31 July, 2010

Paddyfield Pipit

25th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Update: Earlier posted as Richard’s Pipit

You would see them on the ground, making their way in the grass, in search of  food. It was a hot day and the bird was panting to keep cool._DSC0298


A puddle of water was an obvious choice.


30 July, 2010

SuperModel: Rufous-Tailed Tailorbird

25th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

The lighting was great and  she  performed liked a seasoned model. This is a different bird from the one shot a few weeks ago.




29 July, 2010

Red-Bearded Bee-Eater

25th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I stopped for a short while below  a large tree on my way out  of Kemensah  when I heard the unmistakable sound of the Red-bearded Bee-eater. There she was about 30 feet away, under the shade getting some relief from the burning hot sun.





28 July, 2010

Hatched : Whiskered Treeswift

25th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Image (below) taken on Saturday 17th July 2010. The egg was still intact. (Earlier post when the egg was spotted)


Steadfastly guarding the nest. ( taken 25th July 2010). I suspected that the egg had hatched by then. Waited for about 30 minutes for the bird to leave the nest, thumb on the remote trigger button.


The parent bird  flew away from the nest for the changeover,  just for a few seconds, long enough for me to put in  one long burst of shots. This is what she’s protecting, a chick!


I don’t know exactly how old the chick was, could be 3-4 days, and she’s already growing the short pin feathers.


You need good camouflage in such an exposed position.



The chick is the blob on the  nest


Shielding the chick from the blazing sun.


27 July, 2010

Only You : Black-Bellied Malkohas

24th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

All malkohas that I see now in Kemensah are Black-Bellied Malkohas. This is how one would normally see them, in the trees  hiding between the leaves. (Previous sighting)



Crimson-Winged Woodpecker

24th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

A female  Crimson-Winged Woodpecker on her morning round. She was looking for food under the moss that grew on the trunk of a Durian tree._DSC0215


26 July, 2010

Black-Headed Bulbuls

24th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Two Black-Headed Bulbuls, the one on the left is a juvenile with the duller yellow and grey head.




25 July, 2010

High Wire Act: Indian Roller

22nd July 2010, Bachok, Kelantan

Went back to Kelantan for a project briefing and  site visit in Bachok. Coincidentally the  site was very near to the location where I last saw the Indian Roller. Took the opportunity to  drive around the  area  after the visit and this is what I found. They seem to prefer the electricity cable  to perch.


She flew to the middle of  the tobacco field when she felt that I was too close for comfort.


24 July, 2010

Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch

24th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

You won’t believe how close they will come  near you. She was about 4 feet away when I  took the video.


The male with the black post ocular lines  (below)  hanging upside down


The female



Lesser Green Leafbird

18th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

A male  Chloropsis cyanopogun cyanopogun. Looks very much like the Greater Green Leafbird but smaller in size



20 July, 2010

He’s A Commoner :Tailorbird

18th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I haven’t posted any photos of the Common Tailorbird before.  This is a male Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis which has dark streaks on the breast_DSC0065




Taken on the clothes hanger at my backyard.

19 July, 2010

Banded Broadbills

18th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Although I have seen them before I haven’t  really managed to capture any decent shots of these beautiful birds until today. Four Banded Broadbills  were in the area, vocalizing loudly. At one point all four were on the same tree right above my head. Identified 2 males 1 female, not sure about the fourth. The first three photos are of the female , without the black collar.





Other than the black collar band on the male there are no other perceptible differences  between the sexes.




18 July, 2010

Young Drongo Cuckoo

18th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Has she contracted chicken-pox? No, this is normal for a young Drongo Cockoo to have the spots which  will disappear as they mature.



16 July, 2010

Going For Berok: Pig-Tailed Macaque

11th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Record shots of yet another species of primate  from Kemensah, the Pig-tailed Macaque ( local name: Berok, pronounced as Broke). Kelantanese would usually address them with their proper title ‘Baso Nnate Beghok’ . In Terengganu  they are called ‘Basse  Nnatang Berrok’. Sigh! it’s tough being a monkey. People keep reminding you that you are a bad monkey.

Have you heard  a story about ‘Berok Subsidi makan Tuan’ ( literal translation: ‘ subsidized monkey eats owner’.   Beroks were  at one time given by the government agency to the poor to help them make a living plucking coconuts). It was claimed that  Berok Subsidi had a very  bad reputation  due to their tendency to  attack and injure their  new owners, so when somebody refers to anything/ anyone as a Berok Subsidi, it shouldn’t be taken as a compliment.

There’s also the phrase ‘Berok Mat Yeh’ which I’m doing a bit of research on to find out it’s origin and true meaning. My current understanding of this phrase is when somebody is  bad, rowdy or lacking in proper manners. Maybe someone can enlighten me further on this.


They also reminded me of my school days when I was on the Kelantan State Softball team back in the mid 70’s. We had two American Peace Corps coaches, Mr Vincent Patrick Hall ( my Physics teacher at Sultan Ismail College, Kota Bharu, he’s from Kansas) and Mr John Brookes from another school. John had a  little mascot which he brought everywhere on the handle bar of his yellow racing bike, it was a little live ‘Berok’. And for us Kelantanese, renowned throughout Malaysia for speaking English in a rather unique way, I will leave it to your imagination as to how we would naturally pronounce his name. To this day I’m still wondering why ‘he had gone for  Berok’.

This is just my little trip down memory lane and it is not meant to be insensitive to anybody, especially to all Mr Brookes out there !

If I ‘were’ a Berok, which obviously I am not, I would say “ Why pick on us for all the bad things, why can’t we be  associated with some of  the better qualities such as   Dark & Handsome, obedient & incorruptible , playful, strong, hard working, disciplined, passionate,  fashionable &  ever trendy ( just look at that haircut)  etc.. etc…etc…!  How about telling a friend that he/ she is hardworking like a monkey, or intelligent like a monkey!. Hmm….Maybe I’m asking TOO MUCH here. And maybe this answers my question as to why Mr Brookes made that decision to have a monkey as a mascot, he was trying to highlight these positive points. Or on the other hand  the coach could be indirectly saying that we played like a bunch of monkeys!

To end this story, the softball team didn’t do well at national level, in fact we were not very good and we lost All our games. I’m wondering what happen to the Berok ,………………… probably banished to the thickest of   jungles in Kelantan!


 Famous Quotes: If it's not  Berok ( Baroque), don't fix it

15 July, 2010

She’s Not Shy: Black-Bellied Malkoha

10th July 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Update: Previously posted as a Green-billed Malkoha.

Usually they are very shy and tend to stay between the leaves, up  in the trees. I’ve never seen a Malkoha out in the open  and so close to the ground before._DSC0123