Monday, 25 October 2010

25/10/2010: A successful twitch

Choo Eng’s discovery of a pair of Japanese Paradise-flycatchers at Bagan Belat in mainland Penang yesterday constantly dominated my thoughts throughout the entire day as I have yet to confirm this rather uncommon winter visitor to my life list. Luckily for me, I had a meeting in the mainland the next morning and a visit to the locality was inevitable. I made a quick detour to the locality and much to my delight, the male bird showed enough of himself for me to comfortably include this stunning species in my life list. However, I did not manage to photograph the bird and time constraint prevented me from waiting for a photographic opportunity to arise.
After my meeting, on my way back I made a short visit to the paddy fields at Permatang Nibong to try my luck with another uncommon migrant, the Ruff. Although I had to do a fair bit of searching, I finally saw the waders – all six of them as reported recently. A group this size is a quite rare occurrence in Malaysia. Although the waders were foraging at a distance, I made an effort to photograph them anyway as I do have any images from my previous encounters.

Most waders undergo a plumage change during the breeding season and some of the changes can be pretty extreme. However, no other wader can even come close to the Ruff as a male in full breeding plumage is quite a phenomenon and certainly a sight to behold. Sadly, we only get to see them in non-breeding plumage here in Malaysia.

Another characteristic that sets this wader apart is the notable size difference between the sexes. The males certainly tower over the much smaller females.

The group was rather skittish as well and took flight when a worker wandered into their comfort zone. This indirectly provided me with a chance to capture the birds in flight and reminded me that I have to get back myself back to the office soon.

5 comments:

digdeep said...

Very nice indeed Mun! I'll probably call you tomorrow to find out where the flycatcher and the Ruffs are.

Wong Tsu Shi said...

Wow! Nice catch of the Ruffs.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Dave & Wong

M. A. Muin said...

Nice one Mun. Pity i don't have time to check on these new sightings...

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Muin