Blue and White Flycatcher in Malaysia

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Malaysia Blue and White Flycatcher

On a recent birding trip to the Old Gombak Road in Selangor, I was fortunate to be part of Peninsular’s second sighting of the rare Blue and White Flycatcher in Malaysia. This was also a major ‘Lifer for me as I had never seen this beautiful bird before.

My trip here was done with Ashraf and Ashwin of both MNS and WBCM on 29 December 2022. At first, everyone thought it was a Zappey’s Flycatcher, but after much debate from the actual location to the Whatsapp groups, it was concluded as the Blue and White Flycatcher.

Blue and White Flycatcher in Malaysia

According to eBird records, there has only been one sighting in Kelantan, near Ayer Lanas and Jeli, close to the Thailand border of Peninsular Malaysia. Most other sightings have taken place in Sabah and Sarawak, on Borneo.

Peninsular Malaysia Blue and White Flycatcher
The beautiful flycatcher was posing on a branch.

Because of the blue colour, I assumed it was the Verditer Flycatcher, but when you look closely, it sort of resembles Zappey’s Flycatcher. Still, the blue colour tones are the giveaway in identifying this bird. Again, the colour can look black or dark blue in the low light or between the leaves.

After much debating at the birding location, we decided to ask the experts on our Whatsapp group by posting a clear photo of the bird. And the experts confirmed that this was indeed the Blue and White Flycatcher.

The eBird website explains this beautiful and rare bird, stating, ‘Adult male is very similar to the related Zappey’s Flycatcher (no overlap in breeding range, but overlaps during migration), which lacks the black breast patch. The song is a short, sad-sounding series of whistles—breeds in wooded lowland and submontane areas, winters in similar habitats and open areas.’

Photos of the Blue and White Flycatcher

Below are random photos taken with my FujiFilm X-S10 with Fujinon XF 150-600mm lens. However, they are not the best photos, as I was over-excited when the bird showed up. Settings were wrong; my IS was wonky, and exposure was way over for most shots. Anyway, the photos are below;

Selangor Blue and White Flycatcher
A decent photo of the Blue and White Flycatcher.
Flycatcher Blue and White Gombak
The front shot shows the white and blue colours of the bird.
Blue and White Flycatcher Peninsular Malaysia.
Another angle of the flycatcher.
Malaysia White Blue Flycatcher
This photo was taken at the Old Gombak Road in Selangor and showed the back of the head, but not the best shot.

Conclusion

This is a huge moment in birding as I never assumed I would see the rare Blue and White Flycatcher in Malaysia. I am extremely happy about this encounter, and hopefully, I will see it again, this time ready with my camera.

For those looking to spot this, remember it is all luck and not one of those perched birds where you can bring your chair and tripod to park and wait for that epic killer shot.

2 comments on Blue and White Flycatcher in Malaysia

  1. Congratulations ! I can empathise with your excitement over the sighting and photographing of the flycatcher.

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