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Monday, 13 August 2012

My garden birds I

The gardens in Panaga form a good habitat for a substantial number of birds and our garden is no exception. Besides a good variety of garden birds some exceptional encounters have been been made from the leisurely surroundings of our balcony and garden. Today I'll share a first short selection of our garden visitors.

One of the more colorful birds in our backyard is surely the eastern crimson sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja).  This sunbird makes good use of the flowers and insects in our garden. When we by accident noticed that both male and female appreciate the drain from our air-conditioning a makeshift hide was quickly set up for a close-up picture. It took less than an hour of patience for the below capture. This was only the first try and I will definitely have another attempt soon.

Male crimson sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
Besides the crimson sunbird, also the brown-throated and olive-backed sunbirds are regular visitors to the flowers and bushes in our garden. And I've once been lucky to see a copper-throated sunbird, a species that I only very rarely see on more adventurous journeys elsewhere.

A couple of months back a pair of olive-backed sunbirds tried to raise the next generation of sunbirds below our staircase. Unfortunately the nest was raided and the chicks never made it past their first few days. The below picture shows a female olive-backed sunbird posing in the late afternoon sun, one of my personal favorites.

Female olive-backed sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
One of the most visible garden birds in Panaga must be the oriental magpie-robin. These very active birds can be seen anytime of the day. They are very vocal and Panaga would not be the same without their tuneful songs and chatter. The fence around our garden is a preferred spot for the magpie-robins to share their early morning compositions.

Female oriental magpie robin (Copsychus saularis)
Our garden has also had some more unexpected visitors. Quite recently, a male jambu fruit dove (Ptilinopus jambu) was lying lifeless on our driveway after evidently having flown into the kitchen window. This is a scarce bird of the forest that I really would not expect in Panaga. My wife didn't fail to notice the almost ironic location of the bird's demise when she mockingly questioned the number of persons in Panaga that would be able to identify this bird on a mere glance. I guess the bird's encounter with our window is testament to the fact that Panaga is not it's usual habitat.

Male jambu fruit dove (Ptilinopus jambu), a quick smartphone capture.
Another unusual visitor that I share here is the pied imperial pigeon (Ducula bicolor). I noticed this bird one late afternoon high up in one of our trees. This pigeon is associated with offshore islands and not typically found in mainland Borneo. This bird was seen one late afternoon next to a couple of green imperial pigeons, which are quite common. As there are no obvious small islands close to Panaga I can only speculate to what it's normal roosting ground would be: I suspect this individual to be a local wanderer from Pelong rocks of the Bandar coast.

Pied imperial pigeon (Ducula bicolor)
Pied imperial pigeon (Ducula bicolor)
I'll finish this post with a Panaga specialty: the oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). Panaga is unique in the fact that this residential area is home to a group of roughly 80 hornbills. Late in the afternoon the birds usually be found close to our house, when they pick the large casuarina's for their nightly roost.

Male oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)
Folkert, 13/08/2012

1 comment:

  1. It seems like you had quite the adorable visitors, my friend. How fortunate of you! I’ve never even had a Hornbill visitor in my garden. You know what? I feel relaxed when I watch these birds hang out in my garden, they wash away my worries.