28 October, 2009

It’s One of Those Days

It’s almost like the Lone Ranger without  Silver , Rambo without guns, or Ronaldo without his boots.

Thats how I feel  now without my 400mm lens! Last Saturday, the tripod toppled over and I was told after sending in for repairs that the Autofocus mechanism had broken, sigh. Fortunately it fell on soft ground which had quite thick grass, the camera body is still OK.

The same day  Ilyas’s flashgun dropped off from the hotshoe while walking out from Kemensah. Apparently the plastic holding the screws had given way. Another big sighhhhhhh.

Well, pretty much out of commission this week.

Anyway, here’s something I dug up from the old album





23 October, 2009

A Mixed Bag’O Birds

18th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

For record purposes, these are the other birds photographed that day.

_DSC0170   A Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch


A  Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo. I  don’t think it’s the same bird I shot a     fortnight ago.


Chestnut-Bellied Malkoha.


Black-Winged Flycatcher-Shrike




22 October, 2009

Everett’s White-eye

18th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor


Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti) are very small birds and they usually feed at the middle to upper tier of the canopy which make them extremely difficult to shoot if you only have a 400mm lens.












21 October, 2009

Grey Wagtail - more colourful than the name.

18th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

I’ve noticed  Grey Wagtails (Motacilla cinerea) in Kemensah over the last couple of weeks. This is my third attempt at shooting these birds which on two previous occasions I had failed   to get any decent photos. As the name suggests,  you can see them wagging their tail near the stream or  in the middle of the road. This particular  bird  is a female. Although they prefer being out in the open it is difficult to get close to these birds as they seem to maintain a certain distance from human.


As seen from these photos, Kemensah has not been spared from the ravages of human activities. Lately illegal dumping of unwanted building materials have become quite rampant. A  red painted door leaf thrown into the river  as the backdrop.



I don’t think she appreciates the rock-to-rock carpet. Absolute madness!







20 October, 2009

Ashy Minivet

17th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor






Glad to know that they are back. An Ashy Minivet  (Pericrocotus divaricatus) local name: Burung Cok Padang, resting in the shade.



19 October, 2009

Asian Paradise-Flycatcher

17th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor male Asian Paradise flycatcher Lifer:  Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) local name: Murai Ekor Gading. A male ( inceri ) with long tail feathers. ( Very noisy long-range shot without flash taken  on  Saturday 17.10.09).

These are migrant birds probably just passing through. They are  very tough to photograph as they  are almost constantly moving.


Unsure  of the gender (taken 17.10.09). The  male starts breeding while still in female-like plumage with short tail.


This is most probably a female (taken on Sunday 18.10.09).





18 October, 2009

Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater

11th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

A couple of Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters (Merops philippinus) were making spectacular dives for  flying insects. However they were too far from me to catch the action. Only managed to  capture  them perching on  wires.







17 October, 2009

Asian Brown Flycatcher

11th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor


Migrant birds have started arriving. An  Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) local name: Burung Sambar  Asia, looking very alert for  possible prey/food.



16 October, 2009

Arctic Warbler

11th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor


Lifer: Recently arrived from their breeding ground up north this Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) wasn’t intimidated by my presence and continued  on feeding. A few  flicking movements of the head  the legs and wings of the insect went flying from her beak, ready to be swallowed.





15 October, 2009

Rufous Woodpecker

10th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

A Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus annamensis)  local name: Belatuk Biji Nangka.

The red cheek patch indicate that this is a male. He has fine & intricate patterns all over his body.



14 October, 2009

Female Black & Yellow Broadbill

10th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor


I’ve shot Black & Yellow Broadbills (Eurylaimus ochromalus) before but they were always the male birds. This time it was the female which made an appearance at the photo shoot. Notice the broken black collar of the female as compared to the continuous collar of the male.




Mouth watering caterpillar









I’ve been testing viewing this blog on a lower resolution screen (1024x768) with Mozilla Firefox 3.5. I found that Firefox allows you to zoom out and view the entire page without clipping the right margin regardless of the screen resolution. This is not the case with Internet Explorer  although it gives a sharper view of the photos compared to Firefox.

13 October, 2009

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

10th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor


A lifer: A male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia). A beautiful flycatcher with striking colours.




12 October, 2009

Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo

10th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

A lifer: We saw her  a short while after we began walking up the slope from the carpark at IsiRimba.


This Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus fugax) kept still in between the Bamboo leaves when we were observing her  but flew to a more  open branch when she had warmed herself adequately, luckily still within range of our cameras.


Too many obstacles in the way to get a clear shot.

11 October, 2009

Violet Cuckoo

10th October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

A lifer: Usually Cuckoos tend to have dull plumage but this Cuckoo had striking colours. A   Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus)._DSC0069



10 October, 2009

Lots of Skippers But No Birds

25th September 2009, Senok, Kelantan













Kampong Senok is  a quiet and picturesque  fishing village located on the coast of  Kelantan. I used to frequent this place during my younger days to fish at the river mouth.

We went there during the Hari Raya break just to investigate if there were any birding opportunities in the area.




One always hope that every birding outing would kick off  with a bang, and in this case we nearly had a BOOM……..sonic boom!

These two  supersonic birds had recently migrated from Russia   (species: Sukhoi Su-30MKM)  flew overhead. I could see the SKIPPER and his rear officer in the cockpit.






Well, not the kind of birds we were after- nice markings but NO feathers.







An hour passed and still no birds. The trigger finger had started to itch badly. Started  scouting along the river to see if we could find anything worth shooting.

Laurel & Hardy ( my son and elder brother) shooting anything that moved.It appeared that Ilyas had begun shooting his uncle’s ear- an early symptom of acute SCDS (Shutter-Clicking Deficiency Syndrome); AMAT MERBAHAYA!




Ahaaa……   MudSKIPPERS. Beautiful fish. This guy was busy trying to impress  the other fish without success. Hmm….I dare not ID them; my previous attempt   was not 100% spot on. Ok I’ll give it a shot: could be a  Slender Mudskipper (Periophthalmus gracilis)




Then we saw  a brightly painted  boat going past the jetty to a mooring point somewhere further in. This type of traditional fishing boats are exclusively found in Kelantan. They used to have sails but nowadays Cummins engines (locals call them Enjeng Kambing meaning ‘Goat’ engine) have taken over.





Homeward bound with the SKIPPER at the helm.








Then we realized that the fishing boats were returning from their day out at sea. A flotilla of small boats  flying colourful flags entering the  river mouth which is protected by  a massive wave breaker









Kelantanese are very colourful people and this is reflected in their personality and their worldly possession.













All nicely tied up and ready to be unloaded.












No birds today but at least it temporarily cured our SCDS.

09 October, 2009

Male Dark-Throated Oriole

3rd October 2009, Kemensah, Selangor

The  photos of the male Dark-Throated Oriole (Oriolus xanthonotus) in the previous post was shot on a misty morning with strong backlight. This is a better shot.

He flew in together with the Sultan Tit after the rain and fortunately he landed on a low  branch. Just managed one shot before he disappeared.