Tuesday, November 30, 2010

koel bird is back

I originally posted this album on Dec 28 2008 , but the other day when I was editing it, it vapourised into thin air and vanished. As I was using it as a record of when the koel is around, I am reposting the album. [However after I had completed this album, the original was restored.]

The photos are lousy, but I am more interested in keeping a log of when the koels are in town. Wikipedia has good photos and more information on koel and Asian koel.


Dec 28 2008

The koel bird is back with its noisy call. Woke me up yesterday morning, 27 Dec 2008. I find the call very irritating!!

The bird is migatory and seems to pass through KL twice a year. It is a type of cuckoo, and like other members of the cuckoo family, it lays its eggs in the nests of crows, so that the young are raised by crows. According to Wikipedia, it migrates to warmer climates in winter, so as it has just arrived in KL in Dec, it must have come from a colder country. At a guess, it is the Asian Koel.

The call is loud, distinctive........... and irrating. It seems to scream rather than call, drawing out the last syllable - ko ellll. Apparently it is the male which makes this call.

Although I often hear the koel, it is quite difficult to see the actual bird. Managed to take these photos from my window using the zoom, lousy photos, but at least I managed to shoot the bird! The photos were taken in May 2007 and 2008.

I made a note of when I heard the bird and it was almost every morning until Jan 27 when I went away. It called only in the morning, usually between 7-8 am though sometimes was later. It was still calling when I got back in mid Feb.

And when I was in Bangkok at the end of Jan, the first thing I heard from my hotel was............... yes......... that wretched koel bird !
Update 2010
I came back to KL in mid Jan and the koel was calling. It was still there Jan 27. By early Feb I heard one calling occasionally. I was in south Thailand first week in Feb and the koel was there as well! Towards the end of Feb there seemed to be less calling, though one was still waking me around 7am in early March. Mid March and I occasionally heard one calling. It's been excessively hot since end of Jan, so maybe the koels are staying longer than normal cos of the heat.
I was away mid Mar till end of May. Then forgot about it, but I realised by mid July that I hadn't heard the koel at all for at least a month, maybe longer.

I next heard the bird on Nov 13 2010. It was quiet for a few days, then started again on 18th, then from 23rd I was hearing it most days.


In mid Jan I often heard the bird calling between 6.30-7am when it was still dark. It was calling throughout February. I was away in March. In April I heard it calling just a couple of times, 13th . Didn't hear it at all July or Aug. The next time I heard it was Dec 3. I had also heard it in Spore around the same time.

Early Jan and the koel was very noisy, especially just before dawn.
I was away from mid Feb till mid Mar. When I came back, the koel was noisy. During May there was a bird calling off and on.
It was around in Dec .

When I came back from London in early Jan the koel was calling.
2013 winter - I first heard the bird in KL on Nov 14, then not until 21. Next was 24. These dates are almost the same as those for 2010.

I was away in Jan. Got back to KL early Feb and heard the koel on 7th. Then I was away until early March and when I got back to KL the koel was calling. Was away again until early April. The koel was calling loudly in April, even at 4.40 am in Ipoh which is more than 2 hours before daylight.

1 or 2 were still calling in mid June, then I went away.

I returned to KL early Feb 2015 and the koel was calling. It was also in Ipoh end of Feb and there it was calling when it was still dark, before sunrise. I noted it was doing this last year as well. One morning it was calling at 4.50am which is 2 hours before dawn. By Mar 23 it was calling less but was still around at the end of March and still around in early May though I rarely heard it.

End of April I saw the film "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and was amused to hear a koel calling in the film, it was towards the end at the start of the wedding ceremony. So the koel is also in India! Hardly heard the koel by end of May.

I was then away, when I returned in August I didn't hear the koel at all.

2015 winter - Heard one koel 19 Nov 2015, luckily not where I live but down the road. Nov 26 one was calling near my kitchen window, but I only heard it once.

I returned to KL in mid Feb and the koel was calling loudly from the trees around my condo. It was even calling at 6.30 am, some time before it got light. I did a separate blog on the noisy koel.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brickfields - Little India (& one-way chaos)

It was a sad day when Brickfields went one-way on 3 August 2010.

I've always lived in or relatively near to Brickfields so have got to know it well over the years. And I've seen many changes. The biggest one was the development of KL Sentral. It's made life easy for me to get the airport bus. But Sentral is still growing and I wonder when it will stop. There are so many 'skyscrapers' now.
1997 view before Sentral

The worst thing was when Brickfields went one-way.

The traffic jams were horrendous and it was complete chaos. Large vehicles trying to get down small roads, 4 lanes trying to squeeze into 1 in places, and pedestrians including the blind trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic. I surprised there wasn't more noise in the press about the jams.

And another sad day was when I realised the famous Pines row had been demolished. I hadn't realised this was going to happen until I saw the land was totally bare. Apparently this will be a multi-storey carpark and the new Pines Restaurants.

Having got caught in several horrendous traffic jams in Brickfields, at different times of the day and evening, and one especially bad one at 12.30am before Deepavali, I now totally avoid Brickfields. I would prefer to drive extra mileage than go through Bfields. The only time that I will go now is on a Sat afternoon or a Sunday when I know I can still park easily.

Today, a Sunday I went to take some photos. It was relatively quiet and I could cross the roads easily. The Deepavali stalls had gone, and at 10am the pavements were empty and free from stalls.

I was sad to see that the green with the magnificent trees at the Sri Kota traffic lights has now been concreted over. This is now the Lorong Chan Ah Tong hawker centre. It used to be a place for locals to play football and enjoy some open green space. But I noticed that Ah Goh has a small shop here, this used to be one of the restaurants at the Pines row.
Used to be across the road

The elephant fountain is in the centre of the road at the Sri Kota junction, surrounded by what is kindly described as a mini park. The fountain is known as the tallest Malaysian elephant fountain. Are there any others - I don't know of any?!
KL's answer to Trafalgar Square
There are also 2 metal sculptures, but I have no idea what they are.

There is an abundance of ornate lamp posts, and a Little India Gateway on the road leading to Jalan Bangsar.
A second Little India gateway will be constructed near the Brickfields police station.

The main road from Sri Kota to KFC is lined with colourful arches. The whole image is rather gaudy, and I wonder how long the paint will last in Malaysia's tropical weather.

The small lane by Joy supermarket is now a row of small shops. The corner shop opposite, next to the pet shop has been demolished and a new glass fronted building is coming up.
making roti
pavement tables
decorative road

I wrongly thought part of the purpose of the road changes were to ease the traffic problems, by making the roads wider etc, but this hasn't happened, especially with all the arches. And I wonder how long the plants in the centre of the roads will last, as pedestrians have to step on them to cross the road.

One road has been made contraflow, which I found quite unnerving when I was walking along the road - there were no pavements so I was forced to walk in the road and had to avoid getting run down by cars coming the 'wrong' way.

I came back to KL on the LCCT bus on the eve of Deepavali. The access roads to KL Sentral were closed and the bus had to do a major detour to get into Sentral from the Bangsar side. I was a bit stunned that the roads to Malaysia's main transport hub had been closed. And then of course the taxi home had to take a major detour.

The Indian and Malaysian Prime Ministers launched the first phase of the Little India project on Oct 27 2010.
Phase 2 of the RM35mil Little India project will start now. i suppose that will mean more chaos on the roads, especially at the police station end.

Even the 30-year-old Brickfields District Police headquarters won't be spared. It will be relocated to the Sri Petaling station to make way for high-rise development - a multi-storey complex. The police accommodation blocks across the road have been empty for some time. People feel that with the closure of the police station, crime will increase. Apparently snatch thefts are already on the increase (though with the chaotic traffic jams I don't see how any motorbike thief can get away!!!).

We'll just have to wait and see what Phase 2 brings, and if the traffic situation ever improves.
An interesting piece on Harakah, and part 2.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission