“Mostly ground dwelling and shy, a Streaked Wren-babbler (Napothera brevicaudata) was spotted foraging amongst fallen, decayed tree alongside a jeep track road that ascends to 1045m. a.s.l.
“Leaf littered grounds, overlooking gully are favourite haunts for these small, brown, scaly looking birds in this neglected, old hill station. Their brown plumage camouflaged their existence exceedingly well. Unless something moves on ground, or bird calling, locating a Wren Babbler species can be quite a challenge.
“In the past, my sightings of Wren Babblers at Maxwell’s Hill (Bukit Larut) came mainly at dawn. Extremely shy birds and always on the move, there had been few decent photographic opportunities.
“Prolonged and extremely dry weather had taken off much ground moisture. Drains, streams and water run offs at rock surfaces have gone dry.
“Meeting up with bird in foraging action on a noonday was quite an unusual treat. The ground dweller was too engrossed foraging to take notice of my presence.
“The price… was an orangey looking spider for a substantial lunch (top, above).
“It took sub-montane bird a while to swallow spider before making a quick disappearance into the gully.
“Sighting foraging birds/s in action under natural conditions in birding/bird-photography hobby is a rewarding and satisfying experience:
1) Without the need to entice birds into the open with pre-recordings using playback of bird calls.
2) Without embellishing backdrops with props, foliage, flowers etc.
3) Without baiting quality birds with food eg. meal worms.
4) Observe the Code of Birding Ethics fervently.
“Such satisfaction can only be best described by those who truly appreciate love for nature and respect all things living within the forests. The ability to further showcase in conservation and share through the practicing art of natural bird photography is best gift to wild life/ birds and man.
“Maxwell’s Hill (Bukit Larut) is now under new management – MPT (Taiping Municipal Council). New Tariffs and timetable for jeep transport up hill is attached (above, below).
“Those need to stay longer- have to purchase another set of return tickets. Be prepared to waste a paid return journey (below).
“Tickets carry no insurance, will take money but not responsible for loss/accidents etc. stipulated in T&C print behind tickets. Be safe to carry own insurance or ride at own risk (below).
“Any grievances of rudeness from MPT’s employees- take it to the Press. My article contribution was published by Star Publications (M) Sdn. Bhd., 12April 2016.”
Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
21st April 2016
Copy Article and all images – Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund