A bird’s paradise in Kuala Lumpur

Located in the serene and scenic Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, KL Bird Park is only 10 minutes drive away from the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. It  claimed to be the home to more than 3,000 birds of approximately 200 species of local and foreign birds. One of its most extraordinary feature is that birds are let free in the aviary which closely resembles their natural habitat. 

Last weekend was my 3rd visit to the park. Personally, I like this park because it allows visitors to come close with the birds. It gives me great pleasure watching colorful and melodic birds perching and winging about freely while relaxing in a natural and beautifully landscaped surrounding. It is also an educational experience. Understanding of the bird’s behaviour and habitat give me a better chance of spotting them in the wild.

The moment I stepped into the park  egrets, heron and yellow billed storks can be seen near the man-made pond. I noticed there’s seem to be more birds compared to my previous visit in 2002.The man-made ponds and waterfalls in the park also no longer look like a concrete structure. Overtime,  growth of plants and moss makes them look more natural and what is more important the birds seem to be happy.

I was keeping an eye on a blue male peacock, hoping to capture some photographs of this colorful peasant, when I saw a Blue Indian peafowl busy picking dry sticks. I followed the peafowl, keeping sufficient distance in order not to distract him, and to my delight he has a nest on one of the trees and his partner is waiting, probably incubating their eggs.

After seeing a spectacular courtship display of the peacock about 45 minutes later, I chose a less busy path where the man-made waterfall flow into a stream. There’s a grassy area where I saw a few egrets, storks and a pair of red flamingos. The egrets and one of the red flamingos were busy searching for food on the edge of the water. The other red flamingo was just sitting on the grass. When I was trying to capture some pictures of the sitting flamingo I realised that it has an egg. They seem to take turns guarding and incubating the eggs whilst one of them searched for food. I was very excited and I can’t believe my luck to see this.

Seeing the bigger birds are easy but for the smaller songbirds having a binoculars would be handy because they are most likely to be high on the trees. I was lucky because my housemate who tagged along have very sharp eyes and spotted many of the small birds. She is my walking binoculars. Photographing them would be another daunting tasks because they tend to move quiet a lot. Patience is a virtue, and in this visit I was blessed seeing many beautiful songbirds in their natural element. 

The flamingo pond seems to be a bit crowded, not of visitors but of birds. May be the park management need to right size the area since they seem to have a successful breeding programme. My final stop of the visit is the hornbill zone.  Feeling exhausted, I decided to skip the non-flying birds zone.

Entrance fee to the park is RM48 (RM25 with MyKad) and opens from 9.00 a.m – 7.00 p.m. Some tips, bring drinking water because Malaysian weather is very humid. Wear good walking shoes, some area can be slippery especially after rain. Bring a small towel to wipe off the sweat. A hat or cap is recommended for additional shade. At the free flight aviary zone, birds will be flying above you and some will be on the trees, so the hat can also act as protection from bird droppings. Walk slowly and enjoy…

Dance of the peacock…

Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants known for their long tails. The blue peacock originates from India and Sri Lanka, while the green peacock is found mainly in Southeast Asia. Their tail feathers spread out  in a distinctive train, arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird’s back boasting colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. This act is used in mating rituals and courtship displays.  Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather.

In my recent visit to the KL Bird Park, these peacocks are plentiful and I was fortunate enough to see their courtship displays. The male peacock will make loud calls to attract females. Once a female is nearby, the male peacock will spread his tail feathers, turning left and right and in between rattle his feather strongly to get the attention of the females. The scene is as if he is dancing, showing off the beauty of his tail and hoping to impress the females. The whole rituals can last between 10 – 30 minutes.  

Some say the peacock looks arrogant

The male peacock will make loud call to attract females

Dance starts with a few rounds of turning his spread fan like tail to the left and right

The peacock rattles his tail strongly to attract the females…

Another peacock with green feather tail doing the courtship dance…

Colors in the garden…

Small, colorful and beautiful…easily found in tropical garden. I have started on this small project to capture images of butterfly, dragonfly and small birds found in gardens around Malaysia. I will add the images from time to time so do drop by to check it out.

Accessible Wild Australia

In Australia, it is very easy to get close and encounter Australia’s “wildlife”. During my vacation down under in 2012, I had an opportunity to see and get up close with koalas and kangaroos at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is only 45 minutes by bus from the city of Brisbane. Near the coast there are very high chance to come across with seabirds and the pretty colorful lorikeet. We even had three wild kangaroos crossing right infront of our car when we were at Hydeaway Bay Whitsundays. Luckily we were on sightseeing mode and was driving very slowly.  At the Sydney Royal Botanical Garden, you can see cockatoos and the fruit bats in abundance. And don’t be surprised if the cameleon is lurking under the bushes to say hello. The sight of underwater world at the Hardy Reef will surely make the trip to the Great Barrier Reef worth every single penny. Swimming among the school of fishes, seeing the nemo, giant clams and colorful corals will stay in my memory for a very long time.