Friday, April 04, 2008

3rd April, 2008 (Part 1): Bagan Belat, mainland Penang

I walked into a bar today and ended up flat on my back!

Not what you might think; actually, I walked smack bang into a low beam in an outdoor restaurant, and was pole-axed. By God's grace, my camera, bins and glasses escaped undamaged, only my forehead has a bruise, nice and central. Fortunately, no one was there to witness what must have been a hilarious incident!

Apart from the close encounter with the beam, the day was notable for ... gulls. For those who don't know, Malaysia is not blessed with a huge number of gulls. Only four species have been recorded; two of these, Heuglin's and Laughing, on just a single occasion, while the other two, Brown and Black-headed, are at best scarce non-breeding visitors.

I started the day at Bagan Belat in the hope of seeing a few nice spring-plumaged waders. Very few were in evidence - just 4 Greenshank, a few Whimbrel and a small flock of Pacific Golden Plovers, which took off at high tide and headed north.

The lack of waders was somewhat compensated for by the presence of a fine summer-plumaged Brown-headed Gull, and a nice array of herons.

Shame I cut the wingtip off the Javan Pond Heron below! Surprisingly, the gull and the heron are about the same size.

On the deck, Brown-headed looks fairly similar to Black-headed, but is decidedly stockier, with a pale iris. In flight, though, the wing pattern is quite different.

This couple of Javan Pond Herons seem to be taking exception to each other. What superb birds they are in breeding plumage!

Indian Pond Herons seem to be slowly establishing themselves in the State after being first recorded only in 1999.

Having enjoyed the adult Brown-headed Gull, it was nice to see a first winter bird flying in off the sea.

They look a bit like chunky Mediterranean Gulls, but have a very distinctive and different upperwing pattern.

A couple more views.

1 comment:

JPM said...

Your "very Attractive" lizard is a Green Basilisk