Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Coastal Malaysia and Langkawi

3 and 4 January 2016

Port Dickson, Malaysia

We spent two days largely in the resort, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, after a generally damp stay at Fraser's Hill. Our room was a stilted bungalow sitting for half the day in the sea with views across the Malacca Straits. There were a couple of mangrove covered islands just offshore that provided some bird interest, though surprisingly no gulls or terns offshore. 

Changeable Hawk Eagle
Birds seen around the resort included:
  • Collared Kingfisher 1
  • Asian Koel
  • Blue-tailed Bee Eater 10
  • Germain's Swiftlet 50
  • House Swift 20
  • Pink-necked Green Pigeon 40, roosting on offshore islands
  • Peaceful Dove 15
  • Spotted Dove 1
  • Common Sandpiper 5
  • Brahminy Kite 2
  • Booted Eagle 1 en route 
  • Changeable Hawk Eagle 1 en route
  • Purple Heron 4 seen heading separately along the coast
  • Great-billed Heron 1 flew overhead on our first evening
  • Striated Heron 1 eating crabs along the beach at low tide
  • Long-tailed Shrike 1 en route
  • House Crow 30
  • Black-naped Oriole 6
  • Asian Magpie Robin 2
  • Common Myna
  • Javan Myna
  • Jungle Myna
  • Barn Swallow 20
  • Pacific Swallow 10
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul 6
  • Yellow-browed Warbler 1
  • Olive-backed Sunbird 4
  • Copper-throated Sunbird 1 female
Not exactly Taman Negara, but we made the best of it....

5 to 9 January 2016

Rebak Island, Langkawi, Malaysia

On 4th January we drove back to Kuala Lumpur for an afternoon flight to Langkawi. We arrived late evening and were driven to a waiting speedboat that took us in the dark, at speed, to the wonderful Rebak Island, our relaxing home near the Langkawi archipelago, for the next five days. 

Over the next few days we recorded a small but interesting range of species around the resort, on walks around the island.

  • Forest Wagtail 1
  • Drongo Cuckoo 2
  • Great Racket-tailed Drongo 3
  • Black-naped Oriole 10
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill 30
  • Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 10
  • Olive-backed Sunbird 10
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
  • Brown Shrike 1
  • Striated Heron 2
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle 5
  • Brahminy Kite 4
  • Crested Goshawk 1
  • Peregrine 1
  • Stripe-throated Bulbul 4
  • Pacific Swallow 
  • Black Nest Swiftlet 
  • Germain's Swiftlet
  • House Swift
  • Long-tailed Nightjar (H)
  • Ashy Minivet 4
  • Pink-necked Green Pigeon 1
Oriental Pied Hornbill were common around the resort

Water Monitor
White-bellied Sea Eagle

The White-bellied Sea Eagles were nesting behind the resort

Black-naped Oriole
White-bellied Sea Eagle
No idea how the Lion-tailed Macaque got out here?
Brown Shrike
Drongo Cuckoo

Forest Wagtail - only seen on one evening

On 7th we took the speed boat back over to Langkawi and spent the day in a range of habitats around the island with a local guide. We started just after dawn on the road up to the highest peak watching Wreathed and Great Hornbills, before dropping down to some mangroves. Over lunch we checked some scrubby areas near the jetty before being driven to a large park on the coast, out to some paddy fields and finally to some reedy pools for dusk. 

We saw a range of species typical of Langkawi. While in the park I found some almost approachable Pink-necked Green Pigeons and walked down to photograph them. I noticed Mac was looking at something but neither she nor the guide suggested they'd seen anything different and we set off towards the waiting bus. Half way there I asked what they were watching and Mac calmly said - 'Oh, just a Tiger Shrike'. This was a real target for me, I really like Shrikes, and I'd never seen one. We quickly returned with both of them saying, 'I'm sure it's still there' - it wasn't and I still haven't seen one.....

During the day we saw the following:
  • Lesser Whistling Duck 100
  • Wreathed Hornbill 3
  • Great Hornbill 1
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill 4
  • Indian Roller 1
  • Dollarbird 5
  • Brown-winged Kingfisher 1H
  • White-breasted Kingfisher 5
  • Black-capped Kingfisher 1
  • Collared Kingfisher 2
  • Asian Koel 3
  • Greater Coucal 2
  • Blue-tailed Bee Eater 2
  • Chestnut-headed Bee Eater 3
  • Black Nest Swiftlet
  • Germain's Swiftlet
  • House Swift
  • Barn Swallow
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Peaceful Dove 6
  • Spotted Dove 10
  • Pink-necked Green Pigeon 5
  • Emerald Dove 1
  • White-breasted Waterhen 2
  • Pintail Snipe 4
  • Common Sandpiper 4
  • Red-wattled Lapwing 25
  • Brahminy Kite 10
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle 10
  • Crested Serpent Eagle 1
  • Mountain Hawk Eagle 1
  • Little Cormorant 1
  • Little Egret 50
  • Cattle Egret 150
  • Great White Egret 30
  • Striated Heron 8
  • Chinese Pond Heron 20
  • Purple Heron 4
  • Brown Shrike 20
  • Large-billed Crow
  • Black-naped Oriole 10
  • Black-hooded Oriole 1
  • Black Drongo 1
  • Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 2
  • Brown Flycatcher 2
  • Common Myna 
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Zitting Cisticola 3
  • Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Paddyfield Pipit 3
  • Tree Sparrow 
  • Baya Weaver 1
  • White-headed Munia
  • Munia sp 000's into roost

Brahminy Kite - common on Langkawi
Roadside bird - Brown Shrike
Chestnut-headed Bee Eater

Collared Kingfisher
Crested Serpent Eagle

Stunning views of this eye level Great Hornbill

Awesome birds

Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Black-naped Oriole
Striated Heron


10 April 2016

Burnham Overy Staithe

Late morning we walked out to Gun Hill through the dunes to the Joe Jordan hide in Holkham woods and back. A few early migrants were seen including 3 Sedge Warbler, a brief Reed Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff in the dunes, 3 Wheatear, a flyover Pied Wagtail, 3 Sandwich Tern offshore, 2 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin over, 2 Blackcap and a stunning male Common Redstart. Between 4 and 6 Mediterranean Gulls flew over, an increasingly frequent sight on the coast, 5 Common Buzzard were circling over the woods, and a Goldcrest was out on Gun Hill. As we walked through the dunes a Stoat appeared, searching for Rabbits. It popped out of a hole at close range before running away. 

In Holkham a Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff and 1 Willow Warbler were singing. The Great White Egret was in its usual ditch, 3 Spoonbill were showing on the marsh, 3 Marsh Harrier, 6 Common Buzzard and a smart male Sparrowhawk were also seen from the hide.

As we walked back to the car another Spoonbill flew in from the west and landed in a close pool giving great views from the path, before flying right over our heads.

An evening visit to Warham Greens on a beautiful sunny spring evening. No Hen Harriers, but 2 Marsh Harrier including the regular pale male, 2 Spoonbill flew from the marsh back towards Holkham, 2 Swallow went west, a Common Buzzard hunted over East Hills and 2 Sparrowhawk over the marsh. A Barn Owl and a Kestrel were seen along the lane on the way home.