Avian Birding Site 4/10 – Sungai Balang Muar-Batu Pahat Johor
Published on October 31, 2017 | by mikebirder.blogspot.com
Sg Balang Padi Field near the seashore between Muar & Batu Pahat is a homing bird stop-over for many rare and migrants birds in transit during the winter of the northern hemisphere. So the best time to visit this place is during the period of October- early December of the year in their winter colors.
Then in Feb- March when the waders may starts their return journey back to their breeding grounds. You can see bitterns and waders in their breeding coats.
If you travel from Kuala Lumpur it will take you about 2.5 to 3 hours reach Sg Balang which is a 225km journey. Exiting Tangkak interchange you will drive toward Muar and detour off at the new bypass to Batu Pahat. Quite easy with Waze nowaday.
There is a chinese restaurant at the nearest town Sarang Buaya (aka Crocodile Nest) for quick breakfast and lunch meal of “chapfan” or noodles. Homestay are aplenty around but I prefer Muar town 23 km away cos you can savour hawkerfood and otak-otak to your heart content. There are many budget hotels with room rates as low as RM78- 98 per nite. You just google them and make your booking.
There is a colony of Lesser Adjutant here. You can shoot them in full frame from your car. Beside that many egrets species can be sighted here too.
They can be seen as early as 7am flying from their roosting trees from the hinterland.
Greater Coucal and Lesser Coucal are quite easily spotted amongst the peripheral tree along the bunds and amongst the reed in the open padi field. Open perch is seldom affair. No short-toed though which is a jungle fringe bird.
The “Christmas tree” of Weaver nest is so photogenic dont you think.
Then you can also shoot the resident Black-winged Falcon, Changeable Hawk Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle and Brahminy Kite in close quarters.
Wish the Feral Javan Munia have reach the place from Singapore.
I will still list it as lifer of Malaysia if I see one like the Javan Sparrow of Ipoh.
The Oriental Pranticole is a regular seasonal visitor but the rare Little Pranticole is the one that everyone want here in Sg Balang. I missed it for past 2 years and will wait for the news of their arrival in anticipation in 2017 to chalk up another lifer.
The Yellow wagtail striding in the muddy field ever vigilant of our present ………….
Lawrence in its suzuki jeep is the hometown birder here in Sg Balang. Udi of Tokki Group is the other local birder here who can give you a head up on any rarity vagrants and migrant birds here. Not forgetting my good acquaintance Ang TH who will take all effort to come down from Melaka to join you in any rare hunt.