Wednesday, 24 February 2010

18/02/2010: Pulau Burung (Penang)

There have been quite a few vagrants popping up in my home state of Penang recently like the Pied Cuckoo and Asian Openbill. The latest celebrity visitor is the Red-throated Thrush - photographed at Pulau Burung (a new record for Malaysia). I have the rest of the week to bird as part of my Chinese New Year break and the thrush was a very good reason for me to visit this locality.

The first bird that greeted me was this rather confiding Common Snipe…

I managed to photograph, most probably the same bird, at the same location again later in the morning and the lighting was much better this time.

I searched extensively for the thrush but without any success. However, the other birds put on quite a show for me and I had quite a great time observing and photographing the commoner species like this stunning Common Kingfisher. Pulau Burung weaves its magic once again...

I can always count on the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters here to cheer me up even after dipping out on a mega rarity….

This lone Brahminy Kite was circling quite low above the marshlands…

And talking about the marshlands, it was teeming with birds this beautiful morning. A pair of Lesser Whistling-ducks was foraging quite close to the water’s edge and provided me with ample opportunity to capture their images.

This Little Grebe in non-breeding plumage particularly ignored my presence and went about its daily routine.

I was quite surprised to find this juvenile Common Moorhen so tolerant of my presence and this is certainly the closest I have ever been to this species.

The confiding nature of the Wood Sandpipers here must be very contagious indeed…

White-browed Crakes are usually shy and elusive creatures...but not here. This individual was foraging right out in the open just next to my stationery vehicle.

Why did the Slaty-breasted Rail cross the road?
It wanted to give this birder a chance to capture its images.

Anyway, I followed the trail of the rail and waited patiently for it to show itself again. Gradually it did…for a second or so anyway.

I also managed to pick out a White-winged Tern from the usual Whiskered Terns. For some reason the former is greatly outnumbered by the latter at this locality.

Here’s a Whiskered Tern for comparison and in non-breeding plumage, the differences between their plumages are quite subtle.


Wilma said...

That is quite a large and stunning series of birds you showed us in this post. They all performed very well for you. I really like the attitude that snipe has in the second photo. I was particularly struck by the feet on the crake; it looks like he borrowed his father's shoes! And the slaty-breasted rail is really special. Wonderful post!


Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Wilma

madibirder said...

Hi Mun,
A wonderful series yet again. Love the last shot of the Water Rail in particular,

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Madi