While I was away I received news that Hakim had found a new bird for Penang State, a juvenile Asian Openbill, which is also only the second record for the whole country. I won't say I rushed back home on Monday morning, but let's say I found time to make a brief stop at the site!
The bird performed exactly according to the directions I had been given, sitting on a tree near an area of rice paddies. In the heat of the day the lighting was rather harsh, but I wasn't complaining!
It seemed a bit odd that it spends all day perched in a treetop, even in the midday sun. Perhaps it's a nocturnal feeder?
At this point in the proceedings, an Aquila eagle appeared overhead, which proved, on closer inspection, to be an adult Greater Spotted. Later I saw two perched on the same pylon.
The Openbill decided to stretch its wings and have a short fly around.
Not far away, I found another new species for Penang State, although this one is far less welcome.
I'm not a botanist, but I believe this is Cabomba furcata, a South American species. It has recently been flagged by MNS as a noxious invasive plant which outcompetes native species and can cause eutrophication in waterways.