Mar 27, 2012

Green-backed Flycatcher ( Ficedula elisae ) 13 - 13.5 cm

This is a migrant and just like the other bird species which seek temporary respite from the cold winter months in their homelands will be returning home soon. I was fortunate to get wind of this bird from a friend. Without hesitation I made a quick trip to the location where this bird was reported seen. The male did not disappoint and after some half hour of waiting it appeared and stayed long enough to be recorded. The female however is more 'shy' preferring to stay out of sight. I would like to try my luck to record the female sometime soon. 

Here are pics of the Male bird.

Scarlet-rumped Trogon ( harpactes duvaucelii ) 23.5-26.5 cm

The 'Star' on this birding trip is unquestionably a pair of Male & Female Scarlet-rumped Trogons. We heard the repeated calls but could not see them. When all of a sudden one of the members exclaimed 'there it is, there it is!!' And low and behold the Male was just only about 10 meters from our position! Even under the dim light of the forest at the time the colors of it's plumage shown so brilliantly. The red was so strikingly 'flourescent' and added to the all round excitement which had built up amongst the members by now.

The excitement on seeing the male had hardly settled down when another member of the team called out 'the female is over there!' Wow what an unexpected double bonus! There she was perched further deeper inside the forest and on a higher but 'clear' perch. She was visible as a thin streak of sunlight had penetrated through the forest's canopy and brightened up the surrounding area near to where she perched. Great stuff both!

Here are a few pics. 

                                       The Male

                                        The Female

Recent encounters in the forest reserve

Went birding with a group of eager beavers, mixed seasoned, experienced and novices. It was to share knowledge and etiquette of birding, especially with the newer members. The half day outing yielded more than 50 species both seen and heard. Not a bad day!

First up were a couple of Bul Buls and a Babbler.

                                  Puff-throated Bul Bul

                                 Chestnut-crowned Babbler

                                 Cream-vented Bul bul.

                                        Spectacled Spiderhunter

Mar 21, 2012

Banded Kingfisher ( Lacedo palchella ) 21.5 - 24.5 cm

This is another uncommon specie. Bird watchers would also have it in their list of birds to look out for. I was lucky to chance upon the female in a recent birding trip. I was drawn to the calls which grew closer and closer. With the help of my bins (binocular) I scanned the branches of trees in the vicinity. I finally found it perched on a branch some 30 meters up. It was a great find! And it stayed in the area for about 30 minutes, much to my delight! 

The White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus), 21.5 - 28 cm

This specie are great song birds known for it's wide repertoire of notes and very loud call it has also become a favorite of  'bird keepers' who buys them to be kept as pets. A permit is required to keep this specie. However due to lax enforcement this requirement is seldom adhered to. Which have caused the numbers to decrease in the wild due to unlawful poaching. 

Here is both the male and female.

                                          The Male 

                                             The Female

Siberian Blue Robin (luscinia cyane ) 13 - 14 cm

During a recent birding trip I had the opportunity to observe the change in plumage of this migratory specie which had been a 'guest' here since December last year. When this Juvy (Juvenile) arrived it's plumage was 'dull blue rump to upper tail, some blue on the scapulars/coverts'. Three months hence it's plumage have turned more vibrant blue all round. Hope to see and record it again before it returns to it's homeland.    

                                 Pic taken in Dec 2011

                                 Pic taken in Mar 2012

Pics taken in early April

Red-bearded Bee Eater ( Nyctyornis amictus ) 32 - 35 cm

I will never get bored with this 'dignified looking' bird. It's bright red 'beard' and green plumage endears itself to bird watchers young and old alike. An interesting bird to observe. 

Raffles Malkoha ( Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus ) 35 cm

Whilst waiting for the Hooded Pitta to show itself our attention was temporarily drawn to a pair of Raffles Malkoha busy foraging nearby. Managed to only get the female. The male refused to show itself and kept within the thick foliage of the trees. :-(

Mar 14, 2012

MNS Raptor Watch 2012 - Tg Tuan aka Cape Rachado, PD, Malaysia

Mar 10 & 11 2012 marks the 13th year the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) have organized this iconic event. For 42 days starting from Feb 18 to Mar 30 2012 raptor counters are based in the compound of the Tg Tuan Lighthouse to make an inventory of raptors returning to their homelands during the spring.

At time of writing this posting the number of raptors which have crossed the Straits of Malacca stand at 25326 (March 11). Traditionally the majority of raptors using this passage to and from their homelands comprise of Oriental Honey Buzzards. Black Bazas, Grey-faced Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons. Other raptors also make up a small percentage of the grand total.

MNS have made this annual event into a carnival with participation from suppliers who set up booths to promote their products, foreign associate partners who came to show their support and of course the general public who came to witness the raptors and enjoy the festivities. Popular local movie actress and MNS Ambassador Maya Karim was on hand to woo her excited crowd of admirers. So did the current reigning Miss Universe Malaysia Miss Kimberley Laggett. 

For the first time the event was declared open by the Chief Minister of Malacca (Tg Tuan and it's vicinity are part of Malacca state's territory). MNS President Prof Dr. Maketab Mohammed was also present and actively engaged with the whole spectrum of visitors. Raptor Watch 2012 came to a fitting end with the performance by a local rock band. Already looking forward to Raptor Watch 2013! :-)

Some pictures of the event :


And here are some pictures of the raptors:

                                A resident Changeable Hawk Eagle 

                                 Oriental Honey Buzzards

            Raptors thermalling above the Tg Tuan Lighthouse

Mar 4, 2012

Black-throated Sunbird (Male & Female)

Getting small birds on the camera's view finder is difficult enough let alone trying to follow their fast and unpredictable flight sequence. It was a good day today as I managed to record both the male and female within a span of half an hour! Sunbirds feed solely on flower nectars which they extract from the flowers using the long angular beak.



Short -tailed Gynmure

Have encountered at 4 Short-tailed Gynmure during this season. They are usually very skittish when near humans and will scurry-off at the slightest approach. Observed that they pick all kinds of grubs off the forest floor and are carnivorous.