The day started overcast, and quickly went downhill from there! I started at Timah-Tasoh in the hope of finally catching up with Bronze-winged Jacana – a vain hope as it turned out. I spent a frustrating hour in fine drizzle trying to see what birds were coming into a few fruiting trees, getting brief veiws of some Eyebrowed Thrushes and no views at all of a probable Dusky Warbler chacking obstinately from thick undergrowth.
At Chuping it was raining on and off, so I decided to try my luck from this observation tower. Almost immediately I spotted an interesting-looking cormorant fly in and land in a ditch between fields. Taking careful bearings on the spot, I drove and then walked to roughly where the bird had disappeared. The walk took me across muddy fields and through increasingly marshy ground, and to make matters worse, the rain started again and settled in for a prolonged misty drizzle – an unwelcome reminder of my homeland!
I didn’t fancy accidentally dislodging these! I was now about 3km from the car, with only the propect of getting wetter and muddier as I made my disconsolate way back. A flushed Blue-breasted Quail and several “Swintail” Snipes were insufficient to raise my spirits!
I drove around for a few more hours, but the weather showed no signs of improving and the tracks were getting more and more like rivers. I decided to call it a day to try to dry off at the chalets in the State Park.
En route to Padang Besar I came across a Short-toed Snake-eagle on a telegraph pole looking even more miserable than me! It wasn’t about to move, even when I parked opposite. Not perfect light, but rather close!
A rare chance to scrutinize its short toes and bare tarsi. I knew that by this time Choo Eng, James and Kit Wan were on the road north from Penang, so I let them know the location of the pole, and sure enough, an hour and a half later, they got their lifer!
By the time the others arrived at the chalet, my clothing and optics were festooning every available space. Our plan to try for the White-fronted Scops-owl was frustrated by the weather – it continued raining solidly right through the night!