Thursday, 19 November 2009

19/11/2009: Bandar PERDA (Penang)

I had another go for the Greater Spotted Eagles again but unfortunately, without success.

There were plenty of egrets in the vicinity as usual and more so where the farmers are ploughing the paddy fields. A pair of immature Brahminy Kites were circling menacingly low above a mixed flock of egrets at such an area. They pose no danger to the egrets as these kites will only take small birds. But the kites are not after the egrets - not directly anyway. They are after the prey that the egrets catch. I have seen this pirate-like behaviour by this species before. Whenever an egrets catches a prey, the kite will swoop down and try to snatch the prey from the egret or make the egret drop the prey.

Anyway, the great images I managed to obtain helped me recover from the disappointment of dipping out on the Aquila eagles again.

Grey Herons are not a common sight in Penang and this immature bird, in the company of Little Egrets, was foraging a bit too far for me to obtain any good images.
Quite a good number of Black-winged Stilts were also seen foraging at the vicinity. I'm not sure if they are part of the same group I usually observed in the adjacent fields but one thing is for sure and that is these graceful waders are now a normal sight in Penang - much to my delight.
If the Brahminy Kites had done their part to cheer me up, the Brown Shrikes almost made me forget why I am here in the first place. This lovely female is as tame as any wild shrike could ever get. She alighted on a rock just next to my stationery vehicle and just stood there for me to photograph. I, for one, most certainly will not turn down an offer like that.

This day surely belong to the Brown Shrikes because I came across another confiding individual and this time, it was a handsome male. Brown Shrikes hold a special place in my heart because it is one of the birds that made me take up this religious hobby of birding. I can still remember that back in my childhood days, I will occasionally come across a bulkier and more aggressive looking Yellow-vented Bulbul (although I don't know the exact name for even the Yellow-vented Bulbul at that time, it is common enough for even a non-birder like me to recognise) around my housing area. It was my Godfather that eventually told me that it was a Brown Shrike and I was truly fascinated with the idea of observing and identifying birds. And the rest, as they say, is history.

5 comments:

Tabib said...

Interesting observation of immature Brahminy Kites hunting behavior.
Great Shrike Portraits!.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Tabib

Wilma said...

This was a wonderful post, Mun. The shots of the kite, stilt, and shrike are all lovely. What are the pinks things in the background of the stilt photo? Very sweet story about your Godfather.

cheers,
Wilma

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Wilma.I'm not sure what the pink things are but I'm guessing they are plant matters.

terence said...

Great documentation of the kite. I have just recently observe house crow pirate the juv Brahminy Kite in the same area.