Thursday, April 27, 2017

WBCM heads south to Johor (14-16 April 2017)

Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker Credit: Lam Mow Sum
This trip was rated fruitful as everyone had at least 2 lifers!!! Lim Seik Ni, our trip leader listed 4 star birds for this trip, Malaysian Plover, Kentish Plover, Sanderling and Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker and we saw not one but ALL the star birds over the long weekend. Kudos to our trip leader and this was her first trip leading a group of members! The full listing of birds seen can be found through these links:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36008829
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36008283
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36007991
a pair of Malaysian Plover (M&F) Credit: Lam Mow Sum
Members asked why WBCM chose Malaysian plover as WBCM logo and it was only because there was a Malaysian word attached to this bird. And for 16 of us, it was meaningful as it was the first star bird spotted at the beach area of Mutiara Motor Resort located at Sedili Kechil. Although some members were fiercely bitten by sand flies, it did not stop them observing 4 pairs of Malaysian Plover in breeding plumage under a hot blazing sun on Friday afternoon!
Birdwatching at Sedili Kechil Credit: Tang Tuck Hong
Birdwatching at Mersing beach area Credit: Wendy Chin

Birdwatching at Mersing Jetty Credit: Polly Chin
The next morning members observed birds along the Sedili Kechil road from Mutiara Motor Resort. We then made our way to Mersing, which takes approximately 1 ½ hours’ drive from Sedili Kechil, as we knew the high tide along Mersing jetty will reach maximum level by 1 p.m. and we will not be able to observe waders at a near distance. At Mersing jetty, members spotted 2 Kentish Plovers and the 1 precious Sanderling amongst the hundreds of plovers!!! On the last day, some members headed back to Mersing jetty and were pleasantly surprised to spot Grey-tailed Tattler which breeds in Siberia, winters in Australia and makes rare appearances in Malaysia. We did not spot Malaysian Plover at Mersing jetty although it was previously sighted at this location. It reaffirms the Malaysian plover is more sensitive to coastal developments and prefers sandy beaches. 
 Barred-tailed Godwit Credit: Lam Mow Sum
 Greater Sand Plover Credit: Lam Mow Sum
 Grey Plover Credit: Lam Mow Sum
 A flock of birds Credit: Lee Poh Peng
Sunrise at Mutiara Motor Resort Credit: Lee Poh Peng
We indulged ourselves with Mersing’s local coffee and hot toasted buns at Sri Mersing Café, a sumptuous seafood lunch and dinner at Mersing Seafood and JYL Restaurant. These 3 places came highly recommended by Tay Kim Hock, our member who visits Mersing monthly (reasons which I cannot reveal here!!).
Group Picture Credit: Tang Tuck Hong
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Credit Lam Mow Sum 
 Red-bearded Bee-eater Credit: Lam Mow Sum
Whiskered Treeswift Credit: Alan Koh
Greater Green Leafbird Credit: Alan Koh
Manual recordings of birds sighted Credit: Tang Tuck Hong
On a Sunday morning we covered forest birds and spent the day birding along Gunung Arong. After 2 hours of patiently birding, our last star bird, Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker showed up at this fruiting tree called Adinandra dumosa or Tiup Tiup in Malay. The colours of Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker was so striking as compared to the plovers seen over the last 2 days. It was a fitting parting gift for all of us as we bade farewell to Mersing!

Text by Maye Yap
Sketches of  Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker & Grey-tailed Tattler by Andy Lee