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MikeBirder - Malaysian Birds


Welcome to my Malaysian Birding Blog. I migrated to as my blog at 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. Coming to May 2020 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
539/688 species of birds of Malaysia in photos.

My shooting gear was a EF400mm f4 DO lens and Canon 7D body which to me is the ideal setup for mobility and bird chasing at that time. 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%. In December 2018 I acquired the Nikon Coolpix P1000 as supplementary camera for distance shooting of 3000mm.
Meantime I am hoping Sigma or Fuji will come out with with a 200-600mm lens for my Fuji body. As for a new body I will only consider an upgrade when the megapixel hit 30..........

I am a weekend birder. Do feel free to drop me a line at 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. This I did in 2018 to Sepilok Sandakan and Kinabalu Park. Next Danum and LahatDatu.......

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, 27 September 2018

Avian Behavior September 2018 - Crested Goshawk feeding on its prey

Sighted in Malim Nawar Perak ; this common raptor caught a snake and was feeding without much concern of my present. It was about 60 ft away high on the tree. Reptiles and small rodent are their preferred choice as they are easy catch in the open unlike birds and squirrels.

Usually it will attack the head first to kill it and slowly feast on the meat.

Later  I cross over to Kinta Sanctuary side and again sighted another Crested Goshawk which also caught a reptile whether its the same bird I am not sure. It was about 1.5-2 km from the first sighting. Food is abundant here for raptor and owl to hunt. The bird was  at eye level on a horizontal tree trunk about 60-70 ft off the laterite road. I was shooting to the left  of the driver seat without my bean bag. After getting some handheld shots  I started my car to turn around so that I can shoot from the driver seat but  it flew off into the undergrowth with its prey...............sad.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Avian Sighting/ Raptor - Wallace's Hawk Eagle (juvenile)

My buddy says it is a Wallace's Hawk Eagle and he did not bother to shoot. As for me such close encounter would be very rare indeed for a raptor. As I shoot from a close distance of 70-80 ft I was intrigue how it hunt swopping down to grab a  lizard / gecko on a tree trunk which tried to escape by jumping off the tree to the ground. The bird follow in pursuit diving and tumbling amongst the foliage onto the ground. I think it did managed to catch it with its talon. With one bite swallow its catch whole.

I was hoping it was the Jerdon's Baza which have similar looks except it has rufous chest streak

In Rainforest Discovery Centre  RDC this resident raptor is a common find. A pair nested recently here and its nest can be seen from the canopy walk. This bird may be the offspring.

The bird shitted and show  off its backside to me. What a sight LOL

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Avian Behaviour - Mating ritual of the Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush

There were these pair of CCL which were picking up the mealworms in the bunch and feeding to its mate. I do not think they are fledgings. Usually the fledglings will flutter their wings and giving out call to their parents to feed them or even chase them around. What I saw is that the mate just wait around patiently  for the male to feed it.............but then this is not period of breeding I wonder. Even the Niltava are not feeding their fledging at the same port and the latter is forced to feed on their own.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Avian Sighting September 2018 - Pacific Golden Plover (breeding plumage)

I was back to Ipoh for the long Malaysia Day weekend. Happy birday to my wifey LaySim. The weather was a bit wet for most of my 3 days stay in my hometown Ipoh.  Only on the last day I drop by Malim Nawar with my family; to chance on any lifer before driving back to KL. I was hoping it was the Grey Plover. I be back......................

There were hundreds of Oriental Pranticole now roosting in the many dry pond and fields.  The Openbill have also   arrived at Malim Nawar too. Hope to see some rare ones soon especially the duckies.....................

The Openbills are already down south to Perak from Penang side. So far the count is about 20-30 birds in 2 different flocks.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Avian Sighting September 2018 - Bornean Crested Partridge (aka Crested Fireback)

The Male with its black bluish coat and distinct blue facial mask
On the way in to Gua Gomantong in Sukau we chance upon a pair of partridges. They were feeding along the roadside open drain. When we stopped our car they were already into the thick undergrowth. Fortunately they were still in sight though not in the open Dennis and Mike manage to shoot them as Ong who was driving who can only watch as it would be a lifer for him. Sorry brother! 

It is subspecies of the peninsula Crested  Fireback but not separated as yet ...........the 
Bornean (Lophura ignita nobilis) have  brownish rufous belly & green paler legs as compared to black and reddish ones of the Peninsula. unfortunately we cannot manage to see the legs  in the thick bush.

ura ignita nobilis

On the way out  we chance on this Crested Serpent Eagle hunting on the roadside It managed to catch it prey probable a gecko and flew to an open brach just 20 ft high. To our surprise the raptor did  not budge from it perch when we just walk fronting it  to a close 30 ft to shoot in  full frame !!!.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Avian Sighting in September 2018 - Malaysian Blue Flycatcher

We were hoping it would be the Bornean Blue but it was not our day. Nevertheless our outing to Sukau - Gua Gomantong  was a recce mission for us.  Thanks to fellow local birder Ong for his time & guidance.

The Blue-throated bird with a pale blue throat is the male and it was accompanied by its partner during our encounter. See last picture.

In peninsula I got the same bird at Lancang Pahang but nowadays the flycatcher is a hard find with their habitat destroyed by the local government no thanks to Perhilitan especially the wasteful so call "Tiger Sanctuary" which upto now still not complete and I can say never will................................soon to be abandoned by Pakatan wtf.

I have seen other birder publishing their find of the Bornean Blue in Danum side of Sabah but no sighting this side of Sandakan. Hope to go there one of these days. Anyone can guide me........................

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Sharma 2/3 - White-crowned Sharma ( lifer 501 - Bornean 100 )

 This will be my second Sharma of Malaysia. It is endemic to Borneo which include Sabah  & Sarawak  of East Malaysia . As usual it responded to my playback  and it would be singing behind some undergrowth. Most of the time you have search it out if it is not confident enough to come out in the open. We encountered the bird twice along a trail under the RDC canopywalk about 300m from the cafeteria. It is a sure see bird at Sepilok and easy lifer.

To identify this bird is obviously the white patch on its crown. It also have a white rumped. Its chest and belly is a uniformly rufous in color. It is rather smart looking bird.

The last Rufous-tailed Sharma is still elusive and I must make some excursion to Taman Negara to get it..............

Barbet 12 - Bornean Brown Barbet ( lifer 500 Bornean )

There is  another split in the Brown Barbet Family. This is now called the Bornean Brown Barbet and the peninsula Malaysia on is called the Sooty. I am not sure if this is a juvenile with it buff colored  beak. It has a lighter  brown throat with some white speck compared to its cousin.

My encounter was short lived I only managed 5 shots and only 2 were sharp as shown. The single bird was tagging in a birdwave. Norazmi did not manage to shoot with its Sony setup.  Anyway it supposed to a common bird in Sepilok.

With this bird lifer I have reach my 500 milestone and the next target is to reach my  600th Malaysian bird in my life time. It is  matter of dedication and perseverance.............

Monday, 17 September 2018

Pitta 6/13 - Black-headed Pitta (lifer no 499)

 The Black-headed Pitta is almost like our peninsula Garnet Pitta except that it has a more distinct white streak across  its black head.  It is sure see in Sepilok RDC if you have the right guide or local birder. At one time it is so used to human that you don't need a hide to shoot these fellows at the Pitta trail post. In September 2018 it was missing and we suspect it is now mating and nesting again.

On my last day at Sepilok RDC, I was bloody lucky that I met  KK -Tony with Henry and Chui who  managed to call out the bird at another trail......... amazing friendly Sabah birders ! thanks guys

Though a bit shy it was dueting with our call behind a tree. We have to move about to get an opening to shoot it. I was lucky enough to locate it on a low branch with a bit of sunlight shining thru to get these pictures.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Flycatcher no 25/30 - Sunda Blue Flycatcher (lifer 498) aka Large-billed Flycatcher

I had id the bird as a Niltava earlier but after checking Borneo birdlist there is none listed.  Anyway it rufous neck and breast is paler than  the Niltava's  that I have seen in peninsula.  Doing some comparison of the Bornean Blue I deduced  its indigo forehead and dark face wih a bit of dark blue to it throat I am positive I got the Sunda Blue Flycatcher aka Large-billed  Flycatcher. The tip of the upper mandible beak is hooked and of cause the large bill

It was very unfortunate that it kept to upper storey and did not budge from its perch for a while before it dive down into the undergrowth near the stream and never to be seen. We were lucky to got a few shots but not that clean from our angle. It head is always pointing up which is a habit of this bird.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Kingfisher 13/14 - Bornean Banded Kingfisher (lifer 497)

I got this male banded at RDC in September 2018. It is also mentioned as the Black-faced.  It is now a total separate specie from our peninsula specie. The colors and feather features are drastically different with black face mask and forehead compared to the brownish of the latter. It is an easy shoot at the Canopy walk. The difficult part is to locate it amongst  the vast green. Once you have found it you can shot for an hour or two as it perch there unless disturbed. We were shooting at a distance of 60 ft or so . If you are lucky it can come to 15-20 ft of the canopy bridge.

This picture is the male bird. Hope to get to see the female in October..............

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Groundbird 11/16 - Chestnut-necklaced Hill Patridge (lifer 496)

I was dying to catch this bird when news came about of its appearance at Pedu Lake of Kedah. I did make a trip  last year there following the direction given by  my good buddies. I sighted it in the late morning but with no photo; I came back to Alor Setar empty handed.

This time it was fruitful enough that I was  given ample time to shoot in close quarters. Thanks Ang / Kenny boy....for nothing 😁. By the way Zhong just commented that its a different specie from Peninsula (Arborophila charltonii ssp. charltonii). I think they are subspecies and yet to be split...............vs
Arborophila graydoni