Jul 27, 2011

The Barred Eagle Owl (Bubo sumatranus) 45.5 - 46.5 cm

It was with great excitement and jubilation that I had the opportunity to meet up with the another Barred Eagle Owl. It's not often that one gets to see an owl. So two encounters in 2 weeks is better than average.

My friends and I took our time to observe and photograph the numerous 'antics' of this fine bird of prey. From the photos you will note that this wild bird have a 'soft side' which endears it to many who saw my earlier postings. It has received expressions of cute, beautiful, dreamy eyes etc etc. Mind you this bird was not coached to pose for the camera. :-)
Below are a few more pics taken during this trip.

Big round eyes!

It feels good - after a good ruffle! 

Time to take a snoooozzzzzz..........


Jul 25, 2011

Jeram Mangrove Forest/Jetty Revisited

It was a pleasant coincidence that it was exactly one year ago that I last visited this popular birding location of mixed lowland and mangrove forests. It is this mix that has made it a fertile breeding ground for a wide variety of avian lifeforms to thrive side-by-side. Even the mammals and reptiles like the Smooth Otters, macaques and Monitor Lizards call this place  home. 

The jetty serve as an anchor point for local fishing boats which leave the village for the sea during high tide and return just when the tide is high enough to allow their boats to return to the jetty.  My friends and I arrived early circa 6.45 am. After a quick breakfast at our regular cafe we set off for the jetty. The sky was overcast and rain clouds loomed low. We were of course slightly apprehensive that our trip will be cut short by a rain storm. Our apprehension was soon lifted when the strong winds dispersed the dark clouds and we settled-in to start an eventful day of birding. :-)

Below are photos taken during the trip.

A pair of Sunda-pygmy Woodpeckers was seen busily ferrying food to a chick/s in a nest built in a old tree stump which doubles-up as an anchor for boats. The food comprised mainly of worms and small grubs which the parent birds pick from the forests nearby.

Next up was a pair of Collared Kingfishers. They were not actively hunting for their meal. Rather they were flying from one location to another within the perimeter of the jetty area and ocassionally into the mangrove forest. Their distinctive loud calls could be heard as they flew past. We were lucky to see both the Male and Female at relatively close range.  

                                                       The Male (L) and Female (R)

I spotted a Juvenile Little Heron foraging for it's breakfast and decided to keep a close watch. I was rewarded when it found a dead fish (probably from one of the trawlers) and was trying  to swallow it. As the fish was quite large it took the Little Heron a good 20 minutes of trying before it successfully manouvere the fish, head first down it's throat. Below are combo pics recording each step of the swallowing process.


There were smaller birds feeding on the flower nectar of some flowering trees by the river bank. Notable ones was the Brown-throated Sunbird. (below)

And the Common Tailorbird. (Below)

 Other birds which visitors will not help but notice are the many Crows which have made Jeram Jetty area their permanent home, building nests around the jetty area on low branches! Here a Male and Female were seen preening each another. 

There were also Egrets and Grey Herons foraging along the river banks.

It has by now approached noon time. The high tide is slowly receding and the mudflaps are appearing, commencing from the side of the river banks. The low tide also brought forth other inhabitants. The Macaques is one example. The resident Otters are the other mammal which call Jeram Mangrove Forests home.

The Macaques are smart animals and have gotten use to human food and drinks. In the pics below one is seen trying to squeeze what is left of the sweet chrysanthemum drink out of the container. Which is a learning point for us humans. DO NOT LITTER !

In this pic the Macaque have just dug up a shell fish and was trying to eat it alive! Believe it or not? It washed the shell fish in the river water to rid it of the mud before trying ti eat it! For the records it only managed to eat a small portion before giving up. Probably found it not palatable??? :-)

Monitor Lizards could be found in large numbers here. The combination of forests is very conducive for these reptiles who can easily adapt to water and land.   

Not to be outdone by the rest the star of the day is the Stork-billed Kingfisher! On this occasion we found it perched on a low hanging branch just by the river's edge. It is a strategic perch as it could clearly seen the fishes in and river below before diving for it's meal. It was noted that each dive was a success for these clever hunters. It had perched quite some distance from our location.

Towards the later part of the afternoon 2 Otters suddenly appeared in the water and were seen swimming casually around. It did a few dives under water before deciding to swimming further only to disappear as fast as they had appeared.

We capped our long day with some flight shots of the Pacific Swallows which are also local residents here.

Jul 21, 2011

Crested Sepent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) 56-74 cm

The next time you hear loud piercing calls from high up in the clear blue sky look skyward and scan for this large raptor (bird of prey) circling above. Usually seen in pairs they fly or glide through the air with great ease, thanks to the hot thermal air which start building up from mid-morning onwards. It's the hot thermal air which provides these and other large birds the 'lift' needed for them to soar and remain in flight for hours and miles on end. Oftentimes (during raptors migration)  they appear like tiny specks dotting the sky. The thermal also help to keep them adrift and glide effortlessly for many miles away from their nests in search for food. As it's name implies this specie's favorite meal are snakes. :-)

Jul 19, 2011

The Greater Green Leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerrati) 20-22 cm

Watched for almost 15 minutes this Male foraging for wild berries from atop a watch tower. Did not see any Female bird. Highly probable it is a  young Juvenile.

The Cream-vented Bul Bul (Pycnonotus simplex) 18 cm

Jul 18, 2011

The Little Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia ruficeps) 28-33 cm

The Streaked Wren Babbler (Napotera Brevicaudata) 14-14-5 cm

This is one bird that is attractive with just one major color for it plumage - brown. I believe that it's also got to do with the beautifully 'layered formation' and the whitish wing-spots which further enhance this already attractive bird. 

The Black-eared Shrike Babbler (Pteruthius melanotis) 12 cm

On this occasion only a single bird was sighted. It did some quick foraging and disappeared as quickly as it appeared. I was lucky to be able to take a few record shots albeit from some distance. The average size of this specie is just 12 cm.