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!)


  1. The Thrushes are at the Garden near the tea house?

  2. Hi Yen, quite few locations you get to see them!

  3. Hi Paul,
    Wow, ok I'm jumping in a plane now ;-) Wonderful and so colorful... The Silver breasted broadbill and the orange-headed trush are simply splendid birds, and you got magnificent pictures of them. Nice you got some birds you have been looking for for so long... You live in a magnificent area for birding mate!

  4. Thank you for sharing your excellent capture.

  5. >chris, look forward to seeing you! :)

    >WS & Bencyf, Thanks!

  6. What a lovely blog you have! Saw your blog while looking for Bukit Tinggi posting. Hope to see some this lovely birds when I arraive this week end! :)

  7. I love your shots of Siberian Thrush...