Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

OTHER NAMES: Bluethroat Redpoll
Latin Etymology: Luscinia ("Nightingale") svecica ("Swedish")

First Winter Male Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica - unknown subspecies) at Willow Tree Fen, Lincolnshire - February 2017

Featured Subspecies: Unknown - probably L. s. svecica or L. s. cyanecula
Weight: 12-25g
Length: 13-14cm
Wingspan: 23cm
UK AMBER LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The bluethroat is a small robin like bird found throughout much of Eurasia, although it's range is fairly scattered due to habitat requirements - it breeds in colder, wooded areas, usually near water and then in Winter heads either South or at least into lowland wetlands to Winter.  The Summer plumage male is in my opinion one of the prettiest of all European birds- a brilliant blue throat and chest interspersed with bands of orange and black (and in some subspecies, white spots) and a flash of bright russet orange on the tail.   This particular bird is very unusual in that in the UK it is normally a passage migrant that appears only very briefly - usually a few hours or so - before vanishing on, while this bird at Willow Tree Fen was not only very early in the year, but also has of my writing this been present for several weeks - seemingly it might be deciding to Winter here.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Luscinia
SUBSPECIES: L. s. svecica, L.s. namnetum, L. s. cyanecula, L. s. azuricollis, L. s. volgae, L. s. magna, L. s. luristanica, L. s. pallidogularis, L. s. tianschanica, L. s. abbotti, L. s. przewalskii, L. s. kobdensis

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare but regular passage migrant.
 - Seen at Willow Tree Fen (February 2017) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, BirdGuides, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)

OTHER NAMES: Steppe Gull, Pontic Gull
Latin Etymology: Larus ("Gull") cachinnans ("laughing")

Third Winter Caspian Gull (subspecies  L. c. cachinnans) at Thames Barrier Park - February 2017

Featured Subspecies: Larus cachinnans cachinnans
Weight: 680-1500g
Length: 56-68cm
Wingspan: 137-155cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

 In some ways, I have found the Caspian Gull to be one of the most vexing species to catch up with despite having visited a number of sites which are good for them in a number of counties.  Looking at this bird the reasons should perhaps be obvious, this is a species which very closely resembles the far more common Herring Gull.  Indeed, it was only comparatively recently that it was recognised as it's own species at all and even some fairly up to date bird books will not include them.  While they are a regular Wintering species in the UK in small numbers it tends to be in places which host large numbers of gulls anyway - often near land fill sites where picking out the subtle features of this species among legions of assorted other gulls species is a daunting prospect.  I advise reading up online to get a greater understanding of the features which include a long beak, small dark eyes, long legs and other assorted things is key to this, although I must admit that the final thing that let me get this species was finding out about a reliable site that offered close views and running into a generous birder who pointed out this individual to me.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
SUBSPECIES: L. c. cachinnans, L. c. barabensis*, L. c. mongolicus*

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM -  An uncommon Winter visitor
 - Single bird seen at Thames Barrier Park (February 2017)

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red ListXeno-Canto

*Sometimes considered their own species .

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)

OTHER NAMES: Skunk-headed Coot
Latin Etymology: Melanitta ("black duck") perspicillata ("conspicuous")

First Winter Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) at Rutland Water, Rutland - December 2016

Weight: 950-1700g
Length: 44-48cm
Wingspan: 77cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A large sea-duck species found breeding around the coasts of Canada and Alaska, they breed on freshwater lakes.  This bird was a vagrant that had turned up along the dam end of Rutland Water where it was associated with a group of mostly male tufted ducks.  This bird is apparently a first winter bird, though as with the most duck species the adult male is a far more dramatic bird with a bizarre oversized beak coloured white, yellow red, pink with a huge black blotch.

Related Species: 
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Melanitta
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare vagrant.
 - A single vagrant bird seen at Rutland Water (December 2016) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-Canto .

Monday, 29 August 2016

Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

OTHER NAMES: White-collared Kingfisher, Mangrove Kingfisher
Latin Etymology: Todiramphus ("Small bird, bill") chloris ("green")

Adult Collared Kingfisher (subspecies T. c. humii) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name - Malay: Pekaka Bakau ("Mangrove Kingfisher") 
Featured Subspecies: Todiramphus chloris humii 
Weight: 51-90g
Length: 24cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

I must admit that when I first saw this bird on a dead tree looking at me face on, it looked slightly like a bedraggled fledgling house crow and it wasn't until I continued along the route I was walking I realised that in fact it was a new species of Kingfisher for me.  As you can probably guess from my mistake, this is another kingfisher that is substantially larger than the Eurasian Kingfisher.  Unlike the white-throated however, this is a bird specialized to the coast and mangroves in particular.  However, this bird (and indeed, it's partner I saw together with it a few minutes later) had a slightly different habitat - under a massive road-bridge across the mouth at the river at Malacca at the side of what was essentially brownfield site.  However, even so it posed for me very nicely and made a great final new bird of the trip.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes  
Family: Alcedinidae  
Genus: Todiramphus
SUBSPECIES: T. c. abyssinicus, T. c. kalbaensis, T. c. humii, T. c. vidali, T. c. armstrongi, T. c. davisoni, T. c. occipitalis, T. c. chloropterus, T. c. azelus, T. c. palmeri, T. c. laubmannianus, T. c. collaris, T. c. chloris, T. c. teraokai

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident.  
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A pair near the river mouth in Malacca

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-canto .

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)

OTHER NAMES: Asian Crested Goshawk, Ceylon Crested Goshawk
Latin Etymology: Accipiter ("to grasp") trivirgatus ("three stripe")

Adult Female Crested Goshawk (subspecies A. t. indicus) at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name - Malay: Helang Sewah Besar ("Large Sparrow-hawk Eagle")
Featured Subspecies: Accipiter trivirgatus indicus
Weight: 224-450g
Length: 30-46cm
Wingspan: 65-85cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Crested Goshawk is a medium sized species of raptor that I came across entirely unexpectedly - we were walking along the road from our Kuala Lumpur hotel as we did every day but just as we crossed an overpass, there was a large amount of squawking from house crows around - clearly something they didn't like was around.  Upon looking into the tree above me, my initial impression was of a huge thrush - the bold streaking on it's chest certainly very reminiscent of a song thrush.  However, it quickly became apparent that it was this impressive raptor species. As is usual with raptors, the female is the larger of the two.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter
SUBSPECIES: A. t. indicus, A. t. peninsulae, A. t. layardi, A. t. formosae, A. t. trvirgatus, A. t. niasensis, A. t. javanicus, A. t. microstictus, A. t. palawanus, A. t. extimus, A. t. castroi

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A widespread resident
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single bird in Kuala Lumpur

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto   .

Blyth's Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus alboniger)

Latin Etymology: Nisaetus (?) alboniger ("white black")

Adult Blyth's Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus alboniger) at Genting Highlands, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name - Malay: Helang Hindek Gunung ("Hindek Mountain Eagle")
Weight: 830g
Length: 51-58cm
Wingspan: 56-70cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

A distinctive black and white raptor of the lower reaches of mountainous rainforest, this species is in many ways little known due to it's rainforest habitat - it's diet includes lizards and bats, but possibly more, it's population size is unknown but has a large enough range that it is not currently believed to be in danger.  However, it is tolerant of some human activity - as demonstrated by the fact I saw it at Genting.  It is named after the English Zoologist Edward Blyth - a man who was the curator of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal and a correspondent of Darwin who first described this species to Western Science.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Nisaetus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A widespread but local resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single bird Genting Highlands

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuides, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto     .

Friday, 26 August 2016

Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii)

OTHER NAMES: Hardwicke's Leafbird, Orange-belled Chloropsis
Latin Etymology: Chloropsis ("green-like") hardwickii ("Hardwick's")

Female Orange-bellied Leafbird (subspecies C. h. malayana) at Genting Highlands, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Burung Daun Perut Oren ("Orange-stomach Leaf Bird")
Featured Subspecies: Chloropsis hardwickii malayensis
Weight: 25-40g
Length: 19-21cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The leafbirds are a family of birds unique to the "Indomalayan Ecozone" - an area which stretches from Afghanistan to New Guinea and the Philippines, and the Orange-bellied is a fairly typical example of the group: a bird of approximately thrush like proportions and bright leafy green upperparts.  The male, as is often the cast, is the more spectacularly coloured of the sexes with a much more distinctive orange-yellow belly of the namesake, plus indigo and electric blue feathering. Their curved beak is specialised for feeding on insects, spiders and nectar.

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Chloropseidae
GENUS: Chloropsis
SUBSPECIES: C. h. hardwickii, C. h. malayana, C. h. melliana, C. h. lazuliana 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single bird at Genting Highlands 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto   .

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

OTHER NAMES: White-Bellied Fish Eagle, White-breasted Fish Eagle
Latin Etymology: Haliaeetus ("Sea Eagle") leucogaster ("white abdomen")

Juvenile White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Helang Siput ("Snail Eagle") 
Weight: 4.5kg
Length: 75-85cm
Wingspan: 2.2m
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle was actually one of the very first bird species I encountered on the Malaysia/Singapore trip - on the night we arrived I spent about 30 minutes standing in the driveway just to see what would turn up, and a pair of these huge birds circled high overhead.  This is perhaps indicative of something I haven't really encountered in other eagles - the are far happier to live near humans than all the other species.  Unlike the other species I have encountered, I found them right in the middle of Cities - either flying over Central Singapore or a family perched right in the middle of central Malacca. The bird pictured is a juvenile, and so lacks the distinctive mostly white plumage of the adults, which I did see (indeed, on the same perch) but more more distantly at the time.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Haliaeetus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident on the coast.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: At least three seen in Central Malacca
SINGAPORE - A fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Two birds seen circling high above Lower Peirce Reservoir.

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum OpusBirdGuides, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

OTHER NAMES: Eastern Black-naped Oriole
Latin Etymology: Oriolus ("Golden") chinensis ("Chinese")

Adult Male Black-naped Oriole (subspecies O. c. diffusus) at Kuala Lumpur - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Burung Kunyit Besar ("Great Tumeric Bird")
Featured Subspecies: Oriolus chinensis diffusus
Weight: 65-100g
Length: 23-28cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

While the Golden Oriole of Europe is a shy bird in much of it's range, in Malaysia the Black-naped Oriole is a common sight and sound.  I first encountered them as a bright yellow flash between trees and subsequently encountered them on most days of the trip - still not keen on being exposed much of the time, but found in any notably green space we visited.  It has a typical oriole song - high pitched and perhaps a little shrill, but very fluid and distinctive - it will often be the first thing to alert you to the bird's presence.

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Oriolidae
GENUS: Oriolus
SUBSPECIES: O. c. diffusus, O. c. andamanensis, O. c. macrourus, O. c. chinensis, O. c. suluensis, O. c. melanisticus, O. c. sanghirensis, O. c. formosus, O. c. celebensis, O. c. frontalis, O. c. oscillans, O. c. boneratensis, O. c. mundus, O. c. sipora, O. c. richmondi, O. c. insularis, O. c. broderipii, O. c. maculatus 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Seen multiple times daily in Kuala Lumpur and a few birds in Malacca

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuides, IUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-canto .

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)

OTHER NAMES: Oriental Pipit
Latin Etymology: Anthus ("flower") rufulus ("red-headed")

Adult Paddyfield Pipit (subspecies A. r. malayensis) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Ciak Bendang ("Field Cheep")
Featured Subspecies: Anthus rufulus malayensis
Weight: ?
Length: 16cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The paddyfield pipit is a very widespread Asian species of pipit - one of the very few found in the region.  It was one of a number of species formerly considered part of Richard's Pipit, but that group was subsequently split off into African, Mountain and Australasian Pipits.  It seems to have fairly specific habitat requirements in Malaysia - I only encountered them at one sandy-grassland site on reclaimed land on Malacca, and as with meadow pipits in the UK, stuck to open spaces.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
SUBSPECIES: A. r. rufulus, A. r. waitei, A. r. malayensis, A. r. lugubris, A. r. albidus, A. r. medius

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Several pairs seen near the shorefront in Malacca

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-Canto .

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans)

OTHER NAMES: Pink-necked Pigeon
Latin Etymology: Treron ("timid/dove") vernans ("blossoming")

Four Adult Male Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Punai Gading ("Ivory Pigeon")
Weight: 105-160g
Length: 25cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

A fairly common species found throughout much of South East Asia, the Pink-necked Pigeon is an arboreal species best found in the tops of trees.   They are the only green pigeon in much of its range to be found in urban environments, including as in this case, the centers of fairly large cities.  The colouration is distinctive in the males though can be confused with the similar Orange-breasted Pigeon while the females are a much more uniform green which requires a closer inspection to be sure of.

Related Species:
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Treron
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic* 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single flock of around 15-20 birds feeding in central Malacca

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, 

*This is an unusual case - there are up to eight subspecies of the Pink-necked Green Pigeon described, but none have been accepted by the usual major authorities. .

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

OTHER NAMES: Common Indian Bee-eater
Latin Etymology: Merops ("bee-eater") viridis ("green")

Adult Blue-throated Bee-eater (subspecies M. v. viridis) in Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Beberek Leher Biru ("Blue-neck Bee-eater")
Featured Subspecies: Merops viridis viridis
Weight: 34-41g
Length: 21cm +9cm for tail streamers
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Blue-throated Bee-eater is a fairly typical member of it's family in many ways, but unlike Europe with it's single species, it shares Malaysia with two others.  Most notably, perhaps is how it alternates with another species of Bee-eater - the Blue-tailed - in it's migration pattern - the Blue-tail arrives as the Blue-throated leaves and vise versa.  It is also unusual in that they are one of the few migrants to breed in Malaysia - normally it destination for species travelling to warmer climes away from their breeding grounds.  I found them to be a bit less gregarious and a lot quieter than European Bee-eater, making them a bit trickier to locate.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
SUBSPECIES: M. v. viridis, M. v. americanus 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A fairly common Summer migrant
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Seen in small numbers on several days in both Kuala Lumpur and Malacca

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Friday, 19 August 2016

Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)

Adult female Olive-backed Sunbird (subspecies C. j. ornatus) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

OTHER NAMES: Yellow-bellied Sunbird
Local Name (Malay): Kelicap Bukit ("Hill Hummingbird")
Featured Subspecies: Cinnyris jugularis orantus
Weight: 7-8g
Length: 11cm
Wingspan: 14-17cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The sunbirds fill the same niche in the Old-World as the Hummingbirds do in the New - a group of nectar feeding specialists with long curved beaks, though some also eat insects and spiders.  The Olive-backed Sunbird is one of the more common and widespread species of the family within its range - being found in even urban settings like parks.  Though the female here is a very drab bird which looks broadly similar to females of several other sunbirds, the male has an iridescent dark blue mask and bib that make it a lot more distinctive

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Nectariniidae
GENUS: Cinnyris
SUBSPECIES: C. j. andamanicus, C. j. klossi, C. j. proselius, C. j. flammaxillaris, C. j. ornatus, C. j. rhizopharae, C. j. polyclystus, C. j. obscurior, C. j. jugularis, C. j. aurora, C. j. woodi, C. j. pateni, C. j. infrenatus, C. j. robustirostris, C. j. frenatus, C. j. teysmanni, C. j. buruensis, C. j. clementiae, C. j. keiensis, C. j. idenburgi, C. j. flavigastra

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A widespread and fairly common species.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single female seen in Malacca, a male seen briefly in KLCC Park in Kuala Lumpur

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List .

Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii)

Adult Mountain Bulbul (subspecies I. m. peracensis) at Genting Highlands - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Bebarau Bukit ("Hill Bulbul")
Featured Subspecies: Ixos mcclellandii peracensis 
Weight: 27-41g
Length: 24cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Mountain Bulbul initially gave me the impression of a woodpecker - a long thin beak and a fairly stiff looking tail along with colours vaguely reminiscent of green woodpeckers.  As the name suggests they are a species of upland forest and is found in this habitat throughout most of continental South East Asia.  It was also probably the least shy bird I encountered in Genting Highlands and was much more willing to allow me to see it clearly than other species.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Ixos
SUBSPECIES: I. m. mcclellandii, I. m. ventralis, I. m. tickelli, I. m. similis. I. m. holtii, I. m. loquax, I. m. griseiventer, I. m. canescens. I. m. peracensis

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Several individuals seen in Genting Highlands

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List .

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)

Sub-adult in non-breeding plumage of Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) at Kuala Lumpur Gardens - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Pucung Cina ("China Heron")
Weight: ?
Length: 46cm
Wingspan: 75-90cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

This is a fairly average sized small heron species found broadly over continetal East-Asia, but perhaps notable most for the identification headache it causes - it is part of a group of three species, the other two being Javan Pond Heron and Indian Pond Heron that while in the non-breeding plumage appear functionally identical to each other, though distinct when breeding.  Fortunately for me, this bird isn't *quite* in full on non-breeding plumage and the identification can just about be made by the hint of maroon plumage around the face.  All three species can be found in Malaysia though, so care must be taken.

Related Species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae 
Genus: Ardeola 
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A fairly common non-breeding migrant.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single individual in Kuala Lumpur in the central gardens.

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List .

Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutoris)

Juvenile Common Tailorbird (subspecies O. s. maculicollis) at Genting Highlands, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Perenjak Pisang ("Banana Warbler")
Featured Subspecies: Orthotomus sutoris maculicollis
Weight: 6-10g
Length: 12cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A small active bird, I first encountered this species not far from where I got off the taxi at Genting Highlands, but spent longer that I would have ideally liked to trying to photograph them.  I'd encountered a small flock which unfortunately didn't want to sit still long enough for me to photograph them, and took a number of attempts for me to get something identifiable. The individuals I saw appeared to be young birds - the adults gain a distinctive rust coloured cap and a long tail as they mature.

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Cisticolidae
GENUS: Orthotomus
SUBSPECIES: O.s. guzuratus, O. s. patia, O. s. luteus, O. s. fernandonis, O. s. inexpectatus, O. s. longicauda, O. s. maculicollis, O. s. edela

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A small group seen in Genting Highlands

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List .

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Stripe-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus finlaysoni)

Adult Stripe-throated Bulbul (subspecies P. f. finlaysoni) at Genting Highlands - July 2016

OTHER NAMES: Striped-throated Bulbul, Steak-throated Bulbul
Local Name (Malay): Merbah Luris Leher ("Strait Neck Bulbul")
Featured Subspecies: Pycnonotus finlaysoni finlaysoni
Weight: 24-32g
Length: 19cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

This is very much one of those species where I have no idea where the common name comes from: while there is certainly some vague stripes or streaking going on, the fact this species has a bright yellow face would have seemed to me a more notable feature.  I first saw this species from underneath, and thought it was likely another yellow-vented bulbul - this species also has a yellow rump - but when it moved position I was able to confirm it as this species, which isn't quite as ubiquitous - favouring forests.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
SUBSPECIES: P. f. davisoni, P. f. eous, P. f. finlaysoni

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single individual seen in Genting Highlands

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List .