Tuesday, February 15, 2011

13 February 2011: Kampung Permatang Nibong, mainland Penang

A short pre-dusk visit yielded the 'usual suspects'.

This Eastern Marsh Harrier has pale eyes. Note also the new grey feathers emerging at the base of the tail. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, renowned regional raptor expert, sent me the following comment on this bird. "This is a 1st winter male. In juvenile (w/o trace of wing/body molt) or first-winter w/o a clear view of plumage, the color of iris is the best sexing tool using photographs. In both Eastern Marsh and Pied, juvenile/first winter male attains the pale yellow/cream (depending on light) iris as early as December whereas juvenile or 1st winter females have a dark brown iris, only changing to pale or yellow color later on in their second year." Chaiyan has also kindly commented on the birds I photographed at Ulu Dedap. Go back to that post to read his comments.

Prey sighted...

...I couldn't see whether the 'pounce' was successful or not.

A poor picture of a juv Pied, which nevertheless shows how different they are structurally from Eastern Marsh with their round head and small bill.

At 6.30pm the 'resident' adult Greater Spotted Eagle appeared high overhead.

It rapidly lost height and glided into its roost site on top of the pylon.

Near dusk a Watercock ventured out to feed.

And quite a number of Common Snipe also emerged from cover. This year the weather was very wet early on in the winter to the north of us. Freshwater waders have been much scarcer than usual - possibly because they have found more suitable habitat to the north than usual. The floods are probably also responsible for the higher than usual numbers of Aquilas and other migratory raptors in Peninsular Malaysia this season.

Firebird! A swiftlet in front of the setting sun.


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