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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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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

AVIAN FIELD REPORT 6/100 - Birding again in December 2014 - Krau & Bukit Lancang Pahang

After a  hiatus from birding for the past two months I visited one of my lowland forest hunt in Krau. I am sorry to report the devastation of trees and clearing on both side of the road had worsen and the Tiger sanctuary work is progressing so slowly as if it will be abandoned soon. 

Birding at the road side is no longer bearable and birdlife has dwindled to zilt along almost the entire stretch from Deerland until the RC bridge. Met a threesome  birders who agreed that bird life  in many places even in Fraser Hill have been somewhat boring. See if you know these guys in the picture. 

At times just shot some flora  the avian fauna just kept hidden in the undergrowth or high in the canopy. The birds are just not responding to the guys recording to come out into the open. This include the Banded Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee eater, Diard's Trogon and Rail Babbler to name a few. The two birds worth posting is the Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo and faraway one of the group of 4-5 rowdy Black Hornbill. 

After just three hours I left the place and visited this large waterscape along the Kuantan highway (Left background). The emptiness of the lake and its surrounding devour of birdlife is eerie. Yes I did see a Purple Heron flying away but I have not encounter migrant ducks  at this tranquail shallow lake ever since visiting this freshwater estuary. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Avian Sighting - BirdWave in Awana

The Sultan Tit is one of the gorgeous bird you can see during birdwave in Awana amongst other species. They usually romp the upper storey feeding on grubs on leaves and branches.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

OWL 7/16 - Barred Eagle Owl

Yahoo!!!! First owl captured in the wild. And best of all there were a pair of Barred Eagle Owl. I think the whitish browed one is a juvenile with its parent. Breaking the egg will start the owls rolling in I hope. Will get more in Penang bird park in 2 weeks time............

A beautiful rounded and broad bird of about 46 cm tall. They are one of the bigger residents of Malaysia. Found in broadleaved evergreen forest, plantation and sometime reside in suburb naturalised wood park. In this case Shah Alam.

Give out this monotone quiet whining quack which give it away. Approachable to 40-60 ft if you are patient. Stay at middle storey of shady trees facing open ground looking for preys...........of course they are resting in the day.

Monday, 11 August 2014

AVIAN SIGHTING 5/100 - Scaly-breasted Bulbul

I would rate the scaly-breasted  the most avianlicous and striking bulbul in Malaysia. I  never kind of get to see them at lower storey. Usually they are sighted at 25-30 ft  from the ground. There is a place  at Awana Genting  that you can encounter this specie 8/10 times. The other place to see this specie is at 12 mile  ole Gombak road.

August is post nesting time  and birdlife is expected to be dull. Bird luck to you guys.............................

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

AVIAN FIELD REPORT 4/100 - Ole Pumphouse Trail Awana Genting in the month July 2014

The gate was wide open on that weekend of July  for maintenance.  There are big sign  "Restricted Area"  & "Trespasser will be Prosecuted" place on the gate.  I took my chance and sneaked through while a lorry with grass cutters entered. I must say the old hunt is  avianlicious from the start of the trail with plenty of bird calls but mostly in the clear storey.

The road trail was very tidy and most of the undergrowth at the ravine were cleared. The fruiting trees brought plenty of action but the  birdwave was scarced and limited to a few species at a time.

There were a threesome bronze Drongos hanging about. 

 A juvenile spectacled spiderhunter did show up while the Collared Owlet was calling across the ravine. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

AVIAN NESTING 3/100 - Ruby-cheeked Sunbird July 2014

 Sunbird nest are often found right smack in the open.  In the case of this Ruby-cheeked Sunbird  it is hanging above a trail about 3m high. It is messy  clump of root mesh, leaves and twigs binded with plenty of spider-web unlike the tidy broadbill nest.

So July is still a good month for nesting sighting. The both of the parents do incubate the eggs.
Their head will be tugged outside vigilant of intruders.

During Raya visit I was saddened that the entire nest was missing from the tree and the remnant cannot be found in the surrounding ground. Another failed nesting after the Green Broadbill and mating Rufous collared. Who is to blame............................

On the bright side  I saw the Black-naped Monarch with its fledgling near the second hut. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

TROGON 1/6 - Scarlet-rumped Trogon

 Scarlet-rumped Trogon

Second Trogon from Bkt Rengit. Not bad. This time the family came along during the HariRaya weekend. I was a bit late and Jason, Susan and Bernard were already birding at the Deer Land. I decided to bring the family to the stream for picnic since the Deer Park was closed The birds were aplenty but just too high in the canopy.
The Scarlet-rumped is the most common trogon you can see in lowland forest in Peninsula Malaysia

TROGON 2/6 - Red-naped Trogon

Red-naped Trogon

Finally! Got my first Trogon during the weekend outing to our "hot rendervous" at Bkt Lancang with JT & Sue. That was in 2006 I was in such a good mood lunch was on me at Genting Sempah. It was about coming to 1pm. The weather was sunny & dry then and I was already got at least 3 lifer for the day and was waiting at the car chatting with JT for Sue still taking pot shots of the Frogmouth .....and then the call came and the Male just flew across the road and I screamed quietly and Jason was asking where is it. Took some insurance shots before pointing it to JT. I flap for Sue but she did not bothered . The Trogon triggered a bird wave of a pair of black headed bulbul, black throated oriole broadbills and others.

It was a good 45 minutes we kept track of the male Saw it catch a bug in mid air It was most obliging and the nearest it came in was about 20 ft.

The female photo was taken much earlier in the same morning whilst a pair of Birders were using player to lured them. Instead it came to our side.Sue & JT did not bothered to snapped it (seen them I guess) and walk down the road to look for the Frogmouth. Later the male came out but too high in the canopy. Took some shots but alas camera shake. May- July period of mating. Dry season.

Trogon is about the size of a rock pigeon but with a lengthy tail....... always imagine it to be bigger. It easy to recognise its call 4-6 same notes of "kau kaaau kauuu kauuuu" something like that. The female has a more whirring rattling call.

TROGON 3/6 - Red-headed Trogon

 Red-headed Trogon

I was really stunt when this guy pop up and pose at a close distance of 20 ft you can see my shot is missing the tail. It was hyper active trying to impress the female which also showup down the ravine at the last two bend after the gate to the pumphouse.

Usually this trogon is not easily called out unlike the others Most of the time you can hear them calling but cannot see them as they remain still deep inside whilst they observe you from afar.

I have the place to myself as there was landslide again and the morning walkers were not venturing further in. Time to hit the road fellow birders........

For the past month have been regularly up to the old pumphouse road....... trying to catch the elusive Red headed This will be my fifth specie in the Trogon family of 6. The Red headed and the Orange breasted are found in lower montane forest whilst the others are residents of lowland forest

Picture below is the female. Hope to get a frontal picture soon................

The final Cinnamon-rumped Trogon will be more a challenge.......Panti forest down south is a long way from KL

Lastest picture from Ole Pumphouse trail which is now closed to the public

TROGON 4/6 - Orange-breasted Trogon

 Orange-breasted Trogon

A beautiful Merdeka day. The long weekend ended with the prize catch.

The male made it appearance at about 9 am for a good hour as the boys lead by Adrian Wee and Ong of the big Canon gunners whilst Makus Lim with his Nikon. With all the flash bursting the Trogon was most obliging a film star.

The male Trogon have a orangy breast than the female and gives out a distinct 2 notes "tui teu" call and it does that continuously. It is about a foot long with its tail it look bigger. Found in montane broadleaved forest upto 1300m Hope to see its highland cousin the Red headed Trogon soon.........................

TROGON 5/6 - Diard's Trogon

 Diard's Trogon

Another Trogon lifer at Bkt Rengit This will be no 3 out of the 4 species sightable in Bkt Rengit. Diards are also found in Taman Rimba Ampang but seasonal. It is one of the larger bird about a footer in size and heavier chested

female have a brownish head do. It call are quite similar with a Kau kau kau notes in dscending scale. Expert birders can actually call them out to the open by calling them/ mimicking their call.

Monday, 14 July 2014

AVIAN NESTING 2/100 - White-rumped Munia

Got this nesting in the month of July 2014 in the highland circa 850m asl.   The nest was about 10ft above the trail I was walking through. The parent is seen hatching its eggs which can be as many as 10!. 

The nest is a large loosely woven structuremade from grass seed stalk. Usually it is well hidden but   It was very exposed when the overgrowth died and dried up during the dry season. The nest is often used as a roost outside the breeding season but I think not this one.

Friday, 4 July 2014

OWL 6/16 - Spotted Brown Owl

 One of the most exciting sounds to come from our woods and forests belongs our resident owl—the Spotted Wood-Owl. This bird is twice the size of the Brown Hawk-Owl and emits a loud and powerful coughing sound somewhat like the barking of a dog. It gives deep quavering call wrrrrooh....repeat.

This sound has been described as the "most exciting" and also the "most eerie frightening sound" of the forest in the night, and we can well believe that the Spotted Woods call has given rise to stories of supernatural happenings.
It's not too difficult to hear the Spotted Wood, as it prefers the edge of the forest and woods and also tends to stick to the same neck of the woods. It also calls at quite specific times in the twilight hours of roughly between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, as if to announce that it is now up and about. The Spotted Wood is a large owl that is generally brownish with whitish spots all over the upper parts of its body and, like the Brown Hawk, it also does not have ear-tufts. Can sometimes be seen in mangrove forest, plantations and fringes of wooded park.

This lifer of my shot in Penang bird park