Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A lifer of a blue flycatcher

Eumyias indigo
Zone F
What makes my day today is the capture of the blue flycatcher.  It's a lifer for me and for the Kambatik park.  Today is the first time I stumbled upon a blue flycatcher.  I first met it at Zone F and then followed its movement to Zone D about 100 meters away before it disappeared into the surrounding forest.  Is it a  female of the species?  Is it the Indigo Flycatcher ( Eumyias indigo) that is a native to the island of Borneo and therefore Bintulu?  The literature mentions that the Indigo Flycatcher is a resident of the highlands and less frequently seen below 3000 ft above sea level, that is in the lowland dipterocarp hill forest where the park is situated.  At first sight I saw it jumping and hopping on the leaves-covered ground for insects and was not particularly scared of my presence.  Whats striking about the upperside of the bird was the deep blue colour of its crown right down to its back.  In most descriptions the throat and breast is blue but in this specimen it is white.  Does this mean that it is a female of the species?  I have yet to determine this and it is my fervent hope that it will drop by again at the park soon with a mate. to confirm my observation.  Hopefully that day is near.

( Note: The above story is a re-posting from my blog 'The Kambatik Park' and the link is here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Barn Swallow at Likau Beach, Bintulu.

Barn Swallow
I had only on two occasions managed to get a glimpse of the Barn Swallow, once in Kuching and another  at Likau Beach, Bintulu.
Here's a re-post of the visit to Likau where among the birds sighted in 2014 was the Barn Swallow.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October brings the Hornbill

Up close and personal with the Black Hornbill
Location: Kambatik Park, Bintulu.
 This month has been very significant for birding at The Kambatik Park.  The Black Hornbill has been seen arriving at the park regularly in the early  morning and afternoon.  This year the bird has allowed me to come closer to its perching place, a tall dead tree and gave me the rare opportunity for taking more up-close and personal pictures of the bird.  It is my hope that sooner or later the bird will bring its mate and start establishing a nesting place at the park.   Below are images taken at the distance to indicate the lowland forest environment at the park that is conducive to the hornbill.
Date taken : 10 October'15

The hornbill favourite perch is at the top middle section of the picture.

Note the cluster of bamboos and rich groove of fruit trees around the perch.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Up-close with the Pied Triller

Pied Triller
 Yesterday (14 June) I had a nice encounter with the male Pied Triller.  This is another peculiarly Kuching bird because I have not seen any triller at the Kambatik park in Bintulu yet.  It is a beautiful bird for it black and white contrast.  Yet despite its beauty I have not yet heard it making any sound or call at the garden here.  My last posting has been a rare encounter with the female of the species.  What excited me in this encounter was the bird's behaviour in catching the bees from above the garden canopy and then settling on the Poui tree branch to pounce or batter the bees on the branch before consuming it.  Here are more pics for the remembrance.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The female Pied Triller

'Sewah Kapas' - Malay or Pied Triller (Lalange nigra)
Perching on the Poui tree (Tabebuia rosea) at the Kuching garden

It is another lifer for me.  On this 53rd trip to Kuching, I had another surprise at our Kuching garden.  On the 11th of June, I saw the female of the Pied Triller species perching on the branch of the Poui tree situated at the side garden.  Like the male of the species which I saw for the first time in August, 2014 it too was resting on the same Poui tree.  The main difference between the male and the female is that  the upper parts of the female are more grey, whereas for the male of the species the upper parts are more black.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A plaintive Cuckoo in Bakun

A surprise  encounter dated 2 April'13 with the Plaintive Cuckoo

 It is not often that I go to Bakun.  This is because it would take a stressful 3 hours travel on road from Bintulu to reach the place known for its hydro-electric dam.  The road is tar-sealed but for many stretches the maintenance standard is poor to unsafe, thus the road conditions discourage many people in Bintulu to explore the area.  In one rare occasion I managed to visit the place when my son invited us to stay for a few days and nights at his accomodation provided by the company he was working with at Bakun dam.   On the 2nd of April,2013 while taking a morning walkabout I stumbled upon a Plaintive Cuckoo, a male of the species as shown in picture above.  
The Bakun dam, showing the rush of water into the air from the overflow channel.
2 April'13
Note: The dam reservoir of water which is about the size of Singapore is not seen in the picture.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Orange -bellied Flowerpeckers enjoying the Jackfruit

Enjoying the aril of an over-ripe Jackfruit

Male of the species
 It is one of the most colourful birds in the park.  They are attracted to the ripe fruits of the Nangka (Artocarpus heterophyllus).  On 25th of May, I was able to get pictures of them together.  This is important to reconfirm the identity of the birds.  The male is as usual in the bird kingdom more colourful than the female.  His orange chest and lower part of the body is a really colourful and attractive.  The female is duller.
Female of the species

The Orange-bellied flowerpecker enjoying the ripe Nangka or Jackfruit
Location : Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

The Oriental Magpie-robin

 The Oriental Magpie-robins are becoming more friendly.  I have observed at least a pair that was building nest at the park and later saw their chicks flying around.  This is good news for the park.  I don't have to search high and low for them.  Everyday many of them now come closer and closer to us and thus it is much easier to get better close-ups.  The Magpie-robins are happy birds and produce one of the most melodious calls around here.
25 May'15
Location : Zone C

The Tiong or Hill Myna is back this May

Above pic taken on 2 May'15
Location : Licuala Hill, Zone I

2 May'15
 This month the Tiongs are back at the park.  I took photographs of them first on the 2nd of May and then on the 25th of May.  Their favourite place here is the tall tree (dead tree) at the Licuala Hill, situated at Zone I.  The park is blessed with the presence of the tree and the Tiongs or Hill Myna birds that are attracted to a hole in the tree, a home made ready for them.  Below are pictures taken on the 25th of May.

25 may'15

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A colourful bird at the Museum grounds

Brwon-throated Sunbird at the Sarawak Museum grounds, Kuching
4 April'15

 It is one of the most beautiful garden birds in Sarawak.  Today, while having a walk at the grounds of the Sarawak Museum gardens I chanced upon it.  The Sarawak Museum gardens is still the best place for a quick walk for  viewing a good collection of the hibiscus flowers on any regular day.  The Brown-throated Sunbird was seen busy doing its rounds of nectar sipping among the hibiscus flowers.  I guess surviving in an urban environment requires it to be 'people-friendly' and this behaviour enabled me to have a closer look at its colourful personality.  It was oblivious to the crowd of people that were having their walks and photo taking sessions  at the garden.

Brown-throated Sunbird - Kelicap Mayang Kelapa (Malay)
Anthreptes malacensis

Friday, April 3, 2015

Closer views of Chestnut Munia

Chestnut Munia
Kuching garden, 31 March'15

On 31st March'15, I managed to have a closer view of the Chestnut Munia.  The above images were captured at our Kuching garden.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Long-tailed Shrike

 On this 52nd trip to Kuching, I have another opportunity to see the Long-tailed Shrike.  This bird has been seen flying about the Kuching garden, but hardly resting on the trees.  Preferring to perch on the electric cables near the neighbourhood.  However, for the record it is good to have seen them again.  It is noted that the bird is common in areas around Kuching Division, but not so in other parts of Sarawak especially the central and northern regions of the state.
I hope in the short days left of this visit, I'll able to capture it resting on the trees in the Kambatik garden here.  Hopefully.
Long-tailed Shrike ( Tirjup Ekor Panjang - Malay)
Lanius schach bentet

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A lifer of the White-Eye

White-eye hanging down from the acacia branch

 Today's capture is a lifer for me.  At the Pustaka Sarawak grounds I was able to have  a good glimpse of the Everett's White-eye or in Malay - 'Mata Putih Belukar.'  It was seen preying on some insects among the leaves of the Acacia auriculiformis  growing by the side of the big pond. The most distinguishing feature of the bird is the big round white eye-ring.  At another location in the the surrounding greenery I stumbled upon a Common Iora guarding its nest.  It is also the first time I come across the nest belonging to the Common Iora in plain sight.  A few hundred meters away I managed to have a good view of the female Olive-backed Sunbird finding food at the coconut inflorescence.  Finally, to end the afternoon adventure I met a White-breated Woodswallow perching on a dead tree stump near the pond.  The afternoon was well-rewarded I thought, in view of the fact that I brought along  my camera for only about less than a hour's walk around the library grounds (4.30 - 5.00 pm).

Everett's White Eye

Common Iora tending its nest

Female of Olive-backed Sunbird

White-breasted Woodswallow

Monday, March 16, 2015

Close-up and personal with the female Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker , female of the species with olive-green upperparts.
Kambatik garden, Kuching.

Sepah Puteri Bukit
 Been a while since I tried to obtain a clearer picture of the female Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma).  I finally got the chance to come close to it today at my Kuching garden.  It was seen alone and enjoying the ripe fruits of the Eugenia oleina.  Obviously the size of the fruit was too big for its mouth to gulp.  Thus she had to break it down into small bites to enjoy it fully.  The female has olive green upper parts with grey chin and throat and the rest of the underparts  pale yellow.
Female of the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker enjoying  a ripe Eugenia oleina fruit