Taming Robin Part 3: The ultimatum

We are so incredibly happy. Robin finally feeds off my hand, and W’s hand too. But it is down the mealworms route. Yellow cheese doesn’t seem to quite cut it. The mealworms are far more tempting, especially they are live mealworms. I suppose there’s more of an urgency for the robin to risk and pick the food from our hand, as the mealworms can move, and once the mealworms “get away”, that means missed opportunities for the robin. Surely Robin does not want that to happen?! 😉

Another thing we learnt is we need to train the robin to get used to our hand around his food. After we placed the mealworm on the ground, we need to leave our hand there. As soon as he learns that our hand is not a threat to him, he’s no longer shy to pick mealworm from our hand. In fact he’s prepared to come very close to us for food now, rather than us going close to him to feed him. Fabulous, we have our first tame robin! :)We had so much fun feeding and taking pictures of the robin yesterday. I thought I’ve bought too much mealworms, which came in a box from a local pet shop. But I obviously forgot that I’m feeding the whole family rather than just the one robin! I think we’ve fed around 30 mealworms yesterday alone, morning and evening. And that was not including the yellow cheese we put out as well!

Robin and mealworms 1
Robin and mealworms 2

Tame Robin, by arctanck

More birds in my backyard

Surprising that by just moving the bird feeder away from the walls, more birds are now visiting my little backyard. This morning two great tits visited my garden. I’m surprised that great tit is actually bigger in size than a robin, as I always thought the opposite is the case. After spending some time observing the great tits eating the wild birds seed did I found out why robins are not interested in the wild bird seeds I put out. It seems that it really does take some effort out of the great tits to break open or to eat the seeds. No wonder Robin, which certainly seem to have a weaker beak, very much prefers yellow cheese or worms instead.

Great tit

Taming Robin Part 2

Today is the 3rd day I’m taming Robin. As predicted, he is now used to coming to my backyard for food, or more precisely, yellow cheese. But he’s not quite trusting enough to feed off my hand just yet. In parallel, I’m also working on trying to get him familiarised with his name Robin. This is so that he will respond to my call the next time I want to feed him, rather than me having to wait for him all day long. Anyway, I’m really happy so far as I was able to play with him for 3 consecutive evenings already. It is really fascinating to be able to observe the bird in such close range; his movements, the way he looks at things by slightly tilting his head, fur movements on his head and how he puff up his body etc.

Curious Robin, by arctanck

Taming Robin Part 1

This is a rather unexpected exercise. In theory, I’ve sort of learnt from a friend Peter, who is a birding expert, on how to tame a robin months ago. And I’ve longed been wanting to tame one myself. But, as much as I wanted to, I just wasn’t presented with the opportunity. Some very simple reasons are my backyard is very small, often birds are scared away as soon as I open door, and I did not spend enough time in the backyard.

Anyway, I was in the middle of clearing up the backyard yesterday to make room for some gardening this summer. Then this robin, rather fearless in my opinion, flew quite close to where I was working, to my pleasant surprise. The reason it was willing to come so close was presumably because the robin was looking for food around and spotted worms or insects movements on the ground I was working on, despite seeing me holding a big digger 🙂 So happened that we had some cut yellow cheese left around the garden, which were left there for birds, I decided to try my luck and throw a piece of cheese near the robin I named as Robin. To my delight, not only did Robin not react to my throwing movement, but in fact he responded by picking up the cheese I threw him!According to Peter, it usually takes a few days to tame a robin to feed off one’s hand. And the way to tame a robin is to try and get it to come closer and closer to a human for food, to slowly gain the robin’s trust. As Robin seems to have kids to feed, I’m fairly confident that he will be visiting my backyard for food again, especially if I keep the swiss cheese coming. So looks like we are going to have a tame robin very soon!

RobinRobin, by arctanck

Journey to Tioman Island

Went to Tioman Island with our family during the time we were back in Malaysia. Still not sure if it is a good idea to drive there, but there aren’t many choices to get there in the first place. The other option we could have taken is to fly from KL to Tioman Island. Not attractive either, as we are from Ipoh. And thanks to MAS, there are no longer any flights to KL from Ipoh. In fact, they have also closed the Ipoh office!So the trip entailed a 2 hours journey to KL, then stopover at my sister’s place for the night, before embarking on a 4.5 hours journey to Mersing, via Ayer Hitam. Yes, that’s not the end point yet. We still need to take a boat to Tioman Island. Depending on which type of boat you take, the journey time can be an hour difference. The ferry, which is the slower option, took us almost 2 hours to get there. We could have taken the quicker speed boat, but the situation was such we could board the ferry almost immediately after we arrived at the dock. And of course we had been somewhat misled by the people selling us the tickets into thinking that the ferry we were going to take is the speed boat. To be fair, they showed me the boat, it was parking at the dock loading people, and it is a speed boat. Just that I think it’s bigger and more difficult to manoeuver when docking than the speed boat speed boat. And crucially, they offered significant discount on the tickets we were supposed to buy from a rival company. Anyway they are good people, and were very helpful to us.Lastly, there are a number of docks on Tioman Island, around 5 or so. Make sure you get off at the right dock. My brother-in-law made a mistake and thought that it was nearer for us to get off at Panuba than Air Batang beach to get to our accommodation – Bamboo Hill. Distance wise, it is indeed nearer. But to get there involves climbing a hill via the jungle treks. With the luggage with us, as well as both our mums, this is going to be hard work. So we ended up hiring a small boat to take us back to Air Batang beach instead. What a journey!This is the view out of our chalet. Not bad at all huh?Bamboo hill


Colleagues are surprised to see me turning up at work earlier than them these few days. I feel good in the morning as well, and have no difficulty waking up. Maybe I really should make this a habit, to sleep early and wake up early. I don’t think this is the first time I’ve told myself this. It always ended up that I couldn’t wake up early, or more precisely, couldn’t get out of my bed. Whether it’s warmer in bed, not enough hours clocked, or whatever reasons, I just have the tendency to stay in bed until I absolutely need to wake up.SleepyAt the moment the jet-lagged I’m still “suffering” from the trip back to Malaysia is serving me good. In such a way that, without requiring much effort, it is already agonisingly difficult for me to open my eyes at around 10pm. Hope that I can get into this sleep cycle routine this time, for good.