enough , finally getting our car to the Mandarin Oriental.
Welcomed by the doorman we checked in,  from the room the river view produce black collared
starling previously seen in Hong Kong.A racoon like squirrel was running over the roof tops,also saw
brown shrike. Time for a shower and evening meal.
Breakfast the following morning produced a few species in the gardens below Coppersmith barbet
and Ashy Drongo,breakfast by the river ended our stay in the city.

Kingfisher Kites and Eagle

From the balcony this morning the Asian Brown Flycatcher once again obliged for the camera, while
drinking tea squirrels obliged as did a Collared Kingfisher be it fleetingly.
 A Common Iora posed only for one shot only its wingbar and body its head was turned, then the coucal flew by and it was time for breakfast.
After breakfast I got the buggy to the top of the Pimalai estate too photograph the views.I was
interrupted  by a white bellied sea eagle being mobbed by a brahminy kite.

At dusk an Indian Roller chased a crow as another sunset descended on Koh Lanta.

Koh Lanta National Park

Got up around 0700 hrs  and got a taxi a few miles to the NP, the uphill drive provided  some monkeys and doves on route. I arrived a little early.
Walking the vicinity of the beach I saw a Pacific Reef Egret and Common Saandpiper below
the light house.
Numerous bulbuls and a few sunbirds showed at the dried up river bed along with a skulking
White Breasted Waterhen.
Next up a pair of Brahminy Kite  nesting nearby and calling in the trees,this took some time as straining backwards to view the tree tops.
On leaving a troop of crab eating Macaques or Green monkeys as called by the locals walked
past us nonchantly.
On route back near the Elephant Trek village we found a Ratchet tailed Treepie and more kites
and mynahs.
That evening  around 1800 HRS  I saw a Lesser Coucal from our balcony and a nightjar and bat.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Koh Haa sunset cruise

Another walk produced the usual suspects, as the morning progressed we missed lunch due to our
forthcoming cruise which was departing at 1400hrs,on leaving the beach a Lesser Coucal was calling.
1400 HRS boarded the boat with a mixed bunch an hour at sea provided a few terns Lesser crested
and probably Black naped,at last we reached the Limestone pinnacles covered in vegetation.

The sea was azure blue and below angel and trigger fish, my snorkelling was poor due to my
hesistancy and the strong tide,so I settled for a boat ride to the beach.
Paul and Natalie and Danish enjoyed there day,the staff were good on the boat a fun day for
everybody on board.
So we hit the beer and wine on the way back to Koh Lanta ,it is said that the sea eagles nest on these
islets.

Sea Eagle and Flycatcher

This morning a flycatcher is showing from the balcony again its  the Asian Brown Flycatcher a migrant to Southern Thailand I had seen previously in India.
Across the bay to the headland a White bellied Sea Eagle was rising on the thermals,breakfast was
at 0900hrs  followed by a massage,had  lunch  along the beach with Brahminy Kite and Jungle Mynahs.
After lunch around the pool watching swallows,a pair of Common Hill Mynahs was a good find.
Around 1730 hrs noticed Little Green Pigeon as did another Koel,I walked down to the beach to
photograph an amazing sunset with a long tailed boat in the fore ground.

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Friday the 13th of March Koh Lanta

Awoke around 0700hrs a misty start as the heat rises over the Andaman sea a gentle stroll through the
hotel grounds a paradise for its wealthy clientele, my main concern was my bins and camera they were steamed up due to the rooms air con.
A few Crested Mynahs strutting on the beach and black naped orioles courting and calling
in the trees,I'm distracted  by a bird in flight over the distant rock pools it proves to be a black capped
kingfisher,near a dried up river bed a common tailor bird obliges. Overhead a Southern Jungle Crow is calling as I walk back to the  hotel.
0830 HRS having tea on the balcony followed by breakfast,at lunch time an Indian Roller flew over the pool,the afternoon heat abated  and I noted a monitor lizard and a dollarbird sang from a dead tree along the beach.
To end the day an Asian Koel also called from the canopys and two Pacific Reef Egrets glided along
the rocky headland near the town bay.

Kuala Lumpur to Krabi

The 1hr 20minute flight was soon over and we picked up our transport to Krabi Jetty where a speed boat took us 50 minutes to Koh Lanta.
Not many birds on route we checked in to our room  overlooking the Andaman sea,from the balcony I saw streak eared or olive bulbul,Spotted dove and photographed female olive sunbird.
Around the beach after lunch I noted Indian Pond Heron,Intermediate Egret and Lesser Coucal.
Carol saw a monitor lizard,later around sunset a stroll produced Asian Koel a host of hirundines and
prolific Magpie Robins.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Success at last Parit Falls produces some cracking birds

Last day in the Cameron Islands I had breakfast and took a cab to Parit Falls,the sun was shining  on arrival.
This montane local park produced  some marvellous surprises in the form of White crowned Forktail.
Seen on the river boulders below the falls. A wave of Minivets,Orioles,Drongos etc were calling
and viewable in the early morning sun.

Above the Grey chinned Minivet posed admirably and so did  a few others at least 30 minutes of activity.
A Scarlet Minivet was quite something as it moved through the canopy, even a racket tailed drongo
showed briefly.
Pale legged Leaf Warbler was a good find I thought it was an Arctic warbler at first,it was all over too soon  I returned by taxi around 10.00hrs.
We left the hotel around 1300 hrs making our way to Tapah and eventually to hotel Sama Sama in
KL for the next leg of the holiday.

Mount Brinchang its tea plantations,mossy oak forests and butterflys

Having breakfast on the balcony noting bulbuls,flowerpeckers and a pleasing Mugimaki flycatcher and the common Asian Magpie Robins.
0900 hrs we were picked up by land rover and headed for the Boh tea estate where we gazed over
the tea plantation noting few birds.
Next up we headed for Mount Brinchang where we had exceptional views of the valleys below.
A little way down the road we entered the mossy forest where a crested serpent eagle could be heard
below us in the valley.
In the forest the rare endemic pitcher plants and so much more fauna was pointed out by our
guide.
We then moved down the valley passing a Long Legged Buzzard on route to the Tea factory.
Next up was a butterfly garden followed by a strawberry growers farm.
Above the splendid Rajah Brookes Birdwing amongst other varietys.

Batu caves on route to Cameron Highlands

Left KL for the Cameron Highlands our first stop was the presidents palace,next up the Batu Caves ,here there are 272 steps founded in 1879 the limestone hills here the oldest in the world.
birds of note here tree sparrows,mynahs ,crows and cattle egrets,the impressive statue of
Lord Murughan.
After an hour here we pushed on and had lunch in Tapah town with spiderhunters and palm swifts
Lunch was Nasi Goreng,it was raining at 1345hrs and we stopped briefly to view basket weaving.
On route we stopped at Lata Iskanda I thought the waterfalls would produce some birds but no.
Crossing in to Pahang state birds picked up a bit Magpie robins ,swallows and needletails.
Arrived Cameron Islands Hotel checked in had a spot of tea and cakes before a walk parallel
with the golf course produced common Sandpiper ,Grey Wagtail and more Magpie Robins.
Our evening meal was the traditional Steamboat,a pot split in two halves boiling water noodles with
meat fish and vegetables,this memorable meal served by impeccable staff was a delight.We retired to the bar had a frame of snooker followed by coffee.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Malaysia March 2015

Arrived Kuala Lumpur from Singapore tired after almost 2 days travel woke up 20 floors up opposite its twin towers.
After breakfast we took a taxi to Kuala Lumpur bird park probably the biggest in the world.
spectacular Cattle Egrets now Eastern of the species Coromandus along with some splendid passerines flying wild for instance the Asian Fairy Bluebird.
Raptors in the shape of Owls was a nice distraction like Spotted Wood owl and BuffyFish Owl.
Finally the breeding programme for Milky storks is an ongoing success  and is noticeable in this vast
bird park.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Dancing on the Ceiling

Sunday night it was south of the river a guy was playing at the 02 ,the wife and I are in my cousins
cab as the rain lashes down the other side of the Blackwall tunnel.
video
In the carpark then its blowing a gale as we walk to the entrance ,we are in the priority bar Caz is on the champers then around 815 PM Lionel kicks off and the place is buzzing the next 2 hrs  What An ALL NIGHT LONG to remember.