Sunday, April 05, 2009

27th March 2009: Kapar Power Station, Selangor, Malaysia

I took a trip down to Kapar with Simon, a fellow British waderphile, with the goal of seeing as many breeding plumaged waders as we could.



Don't judge a book by its cover! This unpromising-looking scene hides a great treasure - one of the most spectacular concentrations of shorebirds in Southeast Asia!



At this time of year, not only are the birds here in their thousands, but many are in pristine and colourful breeding plumage. I can't think of many places I'd rather be!





Wader Central!


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Around 250 Black-tailed Godwits of the East Asian melanuroides race was the biggest flock I've seen here.


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Among them were three Asian Dowitchers, including this cracker in breeding plumage.



See if you can spot three dowitchers in this video! One is bathing toward the left of the flock (at the start of the video) and the other two are right of centre.

There were a couple of 'old friends' still around.


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This leucistic Common Redshank has been present at the site since 17th August last year and is looking a lot more worn now than then!


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And this leucistic Lesser Sand Plover has been around since 28th December last year, and it is also looking a lot worse for wear!


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A lone Common Greenshank stands out against the russets and browns of the godwits and redshanks.


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I caught a Nordmann's Greenshank in a similar pose with a flock of Common Redshanks.


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We counted 25 Nordmann's, some of them coming into nice fresh breeding plumage.


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Sitting it out in the rain.


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This bird was particularly well-marked, with heavy spotting on the breast, which, with wear, might turn out like this.


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A Nordmann's Greenshank just looking beautiful!



In low sunlight Nordmann's stand out quite a bit!





With so much 'fast food' about, it's inevitable that predators are attracted to the site. This Peregrine made repeated dive-bombing attacks among the waders but was, as far as we could see, unsuccessful.



We are used to not being able to identify pond herons in non-breeding plumage, but we expect them to be straightforward in breeding dress. Not so with this bird. The head and breast colour are between the milky tea colour of Indian and the orangey-cream of Javan, while the back is more maroon than a typical Javan but blacker than a typical Indian! Whichever it is, it isn't straightforward.






















Just outside the ashpond compound there's a small colony of Blue-throated Bee-eaters which put on a show for us.



I love the colours on this species.













A short visit to Bagan Sungai Buloh produced a memorable encounter with four Smooth Otters.



A common mangrove bird to finish off - a Collared Kingfisher.

Simon's blog and account of our visits can be read here.

3 comments:

jytou said...

Hi Dave,

then your pond heron is probably like mine last time, a juvenile perhaps. My juvenile Javan have the right golden head and bit of dark breast but brown/maroonish back.... but that guy shows blackish primary tips, obviously a younger bird, probably yours is a juvenile too, but not sure of whose as well......

Bird Nerd said...

Great photos! Very much enjoying your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Enjoyed the article and pics especially on the group of 4 Smooth Otters! Very nice to see them and that there are still some around, also on your trip to P. Burung :-)

Cheers and best wishes,
Mike (Chong)