Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (Day 50-56)

At this point the eaglet spend most of its time preening. Moving a lot on the surrounding it does make attempt to perch on a branch just outside of the nest. Still we cant make it during she practice its wing. Other then this one adult was only seen flying far away at about 1030hours. This make the entire day rather bored for me sitting there looking at the bird at all time. Any way this bird preening itself does entertain me and provide more detail on the plumage including fanning her tail many time.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Standing up and look at me is now nothing too big a deal. This few days the bird have been observed calling out perhaps maybe she saw her parent nearby.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Other then this sitting down in nest was still a batter thing to do. Sometimes I wander does she think this stupid human under the hot sun having sun burn might be crazy? hehehee
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
In all the whole plumage variation will be summarize in the end of the nesting season and hopefully will be available to all soon.

Monday, April 29, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (Day 43-49)

Honestly I'm a bit backed dated to my posting and observation so probably will have to leave some posting out. Anyway I went up to this nest this time with a friend of mine. We both have a good look though was waiting for the rain a stop for a while. Once stop the lighting was good enough but not rather for me to deal with digiscoping. My friend 500mm was perfect for his shot and video. Still I work my way to get some shot of this species.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
 Preening and preening and preening was all its activity today. Still I have to say I was water resistant but not cold resistant. I was actually feeling cold there.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
and only practice flapping once but i miss the shot and video. Could not believe it how did i miss it but that was it. a quick flap and that it.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Selangor - Great Hornbill

This is probably one of my personal favourite right now the "Great Hornbill". This pair was observed along the road while was conducting a recce trip on one of the birding spot. All of us were glad to spot it. Photo here show male moving around while female flew ahead. The pair was calling loudly along the area. All of us were trying to get a shot.
Great Hornbill
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Moving on the bird did not move far. Going a head to another tree but never provide good viewing opportunity for us. Nevertheless this was still a great view for us and a llifer to Eileen.
Great Hornbill
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Great Hornbill
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (Day 42-48)


Day 42-48 was one of the most exciting day. Our observation bring to new discovery. One of which we finally understand how the raptor take a new branch by observing the eaglet. It was amazing seeing the juvenile trying to break up the branches. The feeding was an excellent thing to observed. See the video here and here.

Eaglet was first observed to try to feed on a small mammals which was later identified as a Himalayan Striped Squirrel. The eaglet was first seen to be facing some problem tearing out the flesh. Soon the adult return with some new branches with lots of green leave and later assist the eaglet on tearing the flesh. 
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
The eaglet was later observed arranging the new twig and was not assist by the adult. In most cases we believe that the adult will be doing the arranging but here in this video we realize that at this age, Blyth’s eaglet will be arranging the twig herself.

1 dark tail band was also observed well on this age. Further observation also show lack of dark crescent on ear covert. This was also absent on an juvenile observed in fraser’s but faint in nest in Cameroon Highland. Observation on grik show rather absent as well. In Wallace’s Hawk Eagle, crescent are more visible and can be rather dark in some individual. This is seen in the individual at Kedah.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk Eagle (Male vs female plumage)

Its been a while since people ask me regarding the difference in plumage for this species. The other name would suggest it's plumage well which is Black and White Hawk Eagle. In black and white I would say this is one of the most spectacular Hawk Eagle in Malaysia. So here is some basic point to show their difference. To began with the sorting out of male and female were based on 5 nest. At least 4 nest show very consistency in this plumage. Though there is a need to have more documentation this would remain the best clue for us for the time being. The female bird which usually show streaking which extend lower, much more well arrange breast marking and much browner tail compare to greyer tail. Some individual especially older female would show reddish yellow eye but this is not seen in many individual. This feature require more research but for nest which was confirmed to be more then 8 years this feature was seen. Face always look sharper and flatter compare to male.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Male on the other hand show less well arrange marking and also streaking remain on upper breast and less continue to lower underpart of the body. Head are much rounder and typical bill appear somewhat smaller compare to female. See this picture here and here. Another difference is sometimes male show darker and blacker upperpart compare to female where show more brownish.

NCRRU - Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl probably one of the most common owl in the Peninsula Malaysia now was formerly vagrant to this country. The availability of roost site and breeding site especially up north seen the increase of this species. I still remember back in my schooling day, a Barn Owl used to be on the roof of the school. Well that was my lifer before I find them more along plantation during one of my owling trip. 

Subspecies here know as the Tyto alba javanica is currently know subspecies to have occur and breed here. This subspecies is know from two form with much paler form and another which is more darker form. Both are equally distributed throughout the country.

As common as they are they do bring some problem such as airplane struck a Barn Owl previously. Still this species manage to assist such as biological control for rat in plantation. Here most time still perch hunting technique is commonly observed espeacially in location such as Kuala Gula. In Sekinchan in the evening, searching flight technique are observed. In some plantation such as those in the edge of Merapoh National park the searching flight technique was also noted on this species.

In Peninsula Malaysia, barn owl have know to brood as many as six once up to twelve nestling. Ricefield in Sekinchan know to seen nesting Barn Owl in rice barn. Many details of this species here in Peninsula Malaysia is still unknown.

The Barn Owl were very well distributed in the lowland covering many habitat including mangrove, plantation, park & garden, housing area and also town and city area. This is a rather successful here and hopefully their near cousin will make their way here too.  
Barn Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk Eagle (Day 41-47)

Its been a while since I update on this nest. Today we decided to make a change of timing. We made our day there in the evening. Seem like the eaglet is more active then previous day. Most of us were very excited on this event.The eaglet tail though is still rather short but the characteristic of a young fledgling is nearly complete.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
There is also a few attempt of exercising its wing. Seeing this was a really amazing sight for all of us.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Also we do realise now at this age the touch up of the nest was done by the eaglet. The adult female bring the new branches in the eaglet with try to do the rest if can. See the upcoming video for this.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
In the end of the day a good rest seeing the sunset is something we should not miss.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NCRRU - Blyth's Hawk-Eagle (Day 36-42)

I manage to get some time to see this nest again. I was glad to arrive at the time I should be, but upon arrival I notice the adult behaviour were very different. I realise the female which was perching nearby were rather stress up, uncomfortable, and in tremendous lack of trust. Immediately I realise that the bird should have gone through some tremendous experience. I soon realise the reason, and a reason of need not said. Though I know this nest would survive I deeply sadden of what happen to this individual. Their stress and lack of trust gone as far as both parent were very reluctant to return to their perch or nest. Eaglet were left in the nest and occasionally the adult would swoop pass and call out to the eaglet. Compare to all my earlier visit, adult were very confident and trust of my presence allowing me to stood confidently. In fact the female never show sign against my presence. Today the call showing uncomfort was noted well. This call was not something unusual, I remember observing my first nest almost 12 year ago. Our crew which at that time lack of expereince dealing with Blyth's Hawk Eagle cause some disturbance but soon we built trust between the eagle and our team. The bird soon stood as close as 30 meter away preening and allowing us have great documentation.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Anyway, while I was there, the juvenile put up some show for me. Exercising her wing but lazily waiting for mum to come back. Detail of upperwing including buff edge making a line on the upperwing were typical to both Blyth's and Wallace's Hawk Eagle. Lack of darker crescent of ear usually seen in Wallace's by this age. Tail were not fully grown but some part of it is well seen.
Blyth's Hawk Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
The bird continue to move will the parent called where it soon stood lower down on the nest without making much movement later on. Parent return flying pass twice and both time called loudly but reluctant to enter the nest. In one occasion the bird move near the nest but changes its mind last minit.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Adult which was seen earlier. Front and back but was very uncomfortable. Lack of trust was clear in this individual. Still the commitment was to high to just leave like this. She stood a while before flying off.
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen.)
In all this nest should be a success to brood up one eaglet. In typical Blyth's Hawk Eagle have more then one nest. In some circumstances, the eagle would change its nest. Sometimes rotating the nest site but in some situation the older nest would be abandoned. Hopefully there is a continuity.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

NCRRU - Brown Hawk Owl

Brown Hawk-Owl or also know as Brown Boobook a species of owl which is common distributed throughout Peninsula Malaysia region. I must admit the further north you go the easier to see this bird. There were much more common in some of the west coast off shore island. As the name suggest, the appearance of very hawk like especially in flight suit its name very well. Plumage wise I guess we need not say any further. This bird was know to call from perch. I have never observed this species to call in flight as other raptor do.
Brown Hawk-Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)
This species have been observed to feed on large insect. In a few occasion, hawk moth and also cicada was observed. In one instant, after feeding the bird was seen using a leaf to clean the bill. Besides, other prey material such as lizard and possible crab was also observed.
Brown Hawk-Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)
2 subspecies in the country recorded. Nominate scutulata race was the most common subsoecies recorded. This subspecies have been recorded up to 2000m asl in Peninsula Malaysia. The migratory japonica which could have been a independent species (Northern Boobook) is rare and know from a few sighting up north in Peninsula Malaysia. This species in the Peninsula were mainly all recorded along coastal and never far from mangrove and coastal area. In Peninsular this species is unlikely to be confuse with other species.

Friday, April 12, 2013

NCRRU - Buffy Fish-Owl

Buffy Fish Owl also know as the Malay Fish Owl is probably one of the easiest owl to observed in Peninsula Malaysia. Is majority of right habitat this species always make their way in the list. The Buffy Fish owl is one of the two fish owl seen in Peninsula Malaysia. This species always stay near water, swampy and also in addition sometimes in stream and river. Occasionally they enter housing area with good large drainage where it can hunt. In one instant, this species was observed in my garden itself. However the Fish Owl is one species of owl where hunt for fish in Malaysia while other such as Fishing Owl does not occur here. One main difference is the ear of the fish owl absent in the fishing owl.
Buffy Fish-Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)
This species are known to hunt for fish, large insect and in a few occasion this species was observed to hunt for snake. In Kuala Selangor, this species was observed to feed on a krait and in another occasion NCRRU team documented it feeding on an unidentified snake. Typical strategies is still perch. Sometimes they will walk along the edge of the water scouting for fish that surface. This species is known to used tidal zone and hunt during changes of tide especially when tide descending.
Buffy Fish-Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)
A few nest was observed. Though it is unclear is this species only used other species nest or they do however used cavity, they a however observed taking over a Crested Serpent Eagle nest. In another occasion NCRRU team documented the usage of bird nest fern and successfully bringing up one nestling. This in fact show that this species require more attention and study on the nesting behaviour in the Peninsula Malaysia.
Buffy Fish-Owl
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Four subspecies were recognize with nominate in Peninsula Malaysia and also pageli in north Borneo. Nevertheless specimen collected throughout Peninsular region show a difference in coloration raging from palest to heavier streaking and a slightly differ in size proof there is a need of further research to understand and batter classified the subspecies in Peninsular region.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCRRU - Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Since I have uploaded the video of this individual at nest, here is the picture of her at nest. She is very persistent guarding her nest and also trying to cool off in a hot day. There is usually a substitute nest to Changeable Hawk-Eagle but I cant find one for this. Perhaps a little different behaviour then. Nevertheless this apply well to Blyth's Hawk Eagle.

She is believe to be incubating. Some observation show the bird never move to the center of the nest but remain as seen in picture and video. Hopefully a successful year this year. This nest have been there over 5 years now.

Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NCRRU - Grey-Headed Fish Eagle (revisted)

We decided to revisit this site to check out the condition and try to confirmed the nesting stage of this pair. Our result were very promising and we were glad to see the female was actually shifting the nest and probably egg around. The female was later observed to stay low in the ground such as in this picture. The head can be seen in the right.
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
Female at nest
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Male was wandering around without fail. Perching on the same perch for hour and without any disturbance. In this observation I also find out that during preening, the male stay in a perch which look directly towards the nest. Keeping an watch full eye on the nest in case of any intruder. Female stay so low in the nest where it look empty. A large bird that look invisible in nest. Feeding for this species is rather irregular at this moment. This propably can be due to the stage is still in incubation and female are still doing a lot of hunting. This however require more study on this species during nesting. Another aspect will be dependency period. No record was obtain of this species in Peninsula Malaysia. It will be great to understand their dependency period of this species as juvenile first year have been observed mile away from suitable habitat without present of adult.
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Perak - Crested Serpent Eagle

The Crested Serpent Eagle in Malaysia are know by two subspecies. The malayensis and burmanicus with burmanicus only passage and very rare. Malayensis on the other hand are common. In fact majority or Crested Serpent Eagle we see in Peninsula Malaysia are off from this subspecies. They are know for more highlighted in colour, smaller and more spot. Adult such as in this picture are easily observed in a lot of places. Nest however is very rare. Almost all Crested Serpent Eagle prefer nest to be near water. In search for nest, almost all nest are found in mangrove area and a few was well observed till fledge. Dependency period of almost 6 month are are recorded in one of the individual. Full detail of nest will be posted up in near future.

Crested Serpent Eagle
malayensis subspecies
(Photo by Terence & Eileen)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NCRRU - Changeable Hawk Eagle (Dark Morph)

Changeable Hawk-Eagle(CHE) is one of the most common raptor in Peninsula Malaysia. In a way this species are successful in many different habitat. They come with 2 different morph. The pale and the dark morph. During nesting a mix morph can happen and is not a rare sight to see a nest with mix morph. The result is 50% chance of either morph. The dark morph can be told by mainly dark plumage variation but can also appear very dark brown such as in this picture here. This one here is an adult. Perch well for us to view and photograph. We also manage to get some video such as this one here.

I wont say aging the dark morph is easy and it is always harder compare to pale morph. Many also confuse this species to Bat Hawk and Black Eagle. One of the easy way is the placing of the wing when close. At close the Changeable Hawk Eagle wing is half way tail length while both Bat Hawk and Black Eagle is close to tail tip. This may help many to differentiate their raptor.

Here is some picture of the dark morph adult.
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Perak - Common Kingfisher (Handheld Digiscope)

I'm actually thrill to see the quality of the picture. It was far batter then I expected. I was holding my scope and trying to press the shutter with the cable release. With scope shaking and car somewhat shaking I still glad to get this shot by handheld the digiscope equipment.

So this was my first shot of the Common Kingfisher using digiscope technique.

Common Kingfisher
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Common Kingfisher
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Common Kingfisher
(Photo by Terence Ang)

Perak - Indian Pond Heron and Javan Pond Heron

This is not y best shot of either species. However I'm glad to get them in one frame. One thing I learn is never try photography in this environment when it's heat on its peak. Very difficult to focus and lighting was never really the way I want it. Nevertheless seeing both of them together is still a shot I never want to miss.
As much as my memory serve me, number of this two species have been constantly increasing. They are no longer as rare as we all thought. To me they are actually very regular. I have seen them further south this season as far as Kuala Selangor. Hopefully they get more common for us.

Indian Pond Heron & Javan Pond Heron
(Photo by Terence Ang)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NCRRU - Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle

I went back to look for some raptor in this site. Immediately after an hour of searching I saw this Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle carrying a prey. After a few minit observation I realise this was a typical breeding behaviour of raptors. I decided to follow the bird in a good distance away. So it is, I found the bird and the nest. The bird was later know as a male GHFE. The bird was very careful taking more then 3 perch before entering his nest. Each time without fear to check me out. Meanwhile, his pair stood very low on the nest. She only stood out to take the prey from the male. It was a magnificent sight all together. Looking at this species breeding well in this location was a bonus.
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle
(Photo by Terence Ang)
Additional video here.