Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Raya Holiday: Chenderiang, Perak

It's an unexpected invitation from Yeap, my boss when he and his wife asked me whether i'm interested to come along with them to "assist" Yeap in bird survey at one of the ladang which set up by MCare in Perak. This happened during MNS Open Day. Initially, i was a bit reluctant because i'm still a beginner. In terms of bird calls and bird names, i'm pretty uncomfortable with it. But guess, if i don't try it, i wouldn't know how much i know about the birds in Malaysia (after went through numerous trips reports and bird checklists) and after so many on site practices. Well it took me a few minutes to make my decision. Well the answer i gave was "Yes, and does that mean i get to try the durian as well? " Unfortunately, the invitation was not "activated" until i was in Fraser's Hill for my project assessment when i received a call from him that the trip date was set. It would be on Raya break (2D2N). My heard was like... *Ooo.. Finally and yes, that's it! I'll take this as my test.

9th September (Thursday) exactly 5:30pm, my boss came up to me and said "Cik oi.. please pack up.. we are leaving now". (Sorry here.. i have to cut short of my KL to Perak journey stories..way too much to mention). Well, we reached the MCare ladang about 830pm. The first thing i noticed was fireflies. There were so many of them around the pond area. Lovely ^^ (Sonny, next recce trip.. we all go there, yeah!).

This was where i first sighted the fireflies...

We met up with the founder of MCare ladang, Mr Wong and his family (3 lovely foster daughters , Maina, Mazna and Rusan - all of them very vocal, smart and energetic girls). We had a short briefing about the Ladang and common birds around the area. This ladang consist of really huge orchards, nursery, oil palm plantation just right before the entrance of the Ladang and the highlights is the mini waterfall. Both my boss and myself got excited when we heard that there are sightings of hornbills and raptors.

10th September (Friday) Oh well, the bird survey didn't start with a good day. The whole day - it was gloomy, cloudy and drizzling but it didn't stop us from doing the bird survey. First day - we had about 25 garden and forest birds. Not too bad... there were quite a number of Brown barbet, a pair of Blue-crowned hanging Parrot and couple of whiskered treeswifts. We sighted one raptor - resident one.. Crested Serpent Eagle when we were on the way to the waterfall. The sad side was we didn't even hear any hornbills (well we were looking forward to spot Oriental Pied Hornbill at least).

In the afternoon, we went to OA village to celebrate Raya. IT was splendid. The meals that they have prepared for their guests were delicious (Sorry photos). We had lemang, asam laksa, ayam rendang, beef rendang, and Raya cookies (one of them known as "Lidah Buaya" or "Tilam"). Love the "Lidah Buaya" until we packed some back (sorry again, no photo).

On the way to the village, my boss's wife, KH showed us the Egret Site. It was true.. Lots of Egrets (Cattle and Little) and Herons (Purple and Grey).

Fish pond attracts a lot Cattle and Little Egrets

Packed with Egrets and Herons

Have a look at the tree - Egrets...

After all the hard work, my boss's wife KH rewarded us by bringing us to Kampar New Town for dinner. I was very fortunate because Kampar new town is my new site. I would say the town is pretty well planned student's town as compared to the ones i've been in NZ. Another unexpected plan was KH would love to do owling around Ladang area. I was actually excited and shocked (the same time) that she took it seriously because i told her what i've done during my recent birding trip to Penang and there..she was really looking forward to sight at least one owl or nightjar. Well, luck wasn't with us. No calls at all.. it was so quiet. Well..fairly disappointed. But at least, she got to feel the fun part of owling or night survey.

11th September (Saturday) - Weather was PERFECT and very rewarding. Sighted one pair of Banded Broadbills and it's Yeap's lifer. Guess broadbill's luck is always with me because i always hoping to see broadbills in all my birding trips. Well more birds and calls were heard. Even gibbon's and Great Argus's calls were heard as well. Lovely. In total, we had 35 - 38 birds in our list. Pretty good for a short trip.

More photos of the Ladang MCare:

Road leading to the Ladang. Build by MCare

Goat nursery - the highlights of Ladang MCare

The only male goat.. licked on the salt block

The trail that lead us to the orchard where we saw a pair of:
Banded Broadbills and Blue-crowned hanging Parrots.