This weekend was set aside for some quiet time at home. However a bunch of garden birds insisted on posing and I had to oblige. One thing is for sure photographing from a nice soft patio chair under a cooling fan definitely beats slogging down jungle trails.
Today the Philippine Starlings that infest the garden were out in force. These greedy mob feeders are forever squabbling amongst themselves and are very aggressive towards any other bird who intrudes near their food source by sheer numbers.
Nevertheless, they are quite beautiful birds. The adults have strikingly bright red eyes which contrast with iridescent dark green feathers. Young adults are duller with white streaked breasts, but are equally as photogenic.
In among the Starlings today, were a flock of Jungle Myna’s who fought valiantly against the Starlings before deciding to sit up high and come down to feed when the Starlings left. These birds are very common in Malaysia, and they are always visible arrogantly strutting in every garden and park.
Interestingly, a family of White vented Myna’s which usually dominate the garden were absent today. These Myna’s are slightly bigger than Jungle Myna’s and have more a jet black plumage than Jungle Myna, which is a slatey brownish grey in colour.
Interestingly, in amongst the Myna’s was single Common Myna. These birds who are easily identified by their yellow sunglass shaped eye’s are found all over Asia, but are not regular visitors to our garden. So I was pleased to be able to get a few good shots so you can see the difference between the various species.
To top it off we were blessed with the presence of a pair of Black Naped Oriols, one of which was unusually accommodating and posed for a few pictures. These birds have striking yellow feathers which are offset by a black Zoro type eye patch and large pink beak. They are usually quite shy birds who prefer to stay up high in the tree canopy so it’s hard to get good photos of them, but today they seemed to be intrigued by all the activity of the Starlings and came down low within good range of my lens.
In amongst all the hustle and bustle our resident Magpie Robin had a cooling bath and a pair of Peaceful Doves which are amazingly calm, almost tame birds quietly preened and fluffed, providing a fitting end to a few good hours of comfortable photography.
So, it goes to show. It’s not always necessary to drive two hours to some bird sanctuary for good photos. You can get good shots out of the kitchen window if you care to look at what’s out there.