Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spectacled Bulbul - from pink to yellow gape

Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos is a common resident throughout primary and secondary lowland dipterocarp and peatswamp forest, it occurs in lower montane forest as well.

Generally, most fledgings and young birds have yellow gape for ease of feeding by their parents, the yellow gape  makes finding the target to feed easier, especially for cave nesters where it can be quite dark inside the nest. The gape will assume adult color in older birds.

However, the Spectacled Bulbul has a different scheme, its adult bird has bright yellow colored gape, contrasting to the younger birds which have duller pink gape. Bulbuls, building  cup-shaped nest of dead-leaves, rootlets and vegetable fibres lined with fine dry grass, does not need to feed their chicks in the dark and thus do not depend too much on the assistance of the yellow gape in feeding. (Incidentally, chick of Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier shows cream instead of yellow gape.) 

These three images are of adult birds, see the bright yellow eye-ring and gape.

Adult 1
 Adult 3
 Adult 4

 These are  immature birds, which have pinkish gape and eye-ring.

 Immature 1
 Immature 2

The fledgling has light pink gape and faint eye-ring. Lucky for me the adult bird came to feed so that its ID can be positively confirmed.

Fledgling being fed by adult.

Happy birding.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker fledgling

Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker Prionochilus xanthopygius is a common Bornean Endemic in North, North-east and Central Borneo from sea level up to 1,100 meters. Its diagnostic yellow rump is not easy  to spot in the field as it is always hidden beneath the folded wings, so field identification in Borneo is by spotting the presence of white malar stripe, which is the diagnostic feature of the similar but much rarer Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus percussus, which has no yellow rump but having white malar stripe.

Like typical Flowerpeckers, this is a small bird (9.5 cm to 10 cm) which forages for fruits, nectar and small invertebrates at all levels of the forest. Apparently it is more numerous in logged forest than unlogged forest.

Susan Myers is the only author on birds of Borneo who describes the juvenile of this species in her fieldguide to the birds of Borneo, in which she writes; "Wings and tails blackish-brown, rest of upperparts blueish-grey, underparts greenish-grey, rump dull yellow; bill pinkish." 

This is the picture of a fledging bird from Tawau, it was photographed when following the adult birds to feed. Too bad I did not get the picture of them together. 

You can see that it is more olive green all over, wing showing blackish primaries, duller underneath, with orange bill and blackish front half of the bill, dark grey feet, dull yellow rump(can be seen in the second picture).

Happy birding.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Nikon Photography & Birdwatching Workshop 7th to 9th May 2010, Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia, In conjunction with Sabah Fest 2010.

The first session of the workshop saw the participants engaged by Mr Cede Prudente on Nature Photography. Cede’s lively presentation together with his mesmerizing images and moving videos of nature and wide life of Sabah had the participants’ full attention.

Mr Kelvin Chan spoke on Travel Photography, he elaborated on the choice of subjects, composition, lighting and lenses to use under each circumstance. He also showcased his excellent collection of images from his vast travel and commercial assignments. 

Mr John Kong presented a talk on Discovering A World Of Subject With Nikon Lenses. He elaborated in depth on the available Nikon camera bodies and lenses and how to utilize them in real life photography assignments. His presentation included breathtaking images taken with the assortment of lenses.

Miss C S Ling, a young lady from Singapore spoke on Nature and Wildife Photography from her perspective. She has travelled to northern Japan and remote China to make thoughts provoking images of nature and wildlife. Being a lady, she shared with the lady participants on the challenges of being a lady nature photographer.

Mr T S Wong (That's me) spoke on Birds of Borneo, he briefed the participants on the number of species and endemics birds of Borneo, bird migrations, and ethics to be observed in bird photography. He also shared beautiful images of wild birds of Borneo.

Photo Review was carried out after second night's dinner, participants shared images captured during the field trips with other participants with critiques, comments and encouragements from the speakers.  

Jason Bugay Reyes spoke on Birdwatching and Digiscoping, he elaborated in depth on the working of the Nikon Binoculars and Fieldscopes. He also demonstrated the Nikon system of Digiscoping where you can achieve 1300mm focal length without breaking your bank and back. Images taken by Jason using the Digiscoping set-up were also displayed.

Tengku Adlin witnessed the signing of the MOUs by the donors of photographs for the benefit of Sabah Cheshire Home. The prints will be for sale all over Sabah with the proceeds donated to Sabah Cheshire Home.

Closing Ceremony by Tengku Adlin representing Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Sabah.

In between sessions, participants were taken into the field with various speakers for practical mentoring and exchange of ideas.
Mount Kinabalu
 Mosses on tree trunk
 White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
 Bird photography in action
 Participants, speakers and Tengku
Happy birding.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lens Parade

Just got back form the wonderful Nikon Nature and Birding Workshop at Kinabalu National Park yesterday. Have not got time to write up on the birds, so I think these two pictures showing lens parade from both the "Dark" and the "White" sides will do.

Pictures are taken in one of our regular playgrounds in Tawau, there are 2 Nikon 600mm and  2 Canon 600mm there,  enjoy!

Happy birding.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Orange-breasted Trogon

Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios is a scarce medium-sized trogon inhibiting the primary and secondary hill and montane forest of Borneo, from 200m to 1,500m. It is, however, absent from Brunei and Kalimantan Selatan. It's male  is the only male trogon in Borneo with no red in plumage.

It is chiefly a highland to lower montane bird in Borneo, however, in other parts of South East Asia it occurs from sea-level up to 1200 m.

A pair was chanced upon in Tawau, my lifer and making my photographed wild Borneo bird count to 312.


Happy birding.

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