Saturday, January 9, 2010

AWC 2010: Birdwatching at Go-cart and Curtin Lakes 9th Jan 2010

I woke up very early this morning. Thought of going birding as early as possible before the birds wake up, but if you are healthy it just a quick rise up from bed and off you go. With asthma, from which I have been suffering since the August 2009 , the business of "get going" is a tad more complicated.

I finally got the coughing stopped after administering the nebuliser and I finally left the house at 8:30 am, headed straight to the go-cart lakes.

The sandy road is Proton drivable and I went straight to the security house at the gate. I saw 2 Yellow-vented Bulbul flying on the side of the road as I entered the sandy road. On an arrival at th elakeside, I saw some 50 Eurasian Tree-sparrows.


Two Common Moorhen in the Lake.

I scanned the lake, the water level is significantly more shallow now. I only saw 2 Common Moorhens. There was no ducks to be seen anywhere. There was 1 lone Intermediate Egret to the north of the lake somewhere. Singing loudly from a nearby shrubs was a Yellow-bellied Prina, incessantly crying it's a small cat-like meows though the actual bird cannot be seen.


A lone Intermediate Egret.


The arrival of the Wandering Whistling Duck at exactly 9:14am.

At 9:14am, I saw a glimpse of a big bird coming into the lake from the west. It looks like a duck. When I pointed my scope towards the landing area, there was another duck already waiting. There were 2 shy Wandering Whistling Duck. The Intermediate Egret later flew and joined them.


A glimpse of the ducks and egret.


A zoomed-in of the two ducks just after the egret left.

I went out of the area at 9:30am and headed to Curtin Lake. Sighted a large monitor lizard crossing the road on the way out. Not far from it, a White-breasted Waterhen pecking for worms in the ground.

While passing the first feeder road junction to Curtin I saw the remains of burnt area where a fatal accident took a life of a friend last week. I took a second feeder road where we used to see the darters. I quickly scanned the area with my bino and the entire tall dead tree stumps hoping to see one, alas there was no darter to be seen. I really missed that beautiful long neck of darters.
I reached the road leading to the lake and parke my car next to another car that was parked on the side of the road. I saw a few people sitting down behind the car sorting out young fern leaves (Limiding) they were collecting.

I took out my camera and scope, move toward where we used to see those Wandering Whistling-Duck. I was wondering the ducks were doing, last we saw them was back in May during WMBD.

The smell strong acidic mud and peat aroma was all round around, it was slightly nauseating. This indicated that there isn't much water in the lake and that the lake is slowly drying up. It seemed that the moonson ended too early this year. The dry season will be with us soon, and people will be burning again soon too ... resulting in the all too familiar haze of Kuala Baram.

From a distance I saw a man exactly on the spot where the ducks used to hang out, somewhere near the tall reeds. There were two other two men waiting by their motorbikes a short distance away. I took some photos : he was bringing a black thing into the water.


The lake is drying up, soon the vegetation will catch fire when the reeds become completely dry due to lack of water.


Where are the ducks?

Initially I thought he was bagging the ducks. When I finally aimed the scope at him, I saw that he was catching catfish. His two-friends moved off and shouted “Pergi dulu mas!”, to his friend that was still thigh deep in the mud in the middle of the lake.

When they passed by I saw that they've got with 5 litres buckets full to the brim with catfish. Here, it is common for people to collect stranded fish in the dry mud. "Landas" season this year is definitely too dry to be called landas.


Thigh deep in mud.


Keeping an eye on catfish.

I scanned the whole lake ... only a single Wood Sandpiper was seen foraging.


Only a single Wood Sandpiper left foraging in the middle of the lake.

I was feeling rather disappointed, walked back to the car and left.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting post. Sorry you didn't have much luck.

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