Thursday, December 29, 2011

Brown Wood Owl - Fledglings

In my last visit to Fraser's Hill on 17-Aug-2011, I encountered a pair of impressive and adorable fledglings of  the Brown Wood Owl (Strix leptogrammica).

I heard the owls were calling very sharply in the forested area during our owling session at around 9pm, indeed, it was an abnormal and eerie call during the month of the Chinese hungry ghost festival, but I strongly believe the eerie call must be the call of the owls or any nocturnal wildlife. In fact, I saw the hungry owls instead of hungry ghosts.

At the beginning of the search, it's difficult for me to locate them, however, with my passion and patience, I finally found two adorable owls with the white head robe perching on one of the big trees. I was really lucky to locate them, and had a wonderful moment of digiscoping and recording their eerie call.

It's my first picture and call record of  a pair of Brown Wood Owl fledglings, probably the first fledgling call recorded in Malaysia.


Click on the play button to listen to the recorded call of one of the fledglings :

WARNING: this recorded call is for learning purposes only, do not use this as a bird call playback, you may be seriously attacked by the owl and other predators at night.

Click  HERE  to view the Brown Wood Owl which I digiscoped during the day time about a year ago.

A Gentle Reminder: Owl is currently threatened by illegal poaching for exotic meat market, click HERE to read the recent news report. Please free and save the owls. 

Happy Owling. Keep Watching, Keep Listening and Keep Exploring.
*Special thanks to Peggy and Connie Khoo for their help during the recording.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Black Kite on Christmas Day

Meihua Blossom (click on the picture to enlarge)

(December 25, 2011, Tainan) - I visited Meiling (梅嶺) in Tainan on Christmas day, mainly for viewing and appreciating the beautiful plum flower blossom or Meihua in Chinese (梅花). Meiling is one of popular spots for appreciating Meihua in southern Taiwan, and winter is the best and only season to appreciate this beautiful flower blossom.

I traveled further to Cengwun Reservoir in the afternoon, after appreciated the plum flower blossom. In one of the parks in the reservoir area, I had a close encounter with an impressive Black Kite (Milvus migrans, 黒鳶). It's my lifer of the day and also my first experience to observe and digiscope a Black Kite in a close distance.


I noticed that this particular raptor is very aggressive, it attacks anything that move closer to where it rests and scavenges, eg. stray dog. It is an opportunistic hunter and also a scavenger, I saw it landed on the park table and also on the ground to feed on the bread or remaining food left behind by the visitors. 

scavenging on the park table (click on the picture to enlarge)
I hope that you enjoy reading this blog write-up on what I'd observed on the Christmas Day. Wishing you a Happy New Year, 2012. 

Keep Watching, Keep Listening and Keep Exploring.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pheasant-tailed Jacana in Tainan - Fledgling.

(July 24, 2011, Tainan) - It was a wonderful experience for me to volunteer in the Pheasant-tailed Jacana census with the Wild Bird Society of Tainan. I had seen many adult pairs and fledglings of the Pheasant-tailed Jacana, they are beautiful and elegant birds, the fledglings are hairy, puffy and adorable.

Here are some of my digiscoped pictures of the parents and fledgling of the Pheasant-tailed Jacana during the bird census :

Male bird and the fledgling 
(click on the picture for enlarged view of the fledgling)

Male bird and the fledgling 
(click on the picture for enlarged view of the fledgling)
Fledgling (click on the picture for enlarged view of the fledgling)

A pair of Jacana
The male alone securing its territory and the fledglings

Come and visit one of the world's best Pheasant-tailed Jacana Eco-Educational Park (台南市水雉生態教育園區) in Tainan, Taiwan. 

Click HERE to view the documentary (in Chinese only) about the Pheasant-tailed Jacana conservation in Tainan.
Click HERE to view my first sighting of summer Pheasant-tailed Jacana with the breeding plumage.
Click HERE to view the first Pheasant-tailed Jacana that I saw in Malaysia, it was my lifer.

Happy Birding.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana in Tainan

(June 7, 2011, Tainan) - There're eight species of Jacana in the world, Taiwan has only one species, known as Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus, 雉尾水雉)Pheasant-tailed Jacana is one of the elegant birds you must see in Taiwan, it is also one of the birds listed in the "100 Birds To See Before You Die", surprisingly I can easily see it in Guantian, Tainan, Taiwan.

Guantian is an agricultural town in Tainan, well known for its water caltrop farms and produces. The most popular annual event in Gauntian is the Water Caltrop Festival (官田菱角節). Due to the abundant of water caltrop farms and other water-based vegetation farms, Guantian is also an important habitat for many species of waterbirds especially the rare Pheasant-tailed Jacana . 

In 1990, a massive project of Taiwan High Speed Train was built across Guantian, and many water caltrop farms and Jacana's natural habitat were disturbed. A conservation project known as Pheasant-tailed Jacana Eco-Educational Park (台南市水雉生態教育園區was then established in 2000 by conservation groups, to preserve a natural habitat for the birds with minimum human disturbance, and to conserve the birds and its nests withim the farms. Currently, this park is one of the best Jacana conservation and educational parks in Taiwan, probably one of the world's best.

Following are the digiscoped pictures of the bird which were taken during the winter and the summer in the same park. (click on the pictures for enlarged view)

The non-breeding plumage in the winter.
Truly beautiful breeding plumage in the summer
An elegant bird wears a golden-yellow scarf 
and copper-bronze coat.
It has four elegant pheasant-like tails

Click HERE to view the documentary (in Chinese only) about the Pheasant-tailed Jacana conservation in Tainan.
Click HERE for the fledgling of the Pheasant-tailed Jacana.
Click HERE to view the first Pheasant-tailed Jacana that I spotted in Malaysia, it was my lifer.

夏天的水雉好美啊, 今天(7-June)是我人生第一次看到夏天的水雉. 好高興喔.
Happy Birding and Love Tainan.

Documentaries about the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Conservation in Tainan, Taiwan.