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MikeBirder - Malaysian Birds


Welcome to my Malaysian Birding Blog. I migrated to as my blog at closed shop in 2012. I wish to showcase all Malaysian birds that I have photographed whether here or overseas. My countdown of lifers started in 2005. Coming to April 2019 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
526/688 species of birds of Malaysia in photos.

My shooting gear was a EF400mm f4 DO lens and Canon 7D body which to me is the ideal setup for mobility and bird chasing at that time. Eventhen the weight over my shoulder is more that 5.5 kg. As of June 2016 I have also acquired a Fuji XF 100-400mm OIS lens to complement my travelling cum birding trip overseas. The Fuji X-T2 is now in hand ; the weight over my shoulder is much lighter now by 30%. In December 2018 I acquired the Nikon Coolpix P1000 as supplementary camera for distance shooting of 3000mm.
Meantime I am hoping Sigma or Fuji will come out with with a 200-600mm lens for my Fuji body. As for a new body I will only consider an upgrade when the megapixel hit 30..........

I am a weekend birder. Do feel free to drop me a line at and I see whether you can tag along in my outings. My usual day trip is just an hour ride away to Hulu Langat, Lancang, Kemensah, Krau, Awana, Hulu Kali, Gombak Ole Road, Fraser's Hill , Bukit Tinggi and KSNP & Coastal Sg Janggut Jeram side of the coast . Overnite trip to Merapoh & Cameron, Air Hitam and further north to Kuala Sidim is a seldom affair but for lifer we travel. Panti in Johor is another good birding site that I yet to go. Then there are the Borneo birds of Sabah and Sarawak of Malaysia which I seriously much go to chalk up more lifers. This I did in 2018 to Sepilok Sandakan and Kinabalu Park. Next Danum and LahatDatu.......

WARNING Birding is an addiction once you started its hard to stop. The wifey and children are now birding widow and orphan.



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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Avian Video October 2019 - Rufous Collared Kingfisher feeding frenzy

Here is a video of the resident Rufous-collared feeding at the Deerland port. Usually it will be there in the wee morning and the first two birds that descend to the log to feed. Lighting then is low and we were shooting below 1/15s at ISO 800-1600.  The most it will come down 2-3 times after that it will be perch 60 ft away watching the activities for an hour or two before leaving the port.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Avian Migrant Sighting October 2019 - Lanchang

After a few weeks of  no serious birding, I guess its time to go birding actively as the migration period is starting.  I was stood up by Den who woke up late on a Sunday. He supposed to join me  in Lanchang. Leaving him behind I reaching Deerland at about 7.30am. Then Norazmi and son in tow arrived on the dot as I was preparing to gear up. Today it was to recce the site on any early migratory bird arrival.

Wallah ! It was nice to see the Siberian Blue is already back. It may the same one from the previous year but now in full mature colors. It uncanny that this place has always been a last stop destination for this bird. I was also wishing that the Hooded Pitta will return soon so that Azmi can get his lifer.

Meanwhile the resident birds are also  coming out in full force as shown below. A immature Black Hornbill (female) also turn up above us. I only managed a record shot.

Lighting was very good without any harsh sunlight until about past 11.30 am as the clouds cleared and the sun rays hit the port site.


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Avian Migrant Sighting October 2019 - Banded Bay Cuckoo

For the period starting October it is a good time to go out birding  to catch the early migrants from the northern hemisphere. Today I got  to see a Banded Bay Cuckoo in Awana Genting. I do not think it will stay long but maybe in passage to lowland forest of peninsula Malaysia.

This is my second time seeing it here in the submontane locale. My usual sighting is in lowland forests like Lanchang Merapoh and Sg Congkak. It did vocalise a bit when I was playing a babbler call. But when I play its call it was not too fond and flew down the ravine and not to be seen. They are solitary birds and do not mix with others but they are quite curious and wary of other birds and humankind. Many birds actually do not like cuckoos especially during nesting time.................

Monday, 7 October 2019

Avian Sighting October 2019 - Pygmy Blue flycatcher

Glad to re-acquaint with you.
As the name says it  is tiniest of  Flycatcher  which you can see in the submontane forest of Malaysia (1000m asl) . It is the size of a flowerpecker of  about 9-10cm. This would be my only second encounter of this bird. The last time I saw it was in 1996 when I started birding with Jason Tan ...........after that whenever I am there I hope to see it but never until  today. I always tot it has gone extinct in Genting Highland; then in my bird group Teresa says there was a sighting again at the trail. So whenever I am here I have hope to see it again.

Today's encounter was totally unexpected when the bird pop-out for a short period of less than a minute during a bird wave of  Mountain Fulvettas, Black-eared Shrike-babblers, Fantail Yellow-bellied Warbler, and Golden Babbler. Though in harsh lighting, I am happy to manage to get better pictures than the last encounter. Apparently you can see the same bird in Fraser's Hill. Some say at Pines Hill trail in the early hours.

 It usually keeps to the low story. So whenever you encounter such an active bird just shoot and view later. Any slightest movement it will be gone and there is seldom a second chance. So birding alone have its benefit. Good luck guys.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Avian Field Report September 2019 - Ulu Kali aka Bukit Cincin

End September Dennis invited me to go to Genting to try out his newly acquired Canon EF500mm mk2 and 5D mk4 setup after his windfall in the stock market Lucky fellow.  

As for me its migrant hunting in the Banjaran migration route. The place was rather active with many of the common residents. A pair of confiding White-throated  Fantail came out to look-see look-see in the open.  Its been awhile for me  to see & shoot this fantail. 

A pair of Yellow-rumped Flycatcher were also the early arrival here. Usually they will move down to the lowland and suburban ports in Klang valley like Ampang and Congkak side. No Mugimaki as yet to be seen.

There were at least a few grey Wagtails around but as usual, they are always wary of us and kept their distance.

A Tiger Shrike and a Brown Shrike  were sighted  as they sally for moths in the early morning hours. The Shrikes may move on south once they fatten up at this Ulu.Kali stop. It was a sad news to  hear that a migrant jungle flycatcher probably a brown-chested hit the the glass window on the day before and died mentioned by Rosla.

There was at least a pair of Asian Brown Flycatcher that are mindfully sallying for insect.  

Only a male Large Niltava and Snowy Flycatcher were seen at the UK port. The females were missing. The resident Lesser Shortwing was calling but did not show up. Dennis was rather happy with the outing and gave me a treat that afternoon.

So we returned to  Gohtong Jaya for Bakuteh and it cost Dennis a bomb at RM22 per head which is 50% more expensive than in KL. The whole affair with Tea and Veggie came out at RM65.00++ Swear I will not go there anymore I rather go to Bukit Tinggi for a sumptuous meal for  that kind of money!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Avian Field Report September 2019 - Malim Nawar

During Malaysia Day weekend I dropped by MN for an hour or so excursion to see whether any wader or rarity duck has descended at this popular stop-over.

At one of the dried-up pond; a colony of a dozen Open-billed Storks were feeding on the abundant molluscs aka moon snails whilst the scavenging cattle egrets and little egrets wait for the remnant flesh of the emptied shell.

They separate the shell from the body of the snail using the tip of the beak. The tip of the lower mandible of the beak is often twisted to the right. This tip is inserted into the opening of the snail and the body is extracted with the bill.  The exact action being difficult to see, but it is concluded their bill gap was used like a nutcracker. He held the rough edges of the bill as being the result of wear and tear from such actions. Subsequent studies have dismissed this idea and the rough edge of the bill has been suggested as being an adaptation to help handle hard and slippery shells.

A single First-winter Yellow Wagtail was sighted at the 4 fish ponds section which are dried out. Surprising no other waders around.

At the main pond a paddyfield pipit is settling down; but it was a bit skittish even when I was shooting from the car. It will hide beside nearby scrub whenever I bring out my camera.

The Little Commorant is now a regular sighting at Kampar- MalimNawar bypass. Shot using my Nikon P1000. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Avian Site Report in September 2019 - Bukit Tinggi (Yellow morph Pin-tailed)

With the promising find at Awana I was enthusiastic to go to Lancang on Sunday but because of a car issue I decided to go to the  nearer destination in Bukit Tinggi instead. On the way up the winding road I heard  the barking call of a pair Great hornbill which were roosting on a tree  near the roadside. Dare not move out from the car  so as not to spook them As it was still dark before 7.00am;  I have to boost up ISO of my Fuji to 3200 and shooting at 1/8s I can only manage a few shots before they flew away.

The security is now even more stringent to pass  the boomgate after paying up the entry fees of RM16.00 at Colmar. By time the guard confirm my car no and open up it was already passed 7.35am. On the way up  to the Japanese Garden  I saw some tiny birds  in the distance. It was a beautiful encounter with a colony of parrotfinch (of about a dozen or so)!!!! they were feasting on the many bamboo outcrops  below the ravine. Alas I did not bring my P1000 as the birds is about 150-200 ft away I cannot get any good resolution photos as the tiniest subject are just too out.

This is my first for me seeing a parrotfinch with a yellow tail and yellow bellied but with a blue face. It supposedly a yellow morph male specimen. It is a rarity 5-8 % of its population.

 The above bird look unfamiliar; perch on a dead tree for quite sometime............. cropped  far out in the ravine.

At the chicken port, I met Bubu and his gang of three who are there for the third time to catch the Ferruginous Partridge for the past two months. He is Burmese working in Subang. They failed again today. The resident Mountain Peacock Pheasant were in attendance though. Both were male with 3 spiked legs and turquoise spotted tail. Wish to report there are no migrant birds so far. Hope you guys have better luck..........

The famous ficus tree is again fruiting so its is a good time to plan a trip  in middle October to BT again. BTW I manage to sight a Chestnut-winged Scimitarbabbler there. No good photo but a blur one.