Sunday, April 15, 2018

Taman Negara Bird Count 2018

Orange-backed woodpecker
Once again, Taman Negara Bird Group successfully organized the Taman Negara Bird Count for the 5th year,  from 16th to 18th March 2018, and Wild Bird Club Malaysia was glad to be invited to be part of the Count. The 2½ days event attracted 300 participants, some of whom were from Germany, France, Nigeria, Thailand and Spain, including students from University Malaysia Terengganu and College Poly-Tech Mara Campus. The main objective of the bird count, as informed  by TNBC secretary, Mr. Sabri Abdullah and committee members, Mr. Abdul Jalil Rahman, Mr. Roslan Abu Kasim (TNBC President), was to survey and establish an accurate record of the avian diversity in Kuala Tahan, especially at the two  focused sites this year: Tembeling Hornbill Valley and Benus Bird Camp. Secondly, to promote sustainable ecotourism especially birdwatching, plus nature conservation work in Kuala Tahan area, especially against logging activities. As an invited NGO to the TNBC 2018, Wild Bird Club Malaysia were represented by 7 members: Mr. Tang Tuck Hong, Mdm. Yeo Yee Ling, Mr. and Mrs. Hiew, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Koh  and Mr. Ng Jia Jie. Upon reaching Kuala Tahan on 16th March, we decided to birdwatch in Taman Negara Mutiara Resort before and after registering for TNBC. We covered the area around the resort chalet, the trail towards Tahan Hide and the plank walk trail towards Lubok Simpon, where we managed to spot Orange-backed Woodpeckers, Chestnut-breasted Malkohas, Raffles’ Malkohas, Korean Flycatchers, Thick-billed Green Pigeons, Brown Needletails, Pacific/Cook’s Swift, White-bellied Woodpeckers, Black-backed Kingfisher, Little Green Pigeon, the star of Taman Negara: Crested Fireback, and of course the friendly female Great Argus. For more detailed checklist, please click the ebird checklist link: (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43772070) (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43772076)
Crested Fireback

White-Bellied Woodpecker

Korean Flycatcher
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (M)

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (F)









                                                                            On the 17th and 18th, we visited and birded at the Lubok Simpon trail of Mutiara Resort, Tembeling Hornbill Valley in Kg. Dedari and Benus Bird Camp in Kg. Gol. Both days were sunny and blazing hot, although we were all fired up for birding,  the weather seems to be too hot for the birds as the bird counts were rather low at Hornbill Valley and Benus Bird Camp. However, we were glad to share the beauty of our wild birds with the students and exchange stories with the experienced local guides like Mr. May and Mdm. Aida. Despite the absence of hornbills at the hornbill valley, we were delighted to enjoy sighting a few Violet Cuckoos vocalizing and foraging along with a single Plaintive Cuckoo, a single perched Whiskered Treeswift, and a male Greater Green Leafbird in the distance. We had another bird count along the trail to Lubok Simpon,  the endangered Straw-headed Bulbul at the riverside of Lubok Simpon, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Black-naped Monarch, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Tiger Shrike, Lesser Cuckooshrike, Long-tailed Parakeet, being some of the highlights for the day. The local torquatus race Oriental Honey Buzzard exhibited breeding display flight – wing clapping behavior mid-flight. While at the Benus Bird Camp, we spotted Rufous Woodpecker, Black Magpie, Rufous-backed Dwarf Kingfisher, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, and several bulbul species, however, the highly sought after Garnet Pitta was missing, but Mr. Arif and Mr. Sulaiman from NEST had rather easy personal experiences with Garnet Pitta sighting in BBC. The Malaysian Honeyguide was also seen by Mr. Arif in BBC. With the support from local community in Kampung Gol and Mr. Arif Ahmad, the Benus Bird Camp was established  3 or 4 years ago, and has  great potential in not only being a birdwatching site but also a research site related to mammals and plants, subsequently capable of providing an income for the local community.
Straw-Headed Bulbul (a pair)
Black-backed Kingfisher

Red-bearded Bee-
ebird checklist:
1. Mutiara Resort on 17th Morning: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43773867
2. Tembeling Hornbill Valley in Kg. Dedari on 17th Afternoon https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43777023
3. Benus Bird Camp in Kg. Gol on 18th Morning: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43783162
With the support from  the Jerantut Parliment Member YB. Dato’ Haji Ahmad Nazlan Bin Idris, Tourism Pahang, The Habitat Foundation and The Habitat Penang Hill, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Taman Negara Bird Count 2018 was concluded with a total of 120 bird species recorded, with 19 of these being  threatened species. As the slogan of TNBC 2018 goes: Count for fun! Count for Conservation! Count for Future Generation! ; we had fun and wished them all the best for their nature conservation work.
Text by Ng Jia Jie
Pictures by Yeo Yee Ling and Tang Tuck Hong

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

KEDIDI - Newsletter APRIL 2018 issue

KEDIDI is the thricely newsletter of Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM) and we are delighted to announce that the APRIL 2018:Vol 2/2 is now available for download HERE . You can also download this issue by clicking on image above.

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Global Big Day 2018 in Malaysia


How many birds can a world of birders find in one day? You can help answer that question on 5 May 2018Global Big Day.

Last year's Global Big Day featured more than 20000 people across 162 countries, collectively reporting 6637 species of birds—more than 60% of the world's bird diversity. This May, you can be a part of the fun. All you have to do is spend a few minutes birding, and eBird what you find.

Here are three quick ways to have the most fun:
  1. "Scout" your birding spots for 5 May. Finding where the birds are ahead of time makes the big day birding more fun, and also gives you more chances to be out enjoying birds. Perfect. Learn how to use eBird to find birds. 
  2. Use eBird Mobile. eBird's free data-entry app takes the time out of data entry, with tools like Quick Entry that mean you have less time with your face in a notebook and more time birding. Try eBird Mobile.
  3. Get a friend involved. Perhaps this is a good birding buddy, or someone who has never been birding before. Make it a friendly competition, or join forces as a Global Big Day team, and put your marker on the global participation map. Share on social media using #GlobalBigDay. Check out the Facebook event

No matter what you do, have a great time, enjoy the birds around you, and let us know what you find! We're excited to see what we can achieve together on Global Big Day.

Wild Bird Club Malaysia will be giving away a mystery gift to Malaysian eBirder who will be selected based on lucky draw. Full checklists with no Xs submitted through eBird Malaysia on 5th May 2018 will be eligible for this lucky draw. More information on GBD 2018 will be posted soon in website and KEDIDI newsletter. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Introduction to Birdwatching at UPM Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve Puchong

It is never too early to begin bird watching activities. Some started as young as a child. For a group of young men and ladies who will one day become the authority of the park and forest, it is just the right time for them to get acquaintance with this form of activity while they are still pursuing their education in the university.
Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM), in collaboration with NEST, successfully conducted an Introduction to Birdwatching for 2nd year students of Park and Recreational Faculty, UPM at SISFEC UPM, Puchong, on 2nd and 3rd of February, 2018.
The practical session was held on 3rd February morning. As early as 6:30am, WBCM volunteers had gathered at the centre to receive a briefing by the President of WBCM, Mr. Andy Lee.
Volunteers were divided into 4 groups as follow:
Group 1
Low Kok Hen (leader)
Chen Seow Kean
Katherine Khong
Group 2
Ng Jie Jia (leader)
Alan Koh
Group 3
Lee Keen Seong (leader)
Hiew Fong Oon
Chin Nyuk Hwa
Group 4
Andy Lee (leader)
Teoh TH
Kelvin Chew

Each team consisted of 10 to 11 students.
After briefing, the students set off to the forest.  With the help of WBCM volunteers, they learnt the proper way of using binoculars, the birding ethics, spotting and identifying bird etc.  This practical session ended at 9:00am, where all the participants had their breakfast thereafter.
Later in the lecture hall, each group appoint a student representative to present their experiences.
Overall, the students displayed their utmost discipline, interest, and enthusiasm. Hope one day they can contribute towards the conservation of avifauna in our country.
Below is a report by one of the participant in group 3, Jayden Chin:

Bird-watching in Hutan Simpan Ayer Hitam, Puchong
On March 3, 2018, Universiti Putra Malaysia UPM held a bird-watching session at Pusat Pendidikan Perhutanan Sultan Idris Shah (SISFEC) UPM together with NEST and Wild Bird Club Malaysia.
The bird-watchers gathered at 7.30am and started to look for birds after being briefed by Mr Andy Lee. Out of four groups, Group 3 consisted of 11 members who were led by Mr Lee, Mr and Mrs Hiew.
The journey to look for birds were filled with joy, excitement and hope. A few types of birds were identified such as Red-eyed Bulbul, Greater racket-tailed Drongo and Flycatcher. Few birding experiences were shared in group. Everyone were satisfied and happy with the bird-watching session. 
We had breakfast after the completion of birdwatching session, followed by presentations in Bilik Tiong Emas. Group 3 shared the sighting of the Greater racket-tailed drongo. Finally after presentation, Group 3 joined the other groups for the photo session to conclude the bird-watching session at UPM.
Andy talking about the newly redesigned website for eBird Malaysia to UPM students
eBird Malaysia is a collaboration between WBCM and Cornell Lab of Ornithology with this regional portal being launched for Malaysia and Malaysian birdwatching community since 9th November 2016. UPM through Dr Puan Chong Leong had contributed an article on Recognising Individual Birds through Calls: First Acoustic Study on a Malaysian Owl which can be read HERE. The current eBird regional portals within Asia are in India and Taiwan. Learn more about eBird through video below:-  
 
Text by Lee Keen Seong
Pictures by Wild Bird Club Malaysia
Video of eBird by Cornell Lab Ornithology

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):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41737331
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:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41702164 

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
Besra
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.