Fruitful bird-watching trips in the city

As a greenhorn in birding, my curiosity to be taught extra in regards to the avian species is saved piqued by my good pal Dr Samuel Ong (Sam), a eager, educated and enthusiastic birder who retains sending me footage of birds that he pictures usually.

On March 30, Sam despatched me an image of a Lineated Barbet in flight. It was stunning! Sam went on to inform me that the image, in addition to others, had been taken at Taman Rimba Kiara (in KL), the place the Barbet’s nest in a tree trunk was being monitored by birders, as the feminine made periodic visits to feed its newly hatched chick.

I used to be excited, as my studying knowledgeable me that there are 122 species of Barbets on this planet and that 11 of those are present in Malaysia. This could be the second of the species I’d study, as a few yr in the past Sam had helped me determine the Coppersmith Barbet. A number of of those birds have made nests close to my dwelling.

Barbets excavate holes in bushes with their stout beaks to construct nests to put their eggs and hatch their chicks. They feed on fruits, seeds and flowers and convey these to feed their chicks, offering birders with alternatives to {photograph} them.

Barbet chick peering out from a tree trunk at Taman Rimba Kiara.

A few of the chicks die after hatching and the grownup birds would carry these out of their beaks, to get rid of the carcass and hold the nest clear – I had a possibility to {photograph} and doc this.

Following Sam’s instructions, on Sunday, April 4, I went to Taman Rimba Kiara. By likelihood, I met one other birder pal, Dr Simon Yap, a cardiothoracic surgeon. Simon kindly identified the Barbet’s nest up in a tree trunk.

A couple of minutes later, the grownup fowl flew in to feed its chick. It had shiny inexperienced plumage, a lightweight brown head and a pale straw-coloured stout beak – it was definitely much less fairly than its cousin the Coppersmith Barbet.

Throughout this go to, I had little time to spend and so solely managed to get {a photograph} of the rump of the fowl because it exited its nest. I used to be additionally self-conscious as there have been a number of critical birders about, sporting camouflage, with refined cameras and high-powered lenses. I, alternatively, was sporting shiny garments (which may doubtlessly frighten birds away) and was armed with an affordable digital camera.

Subsequently, I made two extra visits. Throughout my go to on April 9, I had extra time on my palms. I used to be thus capable of observe the grownup fowl making a number of visits at intervals of 15 to half-hour.

I took pictures of the fowl carrying berries in its mouth to feed its chick. Every time, it will fly and sit on the entrance to the nest after which enter the nest head first. I assumed that the nest was slim, as a result of after a short time it will exit the nest by backing out, tail first, and fly off shortly.

Lineated Barbet with a cherry in its beak. Photos: Dr Kannan PasamanickamLineated Barbet with a cherry in its beak. Pictures: Dr Kannan Pasamanickam

Throughout one in every of its visits, I managed to take {a photograph} of the fowl finishing up a lifeless chick to get rid of the carcass. As in comparison with my first go to, the dwelling chick had clearly grown larger because it saved popping its head out of the nest for a go searching, each time the mom fowl left after a feeding session.

My third go to was on Sunday, April 11, which proved to be essentially the most fruitful, to this point. I managed to take many footage of the Barbet and its chick. I had introduced alongside a digital camera with higher decision and managed to take a transparent image of the grownup fowl flying off after a feeding session. The chick had additionally grown larger and caught extra of its head out of the nest to go searching.

The birders who had been observing talked about that it was getting ready to take its maiden flight out of its nest and that they had been all eagerly and patiently ready to {photograph} this.

As I used to be ready and watching, a number of folks together with youngsters who had been out for his or her Sunday morning stroll stopped by to ask what I used to be doing. I had nice pleasure and satisfaction in telling them what little I knew about Barbets, declaring the nest to them and displaying them the images I had already taken of the grownup fowl and its chick. They had been all thrilled, a few of them extra so, particularly as they received to see the grownup fowl fly in to feed, as we had been speaking.

There was one other bonus ready for me this explicit Sunday – simply as I used to be packing as much as depart, a ravishing woodpecker flew in to the bushes close by. It had sensible yellow plumage, flew from one tree to a different, sat on the tree trunk and pecked away.

The 2 different birders who had been about and I ran from one spot to a different and took a number of footage of the fowl, which Sam later recognized because the Frequent Flameback Woodpecker. This was the primary woodpecker I had seen within the wild. My studying tells me that there are 220 species of woodpeckers on this planet and 26 of those exist in Malaysia. The one I had seen was probably the most widespread – it was a feminine as recognized by the markings on its head.

It was definitely one in every of my most fruitful and joyful Sundays!

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