Saturday, September 3, 2016

A lifer sighted at the park - Rufous Woodpecker

Rufous Woodpecker (Coleus brachyurus)

 Today (4 Sept'16) has got to be a very special day for birding at the park.  This is because I was ready to meet the Rufous Woodpecker.  The rains that drizzled since dawn was not yet over by noon, and made me decide to just trek the jungle for any interesting subjects with the camera ready.My ears were thrilled by the calls of a bird not yet familiar to me as I approached Botanic Island Two. The sounds moved to another location still retaining it clear loud calls.  I walked on quietly and spared my steps so as not to be obviously seen or make undue disturbing noise to the birds.  The loud calls attracted my eyes to a small durian tree and then came the moment of truth.  I spotted a brown bird clinging on to the durian tree in an upright position.  In an instant I snapped as many pictures as I could from a distance of about 30 meters.  The pictures tell it all.  It was a Rufous Woodpecker and a lifer at that.  The sighting today was auspicious because it is the first time that I could enter the word 'woodpecker' in the labels list of this blog.  Lucky me.
The Rufous Woodpecker is seen in the middle of the picture, clinging on the durian tree branch.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Capturing the Little Spiderhunter

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)

 I have been on the hunt for the Little Spiderhunter for a period of a week from 22 - 31 August'16.  It is a very cheerful and lively bird.  In order to get close to the bird I had built a small hideout close to the Yellow Ixora bush which it visited daily over the last week, (and I guess many more weeks to come).  I believe this bird is a permanent resident of the park.  Other plants that naturally attract it are the various Heliconia species, the Shrubby Dillenia, Chinese Hat plant and Red Hibiscus to mention but a few.  I noticed that the bird comes a calling at the Yellow Ixora bush on almost every hour of the day, starting as early as 7.00 am till around 5.30 pm.  Here are some better images that I have managed to capture for the week 22 - 31 August'16.
Sipping the nectar from the Yellow Ixora flowers
Zone C

At the Chinese Hat plant (Holmskioldia sanguinea)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cherish the moment seeing the Black-bellied Malkoha

Black-bellied Malkoha at Botanic Island Two

Just the other day, I spent an hour or so birding in between two botanic islands in the park. At Botanic Island Two I encountered a small party of Black Magpie. Unnoticed at first, I was pleasantly surprised later to watch at a nearby tree what seemed to be a malkoha among the leaves and branches. Its greenish and glossy back attracted my attention as it moved quietly among the branches of the tall trees. Once I got a good angle, free from obstacles I just simply click on my camera to get some images. It was early morning and the light conditions were far from perfect. When I uploaded the images in the computer I was amazed at the image because it was not the familiar Chestnut-breasted Malkoha which are a frequent visitor to the park. The Black-bellied Malkoha is a lifer for me. What attracted me was its grey neck and breast. Its tails have white tipped feathers. Iris are of pale blue with a red skin patch around the eyes. It is interesting to note that according to the literature, this bird is uncommonly seen in the lowland areas of Sarawak or Borneo for that matter. My encounter with this bird is therefore a rare moment to be cherished.
A moment to be cherished upon seeing this uncommon bird.