31 December, 2009

Female Ruby-Cheeked Sunbird: feeding

26th December 2009,  Kemensah, Selangor

I didn’t see her  feeding on the insect larvae instead she  had a couple  mouthful of the ‘cotton candy’ that protected the  nest.


30 December, 2009

Crimson–Breasted Flowerpecker: my bleeding heart

25th December 2009,  Kemensah, Selangor

She was out in the open for a few seconds  before the bird wave moved on.



29 December, 2009

Catch me if you can: Pin-Striped Tit Babbler

25th December 2009,  Kemensah, Selangor

A pair of Pin –Striped Tit Babblers were foraging in the bushes. I’ve come across this species  a few  times before and they  were always tricky subjects to shoot. I think these photos are of two different birds judging by the extent of the stripes on the throats.

She has  a cricket in her grasp. 

It was a  game of hide and seek. I knew she wasn’t going to make it easy for me but in the end the results were quite OK. 




28 December, 2009

Never Too Young : Blue-Eared Kingfisher

26th December 2009,  Kemensah, Selangor

Things had changed   a little since the time when Tabib was here. The cast-iron water outlet where the Kingfishers sat waiting for the fish had been changed to a new UPVC pipe but they still prefer this location for hunting.
This Blue-Eared Kingfisher was barely old enough to fly  but she’s  already diving in  for  fish- That’s survival in the animal kingdom. She’s  really tiny!


Running out of runway! I don’t think the Navy pilots would  dare land on  their aircraft carrier like this.



Phew, made it!   

27 December, 2009

Adult Blue-Eared Kingfisher: so close

25th December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor

Sometimes you’d be surprised at what you can see in your neighbourhood, well I was. An adult Blue-Eared Kingfisher (Alcedo Meninting)  local name:Pekaka Bintik-bintik .

I think she’s  used to being near  humans. The stream where she hunts is usually buzzing with  anglers and  people casting fish nets for catfish and talapias.  I was surprised at  how close I was able to  position myself  to take these shots.




On the Fence : The End

25th December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor

I started the ‘On The Fence’ series with  photos of the Little Heron. I thought it would be appropriate to end with a photo of the same species.
The early morning light was just beautiful for  photography . I managed to find  an opening in between the bamboo to take this shot of this lovely bird.

26 December, 2009

On the Fence 5: Scaly-Breasted Munia

25th  December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor


An individual from a flock of Scaly-Breasted Munias  (Lonchura punctulata ) feeding in the bushes nearby a stream. She stopped on the fence to rest and preen. 



On the Fence 4 : Female Olive -Backed Sunbird

25th December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor


She was calling her partner  to the photo session but he didn’t turn up. A  loud caller for a small bird.


25 December, 2009

On the Fence 3: Zebra Dove

25th December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor

It’s like a photo studio.
They lined up to have their portraits taken!



On the fence too!: Tiger Shrike

22nd December 2009,  Taman Melawati, Selangor

She was trying to regurgitate something  from her throat


A female Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus)  using the barbed wire fence as her vantage point to observe her prey.


22 December, 2009

On the Fence: Will she go Left or Right wing?

20th  December 2009,Taman Melawati , Selangor

Shot just before sundown, an Asian Brown Flycatcher ( Muscicapa dauurica) resting before retiring for the day.


            They will go all out to sway her for her vote!


21 December, 2009

Little Heron hunting

20th  December 2009,Taman Melawati , Selangor









I don’t believe it! I   missed the moment of the  actual strike. It was all over in a blink of an eye.
Gulp. One talapia down the hatch.

20 December, 2009

Greenham Common? No They’re Green & Common.

18th  December 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

No, this is not about Britain’s nuclear history. It’s about Ioras,  birds of the lowland forest. One is Green and the other is Common. The Green Iora is not so common whereas the Common Iora as the name suggests, is quite common. Confused?  Ha ha, have a guess at  which is which.



Well done, you guessed right!






19 December, 2009

Fire-Walking Lemons!

17th  December 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

Been experimenting  taking macro shots with the AFS 300mm  lens. This lens has opened up   opportunities  for macro photography since the minimum  focusing distance is  only 1.45m – quite impressive.

Saw a group of Lemon Migrant  Butterflies - Catopsilia pomona congregating on the cold remains of  an open fire.






17 December, 2009

Running-in the AFS 300: It’s not a Meserati

17th  December 2009, Taman Melawati OP, Selangor

My Nikkor 80-400mm VR lens has been in and out of the workshop several times (It’s  still in the workshop waiting for a spare part to arrive). I’ve tried using the lens on several outings after it  crashed to the ground and the IQ hasn’t been the same. It has been very frustrating ever since.

After much labouring over  the lens I’ve decided to go for a replacement. No, It’s not my dream lens ,the 500mm f/4 but something much shorter. I’ve finally gone for a Nikkor AFS 300mm f/4 prime after reading  lots of excellent reviews  on this lens and how it maintains the image quality even with a 1.4X-1.7X Teleconverter attached. The other consideration was the budget: your pocket need not be very deep for this  baby.

This afternoon I took the new lens for  a short  first outing before the start of the  Malaysia/ Vietnam football final ( yay…. we won after 20 yrs, congratulations boys).  My 1.4x Kenko teleconverter which hasn’t seen action for a very very long time was also put to the test.




Exif data: ISO 400,  420mm f/7.1  1/320s  , mounted on a Nikon D90 on tripod.

The 3oomm f/4 + 1.4X combo means it is now a 420mm f5.6 lens with fully functional autofocus.


I think the photos speak for themselves. The Little Herons were kind enough to pose as  test models.



The Awana Trail: getting to know

11th December 2009, Awana trail, Pahang

This was my second trip there and the condition wasn’t conducive for photography in general .  Anyhow these are birds which I managed to shoot that day.Sorry for the not so brilliant image quality.











Female Hill Blue Flycatcher














Male Hill Blue Flycatcher










Silver-Breasted Broadbill












Grey-Throated Babbler ( Lifer)
















White-Throated Fantail ( Lifer)


Long-Tailed Sibia

12 December, 2009

Orange–Bellied Leafbirds

11th December 2009, Awana trail, Pahang

They brought colours to an otherwise grey and misty day. These Orange-Bellied Leafbirds (Chloropsis hardwickii) were the early birds that I saw after the mist lifted.  The males are more  striking with black colored throat.




The female





This was the first time that I was able to get close enough for some decent shots. One thing I’ve noticed: highland birds are not easily spooked and are easier to photograph.