Thursday, 19 August 2010

Gunung Brinchang: Part 1

Our second day in the Cameron Highlands was spend descending Gunung Brinchang, a peak of to the west of our hotel that conveniently permitted taxi access to the top via a windy single track road. We opted to take the road route back as jungle track 1 was steep, muddy and very dark looking.

At the peak there is a radio mast station - a walk around the perimeter was successful with large niltava, a big flycatcher, being picked up immediately. The male (above) is a striking blue bird, while the female (below) is more subtle. Not sure what I'd done camera-wise, but |I messed up big time with exposure for most of these shots - the male image clearly shows a shutter speed too low, as the movement of the bird has not been frozen. No worries, it a record at least.

Another species was prominent at the top - white-throated fantail. A very curious species, dropping in front of us to check us out - after a quick spread of the tail they dart back into the darkness of the jungle cover.

The views from the top were beautiful - the dense jungle forms a green carpet over the peaks - it's a habitat that fascinates me, but also frustrates as the birding, without local knowledge, is daunting. Frequently were heard the passage of bird-wave: mixed flocks working the canopy: for the life of me I could not see anything!

White-tailed robin were also numerous and inquisitive to the human visitors. Flash was again priceless in the dark shade of the roadside. The bird below is a juvenile.

As we descended the habitat changed - jungle / rain forest then moss forest and lower down, tea plantations  - all very pretty. As we neared the tea plantations the species mix change somewhat - most abundant were mountain bulbul - with their vibrant olive toned wings and tail. This was the only mountain bulbul of the trip that I was able to get level with, all the others were up high.

More on the other species at lower elevations, plus some nice tea plantation pictures in the next installment...

1 comment:

Stuart Price said...

Some great birds that I'll probably never see.......

I've been to the tropics several times (not really birding trips) but the only birds I ever got to grips with were in Australia because I had the time to get used to them (I was there a while).

In SE Asia and certainly in South America it was a all a bit much to be honest...........