Saturday, October 8, 2011

The quest for the Hooked-billed bulbul...

22 January 2011
Klias Peatswamp Field Centre, Beaufort

I thought I almost died from exhaustion.
It was very hot.
It was high noon.
Hubby and I were on the 3km long boardwalk within the Klias Peatswamp Field Centre.
We met up with the rest of the gang at the Bird Tower before going the opposite way.
We almost reached the circular shelter when I heard hubby talking on the phone with Jay, "hooked-billed bulbul, ok-ok, the place just now, ok-ok".

We turned around immediately.
Hubby started to run. I started to walk briskly. I'm not light on my feet.
He kept looking behind while running. I signalled him to just move ahead.
I no longer see him. I practically dragged my feet.
A few more feet. A few more feet. That's what I kept telling myself during that long walk, a 100 metre walk to the next shelter.

I thought they will be at the Bird Tower but no one was in sight.
I was almost reduced to tears coz it's been a while since I do some walking.
In an attempt to trick my mind, I looked at my feet while walking instead of looking at the long boardwalk.

Upon reaching one of the corners of the boardwalk, I could hear laughter. Loud and clear laughter. That can only mean one thing. The bird is no longer there and the gang are looking at each other's camera in an attempt to best out everyone else's photos.
And I thought, "Geezz, there goes my opportunity".

I noticed that hubby did not joined in the gang's merriment and when I asked "got it?", he shook his head confirming my suspicion.

Frustration seeping in, I leaned against the wooden railing, closed my eyes and took heaps and heaps of long slow breathing. Slowly in, slowly out. I thought I was going to pass out by then.

Then all of a sudden, George called out, he sighted the Hooked billed bulbul again. Mustering all the strength I had left, I quickly dash to George. I had difficulty pinpointing the location of the bird, my eyes were still burned out from the heat of the sun. The only thing I could do is to look out at the leaves' movement. And then I saw it, perching quite far away. "Record shot, at least a record shot", was what I told myself over and over again.

And these are my record shots of this elusive bird...

If not for Seng who had posted this bird photo in his facebook, Hooked bill bulbul, I guessed we would not have this bird in our collection that soon...

Seng...our beloved friend and brother...
taken away much too soon from us...
without saying a word...
without bidding us farewell...

this posting is dedicated to your memory...
rest peacefully in your eternal sleep Lil' brother...