"Selamat Pagi, Scaly-breasted Munia!"
We left Miri around 0630hrs after dropping off Aisya at her school at Padang Kerbau and reached Kampung Tengah, Bekenu at almost 0700hrs, school just started. The students were already in the classrooms with their teachers, those that saw us waved shyly. No, we are not having another one of those extra activities day again, I wanted to get a better shot of the munias that we saw at the school compound a couple of weeks back for personal record.
Kpg Tengah is located along Sg Sibuti, the last school along the surfaced road at which end led to Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary. It's quite nice to realise how lively the birds situation is in this sort of surroundings this late in the morning, must be even livelier at sunrise. There were birds criss-crossing the road almost as soon as we turn into the Kpg Tengah junction (the Blue-house turn-off) along the Bekenu-Bungai Road.
The munias were waiting, the bablers were gurgling inside every tall grass clumps by the roadside. We saw a group of 30 hanging parrots flew past as we walked towards our target location. We even saw a few Striped tit Babbler flitting across the road but of course never to be photographed ... bogie-bird saved for another day.
We placed ourselves at the school gates on the grass verge along the tarmac, there were many people using the road this morning. The munias came ... family groups, some came to preen and others just to sun themselves for a wee bit before heading off to the tall grass dominating the area nearby. Scaly-breasted Munia didn't fail today, even a pair of Dusky Munia showed up, they were also there the last time we were here. The shooting was easy enough once you sit still.
An hour later we came back to Miri with the images we wanted.
Next trip maybe just for the Dusky Munia or maybe even be ambitious and try for the Striped-Tit Babbler.
A member of a family group that made the first few frames.
Words and images by N. Abghani/MNS Miri/Apr 2012.
Where we got our shots this morning, image by Muhammad Ali. Both SK Kpg Masjid and the road to Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary is visible behind us. Our little targets were literally at the school gates!