Aug 31, 2010

A return to Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP)

It was almost a year since I last visited this nature reserve. So I thought it would be be a good time to check it out again. I have Andy for company, a new but very enthusiastic bird photographer. We arrived well before the gate was opened for visitors. A testimony that we have kept to the fervent practice of birders - catch the birds whilst they are out catching their worms.:-)

All in all we came away satisfied with the numbers and variety of birds seen and photographed. Andy was obviously elated. Most of the birds are lifers and it was his biggest harvest in just a 3/4 day outing! Enough motivation for him to want to make a return visit soon.

Here are some of the birds encountered last Sunday.

This handsome Laced Woodpecker was a great start for the day. Whilst I was trying to locate it's perch it surprised me by suddenly appearing and perched about 8 ft from my position. My instinct was to take aim and shoot. Just managed one shot before it flew away. Luck was on my side. The only shot turned out OK.

Next up was the Copper-smith Barbet. There were three of them perched on a tall tree's canopy, foraging and preening under the warm morning sun.

 As we approached the mangrove walkway a family of macaques cautiously approached us. They were in search of their breakfast in the mangrove swamp. This mother and her baby caught our attention. So did this burly looking leader of the pack, seen here having a drink of fresh rain water collected on a canvas from the overnight rain.

Do not provoke this fella or you will be sorry. :-)

After a short stroll on the wooden walkway a Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker was spotted foraging on a tree deep in the swamp. Photo taking was hampered by the mangrove trees and twines which rendered the target to be in low light and also limiting the angles to get clear shots. This photo is for the record.

Half way into the first stretch of wooden walkway we were pleasantly greeted by a raptor which flew to within 20 to 25 ft. It was a Crested Serpent Eagle! We tried to get the best view through the thick mangrove standing between us and the bird, always conscious of the fact that the Eagle is not going to stay there for too long. We were frantic to get the best shots before it decided to fly away. The end result was a good redemption for our almost back-breaking effort.

As we proceeded on our walk there were a  few missed opportunities to shoot more woodpeckers. The mangrove again got in our way. The picture below show how thick the mangrove trees are on both sides of the wooden walkway.

Not easily defeated we marched on. A Pacific Swallow entertained with some 'model shots'.

In the distance we saw a Braminy Kite had caught a fish and was hastily flying to find a comfortable perch to feast on it's catch.

As we approached the opposite side of the wooden walkway there were a few photo opportunities. The photos are rewards, of sorts, for being 'beaten up' by the noon day sun! It was by then scorching hot and humid! :-)

The Pied Fantail we chanced upon must be the most 'friendly' as it posed for a good 15 minutes on the more or less the same perch. Avid birders will know that this specie is always ultra active and many a time even seasoned bird photographers find it a challenge to photograph them. 

As I recounted earlier on in this posting we had a very good start to the day!

This Mangrove-blue Flycatcher, Juvenile, (pic below) stopped us on our track.  It is indeed a very beautiful bird.

Then there was the Oriental White-Eye up close.

And the common Tailor Bird

Our last stop was the observation tower overlooking a lake. From our vantage point we had an arm chair view of dozens of nests constructed by the Grey and Purple Herons. The juveniles are already almost the same size as their parents but still depended on their parents to hunt and feed them. We had a field day shooting the Herons as they flew freely hunting for fish around the lake. Below are 4 combo pictures shot in sequential order showing the Grey Heron flying and coming in to land.

The Purple Herons also made their appearance albeit in a more subdued manner vis a vis their other cousins, the Grey Herons.

To cap the day's visit a Collared Kingfisher was sighted perched high up on one of the branches enroute to the exit of the park, as if to bid us farewell and reminding us to come visit again soon. :-) All in all it was a great outing! My bet is that Andy will be back sooner than later. LoL

A big thank you to all the visitors to this blog. The increase in the number of  hits have, I hope, meant you have found it worth your while to browse through the pages here. Once again thank you and have a good day!!!

Aug 23, 2010

Caterpillars Galore!!!.wmv

Aug 5, 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.

Blue-eared Kingfisher

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)

Olive-winged Bul Bul

Stripe-throated Bul Bul


Grey & Buff Woodpecker. (Record 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!

Aug 4, 2010

It’s the nesting time for our feathered friends……..

Segment 2 of 3 in the series
I had wanted to post the nesting photos of the Braminy Kites much earlier but did not get round to doing it. The chicks have grown over the last couple of weeks and are much bigger now. Will update this post with the latest photos in due course. 
Braminy Kite (Male)
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Braminy Kite ( Female)
Female Braminy seen here in the nest with the eggs.
Early days of the young chicks with eyes still half opened.. There are two of them in there. The one at left is partly hidden by the twigs used to build the nest.
Mama Braminy feeding chick at left whilst chick at right patiently await it’s turn. Quite an unusual feeding behavior. One would expect both chicks scrambling and fighting for the meal.

The Braminy chicks are now two handsome fledglings.

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The two siblings perched just below the nest.


Close-up shot. The photos were greatly affected by the intense back lighting. 


Another close-up of the other young kite.


Escapade @ Awana, Genting Highlands, Pahang

5th April 2010
To attend to other more pressing ‘distractions’ I had put away this blog and have forgotten to post it! So here goes the forgotten one!
This visit to Awana, Genting Highlands, Malaysia saw some of the warmest weather ever experienced in a this hill resort nestled at approximately 4000ft above sea level! The heat was so bad that by mid-day one would not want to be out in the open. The sun was as intense as one experience in the lowlands during this time of day. The heat quite naturally took it’s toll on a rather poor selection of birds in this favorite ‘hunting ground’ amongst avid birders.
Below are some photos of the birds captured on camera during this visit.
A Paddy Field Pipit
An Orange-bellied Leaf bird (Male)
Scaly-breasted Munias (Juveniles)
The Yellow-vented Bul Bul
A pair of Stripe-throated Bul Buls
A Large Wood Shrike
Oriental Magpie Robin with caterpillar.
Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

Aug 1, 2010

A return to Fraser’s Hill

It has been a while since I last visited Fraser’s Hill. So I told myself it’s time to make a return visit to this world famous hill station. The weather this time around is dryer and warmer than expected. Less than ideal for birding in this sub-montane environment. The negative result is a much reduced variety of bird species sighted.

Below are photos of some of those which are still around.


A Fire-tufted Barbet


A pair of Blue-winged Minlas


A Malaysian Laughing Thrush


A Grey-chinned Minivet (Male)


A Grey-chinned Minivet (Female)


A Mountain Fulvetta


A Black-browed Barbet


A Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (minus the racquets which had dropped off)


A Malaysian Cuckoo Shrike


An Orange-bellied Leaf Bird


A Spectacled Laughing Thrush


The Orange-breasted Trogon


A Silver-eared Mesia.


A Long-tailed Sibia.


An Ochraceous Bul Bul


A White-throated Fantail


A Streaked Spider Hunter

Thank you for visiting and you have a good day!