Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Common Iora at Taman Orkid, Kuching.

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) - Kunyit Kacat (Malay)

 I saw a small family of the Common Iora while photographing orchids at the Taman Orkid or Orchid Park near  Kuching  on the 9th of August.  It was the first time I ever had of coming very close to the bird.  The little chick was preening itself and both of its parents were nearby for company.  They were not so frightened to see me and upon being alerted of my presence did not move far away from the spot.  Instead they move to immediate twigs and branches offering me even better light and location for creative shots.  I share here the shots I managed to capture of these tiny but active birds.

Pied Fantail comes for first visit

Pied Fantail (Samabar Murai Gila) - Rhipidura javanica is seen at the Mango tree branch
Location : Kambatik garden, Kuching.

 All the years we have been staying at Kuching, the garden has never been visited by the Pied Fantail until a few days ago.  And then again, after that singular sighting, the bird came almost on a daily basis to check out the garden.  The presence of the Pied Fantail is most welcomed here because while this bird is a permanent  resident at the park in Bintulu, this is the first time I come across the bird in our Kuching garden  What's more remarkable is the opportunity it gave me to get sharperimages of the bird. With its habit of coming to garden on a daily basis I would therefore consider it a common garden bird of Sarawak, especially in the lowland areas.
A common lowland resident throughout Sarawak.  Feeds on insects and forages in the lower and middle storeys. Active and noisy and regularly fan out its tail.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Black-winged Kite - a second encounter

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caerulus)
Seen perching at power cable along Miri-Bintulu coastal road.

On the 23rd of July'17, I was on my way back to Bintulu after a brief weekend in Miri. I have decided to drive the way back using the Miri-Bintulu coastal road. From the 92 km milestone and for a few kilometers on the road I encountered a few familiar loooking birds perching on the power cables along the two-lane tarsealed road.  All around and along the coastal road there was endless plantation of oil palms.  When I decided to stop temporarily on the road shoulder to have a chance at get closer shots of the birds they seemed to be alerted at my presence with their sharp eyes focussed on me.  In many instances, upon seeing me they took flight only to perched again on the cables.  This action on their part allowed me chances to play it cool on them and nor to scare them away.  In the end they gave me many chances to shoot at them within close range.  Here are the pictures that show how handsome and sharp these Black-winged kites are.  For the record this is my second encounter with these birds.  The first encounter was in Bintulu in 2014 along the coastal stretch of road near ABF housing area. The link is here...>>>
A small and handsome kite with white body and triangular black patch on its wings.  When alerted it flew away in graceful flight but will be back again perching on the power cable.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Black-bellied Malkoha

After a few days of sighting a medium-sized black bird flying about in the park that seemed difficult to take a photo of, my luck turned good on the 5th of June.  On that day the 'black bird' somehow appeared in plain sight.  It was among the tall branches of jungle trees at Botanic Island Two area that I had a good look at it.  It was a Black-bellied Malkoha and is the second time that I stumbled on the species.  A remarkable thing happened when the bird attacked a big jungle grasshopper and I was excited when the seizure was captured in camera as shown below.  This is a silent bird and the Botanic Island seemed to be its favourite habitat, being in the lowland primary forest it is. Of course many other malkoha species have been sighted here over the years. The bird's  bill is light green, feet is dull blue-grey and the body an attractive rich-bluish green.  The skin around the eye is a rich crimson colour.  Its tail has white tips.
Black-bellied Malkoha with a big jungle grasshopper at its beak.  Note the white tips at its tail.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Red-throated Barbet

 On the 24th of May'17, I had a most remarkable encounter (and a lifer at that) with a Red-throated Barbet.  Of all the places I could have met the bird, it was at our garden in Kuching.  I was at my study when  I heard an unusual call which sounded like a loud tok, tok, tok, tok in erratic intervals that made me rauh out to the garden with my camera.  I saw it first perching on the Poui branch and afforded me a fair view of it.  Then I waited and luck was on my side when it came perching down to the Eugenia oleina tree branch which was just meters away from where I stood.  Then it was all shoot, shoot and shoot away.  This rare moment comes once in  a life time.  I will not know when will I ever see it again, but this chanced encounter at the Kambatik garden in Kuching is good enough for me to see the beauty of this bird.  Below are some more pictures from the album.
High on the Poui tree branch

Perching on the Eugenia oleina branch.

This sighting makes my day - 24 May,2017.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Scaly-breasted Munia seen closer at home

I am fortunate today for having stumble upon the Scaly-breasted Munia at our house garden in Kuching.  It was among the leaves of the Pinang Lakka or Red Sealing-wax Palm. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Pied Triller visits daily

Pied Triller up on the 'Poui' (Tabebuaia rosea) tree branch.

 I have been watching closely this peculiar Kuching bird for a few days now.  I say it as such because in Bintulu it is quite difficult to stumble upon this bird.  At the Kambatik garden in Kuching they are a familiar sight.  Like any other normal day I would look up at the tall branches of the Tabebuia rosea tree at the back garden  to sight them.  When not in the morning, they will not fail to show themselves up in the afternoon.  Today I saw a small party of three of them in the garden. Upon being alerted of my presence  they immediately  flew away from the branches and landed at the Coconut tree and Cabbage tree across the road where we stayed.  Their greyish, white and combined with black colours are in contrast to the overall greenery.  They usually come to the garden quietly and unnoticed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2016 - a year of surprising encounters

Red-crowned Barbet

Scarlet-rumped Trogon

The list of new bird encounters at the Kambatik Park has been most thrilling for the year 2016.  The list includes Banded Woodpecker, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Rufous Woodpecker, Black-bellied Malkoha, Little Blue-eared Barbet, White-rumped Shama, Red-billed Malkoha, Red-crowned Barbet and the Bornean Falconet.

Looking forward to another thrilling year 2017!!