Thursday, October 29, 2009

25th October 2009: North Kedah coast

An afternoon trip up to Alor Setar to check out some 'new' wader habitat (new to me!) led to a couple of good sightings in the local context.

Black-tailed Godwits are Near Threatened globally, and have a Flyway population of only about 160,000 (the 'melanuroides' race). They are a scarce bird on the west coast, especially in the north, so this was a good find. Apart from being much longer-legged than Bar-tailed Godwit, once useful difference is the prominence of the supercilium - more obvious over and in front of the eye on Black-tailed; clearer behind the eye on Bar-tailed.

There were quite decent numbers of terns feeding on the shoreline - mostly Whiskered with a few White-winged.

They were catching small crabs.

Common Redshanks flew out to feed on the falling tide after roosting in the rice-fields.

Greater Coucal is a common bird which is difficult to photograph well. I caught this one munching on a grasshopper.

We came across another concentration of waders a bit further north, but the sinking sun made viewing conditions less than ideal!

We were very pleased to pick out this Grey Plover in the late afternoon. This is only my second west coast sighting north of Selangor. Noticeably thicker-set than Pacific Golden when on the mud, and showing its characteristic black 'armpits' as it flew away into the setting sun.

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