MikeBirder - 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. Coming to December 2018 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
516/688 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. 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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Monday, 10 December 2018

Waterbird 50/60 - Watercock (lifer 516) ( female breeding plummage)

After birdng for 12 years this is my first time I got to shoot my elusive Watercock. Many of my fellow birders have got it but not me ...really paiseh.  Many times we  spooked the bird and it just flew off  into the padi field or undergrowth nearest to it.

The best way to shoot this rail is from your vehicle. With my newly acquired Nikon P1000 with its 3000mm range I manage to shoot it in half frame  crop as shown from a distance of 60-70m away opposite a padi field. Thought the details are soft it is good enough for me. 

The female Watercock is more frequently seen than the beautiful striking male in black coat and a red helmeted crested forehead. It is rather big bird of about 1.3ft with long legs and toes like Jacanas. These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. 

They mainly eat mollusc insects and small fish and seeds They forage on the around. Watercock are quite secretive, but are sometimes seen out in the open. They are noisy birds, especially at dawn and dusk, with a loud, gulping call.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

KINGFISHER 3/13 - Stork-billed Kingfisher

Another new KF for my collection.This one caught at the FRIM Kepong wetland lake. Humongous of a  KF upto 37cm that is more than a feet. It's red bill is the dominating of them all. Found mainly at seashore and mudflats but also open swampy and wide river banks. Its call is a monotonous  toad-like croak unlike the chattery white-throated.

Updated with two new photos shot at a closed range of 40 ft at Malim Nawar 12.18. This is the peninsula subspecie with a darker head compared to the Bornean
These are my best photos so far of this bird. Shot with the Fuji XT2 using  beanbag from the car window ledge.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Avian Sighting March 2018 - Oriental Honey Buzzard

Stumble upon this raptor while birding in Malim Nawar. It was resting in the shade that late morning The month of March 2018  is the period for them to return home to Siberia  and China side of country. Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) is one of the most common migrant raptors  It belongs to Family Accipitridae.

There are six subspecies – 
ptilorhyncustorquatus, palawanensisphilippensis, ruficollis and orientalis. The nominate race is found in Java; torquatus in Peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo; 
 palawanensis in Palawan and west Philippines; philippensis in north and east Philippines; ruficollis in India and Sri Lanka through Myanmar to south China. orientalis is the migratory race, being resident in Russia to east Asia; and wintering south to Southeast Asia . The local peninsula OHB has a tiny crest

It preys mainly on larvae and honey of bees and wasps, but also lizards, frogs and other insects.

I was shooting from the car in search of returning migrants along the stream opposite the fish ponds

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Yuhina 2/2 - Chestnut-crested Yuhina (lifer 515 - Bornean 25/100)

Another  Bornean endemic; the Chestnut-crested Yuhina is  another  tough bird to shoot with its active feeding frantic jumping here and there looking for grubs and insects. The bird also was ring-tagged on its leg. It is definately a more beautiful Yunina than the White-bellied (Epornis) one of peninsula Malaysia.

This is another common bird to see in bird wave here in KNP so not to worry to chalk up this lifer.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Kingfisher 3A/13 - Stork billed Kingfisher (Bornean subspecie - Bornean 24/100)

Photo1 Borneo Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis innominata 
Photo2 Peninsula's Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis malaccensis

      The Bornean subspecie Stork-billed Kingfisher have a paler head color compared to the peninsula one which have a darker brown head ( malaccensis). See  photo2  above.

I would not call it a different specie or lifer but to let you guys know. Who know the birding faternity may split them as a different specie in the near future  ......... I doubt it as there is not much difference other than color of the head.

Please note the paler color head at an angle

 The latest  sighting 0n 01.1218 at Malim Nawar Perak of the peninsula subspecies. Note the darker head and face

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Flowerpecker 9/12 - Brown-backed flowerpecker ( lifer 514)

I only managed to get a single pose and away it went  with  my gang lead by Robertus. We  were shooting at the fruiting ficus tree at the far end monsoon drain away from RDC  carpark. I do not know whether the guys notice the bird as they left the post earlier  to seek other lifers at the back entrance of RDC.

The particular flowerpecker has pinkish to orangy  eye. It has dull  brown coat with a faint buffy streaking underpart from its breast to belly. It is rather stout and puffy in shape. It  stayed in the canopy top (25ft) in the  tree and never came down ever vigilant of my present.  It was feeding amongst the Blue-eared Barbet and Yellow-vented flowerpeckers and several bulbuls at that time

The other place to see this bird is in Panti Johor but I have yet to set foot to that Forest reserve down south of Peninsula Malaysia.

juvenile blue eared barbet in all green "attire"

Yellow-vened Fp

Monday, 12 November 2018

Forktail 4/4 - Bornean Forktail (Lifer 513 - Bornean 22/100)

I was not patient enough to wait for an open shot like N'azmi that day as my target is to get lifers. For me the photo here is good enough for id for me to post as a lifer and I rather move on to other opportunities.

Taking Reyes  write-up - the Bornean Forktail (Enicurus borneoensis) (BF) was split (Moyle et al 2005) from White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti) (WCF) based on the followings :
  • The white shield stop on top of its forehead whereas WCF extended on the crown.
  • Much bigger in size than WCF with longer and has 4 pair of white patches on its tail
  • Different vocalizations
  • Different habitat with BF mostly found at the mountains e.g Kinabalu National Park and WCF further down lowland forest e.g Danum Valley