Saturday, April 12, 2008

Labuan Blues: Mangrove Blue Flycatcher

I still remember the excitement my buddies and I had last week. The Mangrove Blue Flycatcher that we thought and hoped for to be a Bornean Blue Flycatcher! Nothing really excite us than getting a shot of endemic birds. You know..a 6-star birds!

This weekend was initially suspected as quite a dull one. Ron and I planned for a birding trip to Kinabalu Park and Sandakan next week. Tentatively from 19-23 April. The anticipation and expectation are high, nothing else matters!

I could not let that happen! So, I went straight to the Labuan Botanical Garden. Brought along my 40D manual, for a refresher! I certainly do not want to produce bad shots later in our trip. The Bornean Treepie shot taken last week serve as some kind of a reminder to me. It will not be a cruise in the park. So, I'd better be ready.

The garden served me really well. I have not been disappointed thus far here. There are even more birds species here than the other places I had been in Labuan. Moreover, some parts of the huge garden makes one feel to be in a rain forest. Obviously, it's tricky for photography.

The sky was perfect blue this two days. I enjoyed every minute of my hunt. The sun was a bit too strong and really hot, but I don't mind so long that I have birds to shoot at. The Labuan Blues changed colors at the very last minute...

1. Flycatcher

I'm afraid I don't know what bird is this one. A curious bird and flew around to check me out.

2. Common Iora

It was a real joy to see a common Iora here! They could be a real tough customer and never sit still. No good picture of them so far.

Peeping below the leaves trying to find food.

3. Mangrove Blue Flycatcher

I was suprised with my luck. Before, I had to go from Kota Kinabalu to Kinarut to find them. They are also in Labuan!

I had a tough time trying to get a shot and only just...

4. Magpie Robin

Can be found easily in the park. However, not an easy subject to shoot especially with a 250mm lens.

5. Pied Triller

I have never nailed a good shot of this bird. This is the most decent one!

6. Blue-throated Bee Eater

I have to say; save the best for last. These are the best ever action shots that I have ever managed to capture. I was so lucky to have witnessed this kind of behavior from a bee-eater. It just plunged in into the water like a kingfisher. Maybe the bee-eater just wanted to cool off from the hot midday sun! I don't care...I nailed the shots!

They are my personal best. I am grateful... The Labuan blues was not so blue after all.

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