Wednesday, 13 April 2011

02/04/2011: Kampung Benggali (Penang)

The Kampung Benggali paddy fields in the northern end of my home state is quite close to where the first Indian Pond-heron was discovered in Malaysia about 12 years ago. I have had several encounters with both the Indian as well as the Javan Pond-heron here in the past and I am hoping for history to repeat itself. A healthy number of mixed egret species foraging together momentarily side-tracked me from my main quest. I even managed to capture all the 4 species in a single frame – Cattle, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets.

There were quite a few Cattle Egrets in their stunning breeding plumages and it is always a delight capturing their images during this time of the year.

This immature Barn Swallow must be gearing itself for the approaching breeding season and the long journey back north. From the looks of it, pretty soon it will reach adulthood.

This Brown Shrike is looking a little smug in his summer plumage...

An inquisitive White-throated Kingfisher decided to fly in and have a closer look at what I was having for lunch – or maybe it was just a coincidence. Anyhow, it was another frame-filling shot of this common species.

The paddy fields here are quite vast and there is certainly a whole lot of area to cover. I tried my best but unfortunately, I could only locate the Chinese Pond-herons this time. With the breeding season drawing ever near, they were a little more confiding than usual and provided much more photographic opportunities as well.

The number of good images I managed to obtain today of this species helped me get over for the disappointment of not being able to locate a single Javan or Indian Pond-heron in the vicinity.

It can get pretty warm out here in the paddy fields…

Even those Pond-herons with only partial breeding plumages were undeniably turning into Chinese Pond-herons.

Just like us, patience is the key to successful fishing…

I bet there’s bound to be a couple of Indian and Javan Pond-herons among these Pond-herons that are still in winter plumage.

The bright and sunny sky looks pretty inviting to a soaring raptor and true enough, a majestic White-bellied Sea-eagle soared into view just overhead. Although it is still a young bird, its presence was nevertheless impressive.

This pair of Brahminy Kites was being quite affectionate to each other although they were in mid-flight. Judging from their sizes, it seems like the female is following the male around.

A juvenile Peregrine Falcon soaring at a far distance was the final raptor for the day and I rarely turn down an opportunity to observe this deadly bird of prey.


yen said...

love photos of the Chinese Pond Heron

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Yen.

Ari said...

Lovely shots Wai Mun, especially the Herons!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Ari