Mike Birder - Malaysian Birds


Welcome to my Malaysian Birding Blog. I migrated to blogspot.com as my blog at multiply.com 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. As of April 2018 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
494/688 species of birds of Malaysia.

My shooting gear are a EF400mm f4 DO lens and Canon 7D body which to me is the ideal setup for mobility and bird chasing. 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%.

I am a weekend birder. Do feel free to drop me a line at mikebirding@gmail.com 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

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, 19 September 2018

Barbet 12 - Bornean Brown Barbet ( lifer 500 Bornean )

There is  another split in the Brown Barbet Family. This is now called the Bornean Brown Barbet and the peninsula Malaysia on is called the Sooty. I am not sure if this is a juvenile with it buff colored  beak. It has a lighter  brown throat with some white speck compared to its cousin.

My encounter was short lived I only managed 5 shots and only 2 were sharp as shown. The single bird was tagging in a birdwave. Norazmi did not manage to shoot with its Sony setup.  Anyway it supposed to a common bird in Sepilok.

With this bird lifer I have reach my 500 milestone and the next target is to reach my  600th Malaysian bird in my life time. It is  matter of dedication and perseverance.............

Monday, 17 September 2018

Pitta 6/13 - Black-headed Pitta (lifer no 499)

 The Black-headed Pitta is almost like our peninsula Garnet Pitta except that it has a more distinct white streak across  its black head.  It is sure see in Sepilok RDC if you have the right guide or local birder. At one time it is so used to human that you don't need a hide to shoot these fellows at the Pitta trail post. In September 2018 it was missing and we suspect it is now mating and nesting again.

On my last day at Sepilok RDC, I was bloody lucky that I met  KK -Tony with Henry and Chui who  managed to call out the bird at another trail......... amazing friendly Sabah birders ! thanks guys

Though a bit shy it was dueting with our call behind a tree. We have to move about to get an opening to shoot it. I was lucky enough to locate it on a low branch with a bit of sunlight shining thru to get these pictures.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Flycatcher no 25/30 - Sunda Blue Flycatcher (lifer 498) aka Large-billed Flycatcher

I had id the bird as a Niltava earlier but after checking Borneo birdlist there is none listed.  Anyway it rufous neck and breast is paler than  the Niltava's  that I have seen in peninsula.  Doing some comparison of the Bornean Blue I deduced  its indigo forehead and dark face wih a bit of dark blue to it throat I am positive I got the Sunda Blue Flycatcher aka Large-billed  Flycatcher. The tip of the upper mandible beak is hooked and of cause the large bill

It was very unfortunate that it kept to upper storey and did not budge from its perch for a while before it dive down into the undergrowth near the stream and never to be seen. We were lucky to got a few shots but not that clean from our angle. It head is always pointing up which is a habit of this bird.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Kingfisher 13/14 - Bornean Banded Kingfisher (lifer 497)

I got this male banded at RDC in September 2018. It is also mentioned as the Black-faced.  It is now a total separate specie from our peninsula specie. The colors and feather features are drastically different with black face mask and forehead compared to the brownish of the latter. It is an easy shoot at the Canopy walk. The difficult part is to locate it amongst  the vast green. Once you have found it you can shot for an hour or two as it perch there unless disturbed. We were shooting at a distance of 60 ft or so . If you are lucky it can come to 15-20 ft of the canopy bridge.

This picture is the male bird. Hope to get to see the female in October..............

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Groundbird 11/16 - Chestnut-necklaced Hill Patridge (lifer 496)

I was dying to catch this bird when news came about of its appearance at Pedu Lake of Kedah. I did make a trip  last year there following the direction given by  my good buddies. I sighted it in the late morning but with no photo; I came back to Alor Setar empty handed.

This time it was fruitful enough that I was  given ample time to shoot in close quarters. Thanks Ang / Kenny boy....for nothing 😁.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Avian Sighting in August 2018 - Lesser Shortwing

The Lesser Shortwing is back at the port in Ulu Kali in the month of August 2018.  I was alone that weekend to my surprise. Pak Long was not around to chitchat as I walk about the short stretch of road between the gate and port.  

Bird activity was in a doldrum in Ulu Kali for the past weeks or so. After seeing Vic's posting of the female LS I wanted to try to see my elusive one. Instead the male was the consolation at the port. At least I manage some better pictures this time 

The other good place to see this bird as reported by Dr Amar is in Cameron..........that is another story. 

Shortwing are like Wrenbabbler or certain babblers of Black-capped and Short-tailed which feed at ground level hopping around and flipping leaves to look for grubs. They are quite skittish in that sense and photographying them can be a chore in dim lighting as you be shooting below 1/60s. With good IS lens stability lens or body nowaday, high ISO control and electronic shutter like my Fuji setup it is quite dandy to get better resolution picture of this LS. 

Monday, 13 August 2018

Avian post-nesting - Large Niltava and its fledglings

The resident pair of Large Niltava have been very productive this year at the port of Ulu Kali Genting. I was surprised that there were 3 juveniles coming out to feed at different time. At times the parent female will accompany the female juvenile at the port.

There were two female individual  and a male sibling that came out to feast on the mealworms . The parent male is not too happy the male juvenile still hanging around and every time it want to feed at the branch;  the parent male will chase away the latter from the port. However when the female one  come out, the parent  will not chase it way. From this behaviour I can only assume that the male offspring is being  force away to find its own territorial spot as the alpha male want the harlem to itself......

Female juvenile no 1

I only managed to shoot the male juvenile on 2 occasion in the open. Even then it was for less than 10-20 seconds. Most of the time it was a hit and run with  the parent ever ready to buzz it away. Poor thing.

Female juvenile no 2