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Thursday, 22 July 2021

22.07.2021 - Birds of Taman Sentosa, Klang.

I was from Perak, from Bidor exactly. My neighborhood those days surrounded with all those birds which are now a rare sight, i.e. the White Bellied Woodpeckers., 3 to 4 of them flying towards the abandoned rubber estate every morning and leave before sun set. Once completed my internship, I had to shift to Klang, and it was totally different "habitat" for me. I had a big gap in birding here, since busy with my first job, did not have my own vehicle plus I did not know much about the places.

The worst news is, my bird notes and bird feather collection books, which I kept for more than 10 years, went missing when we shifted from Bidor to Klang. It was a great lost. Although some notes are still in my memory till now, some I cannot recall. I created a file in Ms Excel and started to put the notes that I could remember, the best I could do at that time.

Back to Taman Sentosa, my current neighborhood, is actually not that bad for birds as we still have abandoned lands and plantation around, still. I even had seen few Lesser Whistling Ducks flew from the treatment ponds and pumping stations here. Below is the list of birds so far observed in Taman Sentosa:

Little Heron, well established along the monsoon drains at Taman Sentosa, at times can be seen preening on a utility cable.

Black Naped Oriole, which visited my house during the first MCO, the first bird I photographed after I changed my manual 70-300mm lens to AF 70-300mm lens.

A male Asian Koel, which was photographed during a duel with another male Koel. The duel went on for an hour, or even more since I left the location earlier.

Crested Serpent Eagle, can be seen on utility poles at certain areas in Taman Sentosa. This one captured when it was on thermal above my home.

Usually seen flying pass by my home, this Asian Glossy Starling came down for quenching its thirst during a hot day.

Yellow Vented Bulbuls are often seen near my house, yet this one was looking for insects among my garden plants, finally gulped a ripe curry leaf fruit.

The commonest bird around my house, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, and this is an immature bird perched along with few adults on a potted desert rose plant.

Olive Backed Sunbirds usually visit my hibiscus patch, and it made me to make a sunbird feeder during first MCO, it could be the very first feeder made so far for sunbirds.

Spotted Doves usually seen on roof tops during morning and evening, and this is a male bird cooing on an evening. It often seen foraging for food at the backyard.

Javan Mynas as usual very common, exist along with the resident Common Mynas

White Throated Kingfisher, frequently seen perching on the handrails along the monsoon drains.

One of my nearest and commonest migrant, the Brown Shrike.

Little Egret, adapted well in urban areas, usually seen along the monsoon drains.

A surprise visitor to the monsoon drains here at Taman Sentosa, the Asian Openbill Storks.

For this year, I manage to see a small group of Chestnut Winged Cuckoos in a feeding frenzy, plus a Chestnut Bellied Malkoha, which are the newly added birds in the list, for this year so far. As long as we have some green patches among the housing areas here, I can still see these birds easily. We may lose these areas for development, I do not know it may or may not. If it happens, the population and the number species existing in Taman Sentosa may drop. 

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

20.07.2021 - Birds Identification - Part 4

Well folks, after a long gap indeed, we are going to continue to discuss on the features of birds which helps to ID them. The tail! Tail is another obvious feature of a bird. You may note on the length of its tail: long, medium or short, or even its approximate ratio compared to its body length, i.e. twice the length of its body. 

Most of the time, the tail is a display ornament for mating, for an example the game birds or fowls. The tail feathers are much elongated and colorful in male birds. Healthier males have much beautiful and attractive tail feathers; females' choose such males to have a healthier offspring. 

A male Pin Tailed Whydah with its long tail. Photo by: Capt Kumar (Singapore)

Its a good highlight for gender identification for some birds, i.e. Indian Paradise Flycatcher, where males have much elongated central tail feathers while the females are short tailed. However, be very careful at some times the male may have loss their elongated tail feathers, thus it may look like a female. In such cases, we have to look into other features which may help us on the gender identification.

A male Indian Paradise Flycatcher (in moult). Photo By: Supriya Malhotra (Calcutta)

Greater Racket Tailed Drongo. Photo by: Saravanan Palanisamy (Shah Alam, Selangor)

When it comes to flight, tail produce the lift, supplementing the lift produce by the wings. It also influences flight maneuverability and agility. The tail also act as a stabilizer when they perch. For woodpeckers, the tail works together with its feet, to adds the stability and support during their perch on vertical surfaces. 

A male and female Common Flame-back Woodpeckers. Photo by: Saravanan Palanisamy (Shah Alam, Selangor)

Pin Tailed Parrot Finch. Photo by: Ng Jung Chuan (Fraser's Hill, Pahang)

Next, the shape of the tail. Below are the examples of the tail shapes:

Tail Shapes of Birds

Another way to use tail as a feature to ID is their length compared to the wings. One such example, the Slender Billed Crow. When folded, the wings of a Slender Billed Crow are slightly longer than its tail. This feature is helpful to differentiate this crow from the Large Billed Crow, which shares similar habitat. 

(Thanks to those contributed photographs and informations for this blog entry: Terence Ang, Capt Kumar, Supriya Malhotra, Ng Jung Chuan)

To Be Continued...