It has been a very hectic month for me in terms of work and on the very last weekend, I finally managed to find the time to do so birding. I decided to give Pulau Burung a visit and upon my arrival, I received a rather rude reception. The local authority had conducted a cleaning up operation and quite a big part of the marshlands lost its habitat especially at the edge of the access road. To them, it is maintaining the place. To the birds, they lose part of their home. To me, I lose my little piece of heaven on earth. The best thing about this locality is the birds here can be unbelievably tame at times. The clearance of the habitat will now force the birds to keep further away from the access road. This could spell an end to all those fantastic close encounters if the locality fails to grow back to its former state.
The birds were much fewer than usual "thanks" to the maintenance work. With my telephoto lens away for repairs, I had to rely on my 200mm lens for the time being and I'm really struggling. It is times like this that I truly miss my beloved lens. Anyway, the Lesser Whistling-ducks were still in their healthy numbers.
The Black-winged Stilts performed their marshland ballet to help brightened up a gloomy day and I don't mean the weather.
However, there is still hope for the place with this image of an extremely confiding juvenile Paddyfield Pipit. Even with my short lens, I could obtain reasonably good shots. The magic of Pulau Burung...
I also came across a pair of Mangrove Pittas calling from across the river. The distance and shy nature of the birds prevented me from obtaining any good shots. But like I always say, any sighting of pittas in the wild is a magical one and this one is no different.
Later in the morning, I decided to visit the paddy fields at Permatang Nibong. Among the commoner Chinese Pond-herons, I managed to pick out single birds of both the Javan Pond-heron and Indian Pond-heron.
I also came across a striking male Watercock in full breeding plumage but he was extremely shy – typical of the species.
The word must be out that
Penang is ideal place for Asian Openbills because the lone Asian Openbill here was joined by 9 other companions recently.