Monday, January 15, 2018

AGM 2018 and Post-AGM Birding at Genting Highlands

Annual General Meeting of Wild Bird Club Malaysia is not merely getting members to meet and vote. It also served as a platform for members all over the country to communicate and consolidate friendship through the bird watching activities. A day after the AGM, a bird-watching session at Old Pump House road, Gothong Jaya, just served the purpose right.

As early as 7:30am, a party of 31 members from all over the country, which includes Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johore, Pahang, and Sarawak gathered infront of Goh Tong Jaya Police Station for a briefing by the trip leaders before setting off to hunt for birds.

Covering 6.4km, the whole trip was filled with joy, laughter, excitement and surprises. A lone Great Hornbill posed high on a big tree enabled us to have a good look and opportunity to point our binoculars and cameras, but while on the other side, a noisy Banded Bay Cuckoo just refused to show up. 
Great Hornbill (Picture Credit: Tang Tuck Hong)
Great Hornbill (Picture Credit: Dr Lum Wei Wah)
Bar-Winged Flycatcher-Shrike (Picture Credit: Ang Teck Hin)
For the 4 hours we spent there, 47 species of birds seen or heard were as follow (as recorded in eBird Malaysia):
Green-Billed Malkoha (Picture Credit: Dr Chan Kai Soon)
16 species of birds were also recorded during Pre-AGM birdwatching session at Selesa Resort Golf Course, Pahang. Dr Chan Kai Soon's list as below: 

eBird Malaysia

eBird Malaysia was the result of a partnership between Wild Bird Club Malaysia and Cornell Lab of Ornithology USA. You can read more about the introduction of eBird Malaysia here. Notes on the Field Identification of the Green-Plumaged Barbets of Malaysia by Mr Allen Jeyarajasingam (with images by Andy Lee and Choy Wai Mun) was the first article that was published in eBird Malaysia portal. Submissions of articles to eBird Malaysia are welcomed from all. Kindly refer to the Guidelines for Submission of Articles here.

Text on AGM 2018 and Post-AGM Birding at Genting Highlands by Lee Keen Seong
Text on eBird Malaysia by Yeo Yee Ling
Pictures by Tang Tuck Hong, Ang Teck Hin, Yeo Yee Ling, Valleamah Sinniah, Lee Keen Seong, Dr Chan Kai Soon and Dr Lum Wei Wah

Friday, December 8, 2017

Raptor watching at Thoolakharka, Nepal (4-14 November 2017) Part 2

Golden Bush Robin
A Listing of birds sighted at Thoolakharka
Compiled by Lim Seik Ni
1. Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos )
2. Crimson-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos cathpharius)
3. Grey-capped Woodpecker (Picus canus)
4. Bay Woodpecker (Blythipicus pyrrhotis)
5. Great Barbet (Megalaima virens)
6. Blue-throated Barbet (Megalaima asiatica)
7. White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
8.Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
9.Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
10.Red-rumped Swollow (Cecropis daurica)
11.Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
12. Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans)
13.Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier) (Gypaetus barbatus)
14.Eygptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
15.White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
16.Himalayan Vulture (Griffon) (Gyps himalayensis)
17.Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus)
18.Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis)
19. Besra (Accipiter virgatus)
20.Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
21.Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus)
22.Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
23.Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus)
24.Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
25.Mountain Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis)
26.Himalayan Buzzard (Buteo spp)
27.Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
28.Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
29. Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)
30.Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
31.Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
32.Yellow-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa flavirostris)
33.Red-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythroryncha)
34.Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis)
35.Grey Treepie (Dendrocitta formosae)
36.Black Headed Jay (Garrulus lanceolatus)
37.House Crow (Corvus splendens)
38.Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)
39.Common Raven (Corvus corax)
40.Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus)
41.White-throated fantail (Rhipidura albicollis)
42.Yellow-bellied Fantail (Rhipidura hypoxantha)
43.Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
44.Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)
45.Long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach)
46.White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
47.Black Headed Jay (Garrulus lanceolatus)
48.Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus)
49.Golden Bush Robin (Tarsiger chrysaeus)
50.Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis)
51.White-capped Water-redstart (Chaimarrornis leucocephalus)
52.Plumbeous Water- redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus)
53.Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
54.White-tailed Nuthatch (Sitta himalayensis)
55.Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus)
56.Black-throated Tit (Aegithalos concinnus)
57.Yellow-browed Tit (Sylviparus modestus)
58.Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)
59.Himalayan Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys)
60.Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
61.Asian Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)
62.Hume’s Warbler (Phylloscopus humei)
63.Ashy-throated Wabler (Phylloscopus maculipennis)
64.Grey-hooded Warbler (Seicercus xanthoschistos)
65.Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
66.Yellow-bellied Wabler (Abroscopus superciliaris)
67.Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrogenys)
68.Streaked Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis)
69.White-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax albogularis)
70.White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus)
71.Striated Laughingthrush (Garrulax striatus)
72.Streaked Laughingthrush (Garrulax lineatus)
73.Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Garrulax erythrocephalus)
74.Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea)
75.Bar-throated Siva (Siva Strigula) 
76.Whiskered Yuhina (Yuhina flavicollis)
77.Orienal white-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
78.Rufous Sibia (Heterophasia capistrata)
79.Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferreus)
80.Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata)
81.Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)
82.Rusty-tailed flycatcher (Muscicapa ruficauda)
83.Ferruginous flycatcher (Muscicapa ferruginea)
84.Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata)
85.Large Niltava (Niltava grandis)
86.Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)
87.Green-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis)
88.Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata)
89.Fire-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga ignicauda)
90.Mrs Gould’s Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae)
91.House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
92.Russet Sparrow (Passer rutilans)
93. EurasianTree Sparow (Passer montanus)
94.Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)
95.Rosy Pipit (Anthus roseatus)
96.Dark-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacus nipalensis)
97.Pink-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa)
98.Blue Whistling-thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)
99.Pied Thrush (Zoothera wardii)
Peregrine Falcon
Asian Black Bulbul

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler

Eurasian Hobby
Common Raven
Long-tailed Minivet
Black-throated Tit
Rufous Sibia

Mrs Gould's Sunbird
Russet Sparrow
Pink-browed Rosefinch

Yellow-throated Marten (L) and Barking Deer (R)
All Other Photo Credit: Nelson Khor
Photo Credit: Adolph Khor for (Barking deer, Black-throated Tit and Golden Bush Robin)

Raptor watching at Thoolakharka, Nepal (4-14 November 2017) Part 1

Think Nepal and visions of the awesome Himalayas come to mind.  

We arrived in the late evening. At dawn the next day, an ad hoc group gathered in the camping grounds of the Angel Guesthouse at the Australian Base Camp (ABC) in Thoolakharka. Pulled together by the desire to catch the first glimpses of the sunrise bathing the snowcapped Annapurna peaks (a massif of the Himalayas) in gold — it was indeed awesome!
In clear view from the ABC is Machapuchare or commonly known as the Fishtail Mountain. Here you can see both points of the “tail” unlike from Pokhara where it just looks like a rather sharp single peak. And you can be forgiven for wondering: Why call it fishtail?

Now, juxtapose the white snowcapped mountains against the clear, deep blue sky and the sight of majestic raptors gliding in. Wow!

Even as I walked up the viewing point, I catch sight of my first vultures - the Himalayan Vultures. Gliding effortlessly, these rather awkward, even comical birds (thanks to Disney’s animated Jungle Book) when on the ground, look just as magnificent as any other raptor up in the air.

They were followed by the distinctly marked and beautiful Bearded Vulture.

As if to greet us on our first day, the raptors showed up in full force.
To name a few, there were (see the attached bird list for all the birds sighted during our time there):
  1. Steppe Eagles (there were about 600 of this species that flew by us on the first day)
  2. Himalayan Vultures
  3. Bearded Vultures (Lammergeier
  4. Bonelli’s Eagles
  5. Booted Eagles
  6. Egyptian Vultures
  7. Black Eagles
  8. Amur falcon
  9. Red-headed Vultures
  10. White-rumped Vultures
The following days, the raptors that appeared were not as numerous but we still got some new species flying by, like the Common Kestrel and the Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
Black-eared Kite
White-rumped Vulture
Himalayan Vulture
Steppe Eagle
Common Kestrel
In the early mornings, some of us would bird for forest birds in the nearby trails and it was very rewarding. We had a family of Kalij Pheasants (2 males, 3 females); numerous Laughingthrushes, the Yellow-billed Blue Magpies just to name a few.

Just behind Angel Guesthouse’s dining room, in their vegetable garden, we had the Blue-fronted Redstart, the Green-backed Tit and the White-tailed Nuthatch.

On our last full day, three of us decided to take a one-and-half hour hike down to a nearby village called Dhampus to get some lower elevation species. It was a very pleasant hike and we managed to get some birds that we had not seen up in Thoolakharka. We had the lovely Himalayan Bulbul with a crest that reminded me of the Tibetan monks’ ceremonial hat; the Common Green Magpie, the Black Headed Jay; a pair of Common Stonechats; the Grey Treepie, the Red-billed Leiothrix; Red-billed Blue Magpie; Red-vented Bulbuls; and we had another family of Kalij Pheasants plus of course the ever present Black Kites.

Very quickly, our time in Thoolakharka had come to an end. As we trekked down to Kande to board our bus, we continued to bird a little. And we were all rewarded with clear views of the Maroon Oriole among others.

On our journey back to Kathmandu, the birding had still not stopped. At our tea stop at an R&R place by a river, we had 3 River Lapwings; a Plumbous Redstart; a White-capped Redstarts and a Common Sandpiper.

Raptor watching from Thoolakharka offers close views and a wide variety of species. Furthermore, with the cool and cold (Single digits at night and early mornings) climate plus some 900 bird species and lovely trekking routes (if you are into this activity) Nepal has a lot to offer. 
Text by Ng Bee Cheng
Photo Credit: Lee Poh Peng (Black-eared Kite, Besra, Common Kestrel and Mountain view)
Other Photos Credit: Nelson Khor

Listing of Birds sighted at Thoolakharka and more pictures of birds and mammals of Nepal can be viewed at Raptor watching at Thoolakharka, Nepal (4-14 November 2017) Part 2.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

KEDIDI - Newsletter December 2017 issue

KEDIDI is the thricely newsletter of Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM) and we are delighted to announce that the December 2017:Vol 2/1 is now available for download here.

Members and Birders are also welcomed to contribute bird sightings to the current data collection and retrieval platform via eBird Malaysia.

WBCM December 2017: Vol 2/1 issue can also be downloaded by clicking on image below:-

Monday, October 9, 2017

Introduction to Birdwatching at Botanical Garden Kuala Lumpur (Lake Garden)

Botanical Garden was very quiet when I arrived at 7 am. 22 September was a national public holiday and I guess many city folks were still snoozing and cuddling in their beds to earn a precious morning of sleep on a week day. Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM) was approached by a resident association, in this case, the Persatuan Penduduk Bandar Utama 12 (PPBU 12) of Petaling Jaya, to introduce bird watching to the residents. By 8 am, all the participants had gathered at the restaurant beside the multi-storey car park and Chan gave a brief introduction of the common birds in our gardens to the party of 15 people, including 5 enthusiastic children. 
What is bird watching without binoculars? WBCM was fortunate that Schmidt Marketing Sdn Bhd had agreed to loan us 6 Minox binoculars for this event. Participants were reminded to take good care of the binoculars and with this, everyone happily trudged into the garden to begin a adventurous morning of bird watching. Tang Tuck Hong was gracious enough to lead the tour and he brought along a scope with him. Besides the binoculars, the children were also fascinated with this piece of equipment. 

The scope was indeed helpful to give the participants a very good sight of not only the birds but also for them to appreciate the beauty of some birds, example Pink-necked Pigeon, White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Black-naped Oriole and  Stripe-throated Bulbul. After 20 minutes of walking, we were attracted to the sight of a few big birds perching and flying about the branches of a big tree. It turns out to be Hadada Ibis but to the children, it was all ooahs!!and aars!!  as they were awed by the sight of such a big and beautiful bird. As everyone was captivated by this sight, 2 White-breasted Waterhens shyly ran into some bushes from the nearby pond. 

As we walked along, everyone caught sight of other common birds example Oriental Magpie-Robin, Little Egret, Rock Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Asian Glossy Starling, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Common Myna and Javan Myna.
Along the way out to the entrance, we were attracted to a series of loud, resonant and quickly repeated Tonk, tonk, tuuk, tuuk ……………….call. After a brief scan of the trees, Tang caught sight of the colourful Coppersmith Barbet. This was followed by another round of ooahs!! and aars!! from the children. The Barbet was helpful as it perched for quite a long time for everyone to admire its beauty, listen to its calling and take photographs.
We ended the trip at about 11 am. We had sighted about 20 species of birds and heard the call of 2 species (ie Common Tailorbird and Red Junglefowl). 
Besides Tang and Chan, 2 other WBCM members were also present to lend a helping hand ie Tang Pok Yew and Wong Yoke Keng. Although the four of us had just returned from a four-day bird watching trip to Sarawak  a few days ago, our enthusiasm to share the hobby and beauty of bird watching with the residents, especially the children, overwhelm the tiredness of our body and legs from the trip.  
We express our appreciation to the PPBU 12 for inviting us to introduce bird watching to the residents. We certainly hope our effort in this outing had generated interest in bird watching to everyone especially the younger generation.
Lastly, Wild Bird Club Malaysia would like to extend its appreciation to Schmidt Marketing Sdn Bhd for the generosity in lending us the binoculars for this event. 

Till then, Happy Birding!!

Text By: Chan Chi Lee
Photographs: Tang Tuck Hong, Chan Chi Lee & Grace Lee (resident of PPBU12)