Back to the north! Bukit Wang and Chuping, 9 Jan 2015

A request from Tim and Jeff Perkins on Friday evening to take them to Bukit Wang led to an unscheduled repeat visit on Saturday. Unlike my previous visit, it was pretty quiet, although there were several chances to revisit migrants like the Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, Green-backed and Chinese Blue Flycatcher. The pittas were a complete no-show, sadly.

Spectacled Spiderhunter_Bukit Wang_090115_IMG_0792

This Spectacled Spiderhunter was one of the few resident birds which deigned to show itself.

Chinese Blue Flycatcher_Bukit Wang_090115_IMG_0845

This Chinese Blue Flycatcher was once again showy.

Chinese Blue Flycatcher_Bukit Wang_090115_IMG_0895

This time I managed to see the upperparts. The brown wings confirm that it is a 1st winter, and so the black face is probably a 1st year characteristic as well.

Bird activity had tailed off to almost zero by midday, so we decided to travel further north to Chuping.

Brahminy Starling_Chuping_090115_IMG_1065

First up, we made an effort to relocate the Brahminy Starling I had seen on my last visit, and we struck gold straight away!

Brahminy Starling_Chuping_090115_IMG_0998

We had much better and prolonged views this time, as it commuted between feeding in the rubber sapling plantation and perching on a favourite pylon.

Brahminy Starling_Chuping_090115_IMG_1025

It was in fairly advanced wing moult, just like one that has turned up in Samarn Bird Camp in Kaengkacharn National Park recently.

Great Spotted Eagle_Chuping_090115_IMG_1169

There were not many raptors in evidence – this 2-3 year old Great Spotted Eagle was the best we saw.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail_Chuping_090115_IMG_1248 Red-throated Pipit_Chuping_090115_IMG_1262


Tim had not yet seen Red-throated Pipit, so we drove north till we started to find groups of Eastern Yellow Wagtails, and then Red-throated Pipits. While walking through the fields, we flushed an Oriental Skylark three times. Each time, we were unable to locate it when it dropped down between the furrows, so we only had flight views and heard it call a few times. This is a potential second record for the country after the first, a group of three birds, was seen at the same location in late 2013.

Siberian Stonechat_Chuping_090115_IMG_1218

We came across a couple of Siberian Stonechats as we scoured the fields.

By now the sun was getting low, and it was time for harriers to start congregating before going to roost.

Pied Harrier_Chuping_090115_IMG_1298


This juvenile Pied was one of relatively few birds compared to last season.

Richard's Pipit_Chuping_090115_IMG_1381

As the sun sank lower, we found a small flock of Richard’s Pipits, in almost the same spot as last season. Their loud ‘schreep’ calls, long floppy-looking tails and habit of towering up high into the sky marked them out from Paddyfield Pipits.

Richard's Pipit_Chuping_090115_IMG_1393

The tail length seemed most apparent when the wings were held against the body.

Having also seen Sakhalin Leaf Warbler at Bukit Wang and Manchurian Reed-Warbler at Chuping, we reflected on a successful day’s haul , including five species that were not even on the Malaysian list 18 months ago!






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