Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birthdays, Birds and other Adventures

Hey ya'll 

It is not often that I have had friends around to celebrate my birthday (usually we're on separate continents of the world) and as such I have gotten quite accustomed to having quiet little birthdays, which are more formal-ish gatherings of dinner and drinks and light but hearty conversation before going home to sleep off, what I imagine are the ravages of yet another year added on to my life. No such "luck" this year though and from having dinner with Caryn on the eve of my birthday to meeting up with Jeremy the day after I truly had quite a memorable 23rd birthday (everything my 21st promised to be but wasn't!). But seriously though, I am extremely grateful and very much thankful for everyone's kind wishes and wonderful gestures this year. Indeed to top it all off they all seemed to have gotten together behind my back to plan this amazing surprise picnic in the Lake Gardens, followed by a outing to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. 

SURPRISED!!!! Evidently I make a botox face whenever I'm surprised!!! *Stretch out those wrinkles Cy!!! Every one year you celebrate your birthday you grow a little bit older!!!*
Huff and puff and blow out my two candles!!! Hahaha one for each decade (plus three!!!)
It was simply amazing!!! A scene straight out of one of those movies, and Farah (who on her superawesome diet managed to loose 7kgs in just 2 weeks!) was kind enough to bake me this delicious peanut butter and chocolate cake with a little purple icing butterfly on it!!! Everyone else brought something too (Jia Wei brought baked potatoes and Caryn brought home made chicken-potato pie while Ray brought drinks and ice) which of course, made me feel like a terrible free loader!!! Ray had to keep reminding me that it was MY birthday party and I was therefore not required to bring anything. Oh!!!! 

Datin Vu/Farah sipping A&W  Rootbeer shortly before I noticed a small crab spider making itself comfortable in her hair!!! Reminds me somewhat of the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet... 
Of course, being in the great outdoors meant that we were naturally greeted by greedy and inquisitive little animals who were more than shameless about imposing themselves upon our little meal. Among them was a beautiful little black striped squirrel (Callosciurus sp.) who was quite bashful at first but when beckoned to, found himself quite attracted to the delicious smells of Farah's fruit salad diet. I ended up giving him a small piece of fruit which he promptly took up to the tree to nibble on. Other animals of the day included a pair of surprisingly tame swallows and a poor pigeon who seemed to have lost an eye in a fight. I wish there was more we could do for it but Ray managed to convince me to leave it as it was (it seemed to be fine as the owner of a nearby stall apparently made a habit of feeding it) and I did. 

We'd almost finished with our lunch when (and I'm not sure who it is anymore) Farah (or perhaps Caryn) suggested that since we were all at the Lake Gardens that we should make a trip to the birdpark which was nearby so we all agreed. The entrance fee was quite exorbitant though (25 Ringgit!!!) but in retrospect it was fairly worth it and after and after a rather uneventful initial tour seeing virtually nothing but herons, crowned pigeons and peacocks, we did get to meet with some of the more exotic bird species. 

Peahen  (Pavo cristatus) and her chicks. If you look really closely you can see the baby right under the mother's wing!!! Interestingly enough, peahens make rather devoted parents.  Pictured here is actually the peahen spreading her wings to shade the little chick on what was a rather hot day.
The male peacock of course is too busy philandering with other ladies that he doesn't take much notice in what's going on with his family's lives. Here he is, preening to a gaggle of tourists
Also were these elegant flamingos (Phoenicopterus) that Caryn wanted so much to see. They remind me of aliens somewhat... the way they are all stick like and knobbly at one end, and then lithe and curvy on the other!!! Flamingos are not naturally born pink. In fact their chicks are covered with rather dirty-looking gray-white down feathers. It is only through their diet that they eventually turn pink. A diet that is poor in these natural coloring might result in otherwise healthy individuals lacking in the startling pinkness that has become a trademark of this species.
Also present were enough parrots of various hues and colors that could make even a rainbow cry!!!
Getting chummy with the sun-conures (Aratinga solstitialis)...

And this lovely blue-variant of the Indian ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) 
Of all these, the most friendly were to be found in the Parrot House where several species of parrots and lorikeets greeted us with their shrill calls and raucous squawks!!! I think everyone was quite enjoying this part of the trip and I, naturally, was the first to volunteer to be used as a human perch for the noisy but colorful things. I suppose the others might have volunteered too but the birds chose that precise moment to defecate, noisily and wetly, all over the floor!!! Fortunately they ejected these out projectile like and so my person (being the thing they were standing on whilst doing this) was spared from being covered in any form of bird excrement!!! Not so lucky was the poor tourist girl trying to take a picture of one of the birds on me, though.   
These Chattering Lories (Lorius garrulus) were the worst of the entire lot!!! They kept bullying the other birds who were trying to feed off of the nectar cup I was holding and upon finishing their fair share, tried bullying me (by intense pecking and clawing) into giving them more as well!! 
My favorite was the eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) who was, despite its gigantic size, rather gentle and "slow" looking if you know what I mean. The eclectus parrots are a rather interesting and beautiful species because, unlike other birds in the parrot family, they demonstrate extreme sexual dimorphism. The bird you see above here is a male. The females, on the other hand have black beaks, striking blue tails but a predominantly scarlet body. 
Anyway in conclusion... I really had the most SUPERAWESOMEST DAY today guys!!! Thank you so much!!! Farah, Jia Wei, Ray... and especially you, Caryn, whose idea (I'm told) was to hold this "party" for me in the first place!!! 



Nath said...

Happy Birthday Cyren, love your butterfly T!!!

Cyren said...

Thanks Nath!!!

For the birthday wish and also about the shirt!!! So kind of you XD