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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Saturday, 30 May 2015

AVIAN FIELD REPORT 9/100 - Kemensah Revisited after 6 months

 Today weekend  was just a cursory visit to bring NK Wong a novice bird photog to Kemensah.  He was using 5D mark III and Sigma 150-500mm. Hand held some more without tripod. I pretty sure with the low light in the shade; he would find it hard to get good sharp photos. As I suspected he call it quits soon enough and just followed me without even bothered to shoot the many birds that I pointed to him Dead tired  hand carrying the camera or the slow speed shooting my guess. The mosquito harassment was horrendous too and a distraction to NK. I am  sure the encounter will  be a good lesson for him and it will not deter him. Hope he will take my advise to invest in a tripod and Wimberley head. He can contact JT 016-2985801 for the latter.

Kemensah is happening place in the month of May- June. Plenty of fruiting trees. Regret that I did not come-out to bird earlier in the months of April & May and only after request from people to my blog asking me to bring them to see birds. Well birding do bring new acquaintance and that is a good thing ..........

As expected  we saw a lot post nesting activity including that of the Blue-eared Kingfisher and Little Spiderhunter. NK spotted a Lemur clinging tightly to the tree trunk and was still there when we were leaving ISIRIMBA at 11am.  Yes the resident  Lesser Fish Eagle pair were heard in the canopy but somehow we cannot spot them  for the entire morning.

The highlight for today is the Green Broadbill which I think is a juvenile. It was fluttering its wings when ever it see birds approaching. We did not see its parent though. The Black&Yellow was also seen but kept to the higher storey for any good picture.

On the way out at about saw the lovely Ruby-cheeked Sunbird at a distance of 25ft away. It had its beak open to cool down I do not know. Plenty of fruiting tree bring congregations of  bulbuls and leafbirds.

Earlier in the wee morning  I got to shot  Zoo Negara free range White Pelican which was hanging with the many milky storks on MRR2.

The crested and black headed Bulbuls  were amongst the  red-eyed Bulbuls  feast on the berries at Kemensah.

Monday, 25 May 2015

FROGMOUTH 2/3 - Large Frogmouth

Finally a showing not to be forgotten in the month of May 2015. This is my first lifer for the year. I finally got the elusive picture of the Large Frogmouth after 3 attempts to Taman Negara. I must thank Dr R for bringing his bird luck to me and Ah Lam. I was shooting at 1/8 speed f4 ISO1600 with mirror lock thru the back LCD screen of my ole 7D. The advantage is that you can  zoom in  10x  to focus. We have to take turn to shoot as the bird is about 30-35 ft high  within a small pocket opening  with foliage in between. A good torchlight helps.

The Large Frogmouth come in at a size of 16 inches (40cm) and it is huge - double the height of its other cousin  Javan. The Male is warm rufous brownish chested with a distinct  long covert tip ala creamy backward bushy eyebrow . The Female is in  more duller colors and similar in size.  All the Malaysian Froggies are  Lowland Virgin forest dweller with some exception. By the looks of thing Frogmouth are residence of a locale site and do not move about. They may also be territorial in nature.
Next & last in the list is the Gould's Frogmouth..................a toughie. The last sighting I know  was by Adrian who shot it in  Bukit Tinggi.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

AVIAN FIELD REPORT 8/100 - Awana Genting May2015

I brought Rahul an expatriate  to Awana to show him my hunt. He was shooting with OMD-1 and Bigma. I envy the lightness of his setup of less than 2.5 kg. It was facing much focusing hunting in the early morning session but later the lights got better I think he manage some good shots. The Sigma 50-500mm x 2 crop  give him a range of 1000mm!. Glad he managed to chalk up a few lifers.  

The month of May brought much bird life and waves of birds were encountered at every turn of the trail. A Large Scimitar Babbler was sighted as well as a White-hooded Babbler but alas  no picture. Hope Rahul was not disappointed.The Red headed Trogon  was calling high above but no sighting though.

One surprising rufous Flycatcher (which I id as a female Hill-Blue rather than  Rufous-chested) was sighted amongst the common birds It cannot be the ferruginous as the latter  is a migrant. We also encountered a  first sighting of a Banded Bay Cuckoo here in the hill land.

The  Lesser Yellownaped Woodie  and Black Laughingthrush are some rarity to see today.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

AVIAN FIELD REPORT 7/100 - 3 hours of birding at Sg Congkak

These are some of the better shots  I got during my 3 hours birding excursion into Sg Congkak Recreational Park in Hulu Langat in the month of March 2015. Sg Perdik side is a no longer a happening place for birding for me. Somewhat bird life is still quiet until nesting season around the corner.

You need a lot of enticing to get the birds out. Most of  other species stayed high up in the canopy. The Rufous Piculet &  Dark-sided FC was the highlight of the trip.

AVIAN SIGHTING at Kledang Ipoh hiking trail - Collared Scops Owl

It was a long weekend of 1-4 May 2015 as my family join the holiday rush up north from Subang. Starting at 7.30 am hitting the NSE nearing the  forked junction to the Restoran Jejantas the jam already started  to backlog  so we impromptu turn right back to KL- Duta to take the trunk road. For that we were lucky we took 3 hours to reach Ipoh that morning. 

On Sunday I met my ole classmate Kevin C who is an avid trekker who brought me to recce the many Gunung Kledang trail. There were plenty of regular hikers during the weekend going up and down the trail we were taking. After a short distance I decided to stop as the trail is getting too steep for any viable setup. So we chatted of the good ole days of Anderson School and family while waiting for any bird sightings. The White-rumped Sharma and Oriental Magpie are the first few birds we see. Then the resident Owlet came our to greet us staying about 30 ft away. As I was supposed to head back to KL on the same morning to avoid the return leg jam, we left the trail early for a quick breakfast.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

MALKOHA 6/6 - Black bellied Malkoha

Black-bellied Malkoha
Amar Singh commented:-
The Black-bellied Malkoha is said to be seen and photographed less often as it is more ”shy’ than the commonly seen Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus). The birds can, at a quick look, be mistaken for each other and their habitat overlap.
The key differentiating features are:
1.    Tail length: The Black-bellied has a tail length about equal to the body while the Green-billed has a longer 1:1.5 times body-tail length. The Handbook of the Birds of the World & Cuckoos of the World (2012) now call it the Long-tailed Malkoha. (see composite in Post 2 Black-bellied on the right)
2.    Face patch: The Green-billed often has a clear white boarder to the red face patch, while the Black-bellied does not. (see Post 1)
3.    Head: The Black-bellied had a darker grey in the head and neck while the Green-billed has slaty grey on the face and neck.
4.    Iris colour: Pale blue to dark brown in the Black-bellied and brown to red-brown in the Green-billed.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

AVIAN NESTING 4/100 - Olive-backed Sunbird


The Olive-backed Sunbird nesting has been reused a few time since last 2 years. This is at my office in Petaling Jaya. The photo was taken using my Samsung Note3 behind the glass window. The Female bird do most of the hatching duty in late month of April. Later a pair of hatchling was seen in first week of May 2015.

Two latest photos taken on 15 May 2015 showing both the parents takes responsibility to feed the pair of nestlings. The Male is a bit cautious and "hit and run" feeding whilst the Female take its time to feed and care of the babies. This time I used my Fuji XE-2 camera.

On 20th the frequency of feeding was more higher at about 10 minutes. One hatchling is growing very well compared to  its sibling. The alpha gets to be fed 8/10 time compared to the other.
On the 25th when I return from Merapoh I believed the alpha have fledged whilst the second chick was abandoned and died of hunger. It was found hanging from the nest with its leg entangled to the twines. A sad sight but  as they say survival of the fittest prevail in the animal kingdom so much so  ..............................