Fraser’s Hill yet again III: birds and others

Fraser’s Hill yet again III: birds and others

When:  May 2016    Weather Cool 20C

Nikon P900 Leica Q

 

Arriving at Stephen’s Place (SP) just after 3pm in the afternoon, the weather was fine despite forecasts of thunderstorms…this happened to be the weekend of the international bird race in FH but as it turned out there weren’t that many birders out and about…the town center was closed to traffic though.

I’ve birded all over the world and there have been good days and there have been bad days…….but somehow FH has never let me down, always presenting a lifer or two, or just giving me upclose views and shooting opportunities of previously seen birds.  This particular visit did not bode well as the weather forecast was of significant thunderstorms the whole weekend….little did I know…

One of the wonderful things about staying at Stephen’s Place is that Stephen and his family are steeped in all things natural and they are a resource of information and local knowledge that money just cannot buy….furthermore, the garden around the house itself is heavily planted with attractive fruiting and flowering trees and bushes that attracts all sorts of birds…everyday Stephen will say…oh..there was a green magpie here this morning ..or some other exotic bird…..and we lament that we weren’t up early enough to see them.

A few special FH birds that I’ve been seeking for years now are the Red bearded bee-eater, the Silver breasted Broadbill and the Green Magpie which I’ve only ever glimpsed before…..and minutes after we arrived in SP, I was told that there was a Red bearded bee eater tending a nest not a million miles away….Adam kindly showed us the way and before long….he shouted softly(!) ‘Bee eater!’   and there he was… this impossibly beautiful bird perching one moment on a wire and then flitting to a branch triumphantly with a cicada in his mouth…. We ‘shot him to death’ that afternoon and I shot him twice more over the two days we were there, by different light each time showing his colours spectacularly. His call was a characteristically harsh one and he was a consummate hunter as you can see from the numerous catches that he so proudly displayed….

 

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One of my holy grail birds…the red bearded bee eater!! My first ever sighting of this elusive beauty, here with a bug for tea

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and then he flew to a wire where it was very shaded…and you can see the green has lost its lustre

 

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But he then flew off to another branch that was well lit…and here you can see the wonderful coloration throughout his body

 

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Now looking left….

 

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close up view looking left

 

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close up view looking right

 

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and finally in the early morning light on our last morning, he displayed this catch..

 

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even in dim light, he’s just magnificent! No apologies for posting so many of the same bird….I couldn’t resist it…!

 

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The garden is always a great resource for all sorts of birds….here a streaked spider hunter

 

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feeding on the flowers in the garden

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This Verditer flycatcher appeared near the Silver Leaf apartments

 

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Mountain bulbul

 

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yellow naped woodpecker from a distance

 

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common oriental magpie robin with his meal

 

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The blue sheen on this bronze drongo was amazing

 

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and again

 

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attractive front too

 

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early the next morning, we visited the formerly excellent birding spot called Jelai Bungalow…alas years of dilapidation have left the gas lamps non-functional…not attracting moths and not attracting birds anymore…we saw a few chestnut capped laughing thrushes as usual and this chestnut crowned laughing thrush….

 

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we stopped off at Allans water where we shot one of the birds of FH..the silver eared mesia…

 

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always beautiful!

 

As we hadn’t really done the ‘new road’ properly before, we drove down all the way to the Gap and up again….we should have asked Stephen first as the yield was disappointingly poor….he told us that unless there were flowering trees, there wouldn’t be much there…

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we spotted this fire tufted barbet from a Looooong way off and its testament to the ability of the P900 that I even got some half decent shots!

 

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fire tufted barbet

 

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The male grey chinned minivet

 

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a rather porky male minivet

 

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female grey chinned minivet

 

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the scenery was quite pretty

 

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elusive oriental white eye

 

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cute monkey

 

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orange bellied leaf bird

 

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leafbird from the back

 

So after a rather quiet morning, we settled back at the house for some rest after lunch….then started shooting there…

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the male black throated sunbird soon made an appearance

 

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and here the female made an appearance

 

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another view of black throated sunbird

 

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long tailed sibia

 

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Mountain fulvetta

 

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magpie robin

 

And finally on our last morning, I was debating whether to bird around SP or rush over to Jeriau waterfalls to try and locate theSilver breasted Broadbill…another of my targets…time was tight but we did it anyway….again Stephen gave very precise directions….and this time we struck gold!  Within ten minutes of staking out the place, something flew onto a branch nearby…the Broadbill!   Only trouble was that it was so dark under the canopy that the pix were poor….

 

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Not one, but a pair of silver breasted broadbills appeared! Male and female…

 

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the beautiful male?

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the equally striking female

 

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broadbill

 

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and again no apologies for posting so many of this charmer!

 

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oh..and there were a few other pretty things as well….

 

So I was mightily glad that we made the effort to dash down to the waterfall and shoot my long looked for broadbill and make it back in time for our pickup…..this was a wonderful weekend’s birding thanks to Stephen’s local knowledge and I would never stay anywhere else but Stephen’s Place in Frasers Hill.  Don’t miss it! You can find him on facebook…

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Fraser’s Hill yet again III: birds and others

  1. Fantastic, Ron! Looks like you’ve got your camera set up pretty well. The colors and the detail really come out now. Congratulations! Now you’ve got me all wired up to go back to FH 🙂

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