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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

29.12.2019 Closing 2019 with 2 More Lifers at TBNSA

First of all I wish everyone a happy, healthy and blessed year ahead. 
I made my last birding of the year 2019, hoping to round up my total bird count to 170 species. I was at Taman Botani Negara, Shah Alam again. 

I walked along the same path as my previous visit here. I found a group of Baya Weaver at the paddy field. Then I proceed to the fig tree at the animal park. Approximately 3 to 4 Sooty Barbets were having their breakfast at the fig tree. I had a glimpse of a small green bird feasting on the small figs at the top of the fig tree. At first I thought it was a barbet, but then it was a leafbird. It was a Golden Fronted Barbet, a lifer! I do find there is no record of this bird been sighted at Taman Botani so far, based on e-Bird site. It was a solitary male. It mashed the ripe fig before swallowing it whole.

Sooty Barbet

Lifer! A male Golden Fronted Leafbird

A male Golden Fronted Leafbird

I continue to walk towards Camar Rimba, to see if I could the Blue Winged Pitta, but, there is no sign of it there yet. I proceed towards the place I found the Green Iora, hoping to see the broadbill. Suddenly I saw two medium sized birds flying in bteween the woods and perched. They were quiet. I took a shot and found that it was a broadbill. It was a pair of Black and Red Broadbill, yet I managed to photograph one of the bird only. It was dark, I had to reduce the shutter speed to 1/500s reluctantly, to get a better picture of my first broadbill. Two lifers, eventhough weather was not on my side.

Lifer! Black and Red Broadbill

Black and Red Broadbill
Then I walked towards the paddy field again, after hearing a loud call of a spiderhunter. It was a Spectacled Spiderhunter, feeding nectar from rose apple blossoms. There was a male Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker perching at the same spot, while giving out its call as well.

Spectacled Spiderhunter

Spectacled Spiderhunter

A male Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker

A male Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker
That was the last birding I did for the year 2019. I am closing the year 2019 with 30 lifers in total, and I had made the total bird count at 170 species as I wished. 

Again I am wishing everyone a very happy and blessed year ahead.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

26.12.2019 My First Time at FRIM Bidor Station Lakes (Perak)

Bidor, a small town where I grew up. I was born in Tapah, and my family then shifted to Bidor since my late dad got a job there. I left this place in 2005, a year after my dad departed. On 25.12.2019, I went to visit my uncle at Gopeng, to collect some documents, and the next day I made a quick visit to the lakes at FRIM Research Station of Bidor, while I was on my way back to Klang.

An immature Eurasian Tree Sparrow at Gopeng (Perak).

A female Pink Necked Green Pigeon, at Gopeng (Perak)

A Grey Heron at Seri Iskandar lake (Perak)

My target was the Cotton Pygmy Goose, and I did found them there. Around 6 to 7 geese were swimming around the lake, among the water hyacinth growth. Quite shy and hard to approach! I cant get a good photo since they were quite far from me. Anyway, I was indeed grateful to have this lifer now!

Lifer! A female Cotton Pygmy Goose at FRIM Bidor Station lake (Perak).

I drove to the other lakes too hoping to bag more lifers. The second lake was totally covered with water hyacinths. First I spotted a lonely Black Backed Swamphen, wandering around looking for its meal. Next to it was a small party of Asian Openbill Storks, busy "snailing". I just move around to get a good look on other birds too. I spotted another lifer! A lonely Common Moorhen, wading in between the water hyacinths. 

A Black Backed Swamphen at FRIM Bidor Station lake (PErak)

It did chased some of the Asian Openbills away from its path.

An Asian Openbill Stork busy snailing at the lake.

Lifer! Common Moorhen wading in between the water hyacinth growth

Not far from the moorhen, I spotted another lifer, the Pacific Golden Plover, foraging for food on a muddy ground. Along withe these birds, there were White Headed Stilts, another lifer! Other birds which I managed to spot were the Red Wattled Lapwing, Yellow Bitterns, Intermediate Egrets, Little Egrets, Blue Tailed Bee-eaters, White Throated Kingfisher and the White Breasted Waterhen.

Lifer! A Pacific Golden Plover on a muddy plain near the lake

Lifer! White Headed Stilts

Stilts with Openbills

Red Wattled Lapwing

Even though I spend about an hour there, it was indeed a fruitful visit with 4 more lifers before 2019 ends.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

14.12.2019 My First Owl at Taman Botani Negara, Shah Alam

It was raining last night and was drizzling a bit in the morning. I reached Taman Botani Negara earlier...perhaps the earliest in my history anyway. The weather was so gloomy as the sky is covered with rain clouds already, like it can rain anytime. I will have hard time in focusing my subjects since the lighting is rather bad. I went in half hearted actually.

As usual, I went to the paddy field. I saw a small group of White Headed Munias having their breakfast at the paddy field. There were 4 Blue Tailed Bee-eaters at the fig tree in the middle of the field. No sign of any egrets or herons this time. I manage to get a lifer, which was perching quite far, very high up on a dead tree. It was a pair of Great Myna or also known as White Vented Myna.

Blue Tailed Bee-eaters at the paddy field

Great Myna Pairs on a very high perch

Then I proceed towards the animal park, there was a fig tree, full with small ripe fruits. A tiny bird was busy feeding on the figs. It might be a flowerpecker, for its size. It was another lifer...Yellow Vented Flowerpecker. It mashed then swallowed the ripe figs.

Yellow Vented Flowerpecker

While I was busy with the flowerpecker, I heard the distress call of (Javan) Mynas. I turned back and saw a huge bird been chased by the Mynas and it finally took refuge on a nearby tree. I first thought it could be a Crested Serpent Eagle. However that silent wing beats of that bird made me think twice. It was a Barred Eagle Owl...another lifer and the first owl that I had photographed. I had reduce my shutter speed to 1/100s since its rather dark up there where it roosted. It didnt move from there and I could it already slept. Within an hour I already bagged 3 lifers despite of the bad weather condition.

Barred Eagle Owl

Barred Eagle Owl

I walked towards the lake and did see some other birds such as the Arctic Warbler, Blue Winged Leafbird pair (busy harvesting the Melastoma bushes) and Large Woodshrikes. I continued to the "pitta track". No pittas so far. I bumped with a birder who told me he saw a broadbill. However he used bird call playback to make it come out to open. I was quite reluctant to do so.

I continue to survey at the lake side and manage to bag another lifer...a Green Iora, foraging insects. It was raiding quietly among the foliage, 3 meters above the ground level.

Green Iora - Female

Green Iora - Male

It was indeed a fruitful day, even if the weather was not on my side.
4 lifers in total!