Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It is true what they say about unoccupied houses being dead houses.

It is alos true that a house left unoccupied will soon lose its spirit.

No. I don't mean that kind of spirit...

That kind of spirits are there...ask my children, they all know them well...they ar so used to their fleeting around in the house...they even sublimed into a humanoid form in the kitchen, that's according to Syazwan...

What I mean was the house will lose its soul if it is not lived in.

Take our house...when it was just our rest house during school holidays and Eids, the compound was full of Imperata cylinderica (lalang) and the soild was dry and al,ost barren...

But now, there are earthworms' shit everywhere...an indication that the soil is fertile...

Imperata is now replaced by very healthy Axonopus and Paspalum...

But, the most impressive of them all are the birds. There are plenty of them, either playing around, looking for food or even breeding in the house compound.

The mango, the water apple and the yellow palm trees, they all provide excellent rendezvous for the feathered creatures.

Very early in the morning, barely five o'clock, a pair of Magpie robins and their two chicks were already busy gathering worms from the dampened-by-the-heavy-rain soil.

They even sing their heart out at such an early hours sometimes.

Up the roof and the mango tree, the Philippines glossy starlings were congregating either chatting or building their nests.

Flying from frond to frond and from twig to twig are the forever busy and hardworking yellow-vented bulbuls. Their lazily buily nests stand very clear on the water apple tree.

Once a while the tiny tailor bird is seen hopping around the neighbours overgrown flower plants searching for bugs.

House sparrows are normally seen either picking up rice grains from the drain or harvesting the seeds of love grass.

Olive-backed sunbird is always seen on trees gathering nectar. It is the closest bird to the beautiful hummingbirds that we don't have.

On the latest member of our tree, the cherry tree, the birds termed as the jewels of the forest always stop by checking whether the fruits are already ripe and ready for plucking. They are very small birds less than 25 gm in weight, but can be very colourful, especially the males.

Rarely, black-naped oriole dashes around the house compound, too scared to stay put on a branch for too long. Its bright yellow plumage always makes it stands out among other birds.

As rare as the oriole, white breasted water hens do wander into the compound searching for juicy earthworms.


Martin Lee said...

I used to keep the following birds while I was a kid:

Hill Myna, common Myna, Spotted Dove, Zebra Dove, Magpie Robin

Those I still find them near the secondary jungle near to my grandpa's house are:

Black-naped Oriole, Kingfisher, Woodpecker

In the wetland near Tronoh mines area are:

Egret, Heron, Bittern, Sandpiper, purple swamp hen, water hen

I ocassionally hear the calls of Nightjar and also the Koel but never manage to see their faces

Near my parents's home, yellow vented bulbuls are common though they are not yellow in color. They are always noisy in the morning.

Nowadays I do not get to see the Munia and hill Myna. Much less house sparrow and common Myna too. Even the tiny Tailor birds making the "bibit" sound could hardly see them anymore.

I did occasionally spotted the Philipines glossy Starlings making monotonous low pitch noises near the Manggis tree.

I also like birds!

azahar said...

I just love to mimick the koels...they always retaliate by continuously singging that familiar koel song.

The male koels are shiny black and the female is kurik brown (just like common ayam kampung). They love to roost up trees in residential areas.

Yellow vented bulbuls (merbah kapur) are only yellow at their butts!

Munias - the white headed (pipit uban) , scaly breasted (pipit tuli) are very rare now...

When I was in Kg gajah, I used to trap the straw headed bulbuls...Chinese love to rear these birds

Martin Lee said...

I do not have any idea on the straw headed bulbuls.

But you know what? I am really fascinated by the calls of the plaintive cuckoo! it is a mysterious bird that I again, only heard the calls but not seeing the real bird