Sunday, June 22, 2008

World's Largest Bird Park

You guys have no idea how unrealistically refreshing it felt when I woke up this morning having over 9 hours plus worth of quality sleep. Having worked in Australia for quite a while, I got used to the habit of lazy and very relaxing weekends. Unfortunately this part of ideal lifestyle must be sadly sacrificed, forseeing the stress and pressure of work being carried forward in near weekends to catch up with oh never-ending deadlines.

Therefore, I tell myself this, I have just started working, obviously I would not be expected to work overtime during the weekends just yet, and I do not know how long will this luxury last, but what I must do now, is to make full use of my precious weekends.


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After looking into a few considerations, and places of interests in this city of Kuala Lumpur which is quite new to me, I have decided to make a trip to the National Bird Park near the city center.

This bird park is the largest covered bird park in the world, and so initial impressions from what I have gathered from the literature suggested this could be something I can really immerse myself into for the whole afternoon. I am not exactly a bird lover, though my name itself... robin... is a bird, which is interestingly popular in European countries. You know, they say if you find a robin nesting and laying eggs on your roof, you are going to strike good luck.

No, I am not going to lay eggs on your roof, ok, scrap that idea off.


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It is quite sad seeing the broken parts of the tail...


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I have got myself a tele lens recently. Under my super tight budget, I only have these two choices: (1) Zuiko 40-150mm F4-5.6 ED lens, or (2) and older lens, Zuiko 40-150mm, F3.5-4.5 lens. In rough comparison, choice (1) is a much newer lens, obviously with superior build quality, with ED and much, much smaller in size.

However, since both lens, and my camera body did not have any Image Stabilization options, the unusually lower aperture F-number of choice (2) seemed very tempting. More than one F-stop at full telephoto end does make a lot of difference, especially in dim situations. Therefore, I settled for the older, and bulkier lens.

Now I have the lens, it is time to put it to use.


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Hey, hornbill is supposed to be from Borneo !!


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I made my stop at Kuala Lumpur KTM station, and for some odd reasons, the place reminded me of the Perth central train station. I walked my way to the Bird Park, and little did I expect, the whole walking took more than 20 minutes. It was a good thing that the day was overcast, and not only I did not have to pump out excessive sweat, but I generally like the picture output from cloudy lighting, in comparison to direct clear sunlight.

Less highlight and shadows, and more balanced overall picture. I know a lot of people hate cloudy conditions, since you get less contrast and colour saturation, but hey, if you have too much highlight clippings, and burned black shadow areas, you lose plenty of details.

Of course, the ideal situation would be somewhere in between, which is seldom encountered. Nevertheless, we just have to work with whatever weather we are thrown into.


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now if that flashgun was fired....


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The range of display inside the park was rather impressive, although the land area was somewhat limited. You get to watch all kinds of birds, from land non-flight birds, to colorful bright and superbly noisy parrots, to swans swimming in the man-made ponds.

I guess this park has been around for quite some time, and the place was not exactly packed with many people. Most of the people who went there were tourists, or people like me who do the "tourist things". I noticed there was also a group of DSLR users, serious photographers judging by the lens and equipments they carried around with them. I feel so noob photographing alongside them.

*shying away... paiseh lah !!


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WHITE OLD SISTER BIRD (burung kakaktua?)

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Photographing the birds was definitely a challenge for me, and being the first time doing bird photography, and fairly new to the lens, it was quite an interesting experience. I guess the most difficult part of this session, was being patient. The birds, are uselessly often staying at the worst location for photo taking. Either their faces were looking away from you, or they were somewhere hidden behind the leaves or branches.

You need, heaps and heaps of patience to wait for the birds to stop at the right position, and you gotta be quick, because they do not stay at that auspicious spot for very long. Having a smaller and much lighter camera body did help me a lot, since I could move around much easier, and not feeling the weight even steadying it for quite a while, in waiting period.

Another seemingly difficult aspect would be the grills on the cages the birds are in. Most of the birds, especially the rarer and stunningly beautiful ones are put behind the cages, and this makes it quite tough to extract good shots, without having the grills at the forefront distraction in the frames. If the bird was too far into the cage, not only was it quite unreachable by my limited zoom, but the inner cage area was... very, very dark.


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That pink bird is very, very common in Perth, it can be found wondering around the grass compounds in my university grounds. Maybe the bird park people just went to Perth and... kidnapped a few of those back to Malaysia? Who knows, right?


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WTFF is this swan doing here????? It was supposed to be an endangered species, and commonly found in the water/rivers in Perth. It is the official symbol of Western Australia, even my university crest has the black swans on it !!


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I have to day that shooting birds was damned fulfilling. Maybe this was due to the fact that it was one of my early attempts with a tele lens, but hey, I just love the sharpness of the lens, and the "bokeh" factor (blur background) that the lens generated.

I would say the park was quite an enjoyable place to have a look see, but you will definitely appreciate it more if you are into photography.

It is one good place to start having a feel on wildlife shooting, and this bird park was easier since everything was in a controlled environment.


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The whole land area surrounding the Bird Park was designed as tourist attractions, and amongst the popular destinations include the Butterfly Park, Hibiscus Garden, and the Lake Gardens. I only went to the bird park, and spent more than 2 hours in there. I walked my way to the nearby Tugu Negara (national monument/memorial thingy) and snapped some pictures too, but I shall save that for another entry, since this post is already over-flooded with heavy pictures.

At the children playgrounds, there were of course, no children, but something else crawling and jumping around the places.

They were MONKEYS !!

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I caught one of them (no, not literally CAUGHT), and he was trying to open that container of leftover fried rice. It was kind of cute seeing the puzzled face, trying to figure out how to open the container, he rotated the whole thing 360 degrees, trying to bite it, but still could not get it open. I was watching the monkey for over 10 minutes, and he still could not get it opened. Now we know what separates us from them.

I guess the big question is, when will I be stopping by the national zoo? I am not quite sure myself, but I might be making a visit not too late from now, at least before my work starts to pile up.

I miss my time in Perth, especially during summer, when I got off work at 5pm, and still have at least 3 hours worth of sun to do outdoor shooting.

Sometimes, I still dream of myself walking along Matilda Bay in the evening.

*poof.... reality breaks in. Life sucks.


  1. Nice shots, Robin.

    and and.. I just got to know the meaning of your name :)

    Can show us your new lens? *Curious*

  2. My My.. Olympus lens are pretty good after all.
    Sharpness is good, and it renders pretty good bokeh.
    Tsk tsk.. My canon lenses can bow to yours.

    Nice shots!

    If can, get a F/2.8 telezoom lens with Image stabilizer. LOL!

    Kacheng Kacheng.

  3. hey ahlost,
    ahahahaha, nothing special about the lens appearance, its not a new lens, its been around since olympus' first few dslr generations LOL...

    hey allen,
    thanks !!
    this lens is a bit unusual, because of the lower aperture number F3.5-4.5, hence can take in a little bit more details than F4.5-5.6 standard tele.
    Siaw... F2.8....... BOH LUI !!!!

  4. Biggest bird park kah? Why no photo of the biggest bird...Robin? Hahahahahaha!!!!!

  5. Very impressive photos!
    Great shots.

  6. fuyohhh tele lens..
    *blink blink*

    Hope I can get a job soon and can start saving money for my lens too..

    At the moment, I think I need to learn how to play with my current lens and body first.. still noob XD hahaha

  7. *Clear my throat*


    You got your zoomlens finally!!!!

  8. very nice pics, very impressed.. i've got a fren with the exact lens u are using.. good build quality and larger apertures as you have mentioned..

    how mch did u get it for? rm 300?
    wait till u lay ur hands on the 50-200 swd... tsk tsk :p ok ok... i'll stop tempting u...

    its such a shame the onli oly lens with a constant f2.8 is a super high grade lens.. its at least usd2k n it looks like the company is ripping us off... the canon 70-200 with IS is cheaper..

    jz some pics i took today, cheers

  9. whoa all i can say is wawaweewa! those colours on the birds are so intense! i think u really are a natural talent in photography!

    its nice that KL still reminds u of perth. Spore doesn't at all! most certainly when people bump into me during rush hour without apologising.

    hey nowadays don't see u camwhoring anymore LOL! u prefer to be the one behind the lens now


  10. hey suituapui,
    nolah im not that big lah ahahahah dun make me sound so big ahahaha

    hey Fh20,
    thanks !!!

    hey akira miao..
    yeah u must get a tele lens man... to cover the longer zoom lens.

  11. hey brandon,
    ahahaha thanks !! when you say u are impressed... it is really something !!
    Tempt me with that lens again i swear I will find a way to STEAL urs LOL...
    yeah it does seem that canon lens is a lot cheaper compared to olympus in general.. oh well.. i guess it is demand-price thing i guess, more people using canon, hence they can afford to manufacture in larger quantity, thus lower prices.
    Will hop over ur album soon... now i just got back from a whole day shooting... dead tired LOL...

  12. hey hao,
    LOL... time for u to get one too !!

    hey marcus,
    Thanks !!! Ahahaha now i am in the mood for vivid and bright colors.. might change my theme some time soon...
    yeah.. i do miss perth terribly...
    here people in KL also bump and hit each other... no sorries too LOL...
    sigh... perth is so far away...

  13. LOL!!!

    Dude i have been following your updates. Your snapshots improve tremendously. **thumbs up**

    Perhaps for the last pic, you should help the monkey to open the container and ask someone to snapshot that scene while you are opening. And we do some comparisons between you and the monkey. LOL! Kidding of cause!

    Take good care!

    **imagine, what if the defiant and misbehaved monkey snatch off your costly camera and climb up to the high tree...**

    What will you do? :P

  14. birds last week... different kinda birds this week hey? i notice a trend here! :p

    shots have been getting a lot better. i'm jealous! haha. and seriously, a good telephoto is a a really good investment! i'm trying to save up $$$ to get one for my camera too!

  15. hey johnson,
    Thanks !!
    aahahha uve got one heck of an imagination !!
    No way im going too near to the monkeys, havent we learned from the movies of what they would do to us LOL...
    but if the monkey somehow got my camera... i think I will somehow have his neck on my hands and twist it till it cannot be twisted anymore LOL...

    hey slackalmighty,
    ahahaha thanks !! but no need to be jealous lar.... we are all learning still, and theres always room for improvement !! Ur doing quite well too, so give urself a pat on the shoulder too !!
    Yeah, u will need a tele lens to cover the longer zoom range. But i thought u had one that came with the twin lens kit?

  16. Seen a lot of that pink bird and black swan in perth. hehe. The pink ones were cute tho. And i hate seagulls. Btw, i haven't even been to the national bird park.

  17. hey ivan,
    LOL... yeah you get heaps of that pink bird !! Black swan is usually spotted at the lake/pond just near the Perth CBD... ahahaha did u see any ducks??

  18. Man, u got some nice shots of hot birds there. Great to know that you are making use of your new lens. I'm still struggling with my kit lens. What to do, no moolah to splash on a new lens.

  19. hey nigel,
    Thanks !! Well I did not have a zoom tele lens, so i figure getting a tele would be a necessity for the kind of shots I want to produce.
    It was an old first generation lens, so it costed significantly lower than newer olympus lens. BUt quality wise still very good.