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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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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Magpie - Bornean Green Magpie (Lifer 506 - Bornean 18/100)

The Bornean Green Magpie is a must see in Kinabalu Park. It is also called the Short-tailed Green Magpie and is an endemic bird of North Borneo. The bird is somewhat tame and approachable unlike its cousin of Peninsula Malaysia which are more elusive and skittish. 

In our encounter the single  bird was flying in and out from the tree at about 8.30am at a close distance of 30 ft. It stayed with us for at least a good 10-15 minutes for all of us to shoot to our heart content.

Notice that the bird is tagged on its leg. I really wonder what its significance. Age; location or what?

I wish the Bald-headed Laughingthrush would appear together but no luck on that. It would be best to go during February - May period when the birds here in KNP are more active. In the month of October spell wet and misty condition at  Kinabalu Park but we were lucky for 2 days out of the three days of birding......

Monday, 29 October 2018

Flycatcher 27/30 - Indigo Flycatcher (Lifer 505 - Bornean 9/100)

The Indigo flycatcher is another endemic bird of Borneo and Sumatra.  We managed to sight a single bird at Timpohan side and then a pair at the parking area near the cafetaria side on the way out to HQ. They say it is a common bird to see in KNP.

Its size -14 cm. Small blue flycatcher with blackish face and buffish vent. Adult has lower forehead (over base of bill) to lores and chin black, pale azure-blue on upper forehead. 

At times you can see it following bird wave around the trees following the Yuhinas and White-eyes. 

Avian field report October 2018 - Sepilok Sandakan - Kinabalu Park

This was  my second bird outing  to Sabah for 2018. This time I am travelling with some a group of birding lasses. It was  a 6 days trip to Sepilok again and than transit to Kinabalu Park for the other half the trip. The ideal size of is 4 pax. We got a free upgrade by Hertz from a Saga to a Honda City and we were surprise the car booty can fix all our luggages.  I was ready to go to and fro twice to the  airport if necessary as Sepilok is just 20 minutes from SIA. Taxi will cost RM30-35 one way so not really worth the money.

We have booked into Sepilok Jungle Resort thru Theresa. I opt to stay in the no frill room (non aircon) at RM100 per nite as I was alone. More importantly there is no mosquito. Got to  save cost ma. The girls were sharing better room with wifi and air-con for RM175.00 per nite. If you stay longer there is usually a further discount of 10-15%. The girls know how to bargain..............

In Sepilok we encounter wet days  but still the birds are around in the month of October. I only managed to chalk up 2 lifers the Brown-backed Flowerpecker and the Rufous-backed Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. I did note count the Bornean Stork-billed kf and the Bornean Oriental Magpie Robin as lifer but subspecies.

One of the highlight of our Sepilok trip is the sighting of a Oran-utan and its baby right on top the canopy walk.

The Bornean OMR is totally black which differed to our peninsual one

Resident birder Tommy was at hand to guide anyone he meets in Sepilok

After completing the tour in Sepilok we took flight to Kinabalu Park for our second leg of birding. It would be better if we just hire the car and drive from Sandakan to Ranau which almost match the time and distance of travel but would be cheaper by a couple of hundreds ringgit. There usually have a surcharge fro dropping the car at next venue ie Kinabalu International Airport.

The airflight took less than an hour and after receiving our Innova we were swiftly on the way up at 5.00 pm or so.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Flycatcher 26/30 - Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher (Lifer 504 Bornean 8/100)

This flycatcher is endemic to Borneo. It is totally different from our peninsula Snowy-brow and Rufous-browed which are also highland birds.

The adult male and female have identical features but I would expect  the male to have more distinct stronger colours compared to the female.

It is a medium size flycatcher with reddish brown upperpart and the salient feature is it pure white throat and white brow. It has pale speckled  greyish chest and pale legs

It is silent, but has loud churring call in breeding season; sharp “prrrt” alarm. We tried calling it back but it did not response to our playback. 

They are solidatory bird and mating and breeding start as early January till April and fledging can be seen in month of May onwards.

Its nest is a cup shaped or a large untidy ball of small sticks moss dry fern fronds and leaves.

Misty condition and low light condition at Silau-silau
During our 2 days birding there;  we manage to chance on it at Silau-silau and near Pandanus Trail

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Avian Sighting October 2018 - Malkoha Galore Bukit Rengit

In Rengit  you can see 4 species of Malkohas in a single day. This is when bird luck give you the chance The first and most often seen is the Chestnut-breasted. Usually there is a pair of them here at Deerland.

The second one is the Red-billed which can also be commonly  seen in Bukit Tinggi Pahang.

 Malkoha no 3 is the Raffle's Malkoha is the smallest amongst the Malkohas you can see coming down to the lower canopies. It search for grub inside dead leaves hanging on foliage.

The no 4 Malkoha that I sighted here is the  Black bellied. It can be mistaken for the Green-billed. The only different is that the former have no white lining to its its scarlet facial skin.

So all in all ....can you beat or match  me to seeing 4 Malkohas in  one outing..............

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Grassbird 1/1 - Striated Grassbird (Bornean 7/100 - Lifer 503)

 The Striated Grassbird is an “immigrant” from the Philippines, first noted in 1982 in the north east of Borneo (Sabah). Since then it has been spreading all over Borneo from Sabah to Miri and Sarawak

It is easy to spot from afar at grassland padi fields and suburb wasteland.It tends to bring notice to itself by its loud spearing / strident calls. It hunts for insects and grubs on low vegetation.

It can be also be found in Thailand Who know it may also move down south to Peninsula one day to the many grassland and plantation of Perlis and Kedah. There are upto to a dozen of specimen at Penampang near the KKIA  that you can shoot them up close. Best to drive and shoot along the track.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Avian Video Oct 2018 - Red-billed Malkoha feeding on Stick-insect

I got to see  this Red-billed  Malkoha feeding on an insect in Lanchang for a good 3 minutes before it managed to swallow same.

Almost done.................

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Avian Behaviour October 2018 - Mating season in Lanchang

The mating season have officially started I guess in peninsula. In Lanchang many of the birds were pairing up and feeding together. The black-capped pair were very active feeding together. I witness several occasion the male will feed its mate. The female is a duller grey capped I suppose......

Then they is another pair of  Grey-cheeked bulbuls feeding together and rather intimate. No feeding offer was seen though

The other Babbler are the  regular Ferrugious which one of them will pick up the grub and flew into the undergrowth...probably to offer to its mate.

The single birds I saw include the male Diard's Trogon with its amorous call which I think is looking for a mate in the vicinity. It call out loudly at first. Since there is no new sighting I came out from the port to look for it and  hunt any lifers at the road side. Then while strolling along  I look backward at the calling trogon it was perch 30 ft from me at a low branch.  Lucky me.

 a lonely Yellow-bellied Bulbul

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter

I though it it was a new bulbul with its white eye-ring and greyish head (picture below).  It is actually a juvenile Spectacled Bulbul. The eyering will turn yellow as it mature.

A pair of Short-tailed was also seen but come out at different spot

The orange fruiting tree after Deerland attracted many bulbuls like the black-headed, red-eyed etc