I took my godfather to this locality because he was quite eager to see if it is just as good as I swear it to be. One of my very first birding trips that my godfather took me to was this locality back in 1989. It was during one of MNS Penang’s monthly bird trip led by my old friend and mentor, Kanda Kumar. When Kanda started to call out the names of the birds we came across during the trip, I was truly impressed and it made a quite an impression on me. I knew there and then that this activity of identifying, recording and observing wild birds will become a significant part of my life. This place has changed tremendously since then but the love affair that started more than twenty years is still burning strong. One of the most noticeable differences is the existence of the marshlands and the ponds. It was quite appropriate then that the Little Grebes paddling along in the pond were the first birds to greet my godfather.
My godfather was rather surprised by the tameness of the birds found here. There is no better example of this fact than the ever-confiding Wood Sandpipers.
The Black-winged Stilt brought back memories for the both of us of just how rare it was back in the old days. Nowadays, this species is a regular sight especially here in
Swinhoe Snipe or Pintail Snipe?...Swinhoe or Pintail?
When still in doubt always go for the commoner one. I guess Pintail Snipe it is then.
Like I always say, this is the best place for Blue-tailed Bee-eaters...
Strike a pose...
And they start young – like this juvenile….
After Pulau Burung, we headed to the paddy fields at Kubang Semang for the Aquila Eagles. While searching for the eagles, an immature Black Kite came into view and proceeded to give a memorable performance for us to enjoy.
A large eagle was seen at quite a distance flying towards us. It did not take long for me to shout out the words IMPERIAL…
This individual is a subadult because it lacks the white saddle on its back and the crown is still rather dull. Here is the adult bird I saw the year before for comparison. At least this season the eagles are wintering here instead of passing through like the year before. Better hurry back to Penang, Dave!
As the lighting condition was quite harsh, the quality of the images I took of this magnificent raptor left much room for improvement. Nevertheless, it looks awesome in flight with its massive wings and ferocious overall appearance.