Mountain Leaf Warbler with prey for its young

On 14th May 2010, sitting by the road at an altitude of 1,800m in Cameron Highlands’ Gunong Brinchang in Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS had the good fortune of encountering an adult Mountain Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus trivirgatus).

The bird was about 2-3 metres away on the other side of the road. It was moving cautiously down the embankment, holding a white butterfly/moth in its bill. It was bringing it to its nest to feed the young. Although aware of being observed, it continued cautiously.

“These are very fast moving birds and combined with poor lighting (overcast day), photography was tough,” wrote Amar. “It was surprisingly very tolerant of the camera. We were delighted with the trust shown by this beautiful bird and were not about to break it by using flash. Naked eye viewing was spectacular. The butterfly/moth looked like a flower held in the beak. The whole episode was magical and very beautiful. It seemed to be getting close to the nest when an approaching car frightened it away. We waited for a few minutes and then decided to abandon the site to give it and the family some peace. There were too many recesses in the embankment to say where a possible nest was.”

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