Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) on the Poui branch Location : Side garden
I have not seen the Kuching birds namely the Pied Triller and the Long-tailed Shrike visiting the garden yet. However, the new sighting of the Pied Fantail makes up for their absence. This is the first time that the bird is seen visiting the place. I noticed that it comes here with its mate, dropping very early in the morning and occasionally would re-visit the place in the late afternoon. It is a nervous and panicky bird with a suicidal behaviour. I mean it will not stay still for long and would attempt to drop several branches down in suicidal fashion. It utters a clear whistle that is fair to the ears. Oh, by the way, its suicidal behaviour has made the Malays call this bird " Murai Gila"! ( "Gila" means mad or crazy.)
This morning I feel strong because of a bird. I have seen the White-breasted Woodswallow in many towns throughout Sarawak, preferring the overhead electric supply lines as their favourite perch. Its stout body is an icon of strength and agility. I saw one perching next to the side garden this morning and for a brief moment did not notice my presence. A small group of three were about the garden area and nearby electric posts to prey on insects. At one occasion I noticed one of them making sorties to the ground and even rested on the lawn hopping and chasing the insects. I love these birds for their swift wings, grey body and an outstanding white breast. Being swallows their flights are exceptionally acrobatic, targeted and pleasant to watch. This bird now is very commonly seen at this housing estate and for that reason I have no qualms to include it in the list of common garden birds of Sarawak.
I saw one Pink-necked Pigeon perched on the tall "Poui" tree (Tabebuia rosea) at the back garden this afternoon. I was about 50 meters away. I heard its whistling call and soon another male bird joined it. I did not see any female of the species at today's sighting. Now it seems customary for them to gather at the Poui tree at the start of day and in the evening before sunset. This is one beautiful bird that decided to call the garden its home. Over the years I noticed that its preferred areas for making nests are on the branches of the 'Ong Lumok' (Artocarpus odoratissimus) tree and Yellow Bamboo clump nearby the Poui tree. The planting of tall trees in the Kambatik garden is essential if you want to attract these lovely birds to make home in your garden. This fact has been proven many times over at the Kambatik garden here in Kuching. This is one of the highlights of gardening the Kambatik way. Here wildlife is most welcomed.