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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 May 2020 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
539/688 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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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Avian Field Report 3/June - Bulbul season in Krau

In the dry season of May- July many bulbuls can be sighted at a single spot when there are ripening berries. I just sit in the car and shoot from there 30 ft away. Curiously they take their  turn to feed on the berries. Usually in a pair/couple or more ie in the case of  a family with fledgling are seen.

The white eyed - Cream-vented is easy to spot.


The uncommon one is this Puff-backed. Hoping for the White & Black Bulbul to show (my last lifer) but sign........... another wish unfulfilled.


The Streaked bulbul as usual is seen in the higher
 canopy at another location.

The common Buff-vented is the dominating pair seen at the fruiting tree because of its fiery look........ they stayed the longest

 The Olived-winged and Black headed are the other common bulbuls recorded. Other bulbuls seen were the Striped-throated, Hairy-backed and Yellow-bellied.......

Monday, 24 June 2013

Avian Video 7/100 - Yellow & Black Broadbill

The Yellow & Black Broadbill is one of the most colourful bird of lowland forest in Malaysia. During the fruiting season in May- July the dry season they can come down to the lower storey for you to see them. Most of the time they keep to the 20 m range high in the canopy area. Enjoy......

Avian video 6/100 - Checkered Woodpecker in Krau Pahang

A family of 4 was sighted at the Deerland side. Here is one of them feeding on grubs in a tree hollow inverted. Enjoy......

Thursday, 20 June 2013

WEAVER 1/1 - Baya Weaver

 Baya Weaver
These birds can weave some beautiful nest. People do collect their nest for sale as decorative item. Problem their nest sometimes are built on low shrubs, coconut trees and trees that are reacheable by arm. It can be seen in grassy areas near freshwater swamp or stream. It is a communal nester. The male will start building and try to attract a female with energetic displays around the site. Nesting material is the long lallangs which they pick from the surrounding. 

A bit larger & broader than the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Gregarious in nature and flock in a group like the munias

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

BARBET 11/12 - Blue-throated Barbet

Blue-throated Barbet

The Blue-throated Barbets (Megalaima asiatica) have a wide range and are common from Northeast Pakistan and Nepal, Southwest China, Thailand, central Laos, north Annam and Vietnam. They are widespread residents in the hills of Himalayas. They frequent montane
evergreen forest and deciduous forests, gardens, orchards, teak forests and cities with fruiting trees.In Malaysia there are record sighting in Bukit Tinggi and Bukit Rengit Pahang. See my sifu report - & . They are medium size barbet  between 9 - 11 inches (23 - 28 cm) long, including tail. Males and females look alike. Young birds have an overall duller plumage. They have a lower ivory whitish beak compared to other barbets of Malaysia.

They are typically seen foraging in the forest canopy, but will visit lower shrubs to feed. Their staple diet consists of fruits (particularly figs), some flowers, figs and insects, such as grubs, crickets, mantises, ants, cicadas, dragonflies, locusts, beetles and moths. (See my photos down up view)

Their breeding season usually starts in March and goes on until July. Courtship behavior consists of mutual feeding, and paired birds will ‘duet’ and display.
Both parents usually excavate a nest hole about 1.5 m to more than 8 m above the ground, often on the underside of a dead branch. They line their nest with grasses, wool or plant materials. 

The average clutch consists of 2 to 5 white, oval, slightly glossed and thin-shelled eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 14 days. Both parents also share in raising the chicks once they have hatched. The young are believed to fledge when they are about 30 to 40 days old.
What a beautiful bunch....what's the name 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Avian Field Report 2/June 2013 - Lanchang Pahang

Hoping to confirm a nesting,  I was again back in Bukit Rengit but alas it was not to be.  Later met Kamal and Zul at the Bridge and they were telling me they heard the Hooded Pitta.....surprise in the month of June?

It was a very eventful trip. Firstly in  the wee morning when everything was still in "slow motion" I got a glimpse of this male Crested fireback struting across the trail 100m away. Usually it is the last to cross in its flock so I missed the entire procession. This is the second time I have seen them in Bukit Rengit.

The Emerald pigeon  is common to see - scuttering  on the deserted road picking up pebbles and seeds droppings  also in the wee morning. Later my price capture of this barbet a juvenile pale featured......which I cannot match its looks with the 11 listed Barbets but more  like a Blue throated though. Now searching the internet it was recorded in by my sifu that the Blue-throated Barbet is a verified  sighting here particularly Bukit Rengit and Bukit Tinggi....... way south of Thailand. Anybody wish to argue about that. This would make it 12 subspecies for Malaysia.

I have yet to see my last Barbet - the  Red-crowned. Please give me a howler if you guys see one.

An odd couple of the Ochraceous Bulbul and Checker-throated Woodie were seen flying together. There was also a pair of  Rufous Piculet which stopped for awhile for me to snap a few shots .

The Broadbills are quite approachable today and came out to see what the commotion of the giant squirrel feeding on berries again. In fact everybody is waiting for the squirrel to move along to feast.


The Lesser Cuckoo-shrike was chased out  by bulbuls from the fruiting tree. Earlier I  got my lifer of the Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike abate a 30m  shot from a hillside. Enough to id it after close scrutiny of  my photos back home.

A pair of  resident Red-bearded Bee-eater was obliging to my playback. So overall not bad an outing. The ever obliging Sooty-capped Babbler and Buff-vented Bulbul  are always there.

Bluebird or Maroon-breasted........

Sunday, 16 June 2013

CUCKOO-SHRIKE 3/3 - Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike


Bar-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
This is the last of the Cuckoo-shrike that you can see in Malaysia.  The give away  feature is the whitish / yellowish white eye. The Lesser was also sighted see my field report 2/June. There was a pair of them chasing Drongos and the likes high in the canopy. If you compare the size it is about the size of the Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo almost a foot  shown in the picture.

Gregarious noisy and conspicuous in nature. Usually travelling in small groups or in mixed flocks with other cuckoo-shrikes or Pied Trillers. It is a tree feeder looking for grub and insects on tree branches and leave. It tends to keep to the higher canopy. That is why we seldom see it. Supposedly fairly common. 

 It is found in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and swampland and mangrove forests. I got mine in Bukit Rengit.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Avian field report 1/June2013 - Lancang Pahang ( Javan Frogmouth)

I obliged Alex and Micheal wanting to visit Lancang for the first time after a successful visit to Bukit Tinggi the day before. They missed the  nesting of the ..........oops forgot.  It was found abandoned by the birds..... most probably by too much attention by fellow bird photogs. Later they  say the nest was found destroyed by macaques. The treeswift nestling  and silver-eared are still around though.

The early month of June still have evening drizzle in Lancang. The trees are fruiting and the common species of bulbuls are having a feast even a family of  giant squirrels. This is a full frame shot from my EF400mm mind you. We can expect dry weather in Krau in the coming weeks of June -July 2013. Some of the broadbills  have been busy building nest like the Black & Red. No sighting of any of the 4 Trogon subspecies this time. Babblers are also active. I am still hoping to see the Grey-breasted one of this days......sigh

The Large Wren was not in the mood to come out to play but just duet with our playback. There was plenty of Racquet-tailed Drongos activity along the stretch we were walking. Black hornbill and Red-billed Malkoha did showed up but no photos too high in the canopy. The resident Rufous KF  was also seen rocketing across the trail.

The highlight of the trip is definitely the Javan Frogmouth off a beaten track. It was alert at times as it give us the "angry bird" look. Most of the time this nocturnal bird just slumber to sleep in the mid day heat. If you are lucky to stumble upon it ; you can shoot it until you are out of memory card as it seldom budge from its perch unless physically disturbed. We left it to itself  as not to stress the bird.

Plain Sunbird was too hyper to get a sharp picture
Black-throated Babbler

This one still a mystery just to far away

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

SHRIKE 2/3 - Brown Shrike

Brown Shrike

This is the most common Shrike you can see in Peninsula Malaysia during the months of Sept-April as they are adapted to the urban environment.  They are earliest arrival of the migrant birds during the wintering season up north.

Sound like a white breasted kingfisher but the "kekkekek" call is uniform and loud. Its their territorial call usually upon arrival in a new area. At times they are in perch in a group but most frequent they are loner. They are seasonal at my area in Mindef KL. It has a distinct black mask and rufous brown crown.

WOOD-SHRIKE 1/1 - Large Wood-shrike

 Large Wood-shrike

This bird is adaptive to temperate forest to subtropical lowland and highland forest of Asia  of the continent (upto China/Bhutan) and India side.

In peninsula Malaysia it is common to sight it  at our many highland resort.

As you can see it is quite a plain looking bird with a black nape It has a plum body though length wise coming in at  8 inches ie short tailed.  It is gregarious and do feed in bird waves with other species. Forages & feed on grubs and insects they find on leaves and branches