November 9, 2015: Bentung, Malaysia — Chun and I spent the day in the Krau Forest, Peninsular Malaysia’s oldest and second-largest natural reserve. The area is accessed by one paved road which dead-ends at a biodiversity institute, and we spent all day—more than 12 hours—walking in the lowland forest along just the last three miles of this road.
When we we arrived there this morning, flocks were active and the birding was active, too! Chun and I could hardly keep up as we bounced from one bird to the next. A Malayan Banded-Pitta perched nicely in front of us (which we heard here yesterday but had much better views this morning) while a Garnet Pitta called nearby; a Scarlet-rumped Trogon flashed its colors in the mid-canopy; a group of noisy Dusky Broadbills crossed a gap between two large trees; four species of woodpeckers were new to me; and we worked hard to identify eight species of bulbuls, all of them in shades of brown and buff.
The momentum didn’t let up from dawn until 3 p.m., when the mid-afternoon lull finally set in. We had some quick fried rice for lunch and kept birding until dusk, scraping out a few last sightings at day’s end. As we were leaving this evening, Chun spotted a raptor perched in a distant tree which turned out to be a Gray-headed Fish-Eagle sitting next to its nest. Days like today fly by in a blink—the more birds you see, the faster it goes!
New birds today: 23
Year list: 5186