A Birding Trip to Awana - June 2016

This customised day trip was intended to see as many bird species as possible within a day at this important hill station for bird life. A total of 26 species were seen and heard which included a diverse spread of common lowland sundaic birds as well as some much sort after mega specialities such as Red-Headed Trogon, Golden Babbler, and Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo. The journey along the Karak highway was nothing spectacular except for a flyby Creasted Serpent Eagle. 

The trip up to the hill station was accompanied by a symphony of chorus from Striped-Tit babbler, Grey-Throated babbler as well as some tailor birds. An obliging Oriental Magpie Robin was also seen hopping along the roadside. Reaching the site at about 8.15am. i have probably missed some early/nocturnal birds such as Collared Owlet and Slaty-backed Forktail which have been seen here before. This little set back was later compensated by a few bird waves that came soon after. Here are some of their photos: 

Black-browed Barbet

A common barbet which can be found in sub-montane and montane regions.

The two red spots on the upper breast as well as its overall colors appeared to be less intense on this bird as compared to the first one at the top. Hence could this be a female bird?

Little Cuckoo Dove

HBW Alive had mentioned a subspecies called M.r malayana which is said to be found in Peninsular Malaysia and has an overall darker color than M.r orientalis. Could this be one of them?

The above bird was probably a female as shown from its heavily blackish mottling breast.

Everett's White Eye

In the highlands, they would represent the white-eyes.

A look at its undercarriage.

Streaked Wren Babbler

The distinctive clear bold black streaks on its chest certainly points it to a Streaked Wren babbler but could this belong to the sub species T.b leucostictus ? The bird attracted my attention through its call which was quite different than its normal one or two note calls.

This was a record shot of a Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo !

I have tried my best to a get a frontal view but a bit more closer would mean that i will be taking its photo from 30 meters down below the ravine.

Little Pied Flycatcher

What a cutee !

This one was a juvenile.

A stunning looking Mountain Bulbul

and an equally nice looking Striped Throated Bulbul

Golden Babbler

Birders will agree that this bird is always on steroids.

Grey-chinned Minivet (male)

I love its scientific name: P. solaris. Could this be a P.s montanus due to its intense red color?

Grey-chinned Minivet (female)

She is about to take off

She is looking like a little parakeet here. This time the female had outshined the male minivet.

Female Blyth Shrike Babbler

A common sundaic bird.

A well respected bird in the highlands and mountains - Chestnut-capped Laughing Thrush

Not sure why this swiflet has more spots on its body? Ah ! just found out that this could be a "Plume-toed Swiflet" (effective in 2017). Formerly called 'Glossy Swiflet'

Red-headed Trogon (male)

Any birder, young and old alike will be mesmerised by this bird. So blessed that we have such a nice looking bird here. Despite its bright colors, it wasn't easy to spot this bird in the forest.

It was a joy to see it sally for insects. Unlike a flycatcher, this trogon does not return to the same branch after grabbing the insect in flight.

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike

Despite its common and non vulnerable status, it was not an easy bird to find.

Sometimes when a bird is present continuously in a particular area it does not really mean that the bird species is common because in other parts of the world it may have become extinct.

Ah ! here is another common bird - Long-tailed Sibia. They are easily the noisiest bird in the mountains.

Bronzed Drongo

Despite its common status, little is known about its life.

Lastly but not least, here is my favourite barbet

Fire-tufted Barbet

From its weird cicada-like calls to its colorful head pattern, this barbet never fail to amazed me.



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