Monday, August 30, 2010

Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu), Tanjung Piai

One of my most unforgettable birding trips was capturing the imgs of this BFO in Tanjung Piai, on the 25th of Aug 2009. It was my first visit then!

The owl perched right behind me silently while I was setting up my gear in one of the trail, and my nephew, Cliff Khew, who spotted it first and said "You better take a quick look at this, something really huge, and close!". That sent a shiver down my spine, for I was thinking it must be some kind of man-eating animal inching towards us, like the Giant Python or a ferocious crocodile.

As i turned my head slowly looking down, expecting the worst.... Cliff pointed up with a big smile....."Look!"

My setup then was D300 with 500mm TC1.4 , Cliff was with D90 and 300mm F4. The BFO was cooperative, making all sorts of eyes and head movement as if dying for our portrait shots.

So both Cliff and I were frantically filling up our mem cards and we tried all kinds of settings one could possibly imagine, from diff WB to diff flash setting...low iso to high iso, MLU to machine gun firing.....we even exchanged our lenses!!

It only flew away when i tried to close in for a side profile shot 45mins later...

Subsequent visit to Tj Piai later we did not see this BFO again, and were told by the management that it was always seen at the pond before the ticketing office early in the morning 5-7am, and after 9pm at night.

Other species seen/img captured; Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Streak-breasted and Sunda Woodpecker, Purple-throated Sunbirds, Collared and Blk-caped Kingfisher, Jungle Fowls, White-eyeds, Oriental Magpie Robin, White-throated Fantails, Braminy Kites, White-bellied Sea Eagles, Blue-throated Bee-eater, cuckoo (??), Ashy Tailorbirds etc and common migratory shore birds like sandpipers and plovers etc. Will upload more soon. :)

Tanjung Piai is located in the southernmost point of Johor, Malaysia, so it is also known internationally as the southernmost point of Mainland Asia.

For more info abt Tj Piai please visit their website at:

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