Thursday, July 09, 2009

5th July 2009: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

The first bird of the day was a Blue Nuthatch feeding a few feet off the ground, and on one occasion on it - in the garden of the Lutheran Bungalow!

A tail worth flaunting!

This was the first time I could remember looking down on a Blue Nuthatch!

In the afternoon, with the light a little better on the cuckoo-dove perch, I put up my hide to try to get some better shots. The site was a little precarious, on a narrow ridge on the edge of a 10 feet drop down to the stream, with the road edge just a few inches behind me. I needed to sit very still!

But the benefits outweighed the discomforts! This superb male Barred Cuckoo-dove put on a good show.

As did this female.

How many Little Cuckoo-doves fit onto one branch?

Four was my limit!

I'm a bit confused by these Little Cuckoo-doves. Wells mentions only one race as occurring in Peninsular Malaysia - 'malayana'. However, many of these birds resembled the illustration of 'assimilis' in Robson, such as the bird on the right here. On the other hand, if there were two races here, I have difficulty finding males and females of both types, unless the differences are more subtle than I am looking for. I presume that the dull-billed birds are juveniles.

The bird on the left shows an orange terminal bar and subterminal spots on the outer tail feather, in contrast to the pale grey on this feather on Barred.

Male Littles also have an irridescent neck patch.

Portrait of a ... er... female? male? juvenile? assimilis? malayana? More research needed! Any thoughts or opinions welcome!

Well, at least I know this is a male - either Fire-breasted or Buff-bellied Flowerpecker - depending on whether you're a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person!


Erwin said...

Great pictures of the Blue Nuthatch.. Wish I would have a camera like yours.


DanThuy said...

the blue nuthatch's eyes look HUGE

digdeep said...

Hi Dan

I think the impression is caused by the pale blue orbital skin surrounding the eyes. If you click on the pics, you may be able to see this on the enlarged versions.


Unknown said...

Hi Dave, you got many beautiful pictures of both cuckoo-dove, I was lucky to digiscoped both cuckoo-dove, they are very shy birds, very hard to digiscope. Are you using digiscoping or dslr for these cuckoo-dove pictures?