Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trip of Northern Thailand - Doi Ang Khang - Part 1

The scenic view of mountain range of Doi Ang Khang. 

November 29 2010. Last week, I had a 5 days birding trip to Northern Thailand. The first birding site was the scenic mountain range of Doi Ang Khang. It is one of the famous bird watching place in Thailand and located about 2 hours drive toward north from Chiang Mai. DAK consists of  mountain range and peaks, some of the areas have excellent habitat for birds.

Bann Lung Resort

After 2 hours drive on the scenic and winding mountain road, I arrived at Bann Lung Resort. My first target at DAK was to look for the White-capped Redstart at a stream behind the resort. I set-up a blind few meter from the stream. After 5 minutes of waiting, I saw a red and black color bird perched at a rock beside the stream. Photographing this active bird under the shade was not easy, I ended up with many blur pictures. Here are some good one:

White-capped Redstart (Riverchat)
Canon EOS 5D mkII EF 800 mm IS ISO 3200 1/50 F5.6

Canon EOS 1D mkIV EF 800 IS
ISO 2000 1/20 F8

I shot about 200 frames of the fella. At about 5 pm, I proceeded to the open land near the Chinese cemetery. As I was walking on a trail leading to the rubbish dump, I saw 4-5 Scimitar-Babbler perched on the dry twig few meter away. I regretted that I left my gear in the car. As I was trying to get back to the car to grab the gears, the small flock of Scimitar-Babbler get alerted and flew away and disappear into the bushes near by.

Twilight view of the mountain range
By 6 pm the sun has disappeared on the horizon. I decided to head back to the resort for dinner and went for bed early to have a good rest for a long day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Northern Thailand Trip

Birds of Thailand

November 18 2010. Yahoo !! in another 4 days, I will embark on a 7 days birding trip to Northern Thailand. The places that I am going to visit are Doi Inthanon, Doi Lang and Doi Ang Kang. Hopefully, I will be able to photograph as many species of the montane and the sub-montane birds of Northern Thailand.

Here some preview of birds of Thailand:
Khao Yai National Park, March 2010

Bumped into a group of Thai bird photographer.

Male Stonechart, Thailand.

Red-whiskered Bulbul, Thailand

White-crested Laughingthrush

I will post the trip report once it is available.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Big Birds

November 10 2010. Grey and Purple Heron are abundant at Batu Kawan mudflats. Here are some photos of the big birds, the photos were captured over the weekend.

Grey Heron
Perching on the top of a tree. This shot is captured using the EOS 1 D mkIV with EF 800 IS plus the 2x TC (Manual focus using the Live-View feature)

Grey Heron.
A pair of Grey Heron perched at the top of tree.
EOS 1 D mkIV with EF 800 IS plus the 2x TC 

Purple Heron.
EOS 1 D mkIV with EF 800 IS plus the 2x TC 

Purple Heron.
Hunting for prey.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Injured Lonely Lesser Sand Plover

An injured Lesser Sand Plover
A portion of the left leg was missing

November 7 2010. Yesterday I spotted an injured Lesser Sand Plover at Batu Kawan mudflats. It has a broken left leg. It was probably injured during the south-bound migration and could not further its journey with the original group and ended up stranded here. It was a sad situation, I wonder will it survive. 

How miserable ?
Canon EOS 1 D mkIV EF 800 IS
Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Captured The Moment

November 5 2010. Have you ever tried shooting a sequential shot of the spontaneous actions of a bird ? You will be amazed when you play the sequential shots on your screen. 
Here is a sequential shot of 10 frames capturing the fast actions of a  Little Heron hunting for its prey (a prawn). The photos were captured using the Canon Eos 1 D mk IV and EF 800 IS lens.

Tips for shooting fast action sequential shots:

1) Use a higher ISO to achieve a faster shutter speed of 1/800 and above.
2) Pre-focus on the head of the subject.
3) Try to use the highest frame rate setting so that you would not miss out capturing the actions of the subject. (ideally a minimum of above 5 frames per second)
4) Stabilize your gears with a tripod or bean-bag. 

Waiting patiently for the prey at the river-bank
Focusing and using its long bill to strike on the target
Got it !  a prawn.
Why water birds like to swing its head after catching its prey from the river ?
To shake off the moisture from its head ? or trying to kill the prey before eating it ?
Swing, swing, swing !!!

Swallow it !
Burp !!!
Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcomed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Waders

A crab and a Terek Sandpiper

November 2 2010. Yesterday morning I went to search for more waders at the coastal mudflats of Batu Kawan area. It was an overcast day with intermittent rain. A perfect condition for shooting waders due to minimum heat-waved from the ground. 

Terek Sandpiper
A winter visitor or passage migrant from northern hemisphere.
Canon EOS 1 D mkIV EF 800 IS with 1.4 TC. No Flash.
Shooting from my car using a bean bag to support my gears.

Using its long and upturned bill to pick up food from the tiny hole at the mudflats.

A flock of Whimbrel

Whimbrel is also a winter migrant from the Northern Hemisphere.

Pacific Golden Plover

A Godwit but I am not sure if it is Black-tailed or Bar-tailed. 

Common Kingfisher
Thanks for reading.