Monday, December 27, 2010

Panti :: Rhino Hornbills, Drongo Cuckoo, BKF!

26th Dec 2010 

Lifers : Rhinoceros Hornbill, Drongo Cuckoo.

Yesterday's morning was exciting because I saw two CHEs (dark morph) and one CHE (pale morph) on my way to Panti. I couldn't take any shot as the road shoulder along the Kulai-Kota Tinggi is narrow and traffic was high. And sunrise was unusually early after a heavy downpour the previous night.

I have not being to Panti for weeks and all the usual calls of birds suddenly sounded strange and unfamiliar. It took me a few mins to realize the call at the gantry was of the CHE  on my arrival around 7:30am.

We parked the car near the Hut (Ponduk) and before we knew it a group of 5 Rhinoceros Hornbills flew off from the trees just next to the Hut and perched 200’ away at 100’ ht, barely a tiny dot thru the VF! 

I have seen Wreathed, Black and Pied Hornbills before but not the Rhinoceros Hornbill, so I was delighted to get my first lifer early in the morning despite the sensor-dust-sized image on the frame.

And thanks to the two Drongos who helped to flush out one that was hidden on  a tree top which enabled me to snap some shots of aerial hot pursuit! It was the loud and perpetual low tone calls of the hornbill that drive the Drongos mad at first.  Wonder why the R Hornbill did not just turn around in mid-air and swallow them!

Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros)
Enggang * 马来犀鸟サイチョウ
Calao rhinocéroszobákorožec velkýนกเงือกหัวแรด

While waiting for the flight shot of the Rhino hornbills, a female banded Kingfisher landed on my right silently about 20’ high and flew off secs later, I took a quick shot and back to look for the hornbills again, and moment later it was sighted on a lower branch and raising its crown rhythmically in respond to a male calls! 

It was Wong’s first visit to Panti after acquiring his new cam and I can bet with you he is going to be smiling like a toad for many weeks to come. For almost an hour, we decided to leave because the male did not show up despite its calls were heard in close range.

Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella)
Pekaka Rimba * 横斑翠鸟 * カザリショウビン Sả vằn
Martin-chasseur mignonrybárikovec jarabýนกกะเต็นลาย

And a flowerpecker landed in front of me needing some attention!

Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus)
Sepah Puteri Pelangi * 红胸锯齿啄花鸟ムネアカハナドリモドキ
Dicée poignardébobuliar modrochrbtýนกกาฝากอกสีเลือดหมู

When Wong sighted a partially blocked "Crow-billed Drongo" on a tree close to his side while we were on our way in, he asked if I wanted to shoot the CBD for improvement shot, I hesitated, take a lazy look at the fat CBD that looked pregnant to me and said why not, while he waited in the car!

Four handheld shots, were all blur so I asked for extra time in order to setup my tripod, close in slowly to my lens's min focus dist of 10' and the sun suddenly shines into the canopy while I took a burst of 9fps, it was a Drongo Cuckoo!  And Wong was trying to kill himself because it flew off just as I turned my head and whispered to him in slow motion “快 …快.........D R O N..... G O ….. C U C K O O…..”

He smiled later after I promised him a Pitta in year 2012!

We both had mistaken it as Juvenile CBD which we have shot earlier at the Ponduk! And thanks to Wong again for this wonderful lifer! 

Drongo Cuckoo (Sumiculus lugubris)
Burung Hamba Kera * 乌鹃 * オウチュウカッコウCu cu đen
Coucou drongokukucka drongovitáนกคัคคูแซงแซว

All my usual Tiger Shrikes must have gone to X’mas Island for holidays, not a single one was sighted, DSFCs and ABFCs were not seen either at their usual spots too, strange!

200m before the First Stream....
But this lovely couple of the Scarlet-rumped Trogons was either having a fight over the party last night or still having their hangover. They were sighted with their backs facing each other by the side of the bunker trail, and while we were setting up our gear to shoot, at least 6 cars and two truck drove past  between us and yet they show no sign of panic or nervous. 

We didnlt shoot the female as it was partially blocked, and she looked just as mad as the male below too. and to tell you the truth, I have never seen such an angry-looking Trogon either.


We sighted a lot of birds just along the main bunker trail and i believe it was mainly due to absence human activities during the festive season.