Sitting at the Nature Desk of the Andaman Resort, while on duty, made me feel as if time had stood still. I felt like my SOS call for something to happen had been answered when my feathered friends came to amuse me.
The loud and sweet whistling call wi-it wait… wi-it wait at the end of the corridor caught my attention and I instantly knew that it was Asian Fairy Bluebird (Irena puella).
The call continued and it seemed that it was there for more than a minute. It was very near too. I walked over there as I was so tempted to have a look at this beautiful birdie. It did not fly away when I approached it and my boundary limit was the balcony. This bird was about five metres away. I quickly ran to the desk to grab my camera, as it was a splendid opportunity to capture this lovely bird within this close range.
Asian Fairy Bluebird (Irena puella)
While this male birdie continued to call, I was clicking away with my camera when a female Asian Fairy Bluebird came along.Aha! No wonder this male birdie remained for a while perched on the tree.
Female Asian Fairy Bluebird (Irena pulla)
Shortly after, this note; kick kyew, kick kyew, kick kyew… was heard nearby. I scanned around and this cute little Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) was perched next to a palm tree. Similar to the male Asian Fairy Bluebird, this kingfisher was enjoying itself except that it did not have a companion.
As I was clicking my camera, I whispered silently to the kingfisher, “What are you doing here, Kingfisher? You should be at the coast or in the mangroves.” Then, the kingfisher replied in silence, “Watch this”. It flew towards the edge of the roof of the resort and then in just two seconds, it had a house gecko in its beak. I was shocked and my fingers on my camera shutter stopped working. A Collared Kingfisher feasting on a house gecko. It was my first time seeing that! Wow!
I managed to snap a picture of this kingfisher with the house gecko’s feet outside its beak but the picture was blurry. I had always seen the Collared Kingfisher in Langkawi feeding on small fish, shrimps, small crabs and insects but not a gecko. Now I know that there is another predator for the ever increasing population of house geckos. What a surprise lesson for me from the kingfisher. Thanks; mate!
The commotion of the Asian Fairy Bluebird and Collared Kingfisher went on for a few minutes before the silence took over and then followed by the call of cicadas. The show was over.
My curiosity also aroused the curiosity of the staffs that were passing by and they too, learned the name of these two birds. I was very pleased that the staffs were keen to learn about what they saw, as this would help in the effort to create awareness and help preserve the resort’s natural surrounding.
Junglewalla Nature Desk is located next to the lounge on the highest floor of the Andaman Resort. That area is so close to the canopy level of the forest trees that one can enjoy a drink or two at the lounge while savoring the wildlife like the Dusky Leaf Monkeys, Oriental Pied Hornbills, Flying Squirrels (at nightfall only) and many more that come by, if you are lucky. Such a blissful privilege!
Reference: A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia by Craig Robson
Writer: Wendy Chin
Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Lim Bing Yee for being my proof-reader