Showing posts from 2014

Back to Birding with the Cuckoos of Air Itam Dalam

Whenever i see a cuckoo i would try to take lots of their images as possible. They are after all one of those 'difficult' birds to be identified. You do not need to have great photos of the bird but as long as the subtle/prominent features can be seen you should be able to identify them or perhaps with some help from an experience birder.  I went again to Air Itam Dalam instead of Sungai Sedim forest recently in view of the weather and its shorter distance from my home. There are always some aura of mystery at this place i.e you will always expect to see something different each time you step into the area. This time three types of cuckoos were seen, however only two species were photographed. The first been an Indian Cuckoo.
According to Craig Robson's (2005) and Allen J's (2012) field guide, a female Indian Cuckoo has rufescent wash / rufous tinge across breast. Here you can see the feature and therefore the image suggests that it could be an adult female Indian Cuc…

Herping with MNS Herpetology Group - Nov 2014

In your younger days you might have done some crazy stuff like climbing up Bukit Tabur in the middle of the night, scuba diving in the sea full of sharks, going camping alone in a remote place or perhaps going out at night to look for frogs and snakes in the jungle! Fast forward 30 years later, i kinda rekindled my childhood adventures by joining the MNS Herpetology Group in one of their outings recently. The rain came just before the trip but it did not deter 21 enthusiastic adventures including a few children to gather around for some good outing.

Even before we set for the trek, our group leader Steven Wong has found this common whip snake. The children got really excited seeing their first wild snake. 
It looks menacing but it is totally harmless to humans.
The kampung name for this snake as i can recall was 'ular lidi' while some book also named it as 'oriental vine snake'. After a few photograph sessions, the snake was released back to its habitat. The good news…

Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) in Flight

Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) as i was made to understand, comes from a larger group of stork family named "Ciconiidae".  It was reportedly a resident bird in India, Mynmar and Thailand* and rarely reported in Malaysia until year 2008 when a lone bird was spotted in Perlis by Kim Chye, his wife and Mr OoiBY. (* info taken from Bird Life International).
Based on the records in B.i.W, there were reported sightings of Asian Openbill almost every year in Peninsular Malaysia except in year 2009 and 2012. There were no sightings being recorded in Borneo so far. Here is a summary of the statistics compiled from B.i.W as at September 16, 2014:
Year         Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec   Total /Month

2008         -         -        2       -         -        -       -        -         -        -        -        -          2
2009         -         -        -       -          -       -        -        -        -        -         -       …

Birding in a Swampy Area - 16 Sept 2014

I had an opportunity to go birding recently but i have to choose between one of these three locations which i have yearn to explore i.e Bagan Belat mudflat, Sungai Sedim or Swampy Forest. Making this swampy forest my choice was easy as it was not too far away and i have always wanted to see and photograph the brown hawk owl. 
After having a quick breakfast i reached the location at 8.15am and went straight to the dense foliage which i thought the owl would be roosting. After having waited and scanning around for about 30 minutes, not a single owl appeared. So the next best thing to do was to venture out to look for other birds. Not many birds were seen this time around but i did witnessed a spectacular aerial display by a flock of Asian Openbills of a colossal proportion. Here are some of the birds photos:

Saw both of them foraging together and the above one looks like a dominant male (the one with more brownish color on its chest).

Saw three of them. The individual in the above two …