Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Grey Heron like you've never seen before

Heron feeding on ducklings! Not for the faint at heart.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Kuala Baram Wetlands Birdwatching

From Sungai Tujuh to Sungai Sembilan

Date: 15 Oct 2018

Time: 8:00 – 11:00

Water condition is high after heavy rain. Participants: Yusop Sulaiman, Jacey Yapp, Arnie Buang, Abibah Nee, Rasidah Hj Ibrahim, Majelah Jarae’e and Musa Musbah. Recorder: Jacey Yapp Weather: Cool wet cloudy morning.

We started to do counting just passed the roundabout. There are few yellow vented bulbul seen perching on the wire. There are a number of spotted doves also seen perching on the wire drying their wet wings. It was raining the whole night.

Asian Brown flycatcher. Photo Credit to Yusop Sulaiman

As we drove we saw a pair of pied oriental hornbill. A minutes later another pair joined the first pair. Later another three young’s bird with a pointed beak, an indication of new fledgling's. All together we saw seven hornbills.
Oriental Pied Hornbill Photo By Musa Musbah

After getting few shot of them we move forward as not to disturb their routine of searching for their morning breakfast among the casuarina trees. Bird-watching in Action

We move slowly searching for the Black shoulder kite, but they are not around. We stopped a while at Sungai Sembilan Duck watching area there is no ducks around. The water is high about 3 feet deep. This is an indication that the ducks will be at the shallow area to the East.

We moved at another area at the east and we found a spot with a number of bird flocking and looking for food. We can hear barbet calling in the distance.

Black winged stilt. Picture credit to Yusop sulaiman

They are the many black wings stints, few egrets and a number of wandering whistling ducks at one of the shallow area feeding. Some Marsh and wood sand piper were seen too. A single moorhen and White browed crake were seen too. Black wing stilt are whistling aloud while we are watching them.

We scan the area further to the tree line. We saw two purple heron, three Oriental darters and a single Changeable hawk eagle. A single white breasted sea eagle flew past toward the west.

We stop counting the bird at 11 pm. The Bird found: Yellow vented bulbul – 12 Spotted dove – 44 Collared kingfisher – 11 Oriental-Pied Hornbill – 7 Grass bird – 2 Little egret – 7 Intermediate egret – 1 Black-winged stilt – 42 Woos sandpiper—4 Wandering whistling ducks – 35 Moorhen – 1 White breasted sea eagle – 1 Marsh sandpiper – 1 Barn swallow – Many at the distance tree Swiftlet are common flying around above us Whiskered terns flew across to the prawn ponds – 6 White-browed crake – 1 Changeable hawk eagle – 1 Purple heron – 3 Asian brown flycatcher – 5 Asian glossy starling – 20 Lesser coucal – 1 Tri-color munia – 7 Oriental darter – 3 Hill myna – 2 Yellow bitten - 1

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Waderwatching in Miri City back in Feb-Mar 2008

Organised birdwatching in Miri probably started already way back when during the early days of MNS Miri Branch with Meh Jabeen, Gek Lan, Charlie, Selva, Hans, Mario, Rhett and other founding members of the branch most of whom are either researchers from Kyoto University based in Lambir Hills National Park or employees of Shell; either those posted from overseas or West Malaysia to Sarawak who happened to be birdwatchers previously.

Slowly avid birders consolidated to include local born and bred Mirians, Sarawak Forestry staffers and consultants. John Parr, Zaidi, Kamal, Bor Seng and Mr Tan were the few who started the Asian Wetland Census in Miri which in time became an annual affair for the Branch.

The person who opened most of our eyes to birdwatching in Miri has got to be John Parr, then a consultant with Sarawak Forestry. One other person I think who instrumentally introduced us to waders has got to be a localised  retired Shell expat (married to a local) who alerted us to those "big eyed" brown little birds out at the old Miri River. Over the years Dave Bakewell were in Miri to conduct classes for Branch members as well as SFC staffers.

The photos posted here were taken in Feb-Mar 2008. At the time Sg Miri was already under refurbishment by the Jabatan Pengairan with input from several local environmental consultants based in Kuching. Today this site is now where the apartments, shop blocks and Pullman Miri are standing.

These images are just for record of the birds that used to make their pitstop in Miri on their way south during the Autumn migration, or north during their Spring Migration. On one or more occasions, Mr Tan and Bor Seng were with me when these images were made.

Original text from 2008:

"The Miri River used to meander along the mangrove lined banks of Kampung Pulau Melayu and eventually end up on an estuary right in front on the ex-Hilton Hotel location (now Park Everly Hotel) before flowing into the South China Sea.

There used to be an extensive area of mudflats during low tide from the old Miri ferry point to the sea. Sometime around 1999 the Resort City project started off with massive land reclamation efforts along the South China Sea onwards from the Miri Golf course all the way to the Miri estuary and beyond.

Today the whole section is now known as the Miri Marina, old mangrooves has been replaced with ornamental causarinas. Forward planning for the newly developed area included an esplanade winding along the beach side of the reclaimed area as well as a new exclusive seaside bungalow lots around the Marina towards the city center.

The old Miri River mudflats is now no more ..."

How it was March 2008, it looks nothing like this in Jul 2018 ... the price of progress.

Would be great if someone could make a similar panoramic picture of the area as it stands now ... perhaps it's not possible with all the big buildings blocking your line of sight.

Images and text by Nazeri Abghani, Dec 2018.