Arriving here before first light again, more of yesterdays menu was again on offer. As expected, there was the addition of one or two new species, first of which was Grey-throated Babbler, which was a very active and difficult bird to pin down. Two individuals fed voraciously at ground level in the corner of the car park for 5 minutes, with Golden Babbler again. A pair of Black-and-crimson Orioles spent more time here, compared to an almost fly-through yesterday. The Mugimaki Flycatcher was replaced by Little Pied Flycatcher in the same bush this morning. The noisiest guests were again Streaked Spiderhunters and Orange-bellied Leafbirds, and most obvious species Long-tailed Sibias. One of the local monkeys bounded past us, with another noisy pair in the trees on the opposite side of the road, showing mid to light grey body, darkish tail, and blackish eyebrows - a Banded Leaf-monkey. A huge raptor passed over, but was seen too poorly to even guess at identification. Just as we were about to leave, the Little Pied Flycatcher put in a much more prolonged appearance, and a slow amble back to the reception found a single male Fire-chested Flowerpecker feeding on the flowering bush adorning the entrance to the hotel.
After breakfast, we chose the walk down the first 3km or so of the New Road. The car was parked at the no entry signs signifying the one way system, next to Fraser's Pine Resort. The new tarmac flows through open forest, offering occasional vistas of the valley below. The weather during the walk was very pleasant, with an earlier promise of searing heat subsiding to a cloudy sky with a lingering threat of rain. We had expected raptors and Hornbills in good numbers, but we only saw one of each (Black Eagle and Great Hornbill overhead). The walk is good for barbets, with many calling throughout. They did prove difficult to see, but a few small groups were pinned down, with only Black-browed being identified. A few smaller Barbets were too elusive to identify. We did encounter one or two small bird waves passing through, which included Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, a Grey-chinned Minivet, Verditer Flycatcher and Sultan Tit. Also noticeable was the fact that we started to turn up Bulbul species once again, despite the fact that they seemed to be absent in the Fraser's Hill resort area. Predominant were Black-crested, but we also found some elusive Ochraeous Bulbuls, as well as one or two Stripe-throated Bulbuls. Bronzed Drongos were a regular feature. Of the birding highlights along the New Road, an early Slaty-backed Forktail was amongst the first and most unexpected, found under the first bridge down from where we parked the car. We were also taken aback by a showy Banded Woodpecker, pecking at the trunk of a dead tree for some time. A Black Laughing-thrush appeared in an adjacent bush. Another species of note was Hill Prinia - we saw two separate and very elusive birds.
We arrived here at about 6:30pm, pulled up a couple
of chairs on the front terrace, ordered coffees, and lazily birded
while seated until dark. One of the
target species was Bat Hawk, but we confidently expected one or two other birds
as well. After the usual Black-crested Bulbuls and a couple of dapper Greater
Racket-tailed Drongos, a pair of Asian Fairy Bluebirds landed some way in front
of us, with the male performing aerobatics as he caught insects high up in the
air. Three birds which landed in the tree opposite were quickly whittled down
to one, which hung around long enough to reveal itself as Dusky Broadbill. As the
light began to fade, we thought we had picked up Bat Hawk, but this turned out
to be 3 Large-tailed Nightjars, silhouetted beautifully against the darkening
evening sky. Last birding incident was well into darkness, when the slow drive
back up the New Road highlighted two Nightjars in the beam of the car, the
first flying off quickly, but the second, a Savannah Nightjar, posing for some
time on the road in front of us.