Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Panti :: Black Magpie & Orange-backed Woodpecker!

I guess I am Trogonised somehow, last weekend a total of 10 Trogons were sighted , 7 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. But wait, before you start yawing and fall asleep with more Trogon pics, let me freshen you with two species that I have always wanted for some improvement shots - the Black Magpie and the Orange-backed Woodpecker!

Black Magpie (Platysmurus leucopterus)
Burung Kambing * 白翅鹊 * クロカケス
Geai à ailes blanches * strakana cepcová * นกกาน้อยแถบปีกขาว

The 3-hour wait for the Blk Magpies to perch low was rewarded reasonably well, with an Orange-backed Woodpecker landed on a trunk nearby, motionless for more than 10mins. And thanks god that it didn't move as another few inches up or down my view would be partially blocked by the branches in front. Around 30 shots that all looked similar was the only regret though!

Orange-backed Woodpecker (Reinwardtipicus validus) male
Belatok Dada Merah * 橙背啄木鸟 * アカハラコガネゲラ
Pic vigoureux * zlatoš tmavokrídly * นกหัวขวานหลังสีส้ม

Quite a few parties were seen looking for the Banded Kingfisher on both Saturday and Sunday, A species that I have quit searching after learning that they are more easily seen perching quietly low unexpectedly than luring them with music only to see them perching higher than Petronas Tower. 

When I chance upon a ODKF near the Forktail's Corner, I told GCWong to stop his car as I wanted this common species on my blog and he had a good laugh while agreeing we should take a breather. Before I could setup my gear the ODKF was screaming and fleeing as if she just saw Jack The Ripper! 

While I felt insulted by the fleeing ODKF, my pet birds show up, male and female Red-naped Trogon! And Across the road, a male Scarlet-rumped Trogon. I am Trogonised!

Forget the SRT I told GCWong, lets concentrate on training the RNTs, and while I do the usual old man trick to the RNTs, a convoy of photographers from across the borders whom were earlier seen at the BKF spot, arrived with gloomy faces, so needless to say the BKF did not show up. 

Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba). male
Kesumba Tengkuk Merah * 枕咬 アカエリキヌバネドリ
rogon à nuque rouge dravcík kasumba * Краснозатылочный Трогон * นกขุนแผนท้ายทอยแดง

"But I have Red-naped Trogon here for you guys!" I smiled! Trust me, within 10sec 10 sets of bazookas were already pointing at my pet! Naturally all were very thankful as the RNT was cooperative, making two clean perches at reasonably close range of around 20', and I actually forgot to tell them that the Scarlet-rumped was just across the trail at low level! The female RNT was shy on the other hand, hiding behind the thick foliage all the time. 

I spent the later part of Sunday looking for the Blk Magpies again after the 2nd YSB. They showed up cautiously and I advised most of my friends that make sure that the thumb is glued to the shutter release as they could come very near for a 3-sec surprise perch! It did happen twice but none of us get the shot due to some blockage. 

And the rest of the species for the last weekend....

 Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike

 Hairy-backed Bulbul

 Scarlet-rumped Trogon, male

Scarlet-rumped Trogon, female

Monday, February 14, 2011

Panti :: 13th Feb 2011

It has been the norm for me in Panti that if a Trogon is sighted on arrival in the morning, it is likely that i would get to see many more for the day. 

The Diard's Trogon was sighted again, (ahem..) in the morning, but I wasn't very keen at it as i was very much attracted by the loud calls of the Moustached Babbler which filled the air around the same spot. A quick blast on my X-minis I saw at least 10 Moustached Babbler popping out of the bush! A bit unusual as I always see one individual.

Moustached Babbler (Malacopteron magnirostre)
Rimba Bermisai * 须树鹛 * ヒゲチャイロチメドリ
Akalat moustachududroš fúzatýนกกินแมลงหัวสีน้ำตาล

But I guess I am too old for the Babblers, they were quick and hardly perch still, all I have got was just one shot, and while searching for them along the main bunker trail hoping to sight one tired or old babbler that perch still, accidentally I saw this sub-adult Red-naped Trogon just 5-6'' in front of me, likely to be responding to the perpetual calls of the Diard's across the road

Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba)
Kesumba Tengkuk Merah * 枕咬 アカエリキヌバネドリ
rogon à nuque rouge dravcík kasumbaКраснозатылочный Трогонนกขุนแผนท้ายทอยแดง

So I abandoned the babblers quickly because I have never seen a subadult RNT before! Mins later, the adult female (presumably the mom!) made a quick appearance followed by an adult male ( Dad i think! ). The female was shy as it stay on guard and watch at around 50m deep in the foliage. The adult RNT made a surprise perch on a branch overhanging the trail.

So I was surrounded by 4 Trogons! And just a week ago when I brought along a friend  who wanted to snap some pics of Trogon there was none, around the same spot.

Scarlet-rumped Trogon 
(Harpactes duvaucelii)

Kesumba Puteri * 腰咬*  コシアカキヌバネドリ
Trogon de Duvaucel

dravcík malý * 
Красноспинный Трогон

I took a 1km walk around the 2nd YSB location with my setup and sighted a subadult Scarlet-rumped Trogon, ok so five trogons were sighted and I tell myself if another one turn up i promised not to take a look even though if it perches around my nose!

The greatest surprise of the day was the sighting of Rufous-collared Kingfisher. They usually appear around April-May. By then you could hear its call on several locations along the trail.

Rufous-collared Kingfisher (Actenoides concretus) male
Pekaka Rimba Besa * 栗领翡翠アオヒゲショウビン
Martin-chasseur trapurybárikovec zelenohlavýนกกะเต็นสร้อยคอสีน้ำตาล

If I could remember correctly, a total of 5 Yellow-rumped Flycatchers were spotted since august last year but none had stayed at the same spot for more than a week, except a male on a fruiting tree after the 1st stream.

So it was delightful for me to see a male YRFC not far off from same spot again and 2 hours were spent with it before heading home! A lot of patience is needed to get a decent shot as its size is small and with a fullframe dslr I have to shoot at min focus distance of 10', so much time was spent waiting for it to perch in front of the cam then to endlessly going after for it, which usually send it to perch high.

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia),
Sambar Belakang Kuning * 白眉姬 * マミジロキビタキ Đớp ruồi vàng
Gobemouche à croupion jaunemuchárik zlatý *  Мухоловка даурская желтоспинная

I was wondering why the orange patch on its chest and according to 
Craig Robson's SEA Bird Guide, it is a male(Spring).

On my way out, another SRT was sighted on a super clean branch 2' above ground but I didn't stop not bacause I had promised, but I was late for a CNY dinner! :(

Other shots ::
Spectacled Bulbul

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bukit Tinggi :: Siberian Thrush and Orange-headed Thrush

5th & 6th Feb 2011

Bad news travels fast indeed, and usually spread out of proportion! Just 8 hours before my journey, I heard that the landslide in Bkt Tinggi has gone worsen and half of the mountain was gone! Phew!

Glad that I took the advice from Adrian Lim and with his guidance and Alagan's assistance on site, we managed to get several species that I had always dreamt about since two years ago.

Alex Ting, me, Alagan, and GCWong

The Silver-breasted Broadbill is one of the Star Birds in BT, extremely gorgeous and friendly and they love to perch close often within 20'. On Saturday morning, two of them perched nearer than my min focus distance of 10'! They are not shy at all but you need luck to have them on a clean perch.

But we were unfortunate this time as the weather was extremely misty throughout the day, and several nesting they had built along the main road were destroyed by the thunderous rain over the past few weeks.

Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus)
Burung Tadah Hujan * 银胸丝冠鸟ギンムネヒロハシMỏ rộng hung
Eurylaime de Gouldloboš striebroprsýСеребристая ширококлювкаนกพญาปากกว้างอกสีเงิน

Both the Siberian Thrush and Orange-headed Thrush ere extremely shy while on perch in a tree but once it is on the ground feeding, you can easily get within 10'.

Siberian Thrush (Zoothera sibirica)
Murai Hitam Siberia * 白眉地鸫マミジロHoét Xibêri
Grive de Sibériedrozd tmavý Дрозд сибирскийนกเดินดงสีเทาดำ

The Orange-heade Thrush is also locally known as the Chinese New Year's bird among the local photographers, for its colour resembling the Mandarin Orange and they usually arrive before CNY. 

This particular species seems to have a multiple entry visa approved, they come to Bukit Tingi every year and lovingly hang around the same spot! I am not surprise some of them will take up residence here if they continue to enjoy our local food! :)

Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina)
Murai Dada Oren * 橙头地鸫オレンジジツグミHoét vàng
Grive à tête orangedrozd hrdzavohlavý * นกเดินดงหัวสีส้ม

On both days, we went straight to the nursery around 7am in the morning as many species of birds come for feeding on insects attracted by the warm lighting. Don't be surprise to see the Orange-breasted Trogon to perch on the metal trusses, as I was told.

The Verditer Flycatcher, paid no attention to my hand reaching for it, barely 2' away

The crowd on holidays proves too much to handle, as my friend 
Alex Ting patiently waiting for the situation to calm down.

The Grey-throated Babblers arrived in a flock of six, picking up moth and insects around the potted plant. This is one species that would determine whether you should go to church for confession on the coming Sunday! They hardly stay still and I am not sure if any of those swearing tha I heard was mine during the shoot.  

I simply gave up after 30mins of following them around the potted plants and eventually two of them got tired and roost for 5sec which allow me for a record shot. If it stops for more than 5sec it is probably already dead then!

Grey-throated Babbler (Stachyris nigriceps)
Rimba Leher Kelabu * 黑头穗鹛ハイノドモリチメドリKhướư bụi đầu đen
Timalie à tête rayéetimália horská * นกกินแมลงคอเทา

The female Orange-breasted Trogon gave us a big surprise when it shows up silently while we were busy shooting the Verditer Flycatcher and the Tiger Shrike. It came incredibly low and close later and we struggle to step back for a full frame shot. Unfortunately the male did not show up.  

Unlike the Trogon species in Panti, the female Orange-breasted Trogon does not really respond to calls. We heard its calls often but she chose to show up whenever she likes, rather than responding to calls. The particular female shows up 3 times expectedly.

Orange-breasted Trogon (Harpactes oreskios)
Kesumba Harimau * 橙胸咬鹃ヤマキヌバネドリNuốc bụng vàng
Trogon à poitrine jaunedravcík olivovýОранжевогрудый Трогонนกขุนแผนอกสีส้ม

Verditer Flycatchers were quite often seen around many spots in Bukit tinggii, but still the nursery is the better place to photograph them as they perch lower and nearer. 

Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassina)
Sambar Ranting * 铜蓝鹟ロクショウビタキ
Gobemouche vert-de-gris niltava tyrkysová นกจับแมลงสีฟ้า

Enjoying some fresh air on top of the sewage's vent pipe!

Both the Ochraceous Bulbul and Tiger Shrike were frequently seen around the nursery presumably for feeding as well! So the nursery is very much like a cafeteria for birds in Bukit Tinggi! 

We saw the female Siberian Thrush around the Souvenir Shop foraging on the ground for food on sunday morning, so we thought it was an easy target, big mistake, after breakfast, it was never seen again.  

The juvenile male Siberian Thrush was as tame as the adult, once its feeding ground is found, you could almost shoot continuously until your card fill up! And again like the adult, once it is perching on tree it is hard to get within 30'.

The Black-crested Bulbul came perch right above the juvenile Siberian thrush, naturally we put the Siberian Thrush aside  for the elusive bulbul!

Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus)
Merbah Jambul Hitam * 黑冠黄鹎エボシヒヨドリ
Bulbul à tête noirebylbyl cejlónsky Чернохохлый бюльбюльนกปรอดเหลืองหัวจุก

And from where I shot the juvenile Siberian Thrush and the BCB above, the Dark-sided flycatcher was 5' directly above my head! The flow of traffic along the narrow passage was heavy thus impossible to position my setup on the pavements. Eventually I dismounted my lens from my tripod and stood on the side bench for a few shots in VR mode. 

Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)
Sambar Siberia * 乌鹟サメビタキĐớp ruồi Xibêri
Gobemouche de Sibériemuchár krátkozobý  * Мухоловка сибирскаяนกจับแมลงสีคล้ำ

As usual, our bazookas attracted "flock" of visitors, hoping to take a closer look of the equipment and anxious take a peep thru the viewfinder.

And this family from Germany were all smile and gladly allow me to have a shot when I told them that I have never shot a German before!

We were worried of the traffic jam on our return journey (due to the CNY festive season) so we started packing up at around 1pm on sunday near the souvenir Shop, 6 Brown Barbets came feeding on a fruiting tree next to us, all at eye-level!

They were more concerned of picking the ripe fruits than of our presence. Those Brown Barbets in Panti Bird Sanctuary never perch so low and close. You will be lucky to sight them at 50' hight 100' away!

Brown Barbet (Calorhamphus fuliginosus)
Takur Dahan * 褐拟 * チャイロゴシキドリ
Barbu fuligineuxhnedán cervenonohýนกจอกป่าหัวโต

I tried to walk towards one of the Brown Barbet just to see how close i could get and was shocked that within 5' they couldn't be bothered. Wish I had brought a Tamron 90mm lens instead!

Other species :

Striped-throated Bulbul

Large Woodshrike

Streaked Spiderhunter

@ The French Village

We put up a night at the Colmar Hotel and the rate for a double room was RM350-00 per night inclusive of breakfast. that is almost a surcharge of RM100-00 due to the festive season. 

But i guess you have no choice if you want to stay close to the peak, which is just 15mins away.

Buffet dinner @ RM65-00 per head, but i guess it was worth it as i have gone for 5 rounds i think! (,,,burp!)