31 May, 2010

Babbler Babbler

29th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I’ve been hearing her calls over the last few weeks  but so far she had been very reluctant to show herself.  Managed this one shot, not  a particularly good one  of this Rufous-Fronted Babbler  ( Stachyridopsis poliogaster )playing hide & seek between the bamboo leaves.

This is my lifer.


A Pin-Striped Tit-Babbler  on a different bamboo tree.  Better shot since I wasn’t pointing against the light.




29 May, 2010

Whiskered Treeswift ,Incubating Update: Video1

29th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Day 14 ( from discovering the egg): 
The egg was visible today, still unhatched. The male bird was doing some maintenance to the nest by adding new saliva that holds the nesting materials together

My first attempt at a video on the blog. Sorry for the quality.

Glueing  fresh feathers to the edge of the nest. The chick must be coming soon!


The nest and egg  clearly visible



28 May, 2010

Grey-Breasted Spiderhunter

28th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I’ve seen fat birders  but never a fat bird and she’s a fat bird!

Although I’ve shot  a Grey-Breasted Spiderhunter  before this  is my first for Kemensah. The streaks on her  breast are not that obvious, could she be a juvenile? Hmmmm…. a fat juvenile.




25 May, 2010

Birds of Bentong

22nd & 23rd  May 2010, Bentong, Pahang.


We had a family gathering  at my brother-in-law’s orchard, a beautiful place  on high ground with the hills of Bentong as the backdrop.

I was curious as to what species of bird  I would find there. Spent 2 hours on Saturday afternoon and 3 hours Sunday morning  to see what I could photograph.

The result was quite interesting.

A male Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch


A male White-Rumped Shama


Buff-Vented Bulbul


Spectacled Bulbul


Common Iora


Three Brown Barbets


Blyth's Hawk Eagle


Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker (shot by Ilyas)



This place also yielded a lifer  for me, a Black-Throated Babbler which was posted earlier

A male Black & Yellow Broadbill



A family of Chestnut-Winged Babblers


Rufescent Prinia 



Male & female Orange-Backed Woodpeckers


Wreathed Hornbill  (shot by Ilyas)


Male Blue-Winged Leafbird  (shot by Ilyas)


Either a female Brown-Throated  or Red throated Sunbird  (shot by Ilyas).  I’m more inclined to go for the latter  because of the orange tinge at the throat.


24 May, 2010

Cat & Mouse: Black-Throated Babbler

23rd  May 2010, Bentong, Pahang.

A family gathering at my brother-in-law’s orchard  was a good opportunity to look for birds. Next to the orchard was still thick  jungle.

I had to wait for 2 hours for this beauty  as she called from the thick undergrowth, never coming out in the open. Finally she gave me  two 5-second windows for these shots.

An adult  Black-Throated Babbler (Stachyris  nigricollis) . Both male and female look similar. Status: Near Threatened. A lifer


There was a pair and I think these are photos of two different birds.




23 May, 2010

Incubating ( Update 2 ): Whiskered Treeswift

22nd  May 2010 (Saturday), Kemensah, Selangor.

DAY 7 (from discovering the egg). From what I had read the incubation period is between 18-20 days and  about 30 days for the chick to fledge. Still a long way to go!


The  morning downpour had left the female soaking wet. Egg still  not hatched. I was concerned for the birds and the nest because we had two days of thunderstorms and strong wind. Looks like she’s OK.


The male was nearby on another tree,  resting and sometimes making his hunting passes for insects.



21 May, 2010

For a Fistfull of Ringgit: Poachers in Kemensah

16th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I don’t consider myself  a brave guy especially when you’re outnumbered but what I saw really got my blood boiling. Poachers up to no good along the trail that I do my weekly birding! This was simply TOO MUCH.

I stopped the Jeep  right where they were setting the traps to question these guys and told them what they were doing was wrong.  They didn’t look the violent type so I told these guys to take down their traps and go. If things turned nasty I knew  that civilization wasn’t too far away.



Bird traps covered under  pieces of cloth. Below: this is what they look like. They have a live bird, in this case a Hanging Parrot to lure other Parrots into the cage. This was shot as it was being lowered down from the tree. I was told by a friend who ran an orchard in Kemensah that at the peak of the fruit season (especially Rambutan) he had seen poachers hauled  in about 20-30 Hanging Parrots per day.


I don’t know whether I was being brave or just plain stupid when I  took my camera and tripod and started shooting amidst these guys.

I knew  I had to LOOK brave and after viewing  ‘Pendekar Bujang Lapok’  countless number of time ( and I still laugh everytime), I knew the sort of face to put on (see below, used without consent!)  Used the face on far left.


Jokes aside, I was just glad that they decided to call it quits, maybe off to another location in Kemensah!

Maybe next time I shouldn’t be too ‘gung ho’ in my reaction. I also saw the movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and the outcome could may well be different.


20 May, 2010

Incubating: Whiskered Treeswift

16th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.


Haha……, I know what you must be thinking. It’s  Madi and his Kelantanese  humour  again, he’s pulling our legs!  What nest, what egg?

Patience  and all will be revealed. OK , from a different angle. A single white egg on a tiny nest superglued to the  branch of a Rambutan tree  right in the middle of a vehicle trail hardly 12 feet from the ground. I don’t know how many days she’d been incubating the egg but I will be following the progress over the next few weeks.




On my way out of Kemensah I noticed that the male ( with rufous ear covert)  had taken  the position over the egg.



19th May 2010 Wednesday: Went  into Kemensah  after work to  check the nest at about 5.45pm. Phew, it’s still there. The male  was on duty. No sign  that the egg had hatched.



Next checkup will be on Saturday


A female Whiskered Treeswift sitting on her nest while brooding her egg.

19 May, 2010

WoodStripper? : Bamboo Woodpecker

15th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Difficult to get good pictures of  the Bamboo Woodpeckers  because they are always too far . This was only my second encounter with this species.  Anyway  this is a male  bird ‘stripping’ the soft outer layer of the stem to get to the food._DSC0059





18 May, 2010

Red-Throated Sunbird

15th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

A pair of  Red-Throated Sunbirds (Anthreptes rhodolaemus) were  happily  getting their  supply of nectar.  The male is  very colourful  with the iridescent  green and purple.




The less colourful female looking rather curious.



17 May, 2010

Short-Tailed Babbler

15th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.



Knew roughly where to go based on Mike’s description of the area.

This was my first stopover, the  objective being the Short-tailed Babblers.

A pair was already busy foraging in the undergrowth when I entered the target zone.

A lifer

_DSC0015 It’s quite obvious  how they got their name.