Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 13, 2020

Trail 4.2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:46 pm

Cameron Highlands – Tanah Rata Day Two

This morning I was up at 7am and had my coffee before setting off to the start of Trail 4 again. This morning there were so many birds. I got a bit lost in knowing where to shoot sometimes. Most of the time, the light was pretty crap, so I had difficulty getting decent photos. But I persisted.

Streaked Spiderhunter
Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)

Black-and-crimson Oriole
Black-and-crimson Oriole (Oriolus cruentus)

“The Black-and-crimson Oriole (Oriolus cruentus) is a species of bird in the family Oriolidae. It is found in Indonesia and Malaysia where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.” (wiki)

Javan Cuckooshrike
Javan Cuckooshrike (Coracina javensis)

Eastern-crowned Warbler
Eastern-crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus)

I think this is right. It is so hard to tell with these stupid warblers.

Golden Babbler
Golden Babbler (Cyanoderma chrysaeum)

Ermagerd, it is way out of focus, this photo but such a great bird. Record shot only.

Black-eared Shrike-babbler
Black-eared Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius melanotis)

Silver-eared Mesia
Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris)

Mugimaki Flycatcher
Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki)

Or is it a Rufous-chested Flycatcher (Ficedula dumetoria), which it could not be because it is way out of range?

Unknown Bird
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)

Unknown Warbler, maybe
Yellow-breasted warbler (Phylloscopus montis)

Fire-tufted Barbet
Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)

This is such a bad photo. But it is a pretty cool bird.

Gray-chinned  Minivet   - female
Gray-chinned Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris) – female

Mountain Tailorbird
Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus)

Cameron Highlands bird list

Black-and-crimson Oriole (Oriolus cruentus)
Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris)
Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis)
Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki)
Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)
Javan Cuckooshrike (Coracina javensis)
Oriental Magpie-robin
Fire-tufted Barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)
Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)
Gray-chinned Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris)
Eastern-crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus)
White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)
Golden Babbler (Cyanoderma chrysaeum)
Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus)
Black-eared Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius melanotis)
Yellow-breasted warbler (Phylloscopus montis)

mal200313

March 12, 2020

Trail Four

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:59 pm

Cameron Highlands – Tanah Rata 1

I caught the bus from the southern terminal in Kuala Lumpur at 8:30am and was in the Cameron Highlands just after lunch time. I had a little lie down and then about three in the afternoon, I went for a walk along trail number four. It goes along the Sungai Bertam to the Parit Waterfall. I was not expecting any birds at all to be honest, just going for a walk to suss it out. But I found quite a few nice birds.

Mountain Bulbul
Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii)

This is actually a really excellent photo if I do say so myself.

Streaked Spiderhunter
Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)

This is a bit out of focus but it is the best I have got. It was just near a big block of flats. Not even in the jungle. doh!

Slaty-backed Forktail
Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus)

There were a pair of them in the river, just as I was walking up the track. Awesome.

Black-throated Sunbird
Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata)

Another really crap photo. But the best I could do.

Brown Fulvetta
Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis)

Not a Brown Fulvetta as I first thought. Thanks to Khaleb Yordan once again for help with identity.

Cameron Highlands bird list

Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)
Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus)
Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata)
Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii)
Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis)
Scarlet Minivet

mal200312

March 9, 2020

Birding Port Dickson

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:33 am

Tanjung Tuan

I found a cheap hotel in Batu 4, which is just south of Port Dickson. It is right on the beach but miles away from my goal, which is Tanjung Tuan, where the raptor watch is held. I got up at 7am and waited at the bus stop on the off chance of one coming along. And lo and behold, a bus appeared. I got on and went to the end, which was still about four kilometers from Tanjung Tuan. So I had to call a Grab taxi for the rest of the way. Too far to walk.

Oriental Honey Buzzard
Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

I went up to the light-house to wait for the raptors. After about ten o’clock there were a few that came past. Most of them were Oriental Honey Buzzards but I did see on White-bellied Sea-eagle.

Oriental Honey Buzzard
Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

The raptor counters were on a level above me inside the light-house grounds. I asked how many and they said about 100 just before mid-day.

Lineated Barbet
Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)

This Lineated Barbet had his mouth chock full of fruit that was on this tree.

Lineated Barbet
Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)

Check out the size of that bill. It could hold a lot of fruit.

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

The Pink-necked Green Pigeons were hooking into the fruit on the tree too. There was a bit of squabbling going on.

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

Tanjung Tuan bird list

Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)
Olive-winged Bulbul
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

mal200309

March 7, 2020

Daurian Starling

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:30 am

Melaka Birding

This morning I got up late and was just going to go for a river cruise in the morning. I walked past the park near the museums and I spotted something different in the big fig tree. So I pulled out the camera and started shooting. I knew it was some kind of starling but not sure which one it was. It may be a tick. I forget.

 Daurian Starling
Daurian Starling (Agropsar sturninus)

The Daurian Starling (Agropsar sturninus)used to be known as the Purple-backed Starling.
“The Daurian starling (Agropsar sturninus), or Purple-backed Starling, is a species of bird in the starling family found in eastern Asia from eastern Mongolia and south-eastern Russia to North Korea and central China…. The Daurian starling is distinguished from other starling species by its dark mantle and crown and narrow wing bar.” (wiki)

 Daurian Starling
Daurian Starling (Agropsar sturninus)

Anyway I thought I would have nothing for today except some tourist photos, but here we are.

 Black-naped Oriole
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

Melaka bird list

Daurian Starling (Agropsar sturninus)
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur Indus)
Javan Myna
House Crow (Corvus splendens)

mal200307

March 6, 2020

Sabah Sarawak Singapore

Filed under: General — admin @ 8:06 am

Mulu to Singapore

I caught a Maswings twin-engined plane from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah to Mulu in Sarawak. The only way to get in there is to fly. Here is my plane at the airport at Kota Kinabalu.

Twin-engine plane
Twin-engine plane

And up into the sky we went. This is a view towards the islands off Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah Islands
Sabah Islands

Then we headed inland to Sarawak and had some good views of the mountainous jungles.

Sarawak mountain jungles
Sarawak mountain jungles

The airport is quite close to the national Park. Most people just walk to the park but I caught a taxi for a whole two dollars.

Road to Mount Mulu National Park
Road to Mount Mulu National Park

I climbed to Treetops Tower most days I was at Mulu. This monster Strangler Fig was just beside it.

Strangler Fig
Strangler Fig

And then it was back to Kota Kinabalu to grab a flight to Singapore. I went to Gardens By The Bay and saw these amazing otters having a dust bath near a bridge.

Otters having a dust bath
Otters having a dust bath

The next day I went to Lake Jurong Park and come upon this horde of bird photographers taking photos of a poor lost Brahminy Starling.

Singapore bird photographers
Singapore bird photographers

This is a few high rises near Pasir Ris. It is surprising the amount of parks and bush in Singapore.

high-rise living
high-rise living

sin200301p

Melaka Malaysia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:48 am

Melaka Birding

I woke up at 7am and the sun was not up yet. I got ready and had a coffee over the road and set off for the Melaka estuary. I found a bit of straggly scrub on the way, but there was not much happening. After that, I walked back across the highway and went to the Istana Kesultanan Melaka – Sultan’s Palace, Melaka. The bush around the palace was a lot better and there were some decent birds around.

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

“The blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southeastern Asia. It is strongly migratory, seen seasonally in much of peninsular India. This species is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the blue-cheeked bee-eater.” (wiki)

Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbets (Megalaima Haemcephala) and Pink-necked Green Pigeon

Striated Heron
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

House Crow
House Crow (Corvus splendens)

Black-naped Oriole
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum)

Water Monitor
Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)

Melaka bird list

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)
House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Javan Myna
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Lesser Coucal
Zebra Dove
Purple Heron
Grey Heron
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Striated Heron (Butorides striata)
Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima Haemcephala)
Brahminy Kite
Oriental Magpie-robin

mal200306

March 4, 2020

Mersing Beach Johor

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:07 am

Pantai Mersing

I caught the CW2 bus from Queen Street Terminal in Singapore, through the Singapore and Malaysia immigration, and on to Larkin Terminal in Johor Bahru. After a yummy Nasi Lemak in the bus station, I caught the bus to Mersing. I slept most of the way. I found my hostel and in the afternoon went for a walk along the beach. There was not many shore birds because it was pretty much full tide. Next morning the tide was heaps low, so there were lots more birds.

Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Pacific Golden Plover
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Pacific Golden Plovers and Ruddy Turnstone in flight
Pacific Golden Plovers and Ruddy Turnstone in flight

Kentish  or Malaysian Plover
Malaysian Plover (Charadrius peronii)

I could not tell which it was – Kentish or Malaysian Plover. Thanks to Khaleb and Boas for the identification.

Mersing Beach bird list

Malaysian Plover (Charadrius peronii)
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brahminy Kite
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
Javan Myna
Zebra Dove
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) 9315
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)

mal200304

March 2, 2020

Singapore Birding 4

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:05 am

Singapore Botanic Gardens

My last stop in Singapore. I was expecting a lot more but at least I got one new bird in the White-crested Laughingthrush.

White-crested Laughingthrush
White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus)

Red Junglefowl  - male
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) – male

Dollarbird
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Common Hill Myna
Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa)

Common Flameback  - male
Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) – male

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

Mute Swan
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

I do not think this is a native bird. They even had a Black Swan. It is called Swan Lake so I guess it is a tourist gimmick.

Smooth-coated Otter
Smooth-coated Otter ( Lutrogale perspicillata )

These otters passed right in front of me from the pond into the bush. This one had a good shake like a dog getting out of the water.

Singapore bird list

White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus)
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
Javan Myna
Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)
Asian Koel
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Asian Glossy Starling
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)
Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense)
Oriental Magpie-robin
White-breasted Waterhen
Crimson Sunbird
Black Swan
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Feral Pigeon

Smooth-coated Otter ( Lutrogale perspicillata )

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March 1, 2020

Singapore Birding 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:15 am

Jurong Lake Park – Singapore

I got up early again this morning and took two subway trains to Lakeside station and jumped on a bus to get to the car park at Jurong Lake Park. There were a few bird photographers around and some of them told me where the Buffy Fish Owl was roosting. I got a few photos and then headed up the track, looking for the Watercock that was supposed to be around. But all I found was about twenty to thirty photographers in a frenzy over a Brahminy Starling.

Buffy Fish Owl
Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu)

Malay Name: Tumbuk-Ketampi Melayu

Tiger Shrike
Brown Shrike

I made a mistake in ID for this one. Thanks to Boas for correcting me.

Brahminy Starling
Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum)

I had seen millions of Brahminy Starling in India, so I did not spend much time chasing it.

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker  - female
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) – female

Asian Openbill
Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)

Brahminy Kite
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

Water Monitor
Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)

Mirror image shot.

Singapore bird list

Buffy Fish Owl (Ketupa ketupu)
Brown Shrike
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum)
Javan Myna
Common Myna
Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum)
House Crow
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Common Iora
Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)
Little Egret
Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Purple Heron
Grey Heron
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Collared Kingfisher
pied fantail (Rhipidura javanica)
Olive-backed Sunbird

Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)
tortoise

sin200301

February 29, 2020

Pasir Ris Park Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:39 am

Pasir Ris Park

I got up late this morning and caught the subway to Pasir Ris. I luckily found a nasi lemak bungkus and wolfed that down. I could not find any coffee, so I did without for the meantime. I found the park and started walking towards the spots that Jeremiah from the BICA had told me about. I saw a bunch of birders clustered around a tree. I spotted the area that the Crested Goshawk had been seen but he was not around. So a young girl showed my this tree where a Spotted Wood Owl was snoozing. The other photographers were very friendly and helpful and there was a good spirit of camaraderie.

Spotted Wood Owl
Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo)

Crested Goshawk
Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)

Crested Goshawk
Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)

Ashy Minivet
Ashy Minivet (Pericrocotus divaricatus)

Red Junglefowl  - male
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) – male

Red Junglefowl  - female
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) – female

Red Junglefowl  - white variation
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) – white variation

There were some white “hybrids” hanging about with the normal Red Junglefowls. I found an article ( https://besgroup.org/2017/08/14/red-junglefowl-white-hybrid/ ) written by Thong Chow Ngian, that claims that it is a white hybrid. Others have suggested that it could be leucistic or albino. I have no idea.

House Crow
House Crow (Corvus splendens)

Black-naped Oriole
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

Oriental Pied Hornbill
Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)

Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Singapore bird list

Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)
Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo)
Ashy Minivet (Pericrocotus divaricatus)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halycon capensis)
Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Javan Myna

sin200229

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