10 members with families from Ipoh and Taiping participated in this trip. We left 8:50 am from Ipoh on 24th May after having breakfast together. Along the Kpg Raja-Gua Musang highway, we stopped for an adult pair of Bat Hawks with their newly fledged juvenile at a known Bat Hawk nesting site. After lunch at Gua Musang, we continued our journey to Tasik Kenyir. Along route 185 from K Koh to Tasik Kenyir , we were treated with the sighting of 8 Rhinoceros Hornbills congregating on a fruiting tree and Black-thighed Falconets with a full grown chick, stuck out from its nesting hole. We finally arrived around 3:15 pm at the Lawit Lodge where we were supposed to be accommodated for the whole trip duration through earlier booking. However there was a hiccup made by the Lodge management and we wasted the whole afternoon sorting out an alternative place to stay and finally putting up at a Home Stay nearby. Fortunately we were able to check in at the Lawit Lodge on the following day onwards.
On the 2nd morning, Mr. Wee, a local friend of Trengganu MNS Branch took us to bird along Jalan Pengkalan Utama, a popular birding trail. We were not disappointed as the density and diversity of birds along that stretch of road were very good, helped by the good weather condition and many seeding trees along the trail. Many species of birds were sighted including Crested Jay, Green Broadbills, Great Ioras, Green Ioras, bulbuls, leaf-birds, Black Hornbills, Wreathed Hornbills, Rhinoceros Hornbills, Wallace’s Hawk-eagle etc .etc. We spent the whole day birding there with mid afternoon breaks for lunch and rest at the Lodge. On the same night, we went for “owling” along the same road and were rewarded with the sighting of Buffy Fish-owl and Brown Hawk-owl.
On the 3rd day, it rained during the best birding period of the morning and it continued to unsettle our birding schedule with heavy downpour from around 4:30 pm till late at night but it did not stop us to drive 45 km away to Wakaf Tapai, a Chinese town at Marang district where we ordered some sumptuous local Chinese specialties for dinner with recommendation from a local friend of one of our participants. Needless to say, the number of birds seen on the 3rd day was limited by the persistent rain.
On the 4th and final morning of the trip, we checked out early to drive in convoy and bird in leisure along the quiet route 185 with good sunshine and blue sky. In sheer delight, we finally “nailed” one of our target birds, the male and female Wrinkled Hornbills in high perch under excellent light preening their feathers along side with Black Hornbills on the same tree. Though they were still pretty far from our photographing and videoing equipments, everyone had a long good look at those beautiful hornbills with memorable images/video clips to take home. Added to our joy, there were many raptor species that we came across along route 185.
Proceeding on with our return journey, we made a turn-off to Kuala Koh National Park for lunch to facilitate a few of our participants who have not been there before. After that, we continued our journey and reached Ipoh by 6:30 pm.
A total of 85 bird species, 5 mammals and 1 whip snake were recorded for the whole trip.
(Reported on 29 May 2013 by Trip Coordinator Ooi Beng Yean)