Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pick of the Park - Pereskia bleo (Jarum tujuh - Malay)

 The Berawans of Loagan Bunut, near Bintulu believe that this plant can help in  curing cancer of the heart.  They boil the leaves or its fruits and drink the boiled water after it has cooled down.  This shrub  have sharp spines and can grow to about 2 meters high.  It leaves are thick and very green and wavy at the edges.  The Malays call it ' Jarum Tujuh' which literally means 'Seven Needles' to indicate the sharp needle-like thorns on its stem, branches and axil.
Pereskio bleo - Jarum tujuh( Malay)
Family: Cactaceae - Cactus family

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Born free

 Syawal is the last to leave the nest.  Yesterday I saw Mubarak flying off from the nest leaving Syawal behind.  So I took the opportunity to have the last photoshoot with Syawal before it leaves the nest.  It spread out its wings when approached but could not yet really fly. I will now leave it to nature to take its course...These beautiful  pigeons  have found home at the park and its my wish that they should be here born free.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The youngsters are doing well

It's a week now since the Punai Daun or Little Green Pigeon gave birth to two chicks named 'Mubarak' and 'Syawal'.  The younger of the two, Syawal has at last opened its eyes and was seen peeping through the maze of Eugenia oleina twigs.  The mother's feet is a beautiful red  and her under tail-coverts are clearly seen and appears very fluffy.  The mother does not seem to be bothered with my presence though I am coming nearer to have a better view of them, as close as 3 meters distance from the nest.  The nest is about 2 meters from ground level.  I am happy to note that the bird has confided in me.  The story continues......

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Raya Celebration

In my right palm is Mubarak and at left is Syawal.

 Today is very special for me.  I am holding both chicks in my hand and taking this first day of Syawal (the tenth month of Muslim calender) to name the two Punai chicks.  I give the name of Mubarak to the older of the two since it was first hatched out in the month of Ramadhan, followed by Syawal, born few hours later.
In the picture above Mubarak is in my right palm and Syawal at left.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Punai photoshoot session

The hen Punai tendering the two chicks under her breast

 "Ok, you are allowed five minutes for a photoshoot session, with me and my kids."  That was what I imagined the mother of the chicks was telling me.  She comforted them close to  her breast with the older of the two chicks  throwing a curious look at me.
I was careful not to stretch out the session because I need to keep her confidence in me.  These shots are captured at a safe five meters distance from the nest.

Punai Daun (Malay) or Little Green Pigeon

The female Punai

Female of the Punai or Little Green Pigeon has back and wing-coverts that are dull-greyish green or  olive-green in colour.

 This afternoon it's the mother's turn to tender to her young.  The female of the species have back and wing-coverts that are dull greyish-green.  In the late afternoon I saw both the male and female left the nest and flew past me in swift dashing flight.  When I saw both of them left the nest I immediately rush to check on the chicks and to get a closer look at them.  For about a week now the bigger of the two chicks was partly covered in yellow and green feathers.  The smaller one must have been hatched a few hours later looked rather fragile.  Both appeared to be doing well and breathing......The story continues.......
Two young chicks of the Punai in nest made of loose Eugenia oleina twigs.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Punai in the rain

 It has been  raining heavily this morning for about 2 hours and I took time to watch the Punai birds.  I was lucky as it was there guarding its young.   The Little Green Pigeon or Punais as they are called in Sarawak are often seen at the park.  However just a couple of weeks ago I noticed they have called the park home.  What surprised me this morning was to see the male of the species guarding the chicks in the rain.  It sat calmly and unmoved by my presence.  In its nest of loose Eugenia oleina twigs are two young chicks that were hatched from white eggs a few days ago.  The bright orange colour on its breast confirm to me that it is a male Punai.  It starred at me and I gave full respect to him by not coming too close to the nest which it protected jealously.  The story continues.....
The male or cock of the Little Green Pigeon, Treron olax

Young chicks of the Little Green Pigeon

Little Green Pigeon or Punai Daun (Malay)

Newly hatched chicks of the Punai Daun, 2 August'13

 In my wildest dreams! Yes! I am having a watching brief over two newly hatched chicks of the Little Green Pigeon.  A couple of days ago while tending to the oil palm trees I chanced upon the loud flutter of wings taking off just above my head.  Upon checking the spot where the sound originated, I was extremely surprised to say the least to see two chicks just hatched in a nest of twigs gathered from the Eugenia oleina tree.  The nest was built on leaf branches of the oil palm tree.   On the ground below the nest I saw a half-split  egg shell.  I said to myself I'll be back to take more pictures of the chicks as the drama enfolds.....

The female pigeon resting in its nest, protecting the young chicks..
 Today, I noticed the mother was guarding the youngsters jealously .  I peeped at her and she peeped back, apparently having a cool and unfrightened look at me which  gave me more opportunities to photoshoot her in the nest.  I am looking forward to see the chicks in better plummage soon...and to give them some appropraite names....Let the show continues.....
Nest of twigs taken fron the Eugenia oleina tree branches..

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pick of the Park - Clerodendrum thomsoniae x speciosum

 It is a weak vine and in the park I have planted it against a small tree.  It loves the direct sun, though it can stand partial shade in most cases.  This form is a cross between Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Bleeding heart) and clerodendrum splendens.
It is frequented by butterflies and the inflorescences can be used as cut flowers
Clerodendrum thomsoniae x speciosum