Saturday, August 30, 2014

In-flight and upside down serving

Yellow-vented Bulbul  - in-flight serving

 The Ong Lumok tree and the Heliconia Sexy Pink  have specific appeal to the birds.  The Ong Lumok ( Artocarpus odoratissimus) has soft, sweet and pulpy flesh.  Today a Yellow-vented Bulbul visited the over-ripe fruit.  It hoovered close to the fruit and then settled down for breakfast.  At the Heliconia Valley I chanced upon a Little Spiderhunter  that busies itself on getting a sip at the nectar.  It used a shortcut.  With its long curved beak it pierced the flower base to reach directly at the nectar.  Well, birds do work smart!

Ong Lumok tree bearing ripe and over-ripe fruits.  Over ripe ones turn brownish.
Zone C, Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

Little Spiderhunter at the Heliconia Sexy Pink

Upside down serving..

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Birding before sunset

Chestnut- breasted Malcoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris borneensis)

Blue-throated Bee-eater
Late afternoon I decided to have a walkabout at the park.  I thought the day will not be over until I pay another visit to the Licuala Hill at Zone I to check out whether the Hill Myna birds are still around.  On the way to the site my attention was directed to some movement among the branches at Zone C.  I moved quietly below the cover of trees and leaves.  I could get only a glimpse of the bird.  It was a  Chestnut -bellied Malcoha.  Today has been special because earlier in the morning I observed a solo Blue-throated Bee-eater having a rest on its favourite perch.  It kept on coming back in between hunting flights for bees.  Before the day was over the pair of Tiong or Hill Myna turned up to claim their nest.  It has been an interesting day and to wind it up, a beautiful sunset.

A pair of Hill Myna calling it home at the park
A female Hill Myna peeping out from its nest, a hole in the tall dead tree.

The two Tiongs (Hill Myna) seen from a distance
Location: Zone I, Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

View of Bintulu sunset from highest point at Zone I

Monday, August 25, 2014

After the bees

Perling Mata Merah - Philippines Glossy Starling
Aplonis panayensis

Blue-throated Bee-eater
Merops viridis
 It was a fine windy morning.  I could hear clearly the calls of the bee-eaters.  Checking on the Cempedak hill at Zone G, I saw from a distance a bee-eater resting on the branch of a dead tree.  When climbing the hill I saw another bird was busy smashing the bees on to another living  cempedak tree branch nearby.   It was the Philippines or Asian Glossy Starling.  The juvenile of the species was learning to batter the bees against the branch. The drama was for only about 30 minutes and by 7.30 am sooner than later they flew away giving me new additional information.  For this is the first time I managed to get a picture of the Perling devouring  bees and battering them on branches of trees.  Unlike many previous occasions  they were mainly seen eating the Eugenia oleina berries and other berries of jungle trees at the Botanic islands here.
As usual the bee-eaters batter the bees on to the branch

A juvenile starling knocking unconscious and immobilizing the bees.

A mature or adult Asian/Philippines Glossy Starling

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Birding by the Bintulu beach

The Reef Egret coming close to the rocks, but not landing.

Pacific Reef Egret
(Egretta sacra)
 It has been quite a while since my last visit to Tanjung Batu.  There is the popular picnic spot and sunset watching at the Pantai Temasya, situated somewhere in the middle section of the Persiaran Pantai Temasya or the Pantai Temasya Drive at Tanjung Batu.  Tanjung Batu is a breezy place to relax and many recreational activities are carried out here like fishing, jogging, cycling, swimming, photography and beach games.  Today I planned to take pictures of the Common Sandpiper that can be seen on any day on the rocky outcrops characteristic of Tanjung Batu.  My visit was given extra bonus with the sighting of the Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra).  It was flying solo.  The Common Sandpiper came in a small group of three and were moving about places.  It was when I wanted to photoshoot them on the rocks that I saw the egret appearing from the sea.  It flew close to the rocky outcrop for me to photoshoot it.  I guess I was lucky today to have captured it, my first lifer.
Rocky outcrops like these are typical features at Tanjung Batu, Bintulu.  They slip gently into the South China Sea.

Common Sandpiper
Actitis hypoleucos

Reef Egret

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Birding at break of dawn

At break of dawn the Hill Myna delivered loud and sharp whistling calls
Location : Zone I
Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

Hill Myna with grass
 At the break of dawn I started walking towards the tall dead tree to watch the Tiong Mas or Hill Myna bird.  From afar I could already hear their whistling calls which helped boost my steps as I began to climb the steep slopes to reach at their favourite tree.  Both were there.  However today was slightly special in that the female bird was seen many times peeping out of the nest with a long blade of grass.  My best guess is that she could have used it to make her nest comfortable.  The pair later flew to nearby trees and moved about the branches and leaves while broadcasting their noisy calls over the neighbourhood.  After they disappeared into the surrounding jungle,  I moved to another location some 200 meters away to observe the pigeons at their favourite perch, a Cempedak tree at Zone F. There I met a female Little Green Pigeon or Punai Daun ( Malay).  It must have been a juvenile one since it seemed curious at me and had no urgency to fly away.  I guess she must have born here and make the park their home.

A Hill Myna partly hidden among the branches and leaves of a jungle tree.

A juvenile Little Green Pigeon

Little Green Pigeon (Treron olax) on the Cempedak perch
Location : Zone F

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Birding around the Poui tree

Kambatik garden looking good with flowering Poui tree at side garden.

Long-tailed Shrike
 Since the Poui tree (Tabebuia rosea) was flowering into its second day, I thought why not make the morning good by observing birds that might visit the tree?  The sunbirds seemed to be particularly attracted to the trumpet-shaped pink flowers.  I saw many were there for the insects and the nectar.  In many instances I noticed the sunbirds piercing the base of the flowers to reach at the nectar.  The list of sunbirds that visited the Poui tree are documented in pictures below.  The biggest surprise of the morning was the sighting of a Long-tailed Shrike that perched by the electrical line nearby the garden.  This shrike was my first lifer.  I am indeed elated by just two hours of birding around the garden this morning (8.30 am - 10.30 am) . It made my day with renewed feelings of hope and prospect of what a Kambatik garden can attract. Come what come may, the Kambatik garden is here to stay!
Tirjup Ekor Panjang (Malay)
Lanius schach bentet
Kelicap Mayang Kelap (Malay) - Brown-throated Sunbird
Anthreptes malacensis
Kelicap Bukit (Malay) - Olive -backed Sunbird (Female)
Cinnyris jugularis

Kelicap Bukit (Malay) - Olive -backed Sunbird (Male)
Cinnyris jugularis

Kelicap Sepah Raja (Malay) - Eastern Crimson Sunbird
Aethopyga siparaja

Tirjup Ekor Panjang (Malay) -  Long-tailed Shrike
Lanius schach bentet

Monday, August 18, 2014

Common garden birds at the Reservoir Park, Kuching.

Asian Glossy Starling

Zebra Dove

Yellow -vented Bulbul

Bulbuls perching on a bamboo clump
A short visit to the Reservoir Park in Kuching was done on 14th August'14.  The common garden birds seen were the Asian Glossy Starling, Yellow-vented Bulbul and the Zebra Pigeon.  The bulbuls and the starlings were enjoying the ripe fruits of a ficus tree located close to  car parking area.  The Zebra doves were having their pickings on the car parking bitumen surfaces.