Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Desaru: The Hunt For Enggang (II)

When MS and I spoke earlier this morning, he mentioned that I ought to take as many shots as possible to familiarise myself with the camera, as well as gain experience on photography techniques, especially since I have had no formal training on the subject. True, and I have been doing as he advised though admittedly, not on daily basis. I also read somewhere, famous people in their respective fields such as Tiger Woods, practice a thousand swings daily just to keep in form and better his play. And as much as I would like to take 1,000 shots a day, I have to keep in mind of my other limitations and responsibilities. However, I did manage to take more than two thousand shots during the 4day stay at Desaru. Of those, only a meagre few are worthy of mention and display. Some of these though, are meant for private use or safekeeping.

From the first morning experience at the beach in Desaru, Aje noted that the sprays of the wave after hitting the rocks on the beach can be quite an awesome sight. Thus, on the second morning, Aje positioned himself behind Emak just to snap pictures of the wave. Though he cannot admit to being successful, he hope the picture here would be able to convey what his eyes and mind perceived; that a wave can be a frightening force and at the same time, a fascinating watch.

As the wave hit the rock, a split second vaccuum is created in the area infront, imprinting an image of a mini amphitheater with the rock itself as the stage as well as backdrop, and Emak as the sole attending fan being entertained to the natural symphony of life beautifully played by the waves, the sand, the rocks, and as the accompaniment to the aria sung by the birds there.

The beach of the resort we stayed were wonderful as was the resort itself. The staff were, expectedly, friendly. What was better though, was the very competitive promotional rates given (only for weekdays and non-holiday periods). However, the rooms we had was rather stuffy perhaps due to lack of use. This, unfortunately, is a prevalent thing with most resorts which are normally out of one's way. The trick here, Aje learnt, is to ask for the upper floor rooms. Somehow, they are in better condition than those on the ground. (pics of sunrise and resort at Resort and Surrounding).

Though the beach at Desaru is great, it does have steep drops at places which can be rather dangerous to unwary waders. Comparatively, the lesser known but no lesser beautiful beaches along the road to Sedili Kecil, are flat and much safer.

Sedili Kecil, the town itself, is a one-street town with only several rows of shops, with the number of chalets and small resorts numbering more. Like many village-town, it is quiet and offer one a true retreat from life. This, is especially true for anglers. When Aje was there, an angler managed to land a 2kg kerapu. Perhaps, the fish farm at the mouth of the river, assisted in more ways than one (more pics at Sedili Kecil).

Undaunted with the non-sighting of the Enggang, Aje made his way around, driving through small roads and even walking into bushes alone; life, after all, is incomplete without an adventure, no matter how small the adventure is. While driving through a little used road which led to a resort already abandoned, Aje noticed a large activity of birds and decided to check it out. As he slowed down the car to a park, a bird (kingfisher?), flew by and perched itself on the branch of a tree directly opposite the road. To climb out with the intention of taking its picture would only scare the bird away, and thus, Aje just snapped away from inside the car. Quite like a safari, huh? (more pics on this at Kingfisher Alley).

With his spirit seesawing between the delight of capturing pictures of colourful birds, and the disappointment at not finding the Enggang, Aje began contemplating driving back. Along the way, he managed to snap several more pictures of a monkey, 'terkukur' bird, a robin, and a Kingfisher of the same colour as the one in Kota Damansara (more pics at Desaru: Misc).

The Sun then begins to drop ever lower as if reflecting Aje's resolve to capture at least on single picture of the Enggang he saw days earlier. The sighting then, was almost magical with the feeling quite like falling in love at first sight. Perhaps, Aje was just not meant to take the picture of the Enggang. Yet, ven as he drove back to the resort, his eyes ran wild, hoping for a last minute miracle. And a miracle it was.

Not 3km away from the resort, a flock of 6 Enggang flew gracefully across the road in front of Aje: it was a sight to behold. Aje parked the car as some of the birds made their way into the thicket. But one, was perched on an outer branch providing Aje with a semi-clear view for several shots. And when 2 more birds came swooping from behind, Aje shot them as well. And though the pictures of the flying Enggang is bad, he nonetheless uploaded it just to share his experience with other bloggers and friends (The Enggang may look small here. But click on the picture - and others - for a larger and clearer view). (More pictures at An Enggang in Desaru).

One would have thought that the new sighting would make Aje elated. Though he is thankful and happy, the white Enggang he saw earlier, was not with this flock.

Returning home to Kota Damansara, Aje searched the Net for articles and pictures of the Enggang and found out that they are not as exotic as he thought they were. And nor are the Enggang an indigenous bird of Borneo only (read here). Another blogger (here), also claims that the species can be found in abundance in Teluk Batik, Perak. That, is quite puzzling as last Aje was there some 3years ago, he does not remember ever seeing one.

All told, Aje also discovered that Enggang comes in a different sizes and hues. Yet, the picture of the white Enggang haunts him. Apart from the eyes which are large, round and mesmerising (to the point they look almost artificial), the white Enggang has a smaller tip at the top of its beak. And now that Aje knows of this comparatively nearer place to look for Enggang, insyAllah, when the chance avail itself, Aje will embark on 'The Hunt for the White Enggang'.


  1. You are really getting good at this photography thing, bro.

    I finally have something that I can envy you for!

  2. Salam MB,

    Coming from you, that indeed is a compliment. But hey, I'm still learning, mind you; there's loads of room for improvement. Thanks bro :)

  3. wonder, you were away rupanya. bird-watching i see. but i gotta say la, to see enggang in trees is a rare sight. gambar tu kira mahal sikit la...

  4. getting better and better! bestya pergi Desaru. teringat pulak dah lama tak jenguk Bonda saya di Kota Tinggi :)

  5. Salam kerpie,

    Hehe, kalau mahal, can I expect a 3rd teh tarik from you then? :)

  6. Salam Intan,

    Oooh, orang Kota Tinggi rupanya :) Coincidentally, my cousin is a direct lineage from Laksmana Bentan; mayhaps, you would like to do some research and then write about it as one of your projects? (10% pada introducer eh :) )

  7. Beshnya kalau dapat tengok wave macam tu...

    Ehh...pernah lah...sometime back 2006...masa dekat kejadian Tsunami tu...air pasang lebih dari biasa...

    Did anyone ever heard...that the next Tsunami will come in May or June this year??


  8. Salam Cello,

    Kat Sabah pun terdapat ketara air laut waktu Tsunami tu? Wow! Den ni, jarang gi ke laut...orang darat! :)

    Tang Tsunami bulan May atau June, I think you are referring to the expected underwater earthquake near the Java Island; wallahu'alam.

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