Sunday, May 26, 2019

Hunt for Green Pigeon species post Global Big Day 2019

Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Pigeons and Doves, there are around 300 species being recognised globally, of which more than 50 species are likely to occur in Southeast Asia according to Ecology Asia's website. A particular Green Pigeon species in Malaysia sparked some excitement for me post Global Big Day 2019. A flock of this Green pigeon species was seen feeding on a fruiting tree in Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens) in Kuala Lumpur as I ended my Global Big Day birdwatch count there on a hot Saturday morning. The second count site at Paya Indah Wetlands in the afternoon was in the pipeline, so I couldn't stay on to observe the flock of Green Pigeons for a longer period of time.     
The possibility of the Orange-breasted Green Pigeon was there and in order to reconfirm my earlier observation as the Pink-necked OR the Orange-breasted, I made a second trip to Perdana Botanical Gardens on Sunday afternoon. I miscalculated the traffic jam and ended up being stuck for half and hour at the Merdeka Square roundabout. As I made my way to the exact spot where I had seen the flock of green pigeons feeding in the fruiting tree the day before, I was lucky enough to encounter a pair of Golden-fronted Leafbird. This pair were most likely to be escapees from KL bird park which is adjacent to the Lake Gardens. Glad to see this pair flitting about freely within the Botanical Garden grounds. The Golden-fronted Leafbird was the "golden" find for me that Sunday afternoon and all frustration from the horrible and unexpected traffic jam encountered earlier melted away at the sight of this leafbird species. Melodious calls of this Golden-fronted leafbird species were different from the Orange-bellied leafbird that can be found in the montane forests of Peninsular Malaysia.     
Golden-fronted Leafbird
The flock of Green Pigeons flew into the same fruiting tree later in the evening and after observing them for a longer period of time, the pinkish tinges on the neck of the juvenile were visible so it was the Pink-necked species indeed. My checklists submitted for eBird's Global Big Day 2019 initiated by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, for Perdana Botanical Gardens is available HERE, and HERE for outskirts of Paya Indah wetlands and HERE for Cyberjaya, with the final bird heard being the Large-tailed Nightjar.     

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Montane Birds of Malaysian Highland

Streaked Spiderhunter
Selangor Bird Fair 2019 was held over two days from 20th to 21st April 2019 at Kuala Kubu Bahru, a quaint town at the foothills of the Titiwangsa range. The town is also popular for its kaya pastries, muffin cakes and there is a shoplot hidden at the end of the corner of the town, which is quite well-known for its curry wantan mee, yong tau foo and claypot mee. The district council of Hulu Selangor hosted this annual event to promote birdwatching amongst the local community, including schoolchildren, college and university students. The closing ceremony was held at Mini Stadium in Kuala Kubu Bahru, which started quite late. I needed to drive back up to Fraser Hill, since I needed to check in at Puncak Inn by 6pm. Luckily I manage to reach the Gap, Selangor in time to birdwatch a bit. My checklist from eBird Malaysia is available HERE. Some of the birds sighted at Fraser Hill included the Streaked Spiderhunter above from the early morning walk near the entrance to Gap Road at Selangor-Pahang border (see checklist HERE), the Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo (don't think I've seen this species yet at Fraser Hill - see checklist HERE), Long-tailed Broadbill, the Malaysian Hill-Partridge (only 1 turned up that day as I sat quietly from across the road - see checklist HERE). Final birdwatching stop was back at the Gap Selangor as I drove down from Fraser Hill. A Gold-Whiskered Barbet was perched out in the open in a bare tree nearby the public toilets and I observed it for a few minutes in the hot mid-day sun. The checklist submitted through eBird Malaysia for this Barbet is available HERE.   
Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo
Malaysian Hill-Partridge (Arborophila campbelli) 
The police station at the Pahang border of Fraser Hill reminds us all of the hills' 100th year anniversary - the Little England of Malaysia celebration of a century in 2019! 
MINDEF accommodation for government staff only
Beautiful yellow moth - food for the montane birds

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