Saturday, July 3, 2010

Slaty-backed Forktail in Fraser's Hill

Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus) is the only montane species of forktail in Peninsular Malaysia. I had been trying to digiscope this forktail since last year in Cameron Highlands, but it's a difficult task, because forktail usually won't stay still in one position, and its white feathers also further increase the difficulty for a camera to capture the image.

Adult Slaty-backed Forktail in Cameron Highlands

I was lucky to spot a Slaty-backed Forktail swallowing a small snake in Fraser's Hill. Due to the weight of the snake, the forktail couldn't move easily, it has to swallow at least three quarter of the snake before take off. Therefore, it's the best moment for me to digiscope the forktail in many views with minimum movement.

Let's take a closer look and have a good study of the bird:

front view

side views, right and left.

top and back view...  unfortunately, no bottom view.

I noticed that it has greyish flecks on the throat and breast, and whitout white on forehead. Whereas, most bird books describe the juvenile as brownish rather than black and grey. So, I believe this forktail could be an immature.

Hope you could gain some knowledge about this elegant bird from this blog posting. Click HERE to read my other postings about birding in Fraser's Hill.

Have a happy birding, digiscoping and digisniping.

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