Birdwatching from Malaysia

From wetlands and rainforests of Malaysia comes this exotic report of a young amateur photographer that has the quality of a professional. Inspired by a variety of shapes and color, the photographs of Zhong Ying Koay plays perfectly the ornithological symphony which any birdwatcher could find on one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.

  • Gallery from Pahang

You have a very extensive collection of photographs of birds. How long ago that you’re on it? How everything began?

Ago 2 years since April 2011. I love wildlifes especially birds, and it began after I get a 2nd hand Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens from one of my birder friend.

In addition to extensive, your photo collection account with beautiful images. What techniques are usually used to take your photos? And what equipment do you use?

 I started with Canon EOS 550D+ Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, and later changed to Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and the recently I just upgraded my lens to Canon EF 600mm f/4.0 IS I USM. Sometimes, I also use Canon Extender 1.4x III. For fast birds under good lighting, most of the time I shoot handheld. For highland birds/jungle birds/birds under insufficient lighting, I no longer shoot handheld, but place my camera on a steady tripod (if for static birds, then I will shoot with live view or mirror lock-up) and also a shutter release. Sometimes, I will use bird hide too.

Tropical forests, mangroves, nearly 800 species of birds that live in Malaysia represent a very high biodiversity. I suppose this makes work easier for amateur bird photography, is not it? Any favorite protected area for your bird watching sessions.

Ya, I am totally agree that a very high biodiversity of birds in Malaysia is really good for any amateur bird photographer. So far, my favourite highland area are Fraser Hill, Genting Highland and Berjaya Hill in Pahang State. For mangrove area, are Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, Kuala Sepetang Mangrove Forest Reserve, both in Perak State and Kuala Selangor Mangrove Forest Reserve in Selangor State. For open land, are Seberang Perak Ricefield in Perak State, Batang Tiga Ricefield in Malacca State.

So, what is your bird or group of birds favorite? Do you have any special reason for it?

I love all types of birds here, especially Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Owls, Broadbills, Trogons, Flycatchers, the main reasons are either these birds are colourful, or small in size which makes them look very cute.

Interview by J.M. Escarabajal (Birding Murcia)
  • Gallery from Perak
The images that appear in this article are the property of Zhong Ying Koay; is necessary to request permission to the author for publication or any other use of the same.
“Birders Around The World” is an idea promoted by the Association Southeast Alive (Sureste Vivo) through the Project Birdingmurcia.

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