Monday, February 23, 2009

23rd February 2009: Universiti Sains Malaysia, Durian Valley

Another visit to the Night Heron site today, and again Encik Hifni was the man! I went down and took a good look around the area but drew a blank. Just as I was putting my gear back in the car, I got a call from Hifni saying that he was on the other side of the valley, and could see the heron feeding on the forest floor.

I cautiously went back into the valley, and got some glimpses of the heron scuttling along like a startled chicken - most un-heron-like! Eventually it flew up into some trees and I joined Hifni on the ridge bordering the valley, where we were able to get eye-level views.

From its vantage-point the bird never took its eyes off us, even though we were some distance away.

The bird has a longish crest of black, white-spotted feathers, which it would occasionally raise.

X marks the spot! The bird flew a short distance to another branch, where it perched at an X-shaped intersection of branches, which was quite useful when some more local birders turned up!

The bird posed admirably for the swelling group of Penang 'twitchers'! I'd better not mention names, as I'm sure it was during office hours, but I was impressed by how many seem to take their photographic equipment and bins to work every day!

Our model changed position after we'd all taken enough shots of the er... back side!

The biggest challenge was getting a 'clean' shot without twigs or branches in the way. I never managed it.

With the bird perched in thick cover, the other problem was light. Tripods were definitely required!

Getting closer didn't solve the branch problem!

On my way back to the car I flushed a Large-tailed Nightjar. It flew a short way and then appeared to crash-land to the ground. It repeated this manoeuvre several times, making me to suspect that this was a distraction display designed to lead me away from a probable nest.


Unknown said...

first two was very clean! All of them are sharp! Amazing!

digdeep said...

Thanks Muin! Of course, I only show you my best shots!

Jason Bugay Reyes said...

Hahaha nice la Dave !

Anonymous said...

This bird comes out in The Star Newspaper. ha.....ha....