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 January 2017 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
477/668 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.


Search for Malaysian Bird Photos

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Avian Video - Malayan Rail Babbler looking for mate


This is a Full HD version using Fuji XT-2. Have not try our its 4K recording......maybe next time. THis was shot in low light at speed 1/30s. What are your thoughts.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Birding Site - Revisiting Bukit Rengit in the month of July 2017

Saturday the wifey and daughter at TzeChi camp so after dropping them  I drove myself to Bukit Rengit to see what the old hunt have to offer. Reaching the port  at about 7.45am I was surprise there is nobody around.

The daylight was very good but harsh. There was plenty of birds call and the familiar bellowing call of the Malayan Rail-Babbler was refreshing in the early hour. I really have not get any good pictures of it since my  early encounter last year.

The Hairy-backed Bulbul with its whitish-yellow eye patch was the first bird that came out in the open. Cannot  see the hair on the back though. Possibly a immature one with its parent.

The Ferruginous  babbler is the second bird to appear bwsides the White-rumped Sharma and a family of Oriental Magpie Robin with a fledgling.

YES!  The star bird is out looking for a mate from its expression and moves. It is quite active and adventurous coming out in the open every hour or so.  At times it will walk along the trunk from left to right and right to left. My Fuji XT-2 somewhat was not in its usual self and focus hunt in the dim condition.  Shooting  at ISO 3200 in speed below 1/30s

Above the Yellow-breasted Bulbul  comes in a pair. The Black-throated Babbler below  is a new comer to the port whilst  the  Black-capped are the common ones.The rarity would be the White-necked Babbler which I have seen at the right side of the road between  Deerland entrance and road-turning. You never know what will pop out like the Banded Kingfisher at the this hunt.

 Short-tailed was late to join the party and the Sharma was collecting the mealworm in beakful to feed its hatchling somewhere behind.

Pelagic 6/30 Lifer 477 - Laughing Gull

This another oversea birding catch. As for me a Malaysia lifer is a lifer where ever I see it.............

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Avian Video - Copper-throated Sunbird


Testing Canon 7D HD 720 recording.  Give me your comment.......................

Pelagic 5/30 Lifer 476 - Lesser Crested Tern

This pelagic bird is seldom seen inshore but sometimes like in Melaka  or Seberang Prai you may chance upon it perch on rc  or bakau poles.

The Greater Crested Tern is the other cousin you can see more often to Jojor shores. Up north Penang is a rarity

My take in Cancun Mexico

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Avian Sighting July 2017 - Dollarbird

 The dollarbird  can be seen more often at coastal area than in the hither-land (inland) like in Rengit or Air Hitam SP. I believe when they are pairing & breeding mode they go further into hither-land  jungle.  I was lucky to catch this one  at eye level off the trail in Tanjung Karang Kuala Selangor  about 50-60 ft out . It was a solitary bird perched on a flimsy skin of a palm trunk. It would sally to catch flying insect or hopped to the ground to pick grubs.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Pelagic 4/30 Lifer 475 in the month July 2017 - Christmas Island Frigatebird

A rare sighting of a lone vagrant in the month of July 2017 at  a coastal fishing estuary Tanjung Karang Selangor. There are 3 species of Frigatebird you can spot in Peninsula Malaysia. This is the most common one.

The white bellied of the bird indicate it is the Christmas Island specie whilst the whitish head indicate its a juvenile. The Christmas Island frigatebird is the ninth most evolutionary distinct and globally endangered bird in the world. Australia shares this bird with Indonesia. Christmas Island is its home and the only place in the world where it breeds and nests in the forest canopy. The male frigatebird has a bright red throat pouch called a ‘gular’, that it blows up like a fancy balloon to attract females during the mating season. It takes at least 15 months for a pair of Christmas Island Frigatebirds to raise one chick to independence, and the birds can live as long as 50 years. Frigatebirds primarily forage in the ocean for food, scooping marine organisms such as fish and squid. Over-fishing in its south-east habitat effects food availability for the frigatebird, contributing to the decline of the species.

The bird was sighted in the afternoon when the fishing boats were returning to port of call. Probably it was following them for a free makan as the fisherman throw back their unwanted catch.

 At the shore sandbund this Braminy Kite dive into a grey heron with a big catch  trying to intimidate it to discard the fish but was not successful. Along the sandy patch  were a bunch of 20 whimbrels which were feeding...................

Monday, 24 July 2017

Lifer 474 in the month of July 2017 - Cinnamon Bittern

Actually I have seen and shot this bird before but did not post then as my file went missing. So just for as a record in my blog I will count this  lifer in now. The bird is very shy and seldom seen as they tend to stay off the beaten track. I was shooting about 70-80 ft away.

 It is mentioned as a passage migrant but I believed some stayed behind for good and become permanent resident in Malaysia  as our weather and habitat suit them here.

Below the very common  juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron which you can see in open water estuary. Their population is ballooning  across the coastal plains and Malim Nawar ex mining land.

At best you shoot from the car which it is less intimidating.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Avian Sighting July 2017 - Lesser Shortwing

The new port created  at Ulu Kali Genting have  regular acquaintance and many birders visit the spot regularly either  get better pictures or lifer. As for me it was to just enjoy the cool weather and some fellowship with other birders. I have not been birding for a months or so. Today target was the female Lesser Shortwing but alas it was a no show. The male was there though .

The Cutia have moved on again and Pak Long informed that it have not shown itself for the past weeks since Ken got it in June. Lucky fellow. Here are my take ....................

The birds anticipate free makan of mealworm and take their turn to come out to feed. As usual the Niltavas dominate the hunt which comprises a pair and its fledging. The male bird will chase the baby away whenever it was out in the open.

 First time seeing a pair of chestnut-capped laughingthrush  so high up here. Usually the chestnut-crowned is seen more often in this altitude. Below a record short of the beautiful little black-eared shrike-babbler. Got it amongst a birdwave at  the foot of  Ulu Kali.

A wasps nest high in the open savannah of lowlying mountain shrubs trees

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Avian Sighting May 2017 - Pgymy WrenBabbler

Bird photography  is made easy in Bukit Fraser in recent bird encounters  as there are some good feeding   port created by regular birders.  The good and bad of it I leave it to you guys to debate. But I for one is not against such practice as it is not easy to see such tiny bird and skittish some more.  I am more concern when birders start cutting down undergrowth and tress branches just to get  better photos.

My last encounter of this Wrenbabbler was in Awana Genting some years back. The new here in FH   is fair game at the regular feeding port that Wrenbabbler comeby routinely for easy feed.

Occassionally the Grey-throated Babbler will join the free makan. Even then the open ground was a bit too  imposing and the bird just drop in on  an  " eat and run "   not staying more than a few seconds. So most of us just prefocus and just shoot when the bird come out in the open.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Avian Sighting April 2017 - Barn Owl

This Barn Owl is the resident bird in Merapoh. I spotted it roosting in a thick foliage tree after the entrance gate to Padanginthe late morning. Usually it will be hunting rodents and other tiny creatures along the palm oil estate outside Perhilitan Office.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Avian Nesting April - Long-billed Spiderhunter

It was an awesome find in Kemensah my ole hunt. I have not been birding here since August 2016 With the mushrooming of so many chalets and recreation operators along the river front the bird life here has somewhat dwindled except the common birds.  The situation is made worse by  mountain bikers and motocross riders which uses the laterite trail as their playground during the weekends.

But then from time to time you can have some exceptional find.

Back to the nest of the Spiderhunter. The end April 2017 I believe the bird is still hatching an  egg or two as the bird stayed  awhile inside. Like the Little Spiderhunter they make their nest under large hardy leaf.

I did not stayed long to study the nest construction. Took some photos and left the area as the bird watches nearby in the undergrowth. As you can see  it hanged beneath a banana leaf which is amazing as multiple twigs are used to  puncture the leave which acts as the foundation. How it stayed put is intriguing.... until it is abandoned then i can investigate thoroughly. For now my guess  is most probably with webbing or saliva secretion.

Inside the outer base is made  from fibrous roots and twigs. The nest is a concave shape contraption with a 6 inches opening and  15 inches in depth. Inside is an another round nest made from finer patchwork  as you can see in picture 2 above. By the look of the leave which starting to tear; I am worried it may not last if the weather is unfavorable. Hope it will survive...................

My second visitation was in  2nd week of  May 2017. Good news  I sighted the parent bringing in spider to feed the hatchling. See photo below. The interval of feeding can be as long as 30 minutes a time.

The third weekend on 21th May; the chick was sighted inside the nest and the frequency of feeding increase  to  10-15 minutes. The chick has sprouted spiky feathers.... another week or two it will fledged. The trail was cleared.

Luckily the banana tree was not disturbed. Picture below the parent tending and feeding the chick.  It stayed less that 5-10 seconds. I think its a single parent. 

On the last weekend 27th May I was there again to check the progress of the nesting. It was still intact but empty. There was sign of  meddling but I would hope  the bird had fledged successfully............