Monday, April 27, 2009

Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary

The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary is located in the district of Kerian in the state of Perak. The sanctuary has been established since 1970 by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) and the state government of Perak. The main objective of creating the sanctuary is to protect migratory and resident bird species, which have been using the wetland area for many years.

The migratory birds utilise the large mudflat area for feeding and resting during their migratory route from the northern to the southern hemisphere. During the migration season between August and April every year, more than 200,000 migratory birds representing some 50 species are estimated to stop over here. Some of these migratory birds come from as far as Siberia in Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Japan and China.

Kuala Gula in Perak is made up of different wetlands consisting of rivers, mangrove islands, mudflats, estuaries and fringes of mangrove forests along the coast. It is an important area for fisheries as a majority of the local community are involved in the fishing industry such as harvesting of fish, shrimp and shellfish as well as in post harvesting activities.

Serpent Eagle:

Kuala Gula - Birds (Woodpeckers)

Greater Flameback Woodpecker (female).

Greater Flameback Woodpecker (male).

Pygmy Woodpecker busy at work:

Kuala Gula - Birds (Weaver)

Baya Weaver bird:

Looks like nest is still under construction. The nest is only used once.

Kuala Gula - Birds (Lesser Adjutant)

Lesser Adjutant. Spotted about 5 of these birds during our visit. A bit far off for my meager 70-300 telephoto lens and the out-going tide made sure we would not get any closer.

A short run...

... and its airborne:

Another individual making a meal of a dog-faced snake:

Kuala Gula - Birds (Kingfisher)

Stork-billed Kingfisher... one of the elusive (for shooting with a camera) birds that have caused me a great deal of frustration with its seemingly mocking cry "ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke" as it flies off before you can get close enough for a good shot.

Not going to let it get away that easy this time...

... and another "better-than-nothing" shot of it.

Kuala Gula - Birds (Night Hunters)

Barn Owl:

Spotted-wood Owl on a power-line pole.

Spotted-wood Owl - probably grumbling over the fuss:

Kuala Gula - Birds (Raptors)

Brahminy kite perched.

In-flight meal:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Merambong Island - More Than Bargained For!

Merambong is full of suprises. My 3rd visit for this year and with each visit brings new sightings. This was the best yet with the water surprisingly clear. My DSLR had the 70-300mm telephoto mounted as the plan was a stake-out at octopus lairs where the tide had gone out ... but I never made it out of the water.

Serina spotted an octopus in the shallow out of its lair and I hurried over to manage a few underwater shots with the PnS Olympus 1030 before it made its getaway under the cover of stirred-up sediments.

An untagged female seahorse found at the Merambong Seagrass meadow. Water visibility made shooting underwater very difficult.