Rise and Shine!! Today, my Malaysian friend- Riz, flew in from Kulua Lumpur to join me! We were met by Indera, whom I met on the previous night and was kind enough to take us to Gunung Raya. Before I came to Langkawi, I was told that this thick forest mountain, with dense tropical overgrowths is home to a variety of birds. So I guess this is a “must go” place for birders. As we start our elevation at 0730, the mountain was shrouded with mist. “Perhaps, I came at the wrong time?” I thought to myself. Indera seemed to have read my mind, “The clouds will soon be gone”, he said knowingly. And he was right. As soon as the mist starts to clear, bird calls soon came loud and clear and echoed in the mountain. Suddenly, there were birds flying in the sky, resting on branches and wires! “Good grieve! Where should I begin?!?” I thought panickingly. While, Riz beckoned me to the branches full of Chestnut Headed Bee-Eaters; Indera was pointing at the flock of Great Hornbills flying, and I was eyeing on that Dollar Bird resting on the wire…
After we bagged a couple targets, we continued our elevation. While I was trying to make sense of what just happened, the car rolled to a halt. “What is it?” I asked. “Viper on tree!” Indera exclaimed. This is not good, I thought to myself ( my phobia sets in). While Indera and Riz were “engaged” in the reptile, Karim, our driver/birdwatcher spotted a raptor roosting on a tree. We quickly rushed to his position and luckily, all of us managed to get some shots before the raptor flew away. Indera quickly referred to his bird guide book. “Its a grey faced buzzard” he said in disbelief. It appeared that this raptor is a rare migrant seen on the island! Yay, to all of us!
The mist starts to set in again, hence we decided to call it a day. As we made our descend, we saw this weird looking hornbill. According to Indera, that was a female wreathed hornbill! I was thrilled- my 3rd hornbill in just 2 days! What a lovely bird to end the morning trip!
P.S. I have shared the wreathed hornbill with Guardian Post.