Saturday, September 4, 2010

Diard's Trogon (Harpactes diardii), male

The Diard's Trogon are the most elusive among the 3 species of trogons found in Panti. Generally they perch very high, and they do so quietly (w.o territorial calls), making them hard to spot in the thick canopy foliage of Panti forest.

But yet I have seen them a couple of times* at surprisingly low perch along the main bunker trail, but all attempts to shoot them were in vain as they simply disappeared in split second the moment i spotted them.

3rd of Sept was my lucky day in Panti indeed, with 4 good lifers in less than 5 hours, the female Banded Kingfisher, Diard's Trogon, Buff-necked Woodpecker, and the Moustached Babbler.

This Diard's Trogon was spotted unexpectedly while chasing for a pair of unknown babblers in the forest trail, looking submissively like the Scarlet-rump Trogons, I took a quick burst of 9fps without even proper focussing, fearing that it would be gone before i got any shot, lucky for me that the DT did not vanish like what i had expected .Needless to say, I was extremely excited then.

I decided later to play calls after securing a few shots, just to see its response, and much to my astonishment this time**, it flew to my left at eye-level, just 10-12' away perching quietly, giving me the submissive look again as i shift my setup slowly for an unblocked view. I didn't even dare to check my setting in that 2mins of close encounter, knowing that one wrong bodily move would shatter my dream of a full frame shot for a Diard's Trogon

Just few shots on MLU, only one was in focus (pic below), it flew into the forest and gone.

So far, I have not seen a female Diard's Trogon in Panti yet! Not sure why.....and I certainly hope that when it shows up one day, it will give me the same experience like this male DT again! !:)

Trogons are undoubtedly the favourites and one of the most photographed birds in Panti because they are large and beautiful. And when they do perch low, their backs are always facing you with the over-the -shoulder look.

From the info googled, close to 40 species exist worldwide, but only around 6 or 7 species are found in Malaysia.

The 3 species in Panti are, Scarlet-rump Trogon, Red-naped Trogon and the Diard's Trogon.

*at the hut, i.e. 200m after the car park, and about 300m after the 2nd stream.

**While you could always seek you luck with bird calls on the DT's, but the best is to avoid playing calls the moment you spotted it as their territorial behavior would send them fleeing deeper into the forest. It had happened to me quite a few times actually....! :(