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Sunday, 6 October 2019

05.10.2019 Daurian Starlings at Taman Botani Negara

Taman Botani Negara of Shah Alam is the most frequently visited birding spot of mine so far. Its near, approximately less than 20 minutes drive from home. Plus, this place haven't disappointed me so far. Even if there is no lifers sighted, it still offers me many great surprises. Many unforgetable scenes by God's grace, witnessed by myself here. Highly recommended for birders from any level, beginners, amateurs and even pros.

A female Oriental Magpie Robin
I usually will arrive at 7.30am and start to shoot. My mind was thinking about the paradise flycatchers since I did saw its name in the recent eBird list. I tried my best to get the contact of the birder who had seen the flycatchers at TBNSA...but could not make it. Anyway I was rewarded with a lifer in just a minute after entering the park. It was a flock of Daurian Starlings; approximately 30 starlings were perched high near the entrance. They were busy preening along with its resident counterpart, the Asian Glossy Starlings. The whole scene was like the resident birds were all OK to have the visitors around them. They even were feeding together at large fruiting tree. Hospitality!

Asian Glossy Starlings (left) and Daurian Starlings
Daurian Starling...Lifer!
I moved to the paddy field, and managed to sight a pair of Little Egret and a juvenile Little Heron. I spent some time clicking on the heron.The fig tree that was so active during my previous visit, was "quiet" too. Then I walked towards the dam.

A juvenile Little Heron
A juvenile Little Heron
I spotted a Yellow Rumped Flycatcher. Not that sure if it was female or a first winter male. Suddenly I saw another bird darted towards the same area. It was a Purple Naped Spiderhunter. Lifer! Initially grouped as sunbird, now it has be classified as spiderhunter. They have a shorter bill therefore I could conclude their diet is not same as the other spiderhunter which have longer bill. Purple Naped Spiderhunters feeds mostly on insects and surprisingly small fruits and berries, whereas other spiderhunters feed on nectar from tubular flowers at most.

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Yellow Rumped Flycatcher

Purple Naped Spiderhunter...Lifer!
I noticed larger trees had been cut along the track to the dam. I spotted a malkoha jumping from branch to branch near on my way to the dam. At first I thought it was a Black Bellied Malkoha, yet this one had a larger green bill. It was a Chestnut Bellied Malkoha! Lifer! I spend some time snapping its picture. I just stood 3 to 4 meters away from it. Malkohas are known for the "gliding"  (flapless flight) between closer trees. A quick reference was made with my friend Shazlan about this bird and he did told me how to distinguish its gender. Males have blue iris, whereas the females have yellow iris. Thanks to him!

A male Chestnut Bellied Malkoha...Lifer!

Chestnut Bellied Malkoha
I also spotted a pair of Cream Vented Bulbul, feeding on small figs from a creeper fig. This is my second sighting of this bird. First encounter was at Gunung Pulai Reserve Forest, they did feed on the same species as well, the creeper figs. I was quite disappointed to see a troop of pig tail macaques blocking the track to the dam. Seriously I have no guts to pass through them alone, since they are quite unpredictable. I proceed to go towards the lotus lake, where a Common Gliding Lizard, grabbed my attention. Quite a scene!

Cream Vented Bulbul

Common Gliding Lizard
Its quite a fruitful day with 3 lifers! I hope to come back soon.

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