Taman Rimba Kiara is a little green gem located in a corner of the TTDI residential area. The above flowering tree, the firmiana malayana or mata lembu, flashes in testimony to man's care-less-ness - it's one of only two trees in the park that had flowered, since then the tree had been chopped down.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

A white-eye hope

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The Hume's White-eyes (Zosterops auriventer) (known as Everett's White-eye once upon a time) can safely be counted as one of the resident birds of the bukit as they are regularly seen either singly or in a small number and normally in a bird wave.  These birds normally too would keep to the upper canopy, moving continuously and then vanish before you can catch your second breath.   With increasing sighting, it is hoped there is a healthy population here.

I seek comfort in your presence.







Thursday, 17 June 2021

As I was waiting

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A common bird, but like comfort food, you are a panacea in one moment of aridness, one moment of dullness, bearer of the colour of illumination, clarity, imagination and courage.

Oriole, I may not do you justice.










 



Monday, 14 June 2021

As I was passing by

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Looks like I have intruded, down the path less taken.  There is quietness here but there is no isolation or solitude, you may think there is because you didn't catch anyone seeking or watching.  We will meet again.



Monday, 7 June 2021

Drongo in training

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 It's common to come across a pair of Greater Racket-tailed Drogos (Dicrurus paradiseues) in the taman, very likely the same pair that has been around for more than a couple of years already, and mainly keeping to the same area in the taman.

However lately this pair has been around in another part of the taman, and imagine my delight when I chanced upon what appeared to be a parent and sub-adult.  This would be the first time I've across a young drongo, and it looked like the bird could be a rather young juvenile as it was following the parent around, or was it the parent that was teaching it to fly about.



When the parent flew off, the juvenile followed closely after, and interestingly how it soon slowly edged closer to the parent.



I soon learnt that there must be some training going on as the parent again flew to another part to be followed by the juvenile. 

It has been reported that the male and female parent drongo will continue to look over the juveniles even after they have left the nest.  In fact, even that the young will help to raise subsequent broods (Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2005).





I supposed as with any juvenile, its curiosity got the better of it as it tugged vainly at a twig. 


The young has lighter coloured bill and no tail streamers yet.



The parent flying off and anticipating the juvenile to follow suit.




Meanwhile, it looked like the other parent has joined them but this one merely sat passively watching them.  
Male and female greater racket-tailed drongo look alike so it's hard to say if this one is papa or mama. 


Another close-by  stopover for both parent and juvenile before I left the family alone.  They already had me trying to move hastily but discreetly about the whole morning keeping up with their movements.  However I wouldn't be afraid of losing track of their presence as the juvenile was calling out ceaselessly.









Thursday, 3 June 2021

Intriguing flora

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Many could have just walked past these gorgeous hanging flowers because the tree was partially down the slope and the flora bunches were in the shade.

A quick check with a botanist friend gave me a lead that this is a Barringtonia species, and I couldn't be happier when I came across this write-up in the FRIM website:


"Barringtonia macrostachya or locally known as putat is an understorey tree of primary and secondary forest found along rivers and on hills or inundated forest and swampy areas. The species is widespread, from China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatera, Borneo, Philippines, Sulawesi to the Moluccas. Putat has known medicinal values. 

The paste made from the putat roots has been traditionally used to treat sore eyes and ring worm. The bark or pounded fruit are used as fish poison. The leaves of putat are used to treat stomach-ache. A member of the family Lecythidaceae Barringtonia macrostachya tree ... The conservation status of this species is Least Concern."


Came across the tree with varying stages of flowering, fruiting, decay and drying.

The putat flower buds and what's left after the the flowers have dropped off.



Powderpuff flowers from the buds.
 




The bare inflorescence when all have dropped off.



Wonder if this is an indication of failed flowering, with dried-up buds on the slimmer inflorescence looking like that of a peppercorn branch.



Meanwhile,  close-by was another Barringtonia species, the Barringtonia acutangula aka Indian putat, Itchy bush, Itchy tree, of which there will be stunning scarlet red flowers when the buds bloom.

It is also called Stream Barringtonia which is most appropriate as this one was growing by a running stream.










Sunday, 30 May 2021

Celebrating another barbet birth

The recent nesting of the Gold-whiskered Barbet in a partially dead tree that stood by a well-used path with hikers constantly using this path as a short-cut along their main trail is another testimony to what I have observed before that the series of movement control orders did bring birds out to nest more openly.  This pair must have scouted for this location sometime in March/April, this period made even quieter due to the fasting month in April with even less hikers and bikers around.

When I knew about the lovely Gold-whiskered Barbets and their young, the parents were still feeding inside the cavity nest.  And the chick's constant calls were loud suggesting a healthy one, and the parents relaxed as they flew in, lingered, went straight to the hole to feed, then lingered just off the nest entrance, awaiting the other.  It was almost always a quick succession of feeding as the parent flew in one after the other, with one taking off when the other arrived.

The small fig fruits, whether still green or black as in ripe I guessed, seemed to be the dominant food although I only managed to capture a large praying mantis prey the entire three hour duration I was there.



Looking relaxed.





I wanted to get an image of the parent poking its head out and was rewarded when it did so only once when I was there, getting into the hole and I thought would emerge with fecal discard.  However there was a noticeable absence of fecal discard during this lengthy three hour period.


And in comparison to its young (which I managed to only see five days later.)



And then finally I managed to sight the parent feeding the young at the nest entrance on the same day, following which I learnt that it fledged a couple of days later.





Many a times holding the fig away trying to lure the young out.


Looks that could melt the heart.