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J1 Field Test Part 3 - Up in Genting Highlands

Saturday, December 31, 2011















Not been to Ulu Kali for 2 months now, but yesterday morning trip was sort of the best chance I had to test the Nikon J1 and FT1 adapter. Sigh, there aren't many birds that came out for us, only a few species but they came too close to where me and my birding friends.

Calls were heard from species like Golden-throated Barbet, Common Green Magpie, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Lesser Shortwing, and much more. However, we only sighted a Common Buzzard, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Spectacled Laughingthrush, Malayan Laughingthrush, Wreath Hornbill, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Javan Cuckooshrike, Long-tailed Sibia, Barred-throated Minla and Large Niltava.
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J1 Field Test Part 2

Friday, December 30, 2011




Ever since I got the Nikon J1, I have not use a third party lens for field testing. Therefore I decided to give it a go today. Equipped with a Tamron 180mm f3.5 + FT1 adapter + Nikon J1, I went out looking for butterfly. Instead, I got a few birds. I'm an opportunist so, why not shoot the birds with the setup? Though the AF doesn't work, I can still focus on the subject manually.

Next, after office hour, I stopped at my "not-so-new-anymore" birding ground for the usually birds like Black-thighed Falconet and Common Flameback.



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A Quiet Morning in KL

Monday, December 26, 2011
After a long absence from this park, I decided to make a brief stop this morning with my new Nikon J1 mounted with a FT1 adapter and Nikon 300mm f4. Surprisingly, not many birds were sighted this morning and many were far away although trees are still fruiting. The fig tree that attracts the Coppersmith Barbet is still fruiting vigorously. sigh...

Then, a few commoners like Oriental Magpie Robin, White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, and Zebra Dove came close for some test shots. Here there are...







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Found my Missing Digiscoping Adapter!

Monday, December 19, 2011




I finally found the misplaced digiscoping adapter. It was hidden under the car seat all this while. Today, when passing by a small pond, there were 41 Painted Storks so I decided to stop for a digiscoping session. Darn...I forgot that I was wearing a striking colored shirt!!! So, these big guys doesn't allow me to shoot - they flew off as I tried to get close to them. But the Eurasian Tree Sparrow perched for a few seconds and here are a few resized, slightly cropped and USM image.

Apart from the 41 storks and a few ET sparrow, there were also 4 Little Egret, 5 Cattle Egret, dozens of Javan and Common Myna, House Crow, 2 Pipit, 6 Peaceful Dove and 1 Brown Shrike.



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Asian Brown Flycatcher and Gerygone

Friday, December 9, 2011
During this period of time, one will never miss the sighting of Asian Brown Flycatcher. Highly adaptable and found in almost all habitat of various elevation. Here is one sighted in Cyberjaya yesterday afternoon with the only gerygone species in Peninsular Malaysia, Golden-bellied Gerygone.









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Bird Magnet: Macaranga gigantea



The Mahang tree (Macaranga gigantea) is really a good magnet and proved to be a good spot to shoot bird at least for the 2 hours (2-4pm) when i was there. This tree in the garden is situated not too far from my home.

Park my car next to the tree and waited. One species after another. A flock of purple-backed starling started the fruit feast, then they flew away after a flock of myna came over. Then, the starling came back again. During the quiet period, a few yellow-vented bulbuls and a lone pied triller took their turns to taste the fruits. That's not over yet, the starling came back again. Next, came the Oriental White-eye. A few Olive-backed Sunbird and Scarlet-backed Sunbird were in the vicinity and perched on a rubber tree behind. Did not see them joining the 'banquet' though. 4 Ashy Minivet were there too but only perched on the bare branches and flew away a few minutes later.

Purple-backed Starling








Javan Myna


Pied Triller






Oriental White-eye


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Canon HF200 Still Images

Tuesday, November 29, 2011





During a recent guiding assignment, I had to use the Canon HF200 camcorder to make record shots and videos since I lost (misplaced) my digiscoping adapter just a day before the trip. But this is indeed a blessing in disguise. I never know that the camcorder would allow me to take still images while pausing a video on the camcorder. Although the images will not win any award, but it is indeed useful to make record shots.
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Showtime: Promising Photo of Spotted Dove vs A Bad Photo

Thursday, November 24, 2011


There was a Spotted Dove trying to camouflage on the ground when I was testing the combo. Since it was within a few meters away, I decided to take a few photos instead of video. Back home, I uploaded the photo files to my netbook and did a bit of post processing with Photoshop. Here is the result of the best photo among the few.

And this one is a badly taken photo...

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Too close and Unprepared

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have been informed about the blooming of Tiger Orchid in a friend's garden 2 days ago. Took a peek at the flowers yesterday afternoon but lighting was not good, so I went back to his garden this morning. As I moved closer to look at the flower, an Olive-backed Sunbird flew in and perched on a Heliconia bract to feed on the nectar. It was so sudden, I only had my wide-angle lens attached to the DSLR body. My 300mm lens is still in my bag next to me. I keep observing the bird and amazed by the beautiful colors. After 30 seconds of admiring at the bird, I decided to change the lens. It was still around when I finally got the telephoto attached to the camera body. Took couple of shots but 90% blur due to hand shake. Oh well, better luck next time!

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Showtime: 22 November 2011 - Rimba Kiara

Took a late lunch break today. After a nice plate of Chicken Rice, went over to Rimba Kiara. I was looking at all the epiphytes on the tress while carrying the camera and Showtime+Canon HF200 combo. The usual birds sighted were Asian Glossy Starling, Common Myna, White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and Asian Brown Flycatcher. All of a sudden, heard a loud call coming from outside the park. HORNBILL!!!!
The same call I heard during my previous visit but never got to locate it. But today, the bird flew to a tree next to my car.

Initially it was perching high above me, not a good angle but aimed at the bird anyway, just to get record shot. I tried to move further to get a better angle, I was lucky it stayed pretty long for another viewing angle. Then, it flew down and perch on the palm frond. Eye level view!!! that's great, better angle for photo and video.

Here are some shots taken with the Showtime+Canon HF200. Photo rotated, USM and resized for web sharing.







Apart from the hornbill, I was also focusing on the praying mantis.
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Unexpected Parrot in KL

Monday, November 21, 2011
With the Showtime+Canon HF200 combo ready for some action, I drove to 'park' again just like any other evening after work. Hoping to catch the Common Flameback again or perhaps, the Black-thighed Falconet or Coppersmith Barbet will come down to almost eye-level. As I stepped out from the car, I noticed a rather medium sized bird perching on the other side of the park. Quickly took out the binocular in the bag, and saw this parrot. OK I admit, I have no idea what parrot this is when I saw it. So, I quickly setup the tripod and mounted the combo. Luckily managed to take a few shots and short video footage with the camcorder (did not bring along the Nikon P5100 today).

Tried to flipping through my Southeast Asia field guide. Nothing. Then, checked through the illustration on the Australia field guide given by one of my previous birding guests. Zip. Next option, browse through the parrot images on the WORLD WIDE WEB. And it turn out to be a GREY PARROT. Anybody want to comment on the ID?

Escapee? That's what I thought. KL Bird Park is not far from here. If big bird like Hadada Ibis can escape, why not this parrot?







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Showtime: 21 November 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
I bought a Showtime 35mm adapter last year and tested it a couple of time. Due to lack of time, I had to put it aside and concentrate more on digiscoping during guiding assignments. I must admit my photos and videos are not up to the standard shown by the group of Showtime owner in Taiwan, but frankly I felt this adapter has its potential despite some disadvantages of using it in the field.

This morning i decided to bring it along for work, so that I can take a few shots through Canon Legria HF200. When I arrived at the park, most of the birds are high up on the tree with sun against me. Then, a White-throated Kingfisher flew past me and perched on the wire. Ok, time to test the photo mode on the camcorder. Below is the result with the original size 2304 x 1296 pixel reduced to 780 x 400 pixel. After resizing, I added the auto-contrast and USM (Amount 80% / Radius 0.3 pixels). The photo editing workflow is done with Photoshop CS (yes...still using the old version since my 3 years old netbook cannot support the new version).



The following photo is taken with the Canon Legria HF200 attached to Omicron 80ED Harrier spotting scope just to show comparison of the results. I used the remote control to snap both photo to reduce vibration.



Here is a shot taken last month in Melaka with the 35mm Showtime + Canon HF200.

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Digiscoping: 17 November 2011, Bukit Damansara

Thursday, November 17, 2011
While driving around my workplace, I saw a Brown Shrike perching on the wire. Another test with the digiscoping gear with a 25%-50% zoom on the Nikon P5100.





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Birds & Wildlife in Malaysia

About Me

I'm a bird watcher, digiscoper, photographer and a licensed nature guide. Welcome to my 'A Malaysian Birder' blog. I will post my bird sightings and photographs on this blog. I started bird watching while studying in university. After graduating with a degree in forestry specializing in parks and recreation management, I have been attached to the parks and gardens industry. My past work experiences involve conducting environmental education program, bird watching and many more.

Bird Watching Tours

There are quite a number of birding groups from Australia, United States and United Kingdom that come over to Malaysia annually visiting the traditional key sites that include Kuala Selangor, Fraser's Hill and Taman Negara. There is not doubt that the 3 sites are the preferred birding sites in Peninsular Malaysia. So if you are coming over for birding and intend to hire a guide, you can send me an email at nature2pixel@gmail.com and go over to posting section to view photos and summary of trip reports with testimonials from past clients.

Besides following the traditional route, I also customized trip according to clients needs, preference and interests. So there are some local patches that I can introduce to all bird watchers, digiscopers and photographers.

Equipment

I use a spotting scope from Omicron for my bird guiding trips and digiscoping. You can get more information from their website at http://omicron-optics.com The spotting scope is placed on a Feisol tripod and Manfrotto 701 video head. This is an ideal setup for me due to its light weight. A customized eyepiece adapter to my Nikon P5100 was fabricated by Cheang Kum Seng from Ipoh, Perak. Very useful during my guiding trips because I get to take photos of birds sighted and post them on my Nature2pixel website. Binocular is the most essential tools for bird watching and guiding. I used to have a Minox 8x42 but have given it to a friend since I upgraded to Nikon 8x42 Monarch. Update: May 2014 - Could be time for me to upgrade to a Kowa 10x42 BD XD which is more compact? I came across this website showing a review of the Nikon D4S at http://www.aaronstours.com

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