Thursday, 29 December 2011

28/12/2011: Batu Kawan (Penang)

After the long Christmas break, I decided to make a short visit to this locality to check on the Oriental Darters. I met up with Dave who just came back from his UK Christmas holiday and the celebrity birds were on cue in providing us a memorable performance. The sight of these Darters spreading themselves to catch the warm rays of the morning sun will take some getting used to. I have wanted to see this species for as long as I could remember and now that I finally have, it still seems a little too good to be true.

However, the Darters’ leisurely time in the sun was interrupted by a few House Crows that half-heartedly harassed them. It is no wonder that a flock of Crows is also called a murder of Crows. I have to admit that it does take some effort not to hate House Crows at times. Luckily, the Darters were able to tolerate the nuisance and remained on their perch. Once in a while, they did retaliate by jabbing their formidable bills towards any Crow that got too close.

Anyway, the pesky intruders left after a short while and everything was blissful again. 

The lighting was quite ideal this morning and much to my delight, the subjects completely ignored my presence. Only the marsh prevented me from driving closer in order to obtain better images but I am still very happy with all the improvement shots from this encounter.

The commoner waterbirds, like this Great Egret, were in their usual numbers and are quite gracious about sharing this locality with the new winter visitors.

This odd-looking Grey Heron gives the impression that it is going bald (something that I am all too familiar with) due to the lack of dark colours on its crown.

As I made my way out of the marshlands, I came across this lone Pacific Golden Plover foraging on the mudflats.

And this Black-capped Kingfisher momentarily alighted on a bare perch quite close to my stationery vehicle. It did not take too long for it to feel that it is very unbecoming of it to be so bold in the presence of a birder and flew to a safer, distant perch.


digdeep said...

Beautiful shots in perfect lighting! I should have stayed longer than I did, but was anxious to make the most of my short 'window of opportunity'! Both Garganey and a single Little Stint were on view at Pulau Burung.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Dave. Good to see you again.

Anonymous said...

Great shots. Where is this exactly? I am new to Penang and the locations of the birding sites both on Penang island and on the mainland.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Galah. Batu Kawan is on the mainland. The marshlands is nearby the Batu Kawan Stadium.

Hor Kee said...

Superb shots! They've not been seen lately though. I hope they're doing fine.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Thanks, Hor Kee. I hope so too.