Thursday, September 8, 2016

How many kingfishers are there? (Malaysia Day article #8)

A pair of Collared Kingfisher (Todramphus chloris) at Tanjung Batu beach area, Bintulu.

Photo rendart of Stork-billed
Kingfisher darting over the pond surface
at Pustaka Sarawak, Kuching.
 I like birding for the main reason that it brings me outdoors and into newer areas of the country.  There is much element of surprise, thrill, wonder and discovery when I come across new species of birds which I have not seen or captured with the camera before.  I started birding seriously as to blog about birds since 2014.  One of the bird types that attracts me a lot belongs to the Kingfisher family (Alcedinidae).  Kingfishers are colourful birds with strong bills and can be found in the forests or in more open areas like coastal beaches, rural as well as urban locations where they hunt for fishes, insects  and small reptiles.  Most are seen singly though and at times I do catch sight of them in pairs especially the Collared Kingfisher.  So far I have captured on camera five types of kingfishers.  The Stork-billed Kingfisher  is the largest kingfisher in Sarawak and I saw it for the first time in an urban area in Kuching, within the compounds of the Sarawak State Library or Pustaka Sarawak.    In comparison  the Rufous-backed Kingfisher is a very tiny Kingfisher that has been sighted at the Kambatik Park in Bintulu where it dashes with its peculiar tseeet  tseeet call through the forest under storey almost on daily basis.   Every time it streaked past me uttering its high-pitched call I feel consoled to know that even the tiniest of birds can find a living in an environment consciously preserved by man.  I often ask myself how many kingfishers  have I seen?  Not that many, but I will always look forward to any time when it is opportune for me to travel and camera- handy to shoot the next lifer of a kingfisher.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.

Note: This is Article #8 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Oelargopsis capensis) seen at Pustaka Sarawak grounds, Kuching.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) seen at Tg. Batu beach area, Bintulu.

Blue-eared Kingfisher ((Alcedo meniting) seen at Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) seen at Kambatik Park, Bintulu,

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