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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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............

Friday, 26 May 2017

Avian Sighting May 2017 - Red-headed Trogon




The female with the brown head
The male with the red head
I have never encounter the Red-headed Trogon at such tame and friendly manner in Fraser Hill.  Most of the time there stayed away at least  30-50 ft away. The birds have been present at the Bishop's Trail- Hernmant Trail  stretch for the past months since Mar- May 2017.

The birds stayed  on and off the road side from dawn till about 10 am. While the bird photogs chase after the birds up and down the road the trogon continue  to feed on grubs and insects off the branches oblivious of the intrusion of we humans. I even saw other birder's posting of this pair dropping to the ground to feed for crying out loud!





If you cannot count the feathers of the bird you really "sakpai" (fail in cantonese) liow hahaha


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Avian Sighting May 2017 - White-tailed Robin


Now this is a difficult bird to shoot in Cameron Highland as its a bit skittish and hide in the dark corners of  its natural hill  environment.  This is my first encounter in Bukit Fraser of the White-tailed Robin. The bird have been well fed by fellow birders In early May 2017  it was nesting with hatchling  and the parent bird come out to the feeding port at Hermant's Trail to pick up the mealworm in mouthful to feed its offspring.  The nest is not too far down the ravine but its good that the nest is out of sight if not overzealous photog may cause another disaster.







Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Avian Sighting - Crested Serpent Eagle


This majestic predator  was sighted perched on a barb-wired post overlooking a savannah grass land at Malim Nawar. It was about 100 ft away oblivious of my present as I was hunting the Savannah Nightjar at a bunk nearby.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Avian Sighting in April 2017 - Slender-billed Crow

There are 3 subspecies of Crow you can see in Malaysia.

I would identify the slender-billed as having a flattish head and small protruding eyes as shown. The feathers of the  slender-billed is also duller and less glossy.  It size is slightly smaller that the Large-billed but larger than the common House Crow which the latter are mostly seen  in suburb city and jungle fringing villages


So far that I know the slender-billed can be seen in Central Pahang and Panti Johor.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Avian Nesting Fail May 2017 - Asian Paradise Flycatcher


I think this pair have been nesting  at Merapoh year on year.  Early  April 2017 I saw their first nest been abandoned after some inclement weather  or the spot was too exposed and busy. They started building an alternative nest away from people which is in  a ravine just like last year. Hopefully it will be successful this time round. There is no  Drongo nesting in sight nearby..............


Both the Male and Female take part in making up the nest. The female tends to bring in white fungi or cobweb which it camo the external while the male bring in the green moss and twigs. The birds were seen pushing their belly deep into the hollow to compact the wall. The female can expect to start laying eggs once the dry weather kick in May. Usually within 7-10 days of  eggs will hatch. The feeding and fending the nest will last another 2.5 weeks.

The first weekend  of May I heard of the good news that 3 hatchlings were sighted. Later in late 2nd week of May it was reported there was only one hatchling left.  Worse the nest perch was found to be trimmed barren of leaves and branches. It is sad to says these selfish attitude and unethical behaviour of fellow bird photogs never end. Don't you think the barren nest looks so unnatural. Just wanting the perfect full frame shot to boost about; "you" photog do not care for the welfare of the birds is really sickening to many including me.




















As of 18th May news arrived from a fellow birder the last chick has gone missing. Whether it was abandoned by the parent because of the over-exposed nest and or  bird-photogs "harrassment" or taken as prey by another predatory bird like barbet or owl; I still blame the bird photog who trim the tree down and expose the nest in the first place.
Bad karma to you!!!! 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Avian Nesting February - Yellow-vented Bulbul


The nest was found on top of red palm branch in an expose  to the element. The weather must have turning dry to do so in month of February. This was found in Shah Alam in a Factory site.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Avian Sighting April 2017 - Little Green Pigeon

Never encounter these pigeon at close quarters. So when news came that they are congregating at Taman Botani Shah Alam every birder and photog rush  there for the past few weekends in April 2017.

The temptation of the  ripening Ficus Benjamina berries on the lowly tree cannot be resisted as one by one the  Little Green Pigeon leave their apprehension behind and flew down  to feast. Unfortunately they quickly take flight whenever there are joggers and bicyclist passing the track next to the tree.