Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 31, 2020

Birding Retrospective 2020

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 12:44 pm

2020 Recap Birding

After two months in Sulawesi, I hopped on the boat to Tawau in Sabah, Malaysia, and spent some time at Tawau Hills National Park. It is going to be hard to pick just one photo from this time because there were so many great photos.

White-crowned Hornbill - male
White-crowned Hornbill (Aceros comatus)

Tawau Hills NP, sabah. January 16th, 2020. Then it was another trip to the Kinabatangan River with so many birds and animals. Fast forward to Sepilok at the end of the month. February saw me at Mount Kinabalu, then north towards Kudat and Banggi Island. South to the Crocker Ranges and Tenom area. Then Gunung Mulu in Sarawak and back to Kota Kinabalu and Singapore.

Spotted Wood Owl
Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo)

Pasir Ris Park, Singapore. February 29th, 2020. Into Malaysia and first stop was Mersing, Melaka, Port Dixon, Cameron Highlands. Pulau Pangkor was the last stop for three months because of the lockdown (MCO).

Streaked Spiderhunter
Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)

Cameron Highlands, malaysia. March 13th, 2020. April and I am still in lockdown on Pangkor Island. Luckily I had a nice bilik on the water, a kitchen and decent wifi. I actually quite enjoyed my time during lockdown. Very relaxing.

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

Pangkor Island, Malaysia. April, 2020. There was a relatively limited range of birds on my jetty home, so I might skip ahead to the next venue. May, I am still in Pangkor and in June i head north to Ipoh.

Milky Stork
Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea)

Taman Tasik, Taiping , malaysia. June, 2020. Taman Tasik and Bukit Larut in Taiping were my favourite places. Next to Penang, then Sungai Petani, Alor Setar in Kedah state. Caught the boat to Langkawi.

Pin-striped Tit-Babbler
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler ( Mixornis gularis )

Langkawi.. July 11th, 2020. Across the water to Kuala Perlis, East to the Perhentian Islands, Kuala Terengganu, Kapas Island, Cherating.

Van Hasselt's Sunbird - male
Van Hasselt’s Sunbird (Leptocoma brasiliana) – male

Perhentian Kecil, malaysia. July 22nd, 2020.. August I was in Kuantan, then Jerantut, back to the Cameron Highlands, Ipoh, Taiping,

Crested Goshawk
Crested Goshawk ( Accipiter trivirgatus )

Taiping, malaysia. August 15th, 2020. North again to Penang, and Langkawi.

Great Hornbill    - female
Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) – female

Langkawi. September 30th, 2020.

Slaty-breasted Rail
Slaty-breasted Rail (Lewinia striata)

Langkawi. October 17th, 2020. The next few months saw me still in Langkawi.

Gray-headed Lapwing
Gray-headed Lapwing (Vanellus cinereus)

Langkawi. November 14th, 2020.

Rufous-bellied Swallow
Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia)

Langkawi. December 11th, 2020. And that is it, It is now the last day of 2020. All in all, it has been a pretty good year, despite all the dramas and disasters.

recap2020

December 30, 2020

Taking Bird Photos 201230

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 12:40 pm

Tangkap Gambar Burung di Langkawi

I went straight down the road to Kedawang and took the road that goes along the airport. I stopped next to the YatieRose Cafe, and just wandered along the road. There were a fair few birds this morning, mainly feeding on the fruiting trees. I even got a tick. I thought it was a Eurasian Tree Sparrow, doh!

Plain-backed Sparrow  - male
Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus) – male

The malay name is Pipit Perut Kuning. This is the first time I have photographed these ones.

Plain-backed Sparrow
Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus)

Not sure if this one is a female or juvenile.

Black-headed Bulbul
Black-headed Bulbul (Brachypodius atriceps)

Malay name is Merbah Siam.

Black-headed Bulbul
Black-headed Bulbul (Brachypodius atriceps)

Common Hill Myna
Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa)

The malay name is Tiung-Emas Biasa. These ones were eating the seeds out of the Buah Jering .

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti ) , Berek-berek Ekor Pendek Asia

Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis) , Bubut Besar Asia

Common Snipe
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Little Grebe
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) , Tetimbul Kecil Biasa

Langkawi bird list

Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus) , Pipit Perut Kuning
Asian Glossy starling
Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis) , Bubut Besar Asia
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) , Ruak-ruak Biasa
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) , Merbuk Biasa
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) , Tekukur Jerum Timur
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) , Kelicap Mayang Kelabu
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Cattle Egret
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) , Tetimbul Kecil Biasa
Red-wattled Lapwing
Black-headed Bulbul (Brachypodius atriceps), Merbah Siam
Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus) , Merbah Mata Merah Biasa
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) , Tirjup Biasa
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa) , Tiung-Emas Biasa
Striated Heron
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti ) , Berek-berek Ekor Pendek Asia

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December 22, 2020

Illegal Bird Netting

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 7:20 am

Cenang Reed Beds

Me and Thomas went to the Cenang Reed Beds this morning after a bit of a break. It was a nice sunny day, with a little bit of wind. Nothing new, but a couple of decent photos.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)

Chestnut Munia
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

Malay name is Ciak-padi Rawa Biasa.

Brahminy Kite - juvenile
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

Malay name is Helang-tembikar Merah.

Red Collared-dove
Red Collared-dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)

The malay name is Tekukur Merah.

WARNING – Gruesome content ahead. Birds in nets.

We saw this bird net strung across this pond. It was pretty gruesome and disgusting. The birds were entangled in the nets, not sure if they were dead. See the law below, which clearly states that it is illegal.

“Hunting wildlife with poison, etc.
79. (1) Any person who, whether he is a licensed hunter, a holder
of a special permit or otherwise, sets, places or uses any poison, bait,
poisoned bait, birdlime or net for the purpose of hunting any wildlife
commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not
exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding two years or to both. ” (Act 716, Wildlife Conservation Act, 2010)

http://www.agc.gov.my/agcportal/uploads/files/Act%20716%20-%208%2010%202014.pdf

.

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Bird Netting
Bird Netting

Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-wattled Lapwing

Common Myna
Common Myna

Yellow Bittern
Yellow Bittern

Langkawi bird list

White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) Helang-tembikar Merah
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Pond-heron sp.
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Common Myna
Baya Weaver
Brown Shrike
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) Kunyit Besar
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) Ciak-padi Rawa Biasa
Red Collared-dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica) Tekukur Merah
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

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December 16, 2020

Mountain Birding 201216

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 6:31 am

Gunung Raya – Langkawi

Yesterday morning we woke up early and headed up the mountain. The day was clear and no clouds. We stopped at the hornbill tree, but no dice. Then sped up the mountain and saw a few birds near the top. Drifted down just listening and looking around. Stopped a few times until this random spot picked up a few birds that came in and surrounded us. I ended up with one tick and an unidentifiable Phylloscopus sp.

Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

“Small, active warbler with greenish upperparts, white underparts, distinct pale yellowish eyebrow, and distinct pale wingbars (upper wingbar short and less distinct). Overlaps in range with many other warbler species; compare especially with Hume’s Warbler, Pallas’s Leaf Warbler, and Two-barred Warbler. Breeds in mid- to high-elevation forests and winters in a wide range of wooded and scrubby habitats, where usually rather active; sometimes hovers to pick bugs from leaf tips. Call a distinctive, 2-syllable, upslurred “tsu-weet.” Song is a very high, thin series of alternating long and short notes: “tseee-ts’a’wi-tseeeee.”” (ebird)

Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

Pin-striped Tit-babbler
Pin-striped Tit-babbler (Mixornis gularis)

Is this Mixornis gularis chersonesophilus or Mixornis gularis gularis ?

Pin-striped Tit-babbler
Pin-striped Tit-babbler (Mixornis gularis)

Identifying features include: Wings and tail rufous brown, Mantle and back light brown, rufous crown, Yellow supercilium, underparts pale yellow, fine black streaks on lower throat and breast. (NUS wiki)

Phylloscopus Sp.
Phylloscopus Sp.

It could possibly be an Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) but is not possible to identify without the call. Thanks Nikolas Haas for the help.

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird  - male
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis) – male

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird  - female
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis) – female

Spectacled Langur
Spectacled Langur (Trachypithecus obscurus)

Also known as spectacled leaf monkey, or Dusky Leaf Monkey.

Langkawi bird list

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus)
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)
Pin-striped Tit-babbler (Mixornis gularis)
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis)
Phylloscopus Sp.

Resources: http://www.planetofbirds.com/passeriformes-sylviidae-arctic-warbler-phylloscopus-borealis
http://orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?Bird_ID=1518&Bird_Image_ID=60460
https://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/TAX/Mixornis+gularis+-+Pin-striped+Tit-Babbler

mal201216

December 11, 2020

Along the Ridgeline 201211

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 9:24 am

Temoyong Creek Road

Once again, me and Thomas went off to the road to Temoyong Creek. There are a few dead trees on the ridge line and they seem to attract quite a few birds. This morning gave us quite a few surprises.

Rufous-bellied Swallow
Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia)

Wreathed Hornbill  - female
Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus)

I think this one is a female but it has the wrong colour pouch under the throat. (Edit: It is an immature female, thanks Chai.)

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Pink-necked Green-Pigeon - female
Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (Treron vernans) – female

The Pink-necked Green-Pigeon can be identified by its pale green bill, pale green wing, Black flight feathers, Chestnut undertail coverts and Black Subterminal tail band.

Paddyfield Pipit
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)

I just like the background on this photo.

Asian Brown Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)

Langkawi bird list

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo pacifica)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)
Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus)
Common Myna
Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus)
Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia)
Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (Treron vernans)
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis)
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)

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December 9, 2020

Back of Temoyong 201209

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 9:26 am

Somewhere in Temoyong

Me and Tom found a new track opposite the Temoyong Creek Road. It was a pretty rough track and weaved between fields and a hill. We found a goat track up the hill and got eaten alive by leeches. I learned a good rememdy against leeches. Soak a cigarette in some water and rub the water on your legs. I have no idea if this works. I just pick them off my legs when i see them.

Laced Woodpecker
Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus)

Laced Woodpecker
Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus)

Dark-necked Tailorbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis)

Langkawi bird list

Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus)
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Dollarbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis)
House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Red-eyed Bulbul
Pacific Swallow
Black-naped Oriole

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December 7, 2020

Langkawi Birding 201207

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 12:04 pm

Langkawi Birding

This morning I followed a track that Thomas showed me coming from the airport to Cenang. There was a small lake along the way. I did not expect much but it turned out to have a few birds swimming in it.

Dollarbird
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Lesser Whistling-duck
Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)

Little Grebe  - breeding adult
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – breeding adult

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Pond heron
Pond Heron

I am not sure which this one is. I may ask a few experts to give an opinion. Not possible to ID, Ardeola species..

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)

Giant Black Squirrel
Giant Black Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor)

banded hornet, Vespa species.
banded hornet, Vespa species.

Vespa affinis, the Lesser Banded Hornet. Thanks Tou and Chai for the ID help.

Yellow Flower
Yellow Flower

Langkawi bird list

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – breeding adult
Pond-heron
Baya Weaver
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
White-throated Kingfisher
Brahminy Kite
Brown Shrike
Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus)
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Common Myna

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December 6, 2020

Langkawi Tourist 201128

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 6:31 am

Langkawi Tourist Photos

More tourist photos from my phone. I really should get a little point and shoot camera so that I do not have to go through the technical dramas of dumping off to my computer.

Burger and Chips
Burger and Chips

Every now and again I get a craving for a proper hamburger. Sofian Zack at Hornbill Cafe makes great burgers and chips.

Fishing harbour
Fishing harbour

This is the fishing harbour at Sungai Temoyong. No tourists here, just local fishermen.

Langkawi Estuary
Langkawi Estuary

I found this track along the river looking for birds but found nothing. I got this nice photo but.

Sawah View
Sawah View

This is the rice paddies viewed from the banks of the Langkawi River behind Padang Matsirat. This is freshly planted rice.

Frog
Banded Bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra)

I keep getting frogs in the bathroom, every night I shoo out a couple of these frogs.

Edit: “The banded bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra) is a type of frog in the microhylid (narrow-mouthed frog) family. It is also known as the Asian painted frog, Malaysian painted frog, Burmese painted frog, rice frog, and bubble frog. In the pet trade, it is sometimes called the chubby frog. They have round bodies with mahogany brown backs and cream stomachs. The distinctive stripes down the side can range from copper-brown to salmon pink in color. Males have darker throats than females. Frogs grow to about 8 cm with females generally being larger than males. They may live for as long as 10 years. Although prevalent in the pet trade, very little is known regarding its behaviour in the wild. They exude a sticky mucus when threatened, which is not toxic but has an unpleasant taste. A former subspecies in South India and Sri Lanka is now known to be a separate, related species, Uperodon taprobanicus.” (wiki) Thanks to Chai Thiam Lau for the identification.

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December 3, 2020

Dalam Sawah – 201203

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 7:14 am

Padang Matsirat – Langkawi

3rd December, 2020. I started off a bit late this morning as I was not sure if it would rain or not. It turned out all right. A bit overcast and later the sun came out. The first stop was over the road from the Chenang Reed Beds. I spotted a Greater Coucal just sitting on top of a tree, so I got off a heap of photos. They are usually skulking in the undergrowth.

Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)

“The greater coucal or crow pheasant (Centropus sinensis), is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. A widespread resident in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, it is divided into several subspecies, some being treated as full species. They are large, crow-like with a long tail and coppery brown wings and found in a wide range of habitats from jungle to cultivation and urban gardens. They are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds. They have a familiar deep resonant call which is associated with omens in many parts of its range.” (wiki)

Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Cinnamon Bittern
Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

I put this photo in because of the striking edges to the wing feathers. “Flight feathers: Black with buff edges.”

Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

Langkawi bird list

Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Common Sandpiper
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

Resource: https://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/TAX/Butorides+striata+-+Striated+heron

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