Sunday, August 24, 2008

17th August 2008: Kapar Power Station, Selangor

Though bereft of my camera, I couldn't resist another opportunity to travel down to Kapar to see the wader spectacular there, meeting up with a keen bunch of co-conspirators - Swee Seng and Carol, David and Nina and John and Jas.

The sight and sound of thousands of waders arriving on the ashpond is unforgettable.

The pics I did take are a combination of borrowing John's DSLR and my own poor attempts at digiscoping!

Some birds stand out more than others!

A leucistic Common Reshank - not strictly albino, as the legs and bill are not pink, and there are some hints of normal colouration. The bleached bird photographed on July 20th was still present. Despite the apparent obviousness of the white bird, we would 'lose' it for long periods during the afternoon, showing how necessary repeated and intensive searching is to pick out the rarities!

For example, we had been watching the flock for over 4 hours before we spotted this lone Sanderling (just right of and below centre, facing us).

This Greater Sand Plover stood out from the crowd because it had a clear white collar. Normally, sand plovers have a brown nape, and a white collar is usually a good field mark for Kentish Plover. However, in autumn I have seen a number of sand plovers, both Lesser and Greater, which show a pale collar (though seldom as bright as on this bird). I suspect this bird is a 1st summer moulting into adult winter plumage. The tertials are exceptionally brown and worn, and perhaps the nape colour is the result of white feather bases being exposed as a result of wear.

The "white-collared" Greater Sand Plover standing to the left of a group of more typically plumaged birds.

In the course of scanning the flock repeatedly, we came across several leg-flagged birds. This Great Knot is sporting black over white flags on the tibia, showing us that it had been caught and tagged on Chongming island, near Shanghai. We also saw a Bar-tailed Godwit wearing the same flag combination, another Great Knot which had been caught at Ko Libong in Thailand, and a Curlew Sandpiper with orange and white flags.

Here's our total count, with July 20th figures in brackets.


Grey Plover 50 (15)
Pacific Golden Plover 5 (1)
Lesser Sand Plover 2,500 (400)
Greater Sand Plover 1,000 (30)
Eurasian Curlew 4,500 (2,300)
Whimbrel 500 (300)
Bar-tailed Godwit 50 (200)
Black-tailed Godwit 47 (4)
Common Redshank 1,500 (500)
Common Greenshank 350 (40)
Terek Sandpiper 50 (40)
Common Sandpiper 1 (0)
Ruddy Turnstone 7 (1)
Great Knot 500 (150)
Red Knot 1 (0)
Red-necked Stint 200 (40)
Curlew Sandpiper 200 (40)
Sanderling 1 (0)
TOTAL 11,462 (4,061)


Grey Heron 38 (10)
Little Egret 20 (10)
Little Heron 1 (3)
Little Tern 55 (1)
Gull-billed Tern 70 (6)
Caspian Tern 1 (0)
Common Tern 4 (0)

TOTAL 189 (33)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

woo! the Kapar shorebird reached to >10,000 in mid August. what's a significant number. My personally feeling is that moer birds have been using Kelang area compare to the past few years.

Well done.
David Li