Saturday, February 26, 2011

20th February 2011: Sarawak Waterbird Survey - Bako-Buntal Bay, Rombongan and Sejingkat

The day dawned with weather much the same as yesterday, and with the probability of high waves making counting difficult and dangerous, we decided to postpone the planned boat survey. Instead we went to check out some potential roost sites from land and later, as the weather cleared, went to check waders at low tide.

First stop was a construction site near Bako-Buntal Bay. It held only 17 Little Ringed and 4 Kentish Plovers. Next, we moved on to Bako-Buntal Bay (#3 on the map) to watch the movement of birds as the tide fell.

This Chinese Egret fed close by but the rain made photographing it less than satisfactory.

Aggression posture in response to another Chinese Egret landing close by.

From BBB went headed west to Rombongan (#5 on the map), where Daniel was able to drive along the beach. Numbers were low, comprising only a few species. Malaysian Plovers were dotted regularly along the beach in pairs, usually on or near some shoreline debris. This is a female.

So are these.

A male.

And a pair.

A Kentish Plover.

And a fleeing Lesser Sand Plover.

Terek Sandpiper.

Terek Sandpiper lunch!

In the afternoon, we moved to Sejingkat to conduct the field component of the Waterbird Workshop. Over 40 people gathered in a suburban carpark clad in khaki green and carrying suspiciously weapon-like hardware, but we managed to move off to the more secluded ashponds without being arrested for a staging an attempted coup!

The weather behaved itself pretty well, and the birds performed to order, so the participants were able to get to work on the challenging work of taking field-notes and identifying those hitherto anonymous brown blobs!

Fieldcraft! Making good use of available cover and avoiding breaking the skyline are some of the keys to getting good, sustained views.

Counting and scribing practice!

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