Saturday, 12 February 2011

07/02/2011: Mainland Penang

It was been about a month since my last visit to the marshlands at Pulau Burung. As my long festive holidays are drawing to an end, I decided to make a visit to this locality before stepping back into the working world and face yet another year of unreasonable clients and crazy datelines. Anyway back to the birds, the Lesser Whistling-ducks and their ducklings are doing just fine.

The Pacific Swallows are preparing to breed as a couple of birds were seen collecting nesting materials together.

Although I did not come across anything out of the ordinary this morning, I still had quite a rewarding time photographing the regulars as the lighting conditions were simply just right. Even the common Pond-heron provided some killer shots.

The Wood Sandpipers, as usual, are one of the best models around.

A Common Snipe foraging unobstructed by the vegetation is not something that is regularly encountered of late and deserves my undivided attention.

The White-browed Crakes were a little reluctant to forage in the open areas and remained partly hidden most of the time.

The Collared Kingfisher was the only one of the five kingfishers that I came across this morning that allowed me to take a few shots of it.

At the paddy fields in Permatang Nibong, the Asian Openbills are settling back again and have been recorded more regularly. Two of the storks still remained whiter than the rest of the flock.

Whenever I see an Aquila eagle circling in the sky, I would say a little prayer and hope to see a white pale bar cutting across the underwing. But the Steppe Eagle still remains elusive to me as another Greater Spotted Eagle gradually soared into full view.

Both the Eastern Marsh-harrier and Pied Harrier were seen hunting in the vicinity but I only managed to capture the latter. The female Pied Harrier can be a little confusing at times with the females of a few other rarer species but that was not the case today. Clear views cast away any doubts about her identity and hopes for a lifer.

The Tricoloured Munia is not that frequently encountered anymore in the field but the lighting conditions hindered my aim for obtaining better images of this species.

A confiding White-throated Kingfisher wrapped things up for my Chinese New Year birding excursions.