Apr 29, 2010

Kitaro - The Silk Road

Apr 26, 2010

Interlude @ Kemensah, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

The trip to Kemensah in early  April was my second. The first was in January this year with ardent birders from the Malaysian Nature Society, Selangor Branch fraternity. Birders’ blogs and birding friends have paraded the diverse birds which could  be found in Kemensah and expounded on the abundance of birdlife here.
On this trip I had Riz and Emran, both of whom are as equally excited about birds as I do. The maxim is proven right – birds of a feather flock together! LOL. First stop Taman Melawati for the Blue-eared Kingfisher. Emran led us to the spot and it was our lucky day. They were there to greet us. See pics below. Aren’t they cute?
Blue-eared Kingfisher @ Tmn Melawati
Birds @ Kemensah, Ampang
We proceeded to Kemensah. Our luck spilled-over here.  As we took our first few steps we passed a nest hanging from a tall tree. A ‘reddish’ bird flew swiftly from the nest into the undergrowth nearby. We decided to do a stake-out. Our patience was rewarded when a sole Red & Black Broadbill returned with a piece of dried leaf in tow. It was making some minor ‘renovations’ to it’s nest! Below are the pictures.
Black & Red Broadbill
Broadbill’s nest, with an adult clearly visible.
As we took our leisurely stroll up the trail, other birds came into view.
Black-headed Bul Bul
Orange-breasted Flycatcher (Male)
Orange-breasted Flycatcher (Female)
Scarlet-backed Flycatcher (Female, with red rump)
Stripe-throated Bul Bul
Olive-winged Bul Bul
Grey & Buff Woodpecker. ID Shot.
Grey & Buff  Kingfishers (Male at right and Female at Left) very high up in the tall bamboo canopy. ID shot. Hope to get better picture next time. Both birds are Lifers for all three of us.
Large Wood Shrike
Green-backed Flycatcher
Thanks for dropping by. Cheers! 

Apr 22, 2010

Nostalgic return to Bukit Tinggi, Pahang, Malaysia

Dateline: Apr 2010
I have made this return trip to Bkt Tinggi with a great sense of expectation that it would be another ‘productive’ trip bird variety wise. The day started quite differently from my previous visit, at least during the first half day. Even the birders from Singapore whom I met were also lamenting over the ‘very quiet’ situation. They had been there since Sat and obviously wanted Sunday to turn their fortune for the better. I am full of empathy for them and wished them good luck in their bird hunt.
As the day progressed through lunch time and then mid-afternoon, still no significant bird activities could be felt or heard. Very quiet indeed! I started to imagine a day ending in ‘disaster’. LOL.
However, at around  4 pm the tide turned and all of a sudden the forest was alive with sounds of sweet birds’ tunes and active movements across the spectrum of the trees and branches in and around the Japanese Garden enclave. Now what has happened to the maxim – early bird gets the most worms. LoL.  I was happy to come away with the following ‘captives’ which I will present in 2 segments.
A Red-bearded Bee-eater drying it’s plumage after the wet overnight rain. This ‘dignified looking’ and not-so-big bird never fails to entertain and is a much sort after ‘trophy’ for birders and bird photographers alike. This one and only bird was perched high up catching the early morning sunrise.
The previous night’s heavy downpour has thoroughly soaked it’s colorful plumage. Yours truly is happy to have finally recorded a closer shot.
This surprisingly friendly Verditer Flycatcher roamed into the garden enclosure to pose for a good 15 minutes! It too showed signs of drenched plumage. Totally oblivious of the presence of at least half a dozen cameras clicking away, it went about catching the insects for it’s breakfast.
Meanwhile two Silver-breasted Broadbill mom and dad were seen  busy flying into a nest located just above a low branch. They were bringing food for a young chick. As if like clock work, there were three predictable 3 perch on the same 3 branch each time on their approach to the nest. Just like the Verditer these two were also not overly awed by human movements below - trying to take the best shots or video angle.
In the picture above the chick could be clearly seen receiving food.
In between waiting for a bird wave I took this picture of an unusual bug.
This Rhinoceros Hornbill is a Lifer for me. Missed it in the morning but got a couple of good shots when it returned  later in the afternoon.
This Large Hawk Cuckoo flew across the forest in total silence. Only managed to take a few good shots after tracking it from a few perches 
A flock of 8-10 Dusky Broadbills like the one above made their presence felt towards late evening. In the process making loud noises as they went about feeding.
Baby Dusky Broadbill (Juv) with cicada in mouth, offerred by the mama Broadbill.
A Flamed-backed Woodpecker (Male)
A Greater Yellow-nape Woodpecker
Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo
A Red-billed Malkoha
A Green-billed Malkoha with a cicada in mouth..
A Black-crested Bul Bul
Black-faced monkey
The above two Orange-breasted Trogons’ photos were taken from the album of my January visit. On this trip a Trogon was within eye range but too far for the camera lens to capture a crisp image.
Thank you for dropping by. Cheers!

Apr 20, 2010

It’s the nesting season again for our feathered friends……..

Segment 1 of 3 in the series

The Copper-Smith Barbets

I had the opportunity and luck? to make a close-up observation of a  pair of adult male and female Copper-Smith Barbets busy scurrying to-and-fro bringing grubs and worms to a baby chick nestled in a hole-in-tree nest. Baby seems never to have enough. So both parents took turns. The modus operandi is whilst one of the parent is away looking for food for baby Barbet, the other will perch on a nearby branch to act as a guard. Once either parent returns and after it’s finished with feeding the chick it will then take up the guard duty role. The other parent will fly off in search for food. A very well organized feeding system indeed!

Another observation is that the female parent after feeding the chick continued to stay longer outside the nest. The male parent almost immediately flew off after depositing food in baby’s mouth.

A special thanks to Mr. Raju for showing me the nest.


Mama Barbet feeding chick in tree nest.


Baby chick is always hungry. LoL


The hole in the tree is just big enough for either parent to squeeze in and out. The adult occasionally enter the nest to spring clean the inside of nest. Wow!


Papa Barbet first up on guard duty, waiting for mama to return with food for baby.


Meanwhile papa took time-out for some personal preening and grooming. :-)


This is mama Barbet taking her turn of guard duty.

The Copper-Smith Barbets – interesting, handsome and dedicated parents. Yours truly is looking forward to the new addition to the small population of this specie.

To you guys out there thanks for visiting and stay tuned for the upcoming two segments. Cheers!

Apr 6, 2010

City Park @ Rimba Kiara, TTDI supports birdlife etc etc

Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) TTDI is about 12 km from the city center of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It is nicely tucked away at one corner of  Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (TTDI), a housing estate which saw  the first houses built some 35 years ago. The garden or (taman in local Malay language) estate have since expanded to now more than 5000 houses ranging from single-storey terrace, double-storey linked (town houses) to some sizeable bungalows. In more recent years also saw an eruption of condominiums took place in this erstwhile quiet residential enclave.
Being one of the later parks to be developed TRK, TTDI had the benefit of more ‘green’ trees, which included some fruit, berry and seed bearing species. The good news is that most of the trees have matured and now provides the food source for the many resident as well as seasonal migratory birds. The latter would take temporary residence for a couple of months, to escape the winter, before returning to their original homeland in the spring.
The following photos are by no means a 100% representation of birdlife in TRK, TTDI but in my view for an area of no more than 3 acres it has fared better than some larger ‘forests’ in supporting many species of our feathered friends.
It is hoped that this blog will bring forth higher level of awareness and greater commitment by other housing schemes to replicate the ‘green lung’ concept within their housing estates for birdlife and nature to thrive for posterity. Enjoy the photos! Cheers!

Asian Koel (Male)
Asian Koel (Female)
Asian Glossy Starling (Adult)
Asian Glossy Starling (Juvenile)
Copper-Smith Barbets (Male & Female)
Blue-tailed Bee Eaters
Black-thighed Falconet
Braminy Kites
Yellow-vented Bul Buls
Changeable-Hawk Eagle
Crested Goshawk
Crested Serpent Eagle in flight
Dollar Bird
Spotted Dove
Peaceful or Zebra Dove
Greater Raquet-tailed Drongo
Jpg_500Black Hornbill
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Common Iora
Jungle Fowls
Jpg_0041-1 (2)
White-throated Kingfisher
Oriental Magpie Robin (Male)
Oriental Magpie Robin (Female)
Scaly-breasted Munia
Javan Myna
Crested Goshawk
Scarlet-backed Flycatcher (Male)
Orange-breasted Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Black-naped Oriole
Pacific Swallows
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Male)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Female)
Jpg_118 (2)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Male)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Female)
Common Tailor Bird
Little Spider-hunter
Tiger Shrike
Forest Wagtail
Flame-backed Woodpecker (Male)
Flame-backed Woodpecker (Female)
Pied Minivet
TRK, TTDI also have other beauties of nature like this water lily in full bloom.
or this smallish ‘waterfall’ cascading water into the man-made pond. The favorite of the resident kingfishers which could be seen diving for their fish meals.
Dragon flies could also be found in great abundance.
Flowers produce nectar for the birds and other insects.
The bumble bee also finds a place here to thrive.Jpg_430
And last but definitely not the least, man’s distant cousins are here too. 
One BIG family living in peace on less than 3 acres of land! Not bad, not bad at all.