Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hidden Gems in Batu Gajah - 5 June 2012

There was not even a single signboard leading us to the Kinta Nature Park in Batu Gajah, Perak. The only landmark is Kampung Pisang, and from there the local directed us to the bird sanctuary. After that point, it was a dirt road riddled with potholes for another 5 kms like the picture below. On our right was the yellow and muddy Kinta River. The place was serene except for the sounds of birds singing and chirping. 

Bumped into these two white-breasted waterhens, surely it was a dangerous attempt to cross the road with their barely walking chick (photo inset).

After a long time, we came to a T-junction. There was not a single sign, but we decided to turn left. We immediately could tell that it was the right place. It was such a magnificent, striking beauty, with birds on the trees and those that were flying everywhere around us. We could not believe this was actually right at our doorstep. What a sight and music to our ears!

We reached Lake Pucung, and directly opposite a pavillion, a single islet floating on the pond, covered with raintrees like paradise speckled with hundreds of white and some black dots. 

It dawned on us finally these dots were the water birds and migratory birds that have built their homes on the branches. Later, we found out that the Malaysian Nature Society was one of the partners for the establishment of this park, which consisted of 14 ex-mining ponds and is home to at least 130 bird species.

Eden-like garden with big raintrees, smaller trees and bushes on the grassy compound, and shimmering lotus ponds that were haven for many living creatures.

The park is the breeding ground and home to 5 species of water birds - the cattle egret, little egret, purple heron, black-crowned night heron and the grey heron. 

The boys were free to roam the place and took in the scenery and everything else. We were the only visitors at that time, but we felt safe. Apart from us, there was a guard at the entrance of the park.

Tiger-like, red, blue types of damselfly, we picked up a lot of snails too (empty ones), and many different colourful butterflies...... must be patient and stayed on in the place for a while before your eyes were accustomed to the scene.

Birds' nest in the tree....

The park is larger than the Taiping Lake Garden. We could be immersed in Lake Pucung alone and forgot that there were at least a dozen other mining pools scattered over the 900ha park that made up the Kinta Nature Park. 

There were also many kingfishers and other types of garden birds feasting at the park too. It was a real challenge to take pictures of the birds in every imaginable angle.

The park was a legacy of the tin mining industry. Indeed the collapse of tin mining meant a new life to the whole area. The only sign of the presence of development was the transmission tower as we left the park. But we could see some human activities creeping nearer to the park.

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