Saturday, 31 July 2010



I have always known pigeons to be pigeons ever since I was in primary school. 

They were practically everywhere.  There would be flocks and scores of them on the school ground; always pecking away.  Feeding... just feeding!  How could I forget the coo-ing sounds they make?  And, of course, the poo too!

Every once in a while, one of us kids would run into the flock of them just to watch them take off in a cloud and land again shortly after that.

It was only in recent years that I found out that its proper name should be Rock Pigeon.  And because they are so common everywhere, you take them for granted to be just another pigeon and seldom take a good look at them.

Anyway, I was watching this flock of about twenty or so Rock Pigeons feeding on the lawn this morning when I noticed for the first time that they have reddish feet.  Quite a nice colour, actually. 

And I was somewhat fascinated by that.

I have since learnt that pure stock Rock Pigeons are predominantly grey with noticeably darker hood and breast, blackish tail tip and paler wing-coverts with two broad blackish bars.  Neck glossed green and purple.  This is according to the "New Holland Field Guide to Birds of South-East Asia" by Craig Robson.

Adult feral variants can be with patches of white and brown in plumage; some are all blackish.  The next photo shows one of the feral variants.   



So there I was sitting on the balcony, taking a break from work and watching the hypnotic movements of these tiny red feet while the pigeons move about in no particular order or direction as they happily peck away on the ground.  Feeding as always...

And that was when I noticed this dark-coloured pigeon that seems to walk rather awkwardly.  It did not have reddish pink feet like the others. And it seems to lift its feet higher when it walked.



Am I imagining it?



My eyes are now glued to its feet.



This next photo have been trimmed to get the enlarged image... mutant feet?



Its feet seems to be slightly larger in size.  Could it be because of the feathers?  Or not?



Or mutant pigeon?



It's the only one in this flock that has feathers covering its feet!




Friday, 30 July 2010

Blue-Winged Pitta


Another visit from a feathered friend!

I had just gotten home and started unpacking my things that are still in boxes when I noticed this little figurine out on the balcony.  But I have not placed anything there. 

When I realised it was a bird, I moved away slowly to grab my camera and took these shots through the glass door.

As my bird book was still packed away, I had to ask a friend, whose first comments were, "Blue-winged Pitta!  Wow!  And at such close range!"

So that was how I found out what bird this is.  A lifer for me.

According to "wchinner", this little birdie had probably flown into the glass door, so there it was sitting on the floor when I found it as it had to recover from the crash.



After a while, it did lift its head to look at me and it continued watching my every movement for quite some time.  I went about unpacking, all the while trying not to stare back at it and trying not to disturb or scare it with any sudden movements. 

But when I did look again, it was gone!

And it had left behind a little blob of a gift for me.....



Thursday, 22 July 2010

Oriental Pied Hornbill


This Oriental Pied Hornbill crashed into my window one afternoon. 

It then flew off to perch on the palm tree nearby and it took a while to recover its composure.  Several minutes later, it proceeded to pick up a palm fruit from the tree.

I certainly like the view from my window.



Monday, 12 July 2010

Tandem Flight

I had recently come across the Pseudagrion australasiae in tandem flight and had the chance to take a few photos.  Not the best shots but...

This pair of damselflies was in tandem flight for quite a while, with another male damselfly on their tail. 



Then they perched on a leaf for a short rest before flying off again.



But I lost them after that...



Saturday, 10 July 2010

Gomphidae - Paragomphus capricornis

A Banded Hooktail

It is hard to believe so many days have gone by since I last jotted down any of my thoughts on anything.

Seriously, I can't imagine what could have taken up so much of my time recently.  I guess it is a little bit of everything and you know how everything sometimes just happen all at once such that you would be done in by the time you are all done for the day.

And as you can guess, because of everything else, I have not been spending as much time as I would like going out there looking for dragonflies.  I can certainly feel the need to spend more time with nature.  I just have not been getting enough of being close to nature and it is driving me insane!

Anyway, there was this one morning when I did get out there and sat next to a stream to listen to the sound of water as it flowed and gurgled its way through over the rocky bed. 

What could be sweeter?

Perched on a rock nearby was a dragonfly, apparently doing the same thing as I was.

At first glance I had thought it to be the Ictinogomphus decoratus but out of the blue, it hit me that this dragonfly seems to be much smaller in size.  I couldn't tell immediately what else made it different so I took a few photos to get a better look.

You can imagine the surprise and excitement when it dawned on me that I was not looking at the Decorative Tiger but an entirely different species altogether.



This is the Paragomphus capricornis of the family Gomphidae.  This dragonfly has hindwing length of 22-24mm, with orangy-yellow and black banding.  It is a small and robust dragonfly and the males have long scimitar-like superior appendages.



This species is widespread in Peninsular Malaysia, yet this is the first time I have come across it.

Of late, days like this seem to be fewer and far between.  I certainly do miss going on my jaunts along these streams and forest trails.....