Monday, 2 November 2009

31/10/2009: Pulau Burung & Kampung Pertama (Penang)

I was greeted by a rather cold and gloomy morning when I arrived at the the Pulau Burung marshlands. Quite a number of egrets were still resting on their roost for the night. Anyway, I took a few shots as they began to disperse for the day.

Despite the weather, a pair of Greater Flamebacks were out foraging along the line of dead trees at the edge of the marshlands. It was a shame that the poor lighting conditions prevented me from obtaining great shots as the pair was rather confiding. The black "hair-do" belongs to the female...

And the red is the male...

All the commotion caused by the foraging pair attracted another pair of woodpeckers to the same vicinity - the almost-similar Common Flamebacks. A pair of them decided to alight on the very same tree as the former and proceeded to forage. The two pairs seemed to get along quite well despite competing for the same food source.

As I was observing the woodpeckers, the unmistakable call of the Hill Myna filled the vicinity. It did not take me long to locate the bird. Just on the adjacent tree, there was a lone individual moving about the branches.

As I drove slowly along the mangrove belt, I came across a rather confiding immature Pied Fantail. Although it is a common species, it usually does not provide good photography opportunities due to its active and shy nature. The local name for this species is "Murai Gila" which basically means "Crazy Thrush" and I think it is quite a suitable name choice. Anyway, this fellow gave me ample opportunities to capture its image. The only downside is that it was still rather gloomy.

And like the case of the woodpeckers earlier, the commotion caused by the ever-excited fantail while it was foraging attracted a pair of Oriental Magpie-robins to the same bush.

A Black-winged Kite hovering at a far distance. I only wish it was a lot closer so that I could get some good shots of those wing actions.

The Collared Kingfishers were at their regular posts. I find this pair to be rather tolerant to human approach.

As the lighting conditions gradually, so did my images. There were quite a number of Cattle Egrets foraging in the vicinity and as usual, they were quite confiding.

The Little Egrets were just dying to be photographed today and I, for one, will never turn disappoint the birds...

The resident Jungle Mynas were out foraging with the next generation of youngsters...

The Yellow Wagtails are back from their breeding grounds up north. This fellow still has traces of its stunning breeding plumage.

The beautiful Blue-tailed Bee-eaters have also found their way back to their wintering grounds...

So did a few first-winter birds...

The only place for me where Brown Shrikes don't always fly away at first sight of my approaching vehicle is here at Pulau Burung.

I'm glad to see you too after such a long holiday up north...

The resident Brahminy Kite also took advantage of the turn in weather to ride the thermals in search of food.

Much to my delight, this immature White-breasted Waterhen decided to forage right in front of my stationery vehicle.

This Common Sandpiper was not too happy that the waterhen was hogging all the attention. So, it decided to put a show of its own nearby. Guess what? It worked...

The Little Ringed Plovers also did their part to produce another rewarding trip for me to this locality...

Around mid-day, I decided to try my luck with Dave's Temminck's Stint at Kampung Pertama paddy fields. This rather scarce migrant was seen by him a few days back but I know it will be like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Being one of the smallest of waders doesn't help much either.

There were quite a few of the usual waders around like the Wood Sandpipers...

And the Curlew Sandpipers and even the Long-toed Stints but there were no signs of the Temminck's Stint anywhere...

A flock of Grey-headed Lapwings failed to lift my spirit as they were extremely wary as usual...

I guess the Pacific Golden Plover rescued by Dave must be among this flock...

There were certainly a whole of egrets in the vicinity...

The majority of them were Little Egrets...

The larger Great Egrets were certainly outnumbered here...

The Pond-herons went about their daily routines at the paddy fields...

This Chinese Pond-heron still had the tell-tale signs of its identity...

A foraging Brahminy Kite...

And Black Kite were the only raptors seen...

A strange-looking bird foraging on a distant tree got me excited. However upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a Purple-backed Starling.

I guess I can always count on the White-throated Kingfisher to cheer me up.

5 comments:

yen said...

The purple back starling is new to me, and great in flight shot of the Black Winged kite, Can't wait to make another visit to Png.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Yen. Maybe we'll get to meet up the next time you're here.

Wilma said...

What a series of shots! The feet on the waterhen look far too big. And I love the pond heron; fantastic looking bird. Great post, Mun.

cheers,
Wilma

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Wilma

Tabib said...

Great!, so many migrant birds up there.
Must follow Yen one day.