30 June, 2010

Love Them To Bits

26th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

This is how a very young Striped-throated Bulbul looks like.


This is how a sub adult Striped-throated Bulbul looks like., feeding on a little winged insect.


And this is how two adult Striped-throated Bulbuls look like, BAGGED!


There were two guys, claimed to be local villagers. This was what one guy said, rather incoherently (his face pale like he’d seen a ghost)  when I asked what’s the bird  in  the bag:

Saja suka-suka . Bang, nak buat camna, hobi kami. Kami suka burung”. Translation:          “ Just for fun. Brother, what can we do it’s our hobby. We LOVE birds”.

They were  after Black-crested bulbuls but  the menacing Striped-throated bulbul got caught in their snare. I was told that they would  assess their voices and the birds would be released if their voices were not of the necessary standard. Keeping song birds either for competition or for fun is still widespread  in the provinces and rural areas.

So how do you deal with  this kind of situation, let them be, turn a blind eye, or tell them to take up a different  hobby? I left them to shoot a flycatcher that was calling nearby. They disappeared with their snare  shortly after, before I could say what’s on my mind.


Their bird snare , locals call it ‘Jebak’ with a Black-crested Bulbul as the lure. It is hung on a pole 5 feet off the ground. The dragonfly-wing shaped flaps would spring shut the moment any bird landed on the inclined sticks: a work of art in itself.

Notes: All photos taken on the same day.

29 June, 2010

Cry Baby : Yellow-Bellied Prinia

26th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

It sounded like someone was crying from within  the  clumps of reed inside the abandoned fish ponds. To my relief I saw her, a Yellow-bellied Prinia calling or should I say ‘crying’ for her mate. I think  your mind tends to be over imaginative when you’re alone in the jungle!



27 June, 2010

Lesser Fish Eagles

26th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

I had the chance of taking new photos of what I previously identified as a pair of Grey-headed Fish-Eagles. With these new photos I can confirm that they are in fact  Lesser Fish-Eagles ( Ichthyophaga humilis ) local name: Lang Kangok. They lack the black & white bands at the tail.

The first two photos are of the female.





The nest in the background. 


Shot on 27th June at the abandoned fish ponds.

25 June, 2010

Hey You Monkeys!: Black & Red Broadbill

19th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.


She was  a bit on edge with the Dusky Langurs resting nearby, too close for comfort


24 June, 2010

Dusky Langur & White-Thighed Surili

19th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.




Above: He belongs to a group of Dusky Langurs / Leaf Monkeys which I often see hanging around the ATV park.








This was taken at a different location in Kemensah. I’m not sure whether  she’s a Dusky Langur, the colour is different. Maybe  a young Langur?

Update: Identified as a White-thighed Surili

22 June, 2010

Young Greater Racket Tailed Drongo

Correction: Previously posted as a Black Drongo & Crow billed Drongo

19th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

She was one of three Greater Racket Tailed Drongos  vocalizing loudly. I think she was  a bit tired after the mock aerial dogfights and  decided to rest  on a branch right above my head.




19 June, 2010

Blue-Eared Barbet

19th June 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

The previous encounter with this species was back in August 2009, and it was a juvenile bird. After   almost ten months of hoping the opportunity  came when this adult female Blue-Eared Barbet alighted onto a branch of this fruiting tree where I was taking a breather after  a steep uphill  climb.  They  are canopy birds and tend to forage very  high up the trees making them impossible to shoot with my setup._DSC0119





10 June, 2010

That’s the Way It Is: Whiskered Treeswift

10th June 2010, 6.00pm, Kemensah, Selangor.

Something just didn’t seem right when I arrived at the nest this afternoon. There was no bird  at the nest and the nest  itself looked rather untidy. Then I noticed that the egg was no longer there.


I searched  below the nest and I saw  the remains of the  soft egg shell. I couldn’t see any movement inside the nest and there was no sign of the parent birds coming to the nest to feed; not a good sign._DSC0085

Then I saw  a trail of red ants which led to a little object that they were trying to move. Yes it was what I had feared- the tiny carcass of the chick. She had probably fallen from the nest earlier today and died.



Just to give an idea of the size of a newly hatched Whiskered Treeswift.


Notes: The diameter of the 10 sen coin is  approximately 19 mm


Sad as it may be but that’s the way it is in the animal kingdom. Some survive to complete a full cycle of life and some don’t.

In conclusion I would say that the incubation period for this species is between 24-26 days ( assuming that 16th May was when the egg was laid). One thing for sure, they had given me some very useful insight into the lives of  these beautiful birds. It would have been good to be able to see the chick  at  different stages of development but it wasn’t to be.

Life goes on and  before I left the area, both parent birds came to a nearby tree and it looked  as if they were already starting another round of the procreation process. Thanks and good luck  to them.



08 June, 2010

Incubating Whiskered Treeswift: Day 24

8thJune 2010, 5.30pm, Kemensah, Selangor.

Still no chick.

Changing of the Guards: I saw the male  circling and ‘buzzing’ the nest a few times  indicating that the  changeover was imminent. This time I was ready!

The female was initially on duty.




The male flew in next to the female


The female flew off.  The change was over in 3 seconds.

_DSC0070 The nest now looks like a ball socket holding the egg, preventing it from moving and  rolling  off the nest.


More maintenance work by the male.



05 June, 2010

Incubating Whiskered Treeswift: Day 20

4thJune 2010, 6.00pm, Kemensah, Selangor.

The  male was on duty when I arrived.  I actually witnessed the ‘Changing of the Guards”, a simple  changeover where the female flew in next to the male and he flew off almost immediately after. It was  quick that it caught me out- I have no photos to show.


The female  brought a piece of feather ( or maybe she managed to pluck one from the male before he flew off, Ouch……..!) . Some Ornithologists believe that the feathers used for the nest are their own, looking at the colour of this feather I would say that it could be true.


The egg was still there and partially visible.


She didn’t immediately sit on the egg but attended to some repair work to the nest.


03 June, 2010

Incubating Whiskered Treeswift: Day 18

2nd June 2010, 6.00pm, Kemensah, Selangor.

It was her due date but no chick! For some curious reason she looked very rounded like a tennis ball, could she be hiding something?

I’m beginning to think that she had just laid her egg on 16th May 2010 when it was discovered.


01 June, 2010

Boy O Boy!: Rufous Piculet

29th May 2010, Kemensah, Selangor.

Well, it was my day for bad  lifer-shots. Previously it was the Rufous –fronted Babbler. Usually these wouldn’t have made the cut but since this  is my lifer  I ‘d slot it in for record purposes. A  male Rufous Piculet with the yellow forecrown.



I had shot the female before this.