Mike Birder - Malaysian Birds

Hi

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 January 2017 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
473/668 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.

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 . Overnite trip to Merapoh & Cameron, Air Hitam and further north to Kuala Sidim is a seldom affair and when the family permit. 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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Thursday, 23 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 22/35 - Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon


They winter visitors to Peninsula Malaysia. There are 17 to 19 subspecies which vary in appearance and range. There are 3 recorded race that visit us. The common one is the migratory race japonensis, which is the most regularly seen subspecies  occurs between October-April and can be encountered anywhere. A second subspecies, ernesti, is a resident in Peninsula Malaysia.

A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". As is typical of bird-eating raptors, Peregrine Falcons  females being considerably larger than males.The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 322 km/h (200 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects. Reaching sexual maturity at one year, it mates for life and nests in a
on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures like electrical pylons.



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 21/35 - Black Kite


 
The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors. Unlike others of the group, they are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. Their angled wing and distinctive forked tail make them easy to identify.

This kite is widely distributed through the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia, with the temperate region populations tending to be migratory. Several subspecies are recognized and formerly with their own English names. The European populations are small, but the South Asian population is very large. In Malaysia it supposedly some natives whilst visitors do arrive here in the Peninsular. Mostly seen at coastal part and padi fields

This is a bird that is ubiquitous with nearly every part of the world except the Americas. The bird can be identified with its characteristic eagle-like look but its plumage is largely consistent with a single hue of brown. It will have a ribbed set of stripes present on the underside of its tail. The bird is not uncommon to urban areas where like other urban raptor species, they are famed for taking advantage of the thermal air currents that rise of urban structures like buildings. They are particularly adept at catching food on the wing and are known to be major hunters of pigeons and other smaller birds.

These birds are spread all over the world and in areas where they are native to the tropics like India and Africa do not migrate like variants that hail from colder parts of the world like Australia. In these regions, the birds will migrate away from the area during the winters. In the United Kingdom, the bird is only visible as a passing feature on its migratory path towards its native lands. These birds have quite interesting hunting habits and will soar high in the air and swoop down on their prey. They are especially attracted by instinct towards smoke that comes from the ground. This is because of an instinct that tells them that where this is smoke, there would be some kind of prey running away from a fire on the ground. This is quite different in an urban setting and the bird would not hesitate to swoop down on a human that could have some kind of food.

The variants of the bird include the European black kite, black-eared kite, pariah kite, fork-tailed kite, and the Taiwan kite. The black-eared kite is native to the regions of Persian and the Himalayas, the black-eared kite is a native of India, and the Pariah kite is a native of Sri Lanka and Malaysia. In the India subcontinent, the kite is known to follow the patterns of the monsoon and is a regular site before the onset of a major storm or the monsoon period in general. The bird is also of extreme importance to most airports because of the presence of prey near airports that ends up attracting the bird to runaways causing bird strikes.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

DUCK 6/15 - Garganey

Garganey

I missed the last year's  sighting in Pulau Burung in 2013. Glad they  returned and landed in Malim Nawar which 30 odd km from my Ipoh hometown. Thanks to Lean and wifey for their bird luck last weekend I got to get this pair  of Garganey.  They are migratory bird and consider rare visitor from Europe or West Asia. The usual ones are the cotton pygmy and the whistling duck. Seen flying in front is a more rarity  - Northern Shoveler.  Last year the Tufted Duck dropped in  and I hope to see the Masked Finfoot some day in Malim Nawar soooon.


                                                                          The adult male is unmistakable, with its brown head and breast with a broad white crescent over the eye. The rest of the plumage is grey, with loose grey scapular feathers It has a grey bill and legs. In flight it shows a pale blue speculum with a white border. When swimming it will show prominent white edges on its tertials. His crown (anatomy)is dark and face is reddish-brown.
These birds are dedicated to this avid birding couple.......Thanks Lean

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 20/35 - Chinese Sparrowhawk


This Chinese Sparrow hawk (juvenile)  was sighted in Pulau Tioman.

It breeds in Southeast China, Taiwan, Korea and Siberia; winters in Indonesia and Philippines, passing through the rest of Southeast Asia. It is a bird of wooded areas. It is 30–36 cm in length, with the female larger than the male. Adult has prominent black wing tips. The male is grey above, white below and has red eyes. Female has rufous on breast and underwing coverts, and yellow eyes. Juvenile has grey face, brown upperparts and yellow eyes. The top underparts are streaked, while the thighs are barred. The black wing tips are not as prominent and underwings streaked (except for coverts).

It feeds mainly on frogs, but will take lizards as well. Lives mainly in forests but sometime lives on edges. Population between 10000 and 100000 birds




WADER 50/60 - Temminck's Stint

Temmick's Stint

MNS Selangor Wader Census team was there in show me this uncommon stint, winterering visitor to Malim Nawar Perak. Amongst it  are  Long-toed and Little Stints. It was quite a distance shot out 100m or more in a dried out pond.  My EF400mm cannot reach it for a better shot but the expert says so

It usually keeps to the water line and sandy patches and not to the grassy area unlike the others. It prefers freshwater marshes  wetland & shallow estuaries rather than seashore mudflats when visiting.

This stint's breeding habitat is bogs and marshes in the taiga of Arctic northern Europe and Asia.  It has a distinctive hovering display flight. Temminck's Stint is strongly migratory, wintering at freshwater sites in tropical Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia.
These birds forage in soft mud sandy with some vegetation, mainly picking up food by sight. They have a distinctive mouse-like feeding behaviour, creeping steadily along the edges of pools. They mostly eat insects and other small invertebrates. They not as gregarious as other Calidris waders, and rarely form large flocks.

These birds are very small waders, at 13.5–15 cm length similar in size to Little Stint, Calidris/Erolia minuta. They are shorter legged and longer winged than Little Stint. The legs are yellow, and the outer tail feathers white, in contrast to Little Stint's dark legs and grey outer tail feathers.
This is a rather drab wader, with mainly plain brown upperpart and head, and underpart white apart from a darker breast. The breeding adult has some brighter rufous mantle feathers to relieve the generally still undistinguished appearance. In winter plumage, the general appearance recalls a tiny version of Common Sandpiper. The call is a loud trill.

    Need to get the Kowa Scope 884  liao

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 24/35 - Oriental Honey Buzzard





OK Mike Chong have id it for me it is definately a Oriental Honey Buzzard. Checked in OBC database ...........it is an Indian subspecie Notice black eyes and slender neck and grey headed

Sunday, 12 January 2014

DUCK 5/15 - Northern Shoveler

                                                                  Northern Shoveler
 Lifer to start the new year of 2014. Have not been birding since December last year. So when news of some ducks have landed; enticed me to go out again.   Thanks to my young sifu Tou and Davey again. This is a rare migrant bird to see.  Apparently it is only the third record sighting in Peninsula. Considered as rare as the Masked Finfoot le. Glad that  Lean and MSN Selangor was there last weekend to guide me around.

This species is unmistakable due to its large spatulated bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face.

In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage seen here, the drake resembles the female. The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female Mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is grey tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is grey.

They are 48 cm (19 in) long and have a wingspan of 76 cm (30 in).



Here in flight leading  a pair of Garganey after been spooked by fishing enthusiasts. They have to share the pond with human .......................


Thursday, 9 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 19/35 - Crested Serpent Eagle

 
I was on the way back to Ipoh for a holiday and the family and I came across this raptor perched on the lamp post. Grab the EF70-300mm IS and shot it. Did not let me get close and it flew away the instance it feel threatened.

Crested Serpent Eagle is very common in lowland and hill forest soaring over forest and open country hunting reptiles and small mammals and pigeons. When soaring the wings like a Wau with a distinct white band




Wednesday, 8 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 18/35 - Brahminy Kite


This is one of the commonest bird of prey you can see in Malaysia. Above is the Juvenile.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 16/35 - Black Hawk


I was up at Ulu Kali Genting last weekend Met Makus Jason & Banard. A family of 3 Mugimaki FC was there entertaining the guys. I was late; reaching at about 9.00am cos I was distracted at MRR2 when three Black-headed Ibis flew by passing over Zoo Negara. Went in search of them in Melawati but did not manage to locate them sign.......

The Black Eagle of Ulu Kali showed up amongst the mist just in time for me to chase them down the valley. They are becoming a regular sighting here. A threesome was sighted on that morning so we hope its population will increased. It is a montane raptor soaring upto 3,000m ASL.

The Black Eagle is a uncommon resident of Malaysia and other Asian countries. It is a large raptor at about 70–80 cm in length. Adults have all-black plumage, with a yellow bill base (cere) and feet. The wings are long and pinched in at the innermost primaries giving a distinctive shape. The tail shows faint barring and upper tail covers paler. When perched the wing tips reach till or exceed the tail tip. The wings are held in a shallow V in flight. Seen on hot afternoons, scouring the treetops for a nest to maraud, this bird is easily spotted by its jet black colour, large size, and a 'characteristic' slow flight, sometimes just above the canopy. The Black Eagle eats mammals, birds and eggs. It is a prolific nest-predator and is known for its slow flight just over the canopy. Due to this eagle's ability to remain aloft for long periods with minimal effort. Squirrels, macaques and many species of birds emit alarm calls when these birds are spotted soaring over the forest. They usually raid nests and easy preys in the canopy of the forest.

Sexes are similar, but young birds have a buff head, underparts and underwing coverts. The wing shape helps to distinguish this species from the dark form of Changeable Hawk Eagle, (Spizaetus cirrhatus). The tarsi are fully feathered and the toes are relatively stout and short with long claws that are less strongly curved than in other birds of prey

The courtship display involves steep dives with folded wings with swoops up in a U shape into a vertical stall. They build a platform nest, 3 to 4 feet wide, on a tall tree overlooking a steep valley. One or two white eggs which are blotched in brown and mauve may be laid during the nesting season between January and April.The nest site may be reused year after year. Wikipedia extracted