Friday, October 03, 2008

3rd October 2008: Tanjung Tokong

I managed to get a couple of hours at Tanjung Tokong today. The tide wasn't high enough to push the birds up onto the sandbar. I tried my wardrobe hide, but being so low to the sand in the midday heat, heat haze coming off the sand was a big problem.

While waiting for birds, I noticed this ghost crab doing some spring-cleaning.

There were a couple of possible Little Stints (such as the rear bird here) among the Red-necked, but they didn't come close enough to clinch identification for certain.

The birds I spent most time looking at were White-faced Plovers, which have increased from 1 to 6 since my last visit. Here's one behind a Kentish Plover, showing just how different they are.

I found it significant that the normally mild-mannered Greater Sand Plover wouldn't tolerate the intrusion of a White-faced Plover into its feeding territory - both are crab-hunters.

This male still had a lot of breeding plumage.

Best of all today was this first winter. It had nice juvenile coverts, and the beginnings of a blackish frontal bar across the crown, which may indicate that it's a male.

Trying to cough up a pellet. Waders, like raptors and owls, cough up pellets of the indigestible parts of their prey, such as the ground up shells of the crabs they catch.

An adult female White-faced on the tideline.

A few shots showing the distinctive wing and tail pattern of White-faced Plover.


Bonsaibirder said...

Any plns to try ringing White-faced Plovers again?

Brilliant blog by the way!

digdeep said...

Hi Bonsaibirder,

No, not currently. Two birds were caught last season, and we got feather samples for DNA analysis. Results hopefully in the not too distant future.


Allison and Simon said...

Hi Dave

Love your blog. I found it while trying to classify a Grey Egret I photographed on Christmas Island Australia (my home).

Just looking at a few of your other photos. The one with the flies on the bird's eye look a lot like a fly that is endemic to CI. Our fly feeds on food particles in the mouth parts of crabs. It serves a benefitial role, even though it looks horrible. So I suspect there is a similar relationship between these flies and the bird.

Cheers, Allison