Wednesday 31 October 2018

Hooded Pitta Visited Langkawi

Being an island detached from the Peninsula, Langkawi currently have two species of Pitta belonging to Pittidae and can be seen especially on their breeding season. These two species are the Blue-Winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis and Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha. The first one can be both a migrant breeder and resident. While the latter is the island's resident bird.  Click here for my story on Blue-Winged Pitta's newly fledged.

There is another species of Pitta that have yet to be properly recorded or photographed which is the Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida. I have yet to come across any documentation of its confirmed sighting on Langkawi. There were a couple of sources that I have received claiming on the sighting and hearing the call of Hooded Pitta but these have not been confirmed or properly recorded. Hooded Pitta is like the Blue-Winged Pitta, which is both resident and migrant breeder.

Earlier this year, an occupant of a residence at Kedawang area, Ms Neoh send me this image taken from a hard copy photograph found in a file. 
Langkawi birdwatching bird guide
Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida - I want this pitta!!
Upon receiving this image, I thought it was a joke and at the same time, I was stupefied especially when this source came from a non-birder. After Ms Neoh explained how this bird was photographed then only I am convinced with the visitation of this pitta. Though Ms Neoh is not a birder, she was interested to know the species of bird and she got a bird book too! A general nature lover, Ms Neoh often videoed and photographed some of the spiders around the property and shared them with me. 

This pitta caught the attention of the owner of this property back in 2011 while they were having a drink at sundown. Madeleine managed to photograph before this pitta took off. Pittas are usually skittish especially if they have not been tamed through feeding. Some areas on the mainland, the Blue-winged Pittas are often baited for the bird photography tours. From the look of this picture, this pitta looks lost and unfazed with the presence of the people nearby. Could it have flown in and hit the glass window without causing much damage to the bird? According to Ms Neoh, it flew away after that. Meaning, it must have survived. 

As at now, this sighting is considered as confirmed and vagrant as per my record. I will be keeping a lookout for this pitta and will be my lifer soon.

I sincerely thank Ms Neoh for being interested and sharing this image with me for Langkawi's record.

1. Yeap, CA (2005), Report on Birds of Langkawi Archipelago. Malayan Nature Journal 2005, 57(1), 124
2. Robson, C (2011), A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. UK: New Holland