Bukit Tinggi (2) our quest for the Mountain Peacock Pheasant

When:  April 2017                           Weather: Cool 23C

Nikon P900,  Sony a7II 70-400G

 

Having missed out on the Mountain Peacock Pheasant (MPP) the last time we went a few months ago, we tried again having heard that the creature was still there. Arriving at the Botanic Gardens in Bukit Tinggi, at about 3000ft altitude, the sun had just risen at about 7am.  Our birding expert confidently predicted that the MPP would show up at 745am so we set ourselves up comfortably behind out hide and waited…

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Daybreak over the foothills of Genting Highlands at Bukit Tinggi, altitude 3000ft.

 

Settling ourselves down, a flight of 4-5 Bushy Headed Hornbills called loudly and flew overhead to welcome  us…..a few yellow breasted warblers also zipped by….and then at 720, A whispered, “It’s here!”  And gazing into the clearing, a dark grey shadow appeared…the light was terrible….but there was no doubt, our target bird for the day had appeared…

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A rather nondescript dark grey looking bird appeared in the gloomy morning

 

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But as he neared and turned, the detailed markings appeared and confirmed the arrival of the Mountain Peacock Pheasant!

 

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Turning further, the brownish hues with speckling become evident

 

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Back view of the MPP showing the chestnut brown coloration, bluish Ocelli (eyespots) on the back and tail feathers. Note the two spurs on the leg indicating this is a male.

 

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After the MPP went off for a walk, some old friends appeared…the ubiquitous oriental magpie robin….

 

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white rumped shama

 

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white rumped shama

 

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and then after a while, a brief flurry of motion led to the appearance of a second MPP! Unfortunately it wasn’t another female which might have enamoured the male to display, but another male and they proceede to squabble and fly around…

 

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the magnificent MPP with a clear view of the blue ocelli on his back

 

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another old friend then emerged…the female siberian blue robin

 

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And having been hugely satisfied with the MPP and waiting for its reappearance, we were stunned to see this beauty peek out….

 

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the absolutely gorgeous and stunningly beautiful Ferruginous Wood Partridge!

 

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the near threatened Ferrugionous wood partridge

 

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The beautiful white edged black scales and orange speckled tail of the FWP

 

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It was very active and barely paused at all

 

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and then amazingly, the MPP joined the FWP…two uncommon birds in one shot!

 

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finally with a flurry, the MPP flew off into the forest..

 

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the spider had been busy

 

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and interesting cicada were around

 

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and leaving the area and walking past the Japanese Gardens, a loud guttural honk led us to this bird perching in the tree….

 

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A Hornbill with a large upper casque….the Rhinoceros Hornbill! Lifer number 3 for the morning.

 

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Rhinoceros Hornbill…near threatened

 

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Rhino Hornbill

 

So this trip more than made up for having missed out last year….seeing the vulnerable, endemic Mountain Peacock Pheasant, Ferruginous wood partridge and the Rhinoceros Hornbill…..unforgettable!! Highly recommened.

 

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