27 January, 2011

Black & Red Broadbills

23rd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor



A pair of Black & Red Broadbill attracted my attention with their duck-like call.

Shooting a black bird in the shade can be very tricky, especially on  focusing.

25 January, 2011

She’s Not Camera Shy: Brown Shrike

23rd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor


She just wanted her pictures taken, went through the various poses like a beautiful model would. She even let me  in really really close.





24 January, 2011

Collared Kingfishers

20th January 2011,  Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan


These are two different birds. The first photo was taken at Cape Rochado with the D7000 + 300mm f4  on tripod (RAW)


The second bird was shot at Pantai Cahaya Negeri  (Telok Kemang)  during low tide using D90+ 70-300mm VR handheld (jpeg)





23 January, 2011

Non-Intrusive Photography: Nesting Pin Striped Tit Babblers

20th January 2011,  Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan


For the first time I feel that I have the necessary gear to engage in  more non-flash  photography. The situation   demanded exactly this kind of technique when I stumbled upon a pair of Pin Striped Tit Babblers happily ferrying dry leaves every 1 minute, to build their  nest. It was about 4ft off the ground, slotted in between several dried palm fronds.

Lighting along the trail was poor. Upping the ISO to 1250 I managed to obtain some fairly decent shutter speeds of around  1/40-1/80s. I was hardly 20 ft away from the nest but somehow they didn’t show any sign that they had noticed my presence. The D7000 has a QUIET MODE setting on the dial that allows you to reduce the ‘clicking’ sound of the shutter, I think this helped tremendously. I was happy with the outcome, and the birds…………….they simply carried on with what they were doing, uninterrupted.










22 January, 2011

Yellow-Bellied Prinia

2nd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor


She was just going about her early morning routine looking for breakfast.




05 January, 2011

Black-bellied Malkoha

2nd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor

She was in the same area, the same time  as the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha. I have seen  Black-bellied  moving together  with Chestnut- breasted Malkohas  in one group, the same could be happening here.




04 January, 2011

How Tight can You Go: Nikon D7000

2nd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor

After having the D7000 for about a month and testing it in the jungle condition, I found that I’ve had to adjust my configuration slightly in order to accommodate the ‘idiosyncrasies’ of this new Nikon body. My previous setup had been a D90 with the 300mm f/4 coupled with a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter. This turned my f/4 into an f/5.6 lens.

I found that the D7000, 300mm & 1.4x TC  combo would not deliver  pictures with the level of sharpness that I have been used to from the trusted D90. I tried experimenting the D7000 with just the 300mm glass (TC removed). The resulting photos showed such sharpness and clarity which I wasn’t expecting of a subject in a far distance.

Just a sample from my last outing, this Drongo Cuckoo was approximately 70 ft away.


Original Photo


My usual crop


                                  An extremely tight crop!  The image quality is still more than acceptable.


Another thing about this  simple setup is that I’m now shooting with  a faster lens (f/4) which is good  for thicker jungle condition. I would recommend this lightweight combination to anyone interested in bird photography and do not want to  be spending  a bomb on long lenses.

03 January, 2011

Portrait of a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha

2nd January 2011, Kemensah , Selangor


It has been more than a year since I last saw  this bird. She was on the ground, concentrating intently on catching a prey that she didn’t notice my presence hardly 12 ft away. Quickly snapped the first two pictures before losing sight of her in the undergrowth. Chestnut-bellied Malkohas are less commonly seen in Kemensah than the other species of malkoha namely the Green-billed, Chestnut-breasted, Raffle’s and the Black-bellied.

It was a golden opportunity to improve on my previous photos of this bird that I decided to wait and see if she would reappear. Yes she definitely did! on a branch right above my head.


The  orange eye patch is a distinct feature of this species. The chestnut coloured undertail covert  is clearly visible.


Amazing to see the multitude of colours just around the head



This is where she’s usually more comfortable, in between the leaves.