Monday, December 7, 2009

Birding in KK with Sifu Karim 21st November 2009 (Part 2)

Updated on 1 May 2018 with text in green background.

21st November 2009, Saturday. I fetched Sifu Karim at 6.30 am from his house in Tanjung Aru, went for breakfast before going to Penampang again to look for snipes.

There was no snipe in sight at Penampang padi fields, saw the usual birds that were there last afternoon. Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus, Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia, Munias and various Egrets.
 Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt

The Black-winged Stilts here are foraging in fresh-water padi-fields, just as described in the Checklist (Mann,  2008). In Tawau, where there is no padi fields, we have seen a flock of them at the coastal tidal mudflats in Tinagat September this year.

This is my camera in the ready position with Sifu Karim in the background walking the road looking for snipe, any snipe.
 My Camera
Left for Sugud, Penampang after about an hour, saw a number of Blue-throated Bee-eaters  Merops Viridis perched on the high-wire along the way but did not stop to take photograph.

Sugud is a forest reserve in Penampang hills, the trees along the road, being secondary growth, are not that tall, together with the open view from the access road and the low traffic makes this place an excellent location for bird photography.

Greeted in Sugud by this Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus monyanus (Now Sunda Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus bornensis), it stopped only for a moment to enable me to capture this record shot, my 1st lifer for the day. The Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler is the only Scimitar Babbler that occurs in Borneo, ranging from sea level to 1,700 m on Mount Kinabalu.
Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler

Its preening movements caught my attention, the Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii (Now Psilopogon rafflesii), well hidden amongst the green foliage and a challenge to spot, it is my 2nd lifer for the day. Red-crowned Barbet is an uncommon to common resident throughout lowlands of Borneo, but not usually found with Red-throated Barbet M. mystacophanos (Now Psilopogon mystacophanos), it occurs from sea level up to 1,300 m. (Mann, 2008).
Red-crowned Barbet

The other birds photographed is Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica. With its pale underparts and distinct eye-ring, this looks like the migrant dauurica race, the resident umbrosa race is darker all over and very scarce.
Asian Brown Flycatcher

I diagnosed this as a Streaked Bulbul Ixos malaccensis (another lifer), even its streaky breast is not visible from the picture (Could not get any other picture as it stopped with the back facing me for a short instance before it flew off) because of the white vent that can be discerned from the back (The white vent is diagnostic of this species),  its grey tipped bill with pinkish lower base, and pinkish legs and feet .

(Edited on 6th March 2010: After photographing a Streaked Bulbul in Tawau, and comparing with this bird, I have to amend the ID, as Streaked Bulbul is a different looking bird with a more slender bill. This should be an Immature of the Cream-vented Bulbul. Too bad there is no other shots to positively confirm the ID).
Cream-vented Bulbul

Other birds spotted were Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis, Blue-and-White Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana, Diard's Trogon Harpactes diardii, Crested Serpant Eagle Spilornis Cheela, Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra, Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus, Banded Broadbill  Eurylaimus javanicus, Lesser Green Leafbird  Chloropsis cyanopogon and Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker Prionochilus xanthopygius.

Went to Lok Kawi later to look for the Chinese Egret, but it was not at Lok Kawi either, instead found the following two lifers, Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and the Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii.

Common Ringed Plover is a rare vagrant bird in Borneo, it breeds in N Palearctic, NE of North America, Greenland; mostly winters along coasts of Africa, Madagascar, W, S Europe, Middle East, S Pakistan, rarely India, Sri Lanka, S.E. China, Japan. So it is quite out of its normal range to come here. However, according to Sifu Karim, this particular bird has been at the same spot for quite a while, could have obtained  Permanent Resident status to stay here already.
Common Ringed Plover

Malaysian Plover is a SE Asian specialty, resident in the Sundas (except Java), Philippines, Sulawesi, Sula Island. It  is one of the two resident waders in Borneo, the other being Beach Stone Curlew Esacus magnirostris which is very rare. Malaysian Plovers are usually seen in pairs, but we only managed to locate this female bird that afternoon.
Malaysian Plover Female

At Lok Kawi (NW Coast of Borneo),  I sighted quite a number of Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres, this bird  is quite rare in Tawau (NE Coast of Borneo),. However, according to Sifu Karim, the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata , Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis and Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris which are commoner in Tawau are rarely seen here. The other waders that are seen that day and are common on both Tawau and Lok Kawi are the Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii (Now Anarhynchus leschenaultii), Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus (Now Siberian Plover Anarhynchus mongolus), Terex Sandpiper Xenus cinereus, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (Now Anarhynchus alexandrinus), Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva and Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola.
Ruddy Turnstone
Kentish Plover

The quest for Chinese Egret continued to Kuala Putatan and Tanjung Aru, but it was not to be seen there as well. However, we met salon Sifu Henry Chin and some photographers shooting this friendly flock of Great Egret Ardea alba (Now Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta) and Little Egret Egretta garzetta at the estuary of a monsoon drain leading out to sea near Sutera Harbour Resort. The estuary was where abundant catfish congregates to feed. The egrets here were busy feeding and quarreling among themselves which provided excellent opportunities to capturing action shots.
Flock of egrets
Flock of egrets

A lone dark-morph Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra also came to check out the excitement.
Pacific Reef Egret

The quest for Chinese Egret than continued to Likas Bay, but by than the tide was too high and the shoreline was fully submerged, so the Chinese Egret proved to be no show for this trip.

Stopped by at Likas Lagoon before going to airport for my flight back to Tawau. The lagoon was almost covered by lush growth of water hyacinth,  there was only a small opening of water at the far end of the lagoon. This family of Wandering Whistling-duck  Dendrocygna arcuata, with 5 ducklings was having a nice time there.
Wandering Whistling-duck

A few Purple Herons Ardea Purpurea were also seen hunting among the thick water hyacinth. Great Egrets, Little Egrets, Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus and Darters Anhinga melanogaster were seen perched on a raintree on the other side of the lagoon.
Purple Heron

This is my final lifer, the Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio indicus. This species is common at the Kalimantan lakes, Previously a rare migrant  to NW Borneo but recently an increasingly common resident in Western Sabah in padi fields and feshwater swamps. This very dark Sunda race of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo and Sulawesi P. p. indicus has been recently split as Black-backed Swamphen (Sangster 1998) but this was not accepted by Taylor, 1998.
Purple Swamphen

My sincere thanks to Sifu Karim for spending time with me for this wonderful outing, 5 lifers were scored from 3.00 pm of 20th November to dusk, and 6 lifers were scored til 3.00 pm of 21st November 2009.

After dropping Sifu Karim home and on my way to the airport, I encountered this pair of Green Imperial-pigeon Ducula aenea on a low tree, they were so low that I have to back away to get the whole bird in the frame, this is the first time that I managed to photograph them so low.
Green Imperial-pigeon
Happy birding.

Photodocument of Wild Birds of Borneo #288 to #293.

Ferguson-Lees, J and Christie, D. (2001) Raptors of the World A Field Guide. London, UK: Christopher Helm

MacKinnon, J. and Phillipps, K. (1993) A field Guide to the birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mann, C.F. (2008) The birds of Borneo, an annotated Checklist. Peterbourough, UK: British Ornithologists' Union.

Myers S. (2009) A field Guide to the birds of Borneo. London, UK: New Holland Publishers.

Phillipps, Q and Phillipps, K. (2009) Phillipps' field guide to the birds of Borneo, Oxford, UK: John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd.

Sheldon, F.H., Moyle, R.G. and Kennard, J. (2001) Ornithology of Sabah: History, Gazetteer, Annotated Checklist, and Bibliography. Washington D.C.:The American Ornithologists' Union.

Smythies, B.E. and Davison, G.W.H. (1999) The birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd. and the Sabah Society.


Jason Bugay Reyes a.k.a horukuru said...

Lovely post sifu hehehe

Wong Tsu Shi said...

Terima Kasih, Sifu Jason.