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Monday, 4 November 2019

03.11.2019 Two More Lifers at Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam

Again, I head to Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam but this time with a friend...Shazlan. I was hoping to get the paradise flycatcher or at least the Grey Wagtail. We started with the paddy field and we were welcomed by a Brown Shrike, on a low perch at the paddy field. We bumped on a birder, Mr. Tang, who is well known for his bird paintings. There was a lonely Little Egret and a juvenile Little Heron wandering at the paddy field as well. A small mixed group of munias landed at the paddy filed to feast on the paddy. The group consist of Scaly Breasted/White Headed and suprisingly White Rumped Munias

Brown Shrike at the paddy field
We walked towards the orchard which is located near the paddy field. There was a pair of bird, with a wavy flight, darted towards an acacia tree at the edge of the orchard. It was a pair of Buff Rumped Woodpecker. Lifer! Buff Rumped Woodpeckers are fairly small sized woodpeckers, with less prominent crest. They have black plumage with white bars and their rump is pale buff. Male woodpeckers have red malar stripe. The pair later flew to the nearby durian tree and continue with their "anting" (foraging for ants on trees). They have few series of calls; repeated "kip!" (with 1 second interval) during flight and a high pitched trill, which could be a territorial call. There was another call made by this woodpecker, "kiew...kip!kip!kip! 

Buff Rumped Woodpecker (Female)

Buff Rumped Woodpecker (Male)

Buff Rumped Woodpecker (Male)

Buff Rumped Woodpecker (Male)

We did manage to find other common birds such as Black Naped Oriole, Yellow Vented Bulbul and Javan Mynas at the orchards, along with the Brown Shrikes. We then proceed to walk towards Air Kuning Dam, expecting to see more birds.  

Black Naped Oriole

There were a small troop of Dusky Leaf  Monkeys at the canopy feeding on young leaves.A bird wave came along the way as well, consist of few Common Tailorbirds, Cream Vented Bulbul and a pair of green birds, which was a pair of Greater Green Leafbird. Lifer! 

Dusky Leaf Monkeys

Greater Green Leafbird (Male)

Greater Green Leafbird (Male)

Greater Green Leafbird (Male)

Greater Green Leafbird (Female)
It was quite a challenge to identify this bird in the field, since both Lesser and Greater Green Leafbirds looks alike in the field. Closer examination is needed to distinguish them. Most field guides indicated that the Greater Green Leafbird (males) can be distinguished from the Lesser Green Leafbird by the absence of yellow margin on its black throat. In my opinion, it can be done by analysing their photographs solely. I managed to find some differences between these two species:
  1. The Beak: Greater Green Leafbirds has much "robust" beak. I would say like its more "shrike-like" beak than the Lessers. When I found the Greaters, they were actually foraging for food on a "non fruiting" shrub. So I can conclude they were looking for insects. I do checked some field guides which mentioned that they do take insects and other small inverterbrates. So a shrike-like beak for shrike like diet! Lessers' diet consist of fruits and nectars, so they rather have a beak like the flowerpeckers.
  2. The Black Facial Markings: The black facial marking of the Greaters starts at the nostril, whereas for the Lessers, it starts before the nostril.
Greater Green Leafbird (Male), Photo Credits: Mr Lim.

Lesser Green Leafbird
We continued our walk towards the Air Kuning dam. Before we reached the dam junction, we spotted a pair for Chestnut Bellied Malkoha and a Asian Brown Flycatcher. We spotted a Changeable Hawk Eagle, dark morph on a large tree as well. 

Chestnut Bellied Malkoha (Male)

Changeable Hawk Eagle (Dark Morph)

Changeable Hawk Eagle (Dark Morph) in flight
We bumped with Mr. Tang again, he shared that he had seen a Dark Sided Flycatcher. We reached the dam and we saw around 2 to 3 Arctic Warbler roaming at the lower canopies. Shazlan and me then walked towards the lake, decided to go back since it was nearly noon. We sighted, probably an Oriental Honey Buzzard on a very high perch.

Oriental Honey Buzzard
It was again a great visit with 2 lifers added to my list. Currently at 159 species, and 20 lifers so far for 2019. Have to make few more visit before 2020. Thanks to Shazlan for his time and sharing some informations. Thanks to Mr Lim, who was kind anough to lend his photograph of Greater Green Leafbird.

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