Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Garden Birdwatch 2017

2016 count was done at my sister's place in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. Plan to count at this area again this coming 17th and 18th June 2017. Would be interesting to see how the garden birds of Malaysia are faring in 2017, and which species will be at the top of the list. Common versus Javan Mynah "Battle" - wondering whether this battle continues or will other Mynah species prevail?  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Japanese Gardens Bukit Tinggi Part Three - Fauna and Birds



Orange Breasted Trogon on Sunday afternoon. It was calling earlier in the morning but didn't see it. Returned to the trails and waited for the Ferruginous Partridge to return that afternoon. The pair didn't show up but the Crimson-Winged Woodpecker turned up unexpectedly. This woodpecker hammered away at one of the tree trunks for quite a long period of time. The back of the woodpecker was facing me for quite some time and I could only get a picture of the left side of its face and body in a matter of seconds. Broadbills visited the trail that afternoon were the Black and Yellow and Silver-breasted.   
Missed the Silver-breasted Broadbill at Telapa Buruk so was really happy to see it turn up at Bukit Tinggi that Sunday afternoon! Silver-breasted broadbill's whistle-like calls were heard before it flew in and perched on several branches above the trail. Such a treat and I'm over the moon being able to see three different species of Broadbills (the Green was seen earlier in the morning) in 1 day.   
Bird seen and/or heard that Sunday afternoon at Bukit Tinggi have been recorded in eBird through my earlier post at Japanese Gardens in Malaysian highlands. Gray-rumped Treeswift and Indian Cuckoo were last birds seen as I exited the trails near Japanese Gardens. The Himalayan Squirrel and Dusky Leaf Monkey were also a welcome sight that day in Bukit Tinggi. Although the Ferr. Partridge did not turn up that afternoon, the birds seen that day more than made up for the no-show by the Ferruginous Partridge. Was with Ang and Mrs Ang (Lwee) during the Sunday morning birding session and am grateful to them for giving me a lift up to Japanese Gardens from first guardhouse at the foothills of Bukit Tinggi.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Japanese Garden Bukit Tinggi Part Two - Avian Friends

Black-Browed Barbet at the fruiting tree in front of the small parking area at entrance to Botanical Gardens.

Black-Browed Barbet giving me a quizzical look:)

White-rumped Shama and Ochraceous Bulbul were the first to appear at the trail. Buff-breasted Babbler was hopping all over that morning inside the trail before the Mountain Peacock-Pheasants appeared. Saturday morning birds checklist has been shared earlier through eBird portal, and this list has been shared through my Facebook page and in my earlier posting on Japanese Gardens in Malaysian Highlands. I missed the Ferruginous Partridge having left the trail after seeing this pair of Peacock-Pheasants to explore the Botanical Gardens of Bukit Tinggi:( Pair of Blue-winged Leafbirds were spotted on my way towards the Gardens. The Leafbirds' blue and green plumage really stood out. Somehow, seeing this pair of leafbirds lessened my disappointment of missing out on the Partridge. Second (and many more) trips to Bukit Tinggi are definitely a must for birdwatchers!   
Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant (Male and Female)
Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant (Male)
Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant (Male)
Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant (Female)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Japanese Gardens in Malaysian Highlands

Wood (or is it White?) Storks immortalized in Statue, within water fountain of entrance to Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi, Pahang. Quick stop at the resort to buy our RM15 entry fee per person to Japanese and Botanical Gardens.

Met Dennis Yong, one of the pioneers in the Malaysian birdwatching community - read about his Big Year list many years ago when I started birding, circa 2001. Japanese Gardens in the highlands of Malaysia, at 3,500 feet above sea level. Suitable for montane and sub-montane birds in the lower level of the hills. Chicken chop with potato wedges and coleslaw was lovely although pricey at RM28. Could be due to exclusive location of Colmar Tropicale within the hills of Pahang. Sugee cake of Mrs Ang (Lwee) was delicious, with generous sprinklings of peanuts - lovely nutty texture to her cakes! 

Considering to book a 1 night stay for my family at Colmar Tropicale, a French theme resort.

Early morning scenery below at the entrance to Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi, Pahang.

Started to drizzle in the late afternoon as I walked up towards the Japanese tea garden. Ang and wife had already left for Malacca after the morning birdwatching session. Birds seen in Japanese Gardens, Bukit Tinggi will be up in Part Two of this website blog. Birds sighted and heard have been recorded through eBird portal for Sunday morning and for Sunday afternoon. Ferruginous Partridge eluded me which means a second trip is on the cards.
Dinner at Kampung Bukit Tinggi, District of Bentong, on my way back to Kuala Lumpur. Heard Pied Fantails as I sat by the vegetable garden of this restaurant. Homecooked simple dishes - seaweed soup, fluffy fried eggs with lettuce and onions. Definitely worth bringing my family here to experience the rustic simple life that has literally disappeared in the hustle and bustle of a city like Kuala Lumpur.
Ramadhan has begun in Malaysia (began last Saturday, 27th May 2017). Exited Kampung Bukit Tinggi by 7.30pm - smooth ride along the KL-Karak highway since Muslim travellers would have stopped to break their fast, by then. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

World Map of Birds Global Big Day 2017

Global Big Day 2017 is on 13th May 2017, Saturday. eBird Malaysia has a featured post about GBD which can be read here. Wild Bird Club Malaysia is organizing a Day Trip to Negeri Sembilan on 14th May 2017. My last trip to Telapa Buruk was way back in 2013. My blog from this trip with friends from NS and Malacca can be read here. Cornell Lab provided World Map of Birds in conjunction with GBD 2017 and a special hashtag #eBird_GBD to spread awareness via Social Media on events happening worldwide. Am very glad to see Malaysia is included this year 2017 as part of Global Big Day albeit in Social Media news, via Facebook. Praying for good sunny weather this weekend in Malaysia:)  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

STARLING WARS Bird Parody by RSPB

Birds representing characters in STAR WARS movie poster (with an aptly named spaceship) - Very funny bird-based parody by Royal Society for Protection of Birds:)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wings over Kuala Kubu Bahru and Selangor International Bird Race 2017

Wings over KKB and Selangor International Bird Race 2017 venue behind Mini Stadium of Kuala Kubu Bahru, Selangor from 21st to 23rd April 2017. This was my second time helping out at the Wild Bird Club Malaysia booth. Azlina Mokhtar, fellow member from WBCM and Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor (MDHS) had graciously invited WBCM to open booth on Saturday, 22nd April 2017. Birds seen just outside Shahzan Inn, Fraser Hill after 2pm and before closing ceremony of International  Bird Race 2017, were recorded into eBird portal.  
Male and female Orange-bellied Leafbird. Male Leafbird in picture at the top of this blog.
Black-throated Sunbird above..... 
Enjoying the nectar of the bottlebrush flower.
Black-throated Sunbird's back plumage - moving along this branch of bottlebrush tree just beside Fraser Hill post office. 
Long-tailed Sibia, looking quite menacing through undergrowth above and with its long tail feathers showing below:-
Volunteered as a bird guide on Sunday morning earlier for the team from Philippines (Willem, Christine and Ternel). Azlina had kindly arranged for driver who was driving Perodua Alza (Perodua was one of the sponsors for Race).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Last of the Eskimo Curlew from Canada

Story about this Last Eskimo Curlew by Fred Bodsworth was featured in Readers Digest book series. I remembered reading it and being engrossed in the perilous journey that the Eskimo Curlew underwent as it literally flew from one end of the earth to another, namely the Arctic in search of its mate. YouTube has a cartoon series on this species as well. There are several species of 3 species of Curlews in South East Asia. I've seen the Eurasian Curlew before. The rarer ones are the Far Eastern Curlew and the Little Curlew. Would be a loss to humankind should the latter two species face the same fate as the Eskimo Curlew.......
A comparison of the Curlews, Godwits and Sandpiper is available below with their respective status (as sourced from WaderTales website).

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Monkey business in Taman Botani Shah Alam and Hooded Pitta

I usually post pictures of birds since this is mainly a blog about birdwatching but these Dusky Leaf Monkeys were irresistably cute. A group of them were jumping from tree to tree near the public swimming pool in Botanical Gardens, Shah Alam (Taman Botani Shah Alam). Pool area is now closed to public with red tape sealed all around it. So monkeys were having a FIELD DAY that Saturday afternoon. The Hooded Pitta was seen so that's a tick for my checklist:) Avian species that I was able to see (definitely two heads and four eyes are better than one) have been recorded in eBird Malaysia. My checklist is available here. Five species of Pittas (Pittidae family) which can be found in Malaysia are described further in Malaysian Birds website.  
Single individual Dusky Leaf Monkey was joined by a second one a few minutes later......
Enjoying their tea-break of coconut leaf plucked straight off the frond of the tree!
Al fresco dining amongst the Botanical Gardens.
Avian species and Leaf Monkeys co-existing in harmony at Botanical Gardens - lessons to be learnt for humankind.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Paya Indah Wetlands April 2017

Coppersmith barbet was the first bird seen that hot Sunday afternoon as I entered Paya Indah Wetlands. Located in Dengkil, Selangor, this wetlands was around half an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. This 15cm beauty is the smallest barbet amongst the 11 species of Asian barbets, according to an article entitled "Notes on the Field Identification of the Green-Plumaged Barbets in Peninsular Malaysia" by Allen Jeyarajasingam published in eBIRD Malaysia. Click here to read this article and to view the beautiful, clearer and sharp pictures by Andy Lee and Choy Wai Mun.  
Coral red patches on front of its head according to Allen J. article.
 Coral red on breast bands in pictures above and below:-
Lesser Whistling Ducks, Cotton Pygmy Goose (1 male and 4 females), Little Egret, Cattle Egrets, Malayan Night-Crowned Heron, Brown Shrike, White-breasted Waterhen, were out and about in the wetlands from 5.15 to 7.15pm. Birds species seen that day has been reported in eBIRD Malaysia. As I ended my journey in Paya Indah Wetlands, the resident hippo peered at me from within its enclosure wondering what kind of creature I was sitting inside "the shell" of my car as I snapped a picture of it:) 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Leaf Monkeys at Shah Alam Botanical Garden and the Elusive Pitta

A group of leaf monkeys (Langurs) were out having breakfast at Shah Alam Botanical Gardens as I began my search for the Hooded Pitta. Couldn't resist observing this group of six langurs jumping about in this tree. One of the langurs spotted a leafy part of the tree......
This top part of leaf bunch looks good so it plucks it out and eats it Ulam-style.....
Munch munch.................
And the third langur joins it for breakfast:) These two were sitting very comfortably on the branches right at the tree-top level. The Hooded Pitta remains elusive on that hot Saturday morning. Total of nine species of birds were seen from 7.55am onwards as recorded in my eBird Checklist and that was confined to this one single path that I was on that day. Checkout an earlier outing to Shah Alam Botanical Gardens in 2016 which can be read here

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