Monday, 19 November 2012

River of birds (17/11/2012)



Well, that is the English translation for the name of this birding spot in Penang Island - Sungai Burung. Unfortunately, you will not find a river teeming with birds. There is certainly a river but as for the birds, it very much depends on one's luck. Don't get me wrong. This locality does have its fair share of memorable experiences for me. In fact, this is the very locality that I made my maiden birding trip to and you can imagine what an impact it had on me. Started the day off by unintentionally flushing a Striated heron and it alighted on the overhead electrical cable. The reddish legs indicate that it is in breeding plumage and it comes as no surprise as this common waterbird breeds throughout the year.


The White-bellied Sea-eagles were hanging out at the same spot that I saw them during my last visit. I guess they must have a nest nearby or there is an abundance of prey here. But then again, maybe they just fancy the spot.


The mighty Stork-billed Kingfisher is quite common at this locality. Their large size and attractive colours make them very conspicuous when hunting from an exposed vantage point like this one. Although this individual was rather accommodating, the lighting condition was not. On this rare occasion, I used my bins more than my camera.


The Grey-headed Lapwing is one of the few migratory birds that through the years have downgraded their status from rare migrant and locally common winter visitor. Imagine that I even did a victory jig when I recorded this species for the first time almost 20 years back. At that time, it was a mega-lifer to me and it deserved nothing less. I have to admit that this wader still does it for me but nowadays I have to refrain from over-expressing myself in order to keep my reputation intact. Anyway, I came across 9 of them foraging on a distant patch of paddy fields. Although they are regularly recorded in mainland Penang, their occurrence on the island is still rather sporadic and never in big numbers.

8 comments:

John said...

Some nice birds, Stork-billed KF my favorite !

"Sungai Burung" is looking better than "Pulau Burung"

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, John.

Phil said...

Superb shots, especially the mighty eagle and the kingfisher. I saw Striated Heron in Egypt last year, an interesting liitle bird. Great shot of it too.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thank you, Phil!

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Never had such a close sight of Stork-billed Kingfisher before! Really nice shot

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Ayuwat.

Friend of HK said...

The Stork-billed Kingfisher may be common to you but it is the first time I have seen it. So beautiful! Great series of shots!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, friend!