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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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

FERAL 1/10 - Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove

Likely not Red Turtledoves, the Red Turtledoves should be much redder in tone, these are likely the Barbary Doves (either originated from Eurasian Collared Dove or African Collared Dove, its still under debate but African seemed to be the more favored choice for the time being, the Barbary Dove, which is completely domesticated is usually regarded as a distinct species, or a subspecies of the African/European).

This is a common cage bird, it is also often wrongly called the Javanese Turtledove which is in fact another species! I have seen this species as an escapee as well once opposite my house.

The real Red Turtledove has a grey head and very reddish body.
Red turtle dove is essentially a plains species, extending to Taiwan and the Philippines but uncommon on the Malaysian archipelago. In Malaysia it is a feral species that make it their home. Probably brought over by the Indians migrants a long time ago. It is the commonest dove throughout the Punjab region. It is a summer migrant visitor to Pakistan and the Republic of India where it is more or less resident.

They prefer open drier country,cultivation plantation and shrubs areas better-wooded tracts such as canal or roadside tree plantations regions. My doves photos are taken in captivity in the state of Kedah opposite my in-laws place. There is even a white one

DOVE 3/9 - Barred Cuckoo Dove

 Barred Cuckoo Dove

One of the bigger dove of 16 in (41 cm). Long tail and upright stance gives a cuckoo-like appearance. Upper parts barred black with chestnut. Display plumage iridescent green and violet.

A resident but not so common to see in our Malaysian jungle as yet. Their preference is dense broad-leaved forest. Defends fruiting trees by chasing competitors. While displaying, the male inflates his crop so that it reaches the ground, but the rear is held straight. In display, the bird flies up steeply with clapping wings and glides down in a spiral.

The nest is a large platform of twigs in a tree. Lays one egg, slightly glossy or cream-colored, occasionally with a small number of olive-yellow speckles and spots. Incubation 16 days, fledging after 19 days.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

THRUSH 6/9 - Malayan Whistling Thrush

 Malayan Whistling Thrush

It is endemic to the highlands of the Main range, central peninsular Malaysia, at least historically ranging from the Cameron Highlands south to the Genting Highlands, and probably remaining uncommon to more or less common. It has been recorded in several places in Peninsula namely Bukit Larut, Cameron Highland, Bukit Tinggi/Awana. You have better chance to see it in Fraser's Hill than any places.This species is resident in the ground and lower storey of hill and montane evergreen forest, usually near streams, at c.750-1,750 m.

It is very shy, occasionally frequenting quiet mountain roadsides at dawn and dusk feeding on insects, moths and critters attracted to lamp-post lightings. I have personally see them feeding on fruits too.
It nests with eggs (clutch-size 1-2) and young have been found in March and September, described as "massive half-cup" structures, which have been found in roots, ferns and behind waterfalls.

It is medium-sized about 25cm, Mainly dark black-blue plumage. Bright metallic blue lesser coverts and base of median coverts to wing-bend. Juvenile generally sootier black.
MWT has a soft mix of fluty and scratchy notes. Call a loud, thin tsee.

It similar cousin; Blue Whistling-thrush M. caeruleus as a comparison is slightly larger, heavier-billed and proportionally shorter-tailed, with dull whitish median covert tips and bluish speckles on mantle, scapulars, sides of head and throat. The main difference is the indigo blue patch on the Malayan WT's wing......see it.

Below is a interesting article by Amila Salgado on his exploit to see this elusive bird in Fraser Hill. Wish to thank Tay & Durai aka FH birdman and nice meeting up Tony & family.............. 


Sunday, 20 October 2013

DOVE 4/5 - Jambu Fruit Dove

 Jambu Fruit Dove

One of the rare find in TRA Ampang. Sighting record include Merapoh Taman Negara and Wetland Putrajaya.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

FERAL 2/10 - Japanese Quail

Japanese Quail

It is not  a Blue-breasted Quail or Barred Buttonquail.......................photo taken in pet shop in Setapak. You know what they selling them RM5-6 each as life feed to pet snakes

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

DOVE 2/9 - Peaceful dove

 Peaceful Dove

Found all over the country at sandy coastal or lakeside and grassland areas as well as suburban roadside. It has a greyish beak and pleated or barred Prize for their singing ability and champion doves can fetch tens of thousand. I rather enjoy their beauty in the wild

It is also known as Zebra Dove because of its barring .........

DOVE 1/9 - Spotted Dove

Spotted dove
It is a common bird of Malaysia . From island to mainland adaptive to human suburbs and garden.
This guy was so tame and cooperative I was just 12ft to it. Larger than the Peaceful Dove.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

PELAGIC 1/30 - Black-headed Gull

The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada. Most of the population is migratory, wintering further south.

This gull is 38–44 cm (15-17½ in) long with a 94–105 cm (37–41 in) wingspan. In flight, the white leading edge to the wing is a good field mark. The summer adult has a chocolate-brown head (not black, despite the name), pale grey body, black tips to the primary wing feathers, and red bill and legs. The hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks. This is a noisy species, especially in colonies, with a familiar "kree-ar" call. Its scientific name means "laughing gull".

It breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species but when visiting peninsula Malaysia seen at sea not far from coasts or accompanying fishing boats and trawlers in the straits of Malacca.

The Black-headed Gull is a bold and opportunist feeder and will eat insects, fish, seeds, worms, scraps and carrion in towns, or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

This species takes two years to reach maturity. First-year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less fully developed dark hood. Like most gulls, Black-headed Gulls are long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 63 years recorded in the wild!

PELAGIC 2/30 - Brown-headed Gull

The Brown-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus, is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Turkmenistan to Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of tropical southern Asia. In Peninsula Malaysia it can be seen on the Straits of Malacca sea and island outcrops not far from the coast accompanying fishing trawlers.

This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts.

This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish.

The Brown-headed Gull is slightly larger than Black-headed Gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of Black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white "mirrors". The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks.

This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

This is a noisy species, especially at colonies.

Odd couple le one is the Brown-headed & the other the Black-headed The eyes the give away