Monday 25th January 1982: Templar Park, Malaysia
Bat Hawks [!] at first light and sparingly until 10:30. Tried the jungle trail but it was pretty dead with Black and Red Broadbill from main trail looking set to be bird of the day. Returned to drinks stalls and restaurant meeting Steve Gantlett on the way. Ordered fried rice and got greasy noodles (rubber bands) - eugh! Colin saw a pitta on the return. While I was looking for it he saw it again (or possibly another) and thought it was Blue-winged. Getting really desperate I went in around the back and disturbed it, seeing a short flight out of the corner of my eye. I got onto it but only the undertail and lower upper back. I relocated it 20 yards further on and got excellent views for 2-3 minutes. It was a Hooded. Brilliant, but was it the same bird that Colin had seen? After this I was a bit uninterested for the rest of the day. We saw the Bat Hawks again [!] and slept in the same place. It was no cooler.
Birds seen included: Bat Hawk/Peregrine 2 (same), Barred Button Quail 1 in flight, *Banded Bay Cuckoo 2, Drongo Cuckoo 3, Large-tailed Nightjar 2, Blue-tailed Bee-eater 10, *Blue-throated Bee-eater 8, White-breasted Kingfisher 1, Black Hornbill 2, Crimson-winged Woodpecker 1, *Black and Red Broadbill 2, *Hooded Pitta 1, Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 1, Ashy Minivet 4?, Lesser Green Leafbird 1, *Yellow-crowned Bulbul 1, Grey-cheeked Bulbul 1, White-eyed Bulbul 3, Red-eyed Bulbul 6, Grey-bellied Bulbul 1, Scaly-breasted Bulbul 3, Fairy Bluebird 6, Striped Tit-Babbler 1, Arctic Warbler 1, Everett’s White-eye 2, Spectacled Spiderhunter 1, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker 1, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 2, Baya Weaver 2, White-rumped Munia 6.
|Bat Hawk stringing site, Templar Park|
|the limestone hill dominating Templar Park|
|butterfly on my bag ...|
|... it was quite spectacular from above|
|Peacock Pansy at Templar Park|
Woke up with a really stiff neck. Bat Hawks [!], Black and Rhinoceros Hornbills from the ‘camp site’. Dave and I headed for the car park/Dreamlake end of the park while Colin and Steve went the ‘pitta’ way. Violet Cuckoo and Grey & Buff (Noddy) Woodpeckers by far the best for us. Lots of locals were appearing. Rejoined the others at 12:30, they had seen Black-backed Kingfisher. We all went to get bus back to KL but there was only room for 3 on the first one despite my initially getting onto the lower step. I stepped back off it to reposition and the bus drove off! I got the next bus 20 minutes later and rejoined the others who were waiting for me at the bus station in KL. We walked to Coliseum Cinema but the hotel there was closed for Chinese New Year. We ended up back at City Hotel, M$18 for 4.
Birds seen included: Lesser Whistling Duck 2, Bat Hawk/Peregrine 2 (same), Barred Button Quail 1, *Violet Cuckoo 1 male, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha 2, Greater Coucal 1, Grey-rumped Treeswift 7, White-whiskered Treeswift 3, Large-tailed Nightjar 2, Blue-throated Bee-eater 1, White-breasted Kingfisher 3, Black Hornbill 1 male, *Rhinocerous Hornbill 3, Grey and Buff Woodpecker 2, Richard’s Pipit 6, Ashy Minivet 4?, Yellow-crowned Bulbul 1, Grey-bellied Bulbul 1, Stripe-throated Bulbul 1, Hairy-backed Bulbul 5, Olive-winged Bulbul 4, Tiger Shrike 1, Arctic Warbler 1, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter 3, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 5, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 1, Scaly-breasted Munia 15.
Wednesday 27th January 1982: Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan), Malaysia
Left hotel at 08:30 after a breakfast of 2 cold fried eggs. Walked to bus station and got taxi sussed to Jerrantut for M$12 each taking 2 hours 20. Hung around cafe there for an hour or so trying unsuccessfully to get through to the Thai Airlines Office in KL. Taxi to Kuala Tembling, 30 minutes, M$3 each. From here it is a boat ride to Taman Negara. Arrived at Taman Negara after an excellent 3 hour journey, with shallows, sand banks and a small rapid to negotiate. The set up at Taman Negara is amazing and even has (expensive) western food. Appears very well organised, although one of the main trails is closed. Managed 2 new woodpeckers before dark! Very much looking forward to our stay, which we anticipate being one of the highlights of the trip, and celebrated our arrival with beef steak in the restaurant (my pre-vegetarian days).
Birds seen included: Lesser Fishing Eagle 1, White-bellied Sea-Eagle 1, Emerald Dove 1, White-breasted Kingfisher 6, Black-capped Kingfisher 1, Stork-billed Kingfisher 1, Southern Pied Hornbill 2, Rhinoceros Hornbill 1, *White-bellied Woodpecker 2, *Orange-backed Woodpecker 1 and Yellow-crowned Bulbul 6.
|journey upriver to Taman Hegara|
|mostly a very tranquil river|
|but not always|
|journey to Taman Negara, the closer we got the better the surrounding forest looked|
|first view of Taman Negara HQ, our home for the next three weeks|