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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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Avian Sighting- Purple-throated Sunbird

One of my elusive bird that I have yet to shoot in the wild is this  Purple Throated Sunbird. The opportunity came at Cyberjaya in the month of March 2017

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

SHRIKE 3/3 - Long-tailed Shrike

Long-tailed Shrike

This is the one of the three Shrike species you can see in Malaysia. It is recorded as a resident in  my beloved country ...... actually very rare to see it  my side of the KL/Selangor usually in northern state of the  Peninsula. It do breed in Malay Peninsula. Easier to see in Thailand. In my case I saw it in Jogyakarta as a caged bird. A beautiful shrike with its long tail probably the Longicaudatus.
It is about 27- 28cm in length. China has the largest population race amongst the nine subspecies . Sexes similar or nearly so. Head and mantle are dark gray, back and rump are rufous; tail is long, black, and graduated; wings are dark with conspicuous white primary patches. Underparts are whitish, strongly tinged with rufous on the sides of breast and flanks. Erythronotus, widespread in central Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, is similar, but distinctly smaller, somewhat duller, and with a narrower black band on the forehead. Caniceps from southern India and Sri Lanka is paler, with less rufous on its upperparts. Race tricolor is a superb Himalayan bird; it bears a black cap, shows a small grayish area on upper mantle, and has mainly deep rufous upperparts. It is rather similar to the three insular races. Race longicaudatus from Thailand has a very long tail. Remarkably, in certain areas, nominate has a melanistic form called fuscatus; mixed pairs have been recorded. Peninsula is called the l.s. Bentet........

A scrub jungle bird, but also associated with lightly wooded country, cultivated areas, and gardens. Generally a bird of lowlands, but in the Himalayas, tricolor populations have been found up to 9,800 ft (3,000 m) and occasionally up to 14,000 ft (4,300 m). Nominate breeds up to 9,800 ft (3,000 m) in China.

My new sighting in MalimNawar Feb 2017 is my first shot of this specie in the wild 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Avian Sighting - Crimson Sunbird

Some say there were 3 males seen at the  same area of this Lakeside Garden in Cyberjaya. Besides that there are other species like the Purple-throated, Brown-throated and Olive-backed. The latter did show up but the aggressive Crimson  chase it away.

Photo3  below is the female

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

PIPIT 3/5 - Blyth's Pipit

Lifer 471 - Can you believe it, this is the second record that this visiting  bird is been photographed in Peninsula. The first time was in Chuping Perlis by yours truly Dave B.That was in the year 2010. On that occasion  it was a day affair and the bird was not to be seen in the vast sugarcane plantation after that. It most probably was there but its like  a needle in the haystack to find it.

Coming forward to 2017 surprise!  it came this far south.... this is the first time it is been photographed in Perak central peninsula . The good thing is that it stayed for a good part of January until now. Though it is very cautious and vigilant of the humankind and other predators around, it has carved out a  niche at Malim Nawar birding site.

Usually the MO to shoot this bird is from your car. Anytime you embark and walk openly to shoot, it will fly to safety like wagtails usually do. So a good beanbag or pillow over your side window screen helps.

Now if you see a pipit feeding as shown in  the pictures below chances is that its a  Blyth's. This bird tends to jump to pluck seeds to eat in this case the mimosa. The other Paddyfield's Pipit prefers to take grubs and dropped grass seeds from the ground. The bird was seen to be quite aggressive. It would chased away the other pipits but not the grey wagtail which it allowed it into its territory. Paddyfield's usually are seen in a pair whilst the Blyth's keep to itself during visiting Malaysia.


Avian ID - Identifying a Blyth's Pipit

To identify rare pipit to Malaysia like Richard's and Blyth's is very challenging in the field. More often that the two we see  are the common Paddyfield's Pipit. So extracting from David Bakewell's blog who is our local  re-known birder - a concise pictograph to identify a Blyth's Pipit is attached . I hope he don't mind as I too wants to propagate his knowledge and expertise to all fellow birders.

Photo 1 : The streaking on the head is way too weak and faint & ear coverts too dark...........failed

Photo 2 - The beak is conical but way too long.........failed

Picture 3 is another Paddyfield Pipit the lore is dark and streaking on breast too distinct .........failed

Picture 4 &5 are the Real McCoy Can you notice the differences.....

It is unfortunate that the Blyth's Pipit is moulting and new feathers are overlapping that you cannot see the medians on the right profile of the bird.