Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penang Birding part II: the "holy" birds

Fr. Gerard, our priest friend in Penang, is the rector of a Major Seminary which was located withing walking distance from the retreat house where we stayed.  Even before we arrived in Malaysia, he already invited me to do some birding in the seminary's big compound which was located on a hill and offered spectacular views of the Strait of Malaca.  I had planned on going to the seminary on our second morning but the Philippines was the host for the mass that morning so I could not.  As it trned out, I was only able to go on a Sunday morning.  But because our schedule called for us to leave the retreat house at 8am (for mass), it meant I only had a limited time at the seminary.  

After arriving at the seminary, Fr. G, went inside and I went around the garden.  I immediately saw a lot of Crested Mynas but for some reason, my camera lens was fogging.  So I had to wipe it several times and wait a few minutes for it to adjust to the temperature.  Here are the birds that I was able to photograph in less than an hour.
Yellow-vented Bulbul (bulbul is an arabic word, meaning nightingale)

Black-naped Oriole

Another angle for the Black-naped Oriole

A rather sleepy Zebra Dove

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.  I was pleasantly surprised to see this bird at the Seminary. 

Black-naped Oriole, back view

Crested Myna. I first saw this bird on a roof across our hotel in Beijing.  At first I thought it was a crow.  My friend, neighbor and fellow bird photographer, Bob Kaufman, says we have this in our neighborhood but I have never seen it here in Manila.

Crested Mynas

Spotted Dove

It was a pity I did not have more time.  I really wanted a better shot of the Oriole and seeing how it would perch on the flowers and plants close to me, I knew it was a matter of time. I also wanted a better shot of the Drongo.  Oh well, I guess, this is one more reason to go back to Penang...


  1. Wow! Congrats on all those lifers! Unfortunately I have not seen the Crested Mynas in our neighborhood since last year.