Saturday, January 12, 2008

End of December 2007, Melaka

Lots to catch up with here after a crazy few weeks since returning from the UK.

First we took a family trip down to Melaka for a grand family reunion of the Chi family (my wife's side of the family). Over a hundred family members turned up from 4 different continents. Lots of food, fun and games and good times reconnecting over four generations!

The riverside is in the process of being restored, and is surprisingly picturesque in places.

A traditional Peranakan house, narrow but loooooong, and very cool!

I managed to take an afternoon and a day out birding, courtesy of Ang Teck Win, who took me around some of his favourite birding haunts. Most of the photos below are his, produced with his permission.

First off was a look at a reclamation project at Limbongan, just north of where we were staying. Several Red-throated Pipits were busily feeding on insects out on the sand, crouching against a strong wind.

Kentish Plover and a Sand/Pale Martin were other good birds here.

Early the following morning we visited Merlimau, on the border between Melaka and Johor, where some nice freshwater swamp held Baillon's and White-browed Crakes and a typically elusive Pallas' Grasshopper Warbler.

On the paddyfields we found two Ruff feeding together, as well as good numbers of Long-toed Stints.

Also interesting was a brown-plumaged, pale-throated hirundine among the many hundreds of Barn and Red-rumped Swallows gathering on electricity wires. Pale underwing coverts and white tail spots, as well as the overall structure, revealed that this bird was a juv Barn Swallow in an odd plumage, rather than anything rarer.

Next we went to the coast near Parit Jawa, where we arrived at the high tide roost a little late, as most birds had already arrived. The profusive growth of mangrove saplings made seeing the birds a challenge, let alone picking out anything unusual.
Eventually a Grey-tailed Tattler gave itself up to our scrutiny, and then at least 2 Nordmann's Greenshanks.

One of two Nordmann's Greenshanks - the first I've seen this season.

We finished off at Parit Jawa itself, where several Lesser Adjutants fed among the waders on the retreating tide.

The big guns were there to record the occasion!

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