Thursday, February 03, 2011

2 February 2011: Kampung Permatang Nibong, mainland Penang

I spent a couple of hours before dusk at the paddyfields. It was my first visit in quite a while.

There were a couple of Greater Spotted Eagles on the regular GSE pylon, both looking like adults.

This is the lower of the two birds, taken through the scope at 60x!

The 'Peregrine pylon' had a couple on it - the smaller male on the left.

This is the male at 60x!

And the female.

I initially identified this harrier harrassing a Brahminy Kite as an adult female Pied.

The grey-based remiges and pale underwing suggested Pied, but the well-streaked rear underbody, streaked 'face' lacking facial disks and large-headed, large-billed structure show that it is in fact an Eastern Marsh Harrier - a subadult male (which also explains the plain grey tail.)

From head-on, it shows a white base to the leading edge of the wing. A female Pied would show this all the way to the carpal.

A few more pics!

Here it is pursuing a real female Pied Harrier! There's not much difference in size between a male Eastern Marsh and female Pied. Note however the differences in head pattern and leading edge of the inner wing, the more prominent black rear edge to the wing on the Eastern Marsh and its more prominent head projection.

The female Pied is on the left here. The Eastern Marsh is obviously broader-winged and tailed.

The difference in head projection is obvious in this picture (Eastern Marsh above). Harriers have extraordinarily long legs, which they use to good effect when plucking prey out of reeds and long grass.

I had my first sighting of Asian Openbill since last April later in the evening - at least one bird roosting with egrets in the 'usual spot', but too far away for photos.


Anonymous said...

see u comin yesterday...hehe
Did not find yet the female pied harrier.


Anonymous said...

I was there most of the time,
but not a single harrier of
any sort! You guys must be good!!
Choo Eng.