Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunbirds work smart

Male Olive-backed Sunbird

Female Olive-backed Sunbird
 Watching the Olive-backed Sunbirds having a go at the nectar of the Pink Poui was a memorable one.  It is interesting to see how they worked smart.  To reach at the nectar both made short-cuts.  Their sharp beak were effective as  weapon to pierce through the base of the flowers.  They kept on making return trips to the tree to enjoy the nectar and seemed pleased by their twittering calls. 

Male piercing the base of the Pink Poui
Male piercing deep into the base of the Pink Poui flower
Male Olive-backed Sunbird in flight
Trumpet-shaped flowers of the Pink Poui (Tabebuia rosea)
Flowering is accompanied by shedding of leaves.  The beauty is when the whole tree flowers without the leaves.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Outside looking in

Poui tree starting to flower - view towards house, looking north
Kambatik garden, Kuching.

Pink to light mauve flowers
Poui - Tabebuia rosea
 It was magic when I stepped into the garden this morning.  Looking south from the car porch I saw columns of light mauve and pink washes.  The Poui tree (Tabebuia rosea or previously known as Tecoma pentaphylla ) has began to flower.  I am always excited to see this tree everywhere I travel around Sarawak.  This is because of an envelope I received from Singapore that contained the seeds of this tree and from which thousands more trees originated in Sarawak.  The link to the story is here   .  At this stage the tree is not yet in full flowering, probably in a day or so it will.  The large bell-shaped flowers may be white or pink  depending on the form.  'Tabebuaia rosea' when it is pink and 'Tabebuia alba' when white.  In any form the colours are pastel and impressionistic and touching to the soul because underneath the tree you can have party (picnic) and consume the beauty of nature and its enriching qualities. Try.
Looking east

View looking west

Inside, looking out

Friday, August 15, 2014

How the years have gone by...

Front garden - 2009

Front garden - 2014, 16th August.

Front porch garden - 2009

Front porch garden - 2014, 16th August

Front side garden - 2008

Front side garden - 2014, 16th August

The peaceful Zebra Dove

 Up on the tall Poui tree a pair of Zebra Doves were seen relaxing.  They do visit the garden regularly though have not yet been seen nesting here.  The Malays call them 'Merbok Aman' to mean peaceful dove.  Another relative called the  Spotted-necked Dove is a permanent resident preferring to build its nest on the yellow bamboo clump at the back garden.   There are pleasant birds and get domesticated easily.  Many end up in cages as pets.  Compared with the Spotted-Necked Dove (Tekukur) it is much smaller in size.  In Sarawak these birds are commonly seen besides town roads and streets, public parks and playing fields foraging on the ground for food.
 'Merbok Aman' (Zebra Dove) at the Poui tree (Tabebuia rosea)

Merbok Aman - Zebra Dove
Geopelia striata

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Olive-backed sunbird at banana heart

Banana inflorescence showing the banana heart (Jantung Pisang - Malay)

 The Malays have a nice word to refer to the heart of the banana - Jantung Pisang.  More images of the Jantung Pisang can be seen here  , showing  the wide varieties of food that can be created from this flowering head of the banana plant.  Today I got excited at photographing the Olive-backed Sunbird, a female of the species that came visiting the banana heart.  It was busy doing return trips to the heart to enjoy its nectar early in the morning.  The Olive-backed Sunbird has obtained a PR status at the garden here after it created its nest in the branches of the oleina tree  months ago.   It joins other birds that are fond of making nesst in the garden, namely the Chestnut Munia, Spotted-necked Dove and the Eastern Tree Sparrow.  Here's more images.....

Olive-backed Sunbird - Cinnyris jugularis  clinging to the banana heart

For more botanical knowledge on the banana heart, check it out here ..>>>>

Paid in flowers

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Bunga Raya
Double-flower variety
 The red hibiscus shrub at the front garden has produced some pretty flowers.  Many other shrubs are in flowering chorus.  These are labour paid in flowers.  Gardening is a test of patience on a bed of passionate love.  Its rewards come in joyful comfort to the untiring physical and soul workout that a gardener does in the garden of his love.   The blossoms are testimonial to the continuous care and time spent on nurturing the plants to their flowering best...
Ixora coccinea

Kenanga (Cananga odorata)

Ixora 'Pink Deluxe'

Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans)

Ixora spp

Front porch garden, 14 August'14.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Flowering best

Hibiscus hybrid

Drunken Sailor
 What's flowering  best today?
The Hibiscus hybrid, Drunken Sailor and the Ixora are in their best.  The garden is not without flowers and colours.  There are always  flowers to excite the senses on any day throughout the year.  This unique character of our tropical garden needs to be further explored in all ways. However, gardening is not only for the love of flowers.  I enjoy the garden more if more wildlife especially birds and butterflies are attracted to it for shelter, transit places and as food source.  The garden should not only prosper us but also the world of nature. Be happy, be prosperous!
Ixora coccinea

Hibiscus hybrid

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Triller in the garden

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) - Sewah Kapas (Malay)

This is male of the species Lalage nigra - Sewah Kapas (Malay)
It has black wings with large white patch on coverts.  Underparts are white.  Bill, legs and feet are brown.
Surprise is a mild word.  It's really thrilling to see the Pied Triller came by the garden this morning.  This is the first time in my birding experience to have met the Triller.  I have never seen it in Bintulu.  And of all the places it showed itself in the Kambatik garden in Kuching.  It is not really a common bird in Sarawak and it was merely coincidental that I managed to photoshoot it this morning.  It was having a brief rest on the Tabebuia rosea branch and I happened to be just nearby for a close range shot.

Peaceful doves in mortal combat

 It was a very interesting scene.  The first ever I have seen.  Two Tekukur were bent on fighting each other to death.  Was the reason terristorial, jealousy, or both?  They were sparring by the electrical line next to the front garden.  Both were in fierce attacking mode.  Never giving up the fight.  Every part of the body was used.  Beak, feet, wings and sometimes all three.  Attacks were made while resting on the cables and in mid-flight.  There were dare devil approaches as well as cunning and well-thought moves by both parties.  They remind me of Malaysian politicians, somewhat.....These pictures tell it all....

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tropical and lush greenery at the front garden

Yellow Palm, Carpentaria Palm and Red Sealing-wax Palm at the front garden

 The front garden is looking luxuriously tropical with its many varieties of palm trees.  Colour is provided by the Eugenia oleina tree, flowers of the Drunken Sailor, fruits of the Carpentaria palm and crown sheaths of the Red Sealing-wax palm.  The yellowish feather-like leaves of the Yellow Palm is also attractive in its on way.  Interestingly the Drunken Sailor has managed to hold on to the tall Carpentaria Palm.  Finally I think I have achieved what I wanted to create at the front garden.  A composition of luxury, evergreen and colourful nature to be enjoyed every day throughout the year.

Drunken Sailor (Quisqualis indica) scrambling over the Eugenia oleina tree
CU of the Drunken Sailor flowers

The Drunken Sailor at last managed to creep on to the tall Carpentaria Palm.