Monday, December 31, 2012

Understanding Aquila - Greater Spotted Eagle (Part 1)

It been a while people have been asking me, I ask myself and me asking expert about this question. Going through tons of reference don't really help either when different author have different perception and how the placed the name in. Today in this topic for part one we will look into the type of variation and also number of plumage to age in Greater spotted eagle-however how to identified each will come in later chapter-.

So how many variation do we have?

In all we have 3 different variation well noted and all three occur and have been observed here in Peninsula Malaysia. They are:
My classification                : also know in other text
Dark Variation                     Normal morph, typical juvenile, classic, traditional plumage
Imtermediate variation          Bleech individual, pale morph,
Pale variation                       Fulvescen

The most interesting about this is that most of this variation is only crucial in juvenile age. In Malaysia where the ratio of juvenile to adult bird is currently almost 9:1 we should put more care when identifying all the juvenile plumage.

Ages of the GSE has also well noted here. All 5 plumages have been well seen and documented in various location. Each of this plumages represent one year.
1st plumage - 1st cal year
2nd plumage - 2 cal year
and so on till the 5th plumages and adult.

In our current knowledge in Malaysia all 3 morph mention earlier are documented in the 1st - 3rd plumage. This make us require to think right now at least 11 different plumages when identifying just the GSE alone. Special care should be noted when dealing with different variation. As far as im concern, dark variation is still the commonest in Peninsula Malaysia over the other 2. There is only 2 pale variation record in Peninsula Malaysia and less common but noted in all site as well is the Intermediate variation.

Here end of part one as introduction to GSE. May this assist you all in field to avoid confusion. Stay tune for part 2 and the other part to come including telling them apart in field.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Batang Tiga - Imperial Eagle

Did me and my friend saw the raptor we want. YES!!! after some disappointing and frustrating moments. It was great to see this majestic bird. I find in close examination of this bird in field we can easily confuse a bird in flight with a few other raptor. But well below are the picture of the Imperial Eagle.
Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)


Batang Tiga - Steppe Eagle

I went back to Batang Tiga with my friend as he wanted to see the Imperial Eagle. So we headed there again and began at 5am again. Well honestly I'm start to think if rain follow me there all the time or just I was in bad luck to get a good shot without any with bright light. So is some of the picture.
Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
  
Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kuala Selangor - The Extraordinary

I have a chance to do some birding with one of my American friend. It all started with some gloomy day but it all ended with raptor extraordinary. To bring it out first, the Yellow-Vented Bulbul and same time the Stork-Billed Kingfisher just 10 meter away from one another.
Stork-Billed Kingfisher
(Photo taken by Terence)
Yellow-Vented Bulbul
(Photo taken by Terence)

Later on, a Crested Serpent Eagle hunting for food was observes. Video of this bird will be uploaded later.
Crested Serpent Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence)

Moving on not to be miss is the nesting group of Baya Weaver.
Baya Weaver
(Photo taken by Terence)

Baya Weaver
(Photo taken by Terence)
The most exciting thing in today visit is 7 Greater Spotted Eagle, 1 Eastern Marsh Harrier, 2 Black Shouldered Kite, at least 7 - 10 Brahminy Kite and 2 White-Bellied Sea-Eagle all perch in the same plot. Below are some photo of a Greater Spotted Eagle. Anyone want to age them? Will let you all know the age later.

Greater Spotted Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence)

Greater Spotted Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Photography - Handheld digiscoping

Ever since I started digiscoping I have come across problem where the bird is flush when I open my car door and without doing so I cant take any shot. So I decided to go with handheld and with an angle scope this is not an easy thing to do. Trying to hold and aim at my target simultaneously trying to focus and press the shutter is not an easy thing. Still I need to try to come up with something for this method of photography. I cant waste the opportunity if there is one. Making of my age as my advantage and no less hand shake as I'm still young I manage to get some shot of the handheld method. Below are three picture resulted to the handheld digiscoping.
Black Shouldered Kite
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Batang Tiga - All in 30 Minutes

Today was the day I waiting for with tip off on the location and site, I was hoping to make it Christmas lifer for my loved one Eileen. So we wake up as early as 4 am in the morning and head off to Batang Tiga by 5 am. Stop once to relief my stomach ache and also have breakfast.

We arrive just nice for the first light and without wasting time we headed to the site. By the time I turn my car we saw the first raptor. It was an aquila from the size and was later confirmed to be a Greater Spotted Eagle. To be precise this one is a first year bird. So the day have began without wasting a minute but the problem is the fog and lighting was not on my side. Focusing is in extream condition for me. Nevertheless we still go ahead.

Greater Spotted Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Greater Spotted Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)
Greater Spotted Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)
 Immediately after this both Steppe and Imperial turn out. I decided to get my equipment ready and into the battlefield immediately. I was like one football field inside the ricefield trying to balance myself, the equipment and also rushing to the tree.

Here is an Imperial Eagle perch near a Greater Spotted Eagle. By the details of it and when in flight this should be another first year bird but the upperwing does look a bit worn. Size of the Imperial Eagle was obviously bigger then the Greater Spotted Eagle.
Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Imperial Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)
Last but not least was the Steppe Eagle. This bird fly pass in front of me followed the Imperial but has never perch together with the Imperial. Still this first year but was an magnificent to see since my last sighting of the Steppe Eagle was many years ago.


Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)

Steppe Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence & Eileen)


The day ended with
5 Greater Spotted Eagle
2 Steppe Eagle
1 Imperial Eagle
2 Eastern Marsh Harrier
2 Pied Harrier
1 Brahminy Kite

4-6 Black Shouldered Kite

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tanjung Tuan - Brahminy Kite

I was with a team of observer up in Tanjung Tuan documenting the migratory raptor. So i took the oportunity to observer more then photograph. It is not really easy to do all in the same time but I guess one photo of the raptor will not hurt. Here a Brahminy Kite flew above us directly passing the light house
Brahminy Kite
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Jungle weirdo - The Jungle Myna

I got this picture of slightly weird plumage of the jungle myna. In any way I still take a shot of it though I was looking for the indian roller. Looking at it wasn't a bad shot after all. Anyway there was another rarity I was looking for at the time. The white-shouldered starling was just sighted  before this picture was taken...

Jungle Myna
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Jungle Myna
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Malaysia furthest south and first for Selangor record - Indian Roller

The team and myself were all saying goodbye and also packing up my stuff to put back in the car. I decided to leave my digiscoping equipment in a place i can easily reach in case something good turn out. So as we drive along the road moving left and right Eileen and me saw something perch by the side and there I shout is that a roller?

Eileen responded yes and off straight hoping the car sticker on back wind screen of my car in a busy traffic stating "caution we do bird stop" work when i immediately sway the car to the shoulder of the road. Coming down the bird was very nervous. I have to make a few run and stop to get some shot of this guy.

Honestly for a year and more now that I have actually hoping to get a roller here and now I have seen it in Kuala Selangor I hope my next target there to be the Hoopoe.

Below are the picture of the Indian Roller. This bird have show a very show and nervous behaviour similar to the 3 noted in Taiping years ago when they first arrive. Only different is that this was similar to another Roller i see in Penang where is a bit off from its habitat and also in the same time beside road with traffic. Other sighting were mainly off road and also somewhere secluded.

Indian Roller @ Kuala Selangor
(photo by Terence & Eileen)
Indian Roller @ Kuala Selangor
(photo by Terence & Eileen)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center (BSBCC) - Sabah

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is the first of its conservation centre which rehabilitate/rescue the bornean sun bear. It is the first and only (at this moment) in south east asia region (of course in our country as well). As for now, the conservation centre will be schedule to open in due time (most likely mid of next year. We will keep you update once the conservation centre is open to public. Stay tune!).

Nevertheless , Nature Core would like to thank Eileen Chiang who have the privileged to enter this wonderful conservation center for the first hand to be reviewed and guided by the man (aka Founder) behind this Project, Mr Wong Siew Te (We also known him as "Papa Bear") and his wonderful, dedicated team behind this project. Thanks to BSBCC for giving Eileen Chiang this priviledge to be there to witness this wonderful conservation work and Eileen Chiang for sharing her experience at the centre to us. Kudos!

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) - there are still some upgrading work to be done. Once complete, this center will provide state of the art facilities, view point/platform and center to view and photograph the sun bear. Besides, there might be information centre for the sunbear as well. 

The "WOW" factor for this centre - its the platform. Great place to view sunbears (those that BSBCC has been rescued with the help from other agencies)  and understand their behaviour in the wild. Besides that, Eileen Chiang has the priviledge to visit the rescue centre too! It's truly amazing that the BSBCC team has done a lot of great work for the sunbears. Kudos.

Based on Eileen's expeirence, this is what she would like to highlight.  Eileen Chiang mentioned that during her trip, she still remembered when Mr Wong asked "Eileen, can you spot the sunbear?" and she told us that she took a while to get her eyes adjust to search for these sunbears. This showed that they are well camouflage. 

Great news for the Sunbears and for the public: This centre will remain on this location where they can be rescue and to be given a second chance to survive back in the wild. A work which require a heavy workman and consistency with high level of discipline. Please support the BSBCC!

Below are two of the four Sun Bears can be viewed from the platform.  (A quick ones - each of the sunbears in the BSBCC has name and their name derived from their past history or where they were rescued from).

Sun Bear - sniffing and wondering. Very active.
(Photo taken by Eileen Chiang)

Sun Bear (Got this view from the observation platform)
(Photo taken by Eileen Chiang)
This trip has provided Eileen Chiang - a great knowledge about Sunbear and the love and care from the founder of BSBCC , Mr Wong Siew Te and the team.

Getting more interest and would like to know more about our Bornean Sun Bear and BSBCC, please visit : Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). Do support this great initiative - For  the sunbear conservation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kuala Selangor - Brahminy Kite

A common species in Peninsula Malaysia but it is still not an easy task to photograph it. It was already years since my last shot of this species. Come to date for the pass 14 year many location where this species was once common have been recording absent to them. Though population in some area is increasing, some have show other wise. Here only one subspecies recognize while other local migration and short distance migratory were all from the same subspecies.

Nesting of this species have also been recorded in Kuala Selangor itself with one about 1 meter below canopy on a mangrove nearby. Both parent was observed to be in nest but nest disappear a few week later. A few thing to be ponder here. Having a species is not rare and nest have been recorded, dependency period of this species in Peninsula Malaysia was not recorded. I guess there is still lot of us to know from this commoner.
3 Brahminy Kite. Another one join in later making 4 in one tree
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
 Another interesting fact is juvenile Brahminy Kite. Though the plumage varies as ages many were not describe well in guide. This typical plumage of a juvenile is commonly describe and most seen in field.
Juvenile Brahminy Kite perch in another tree
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Brahminy Kite in middle of the mangrove forest
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Brahminy Kite
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kuala Selangor - Little Egret

One of the commonest egret in Kuala Selangor area. This species is seen in KSNP and all over the coastal area in Kuala Selangor. However their population were higher in slightly inland then along the mudflat. This however enable good vie of this species once we knew thier location.

This adult is photograph near a fishing village during a lookout for Night Heron, and raptors.

Little Egret
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Kuala Selangor - Great Egret

its been a while since I pay attention to egret. However today apart from this individual there is another one with confusing marking. I'm rather convince it is a great but the whole leg is PINKISH. Most great are all black. I was wandering why. If anyone have any idea do let me know.

Here is a picture of a Great Egret(not the weird individual mention)


Great Egret
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)


Kuala Selangor - White Bellied Sea Eagle

This species is a common sight in this location having that it is by the coast. We found another pair nearby with an active nest and was sure the nestling was less then 2 week. This is an old nest and have been there for year.

The White Bellied Sea Eagle have room and defended this territory for a long time now and doing so. 
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)
                                      
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Kuala Selangor - Lineated Barbet

Lineated Barbet is a rather common sight if you know their spot. This one spotted perching and calling while another one was busy moving in thick foliage.
Lineated Barbet
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Lineated Barbet
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Kuala Selangor - Sunda Woodpecker

Sunda Woodpecker was one of my favourite. Not an easy species to photograph but with patient you should have that opportunity. This one here make at least 5 hole but frequented only one hole as seen here. I believe is another beginning of a nesting season. GOOD LUCK little feller

I have personally waited a long time to photograph this species. Now is my chase to do so.

Sunda Woodpecker
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Sunda Woodpecker
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Sunda Woodpecker
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)

Sunda Woodpecker
(Photo taken by Terence Ang)


Kuala Selangor - Lesser Adjutant

Kuala Selangor remain one of the easier place to nail this species. I saw one of this up in a tree during a mid tide and do not want to let me chance go to photography such a magnificent species.

In fact Kuala Selangor is where I saw my lifer for this specie. is already more then 10 year now since I got it as lifer and have seen this species in many numerous location. However I believe with such drastic lost of habitat due to erosion and human activity within the vicinity, this species is plunging down in number. Hopefully the did not join the record in Malaysia like the Green Peafowl.
Lesser Adjutant - Photo taken by Terence Ang

Lesser Adjutant - Photo taken by Terence Ang

Lesser Adjutant - Photo taken by Terence Ang