Sunday, February 06, 2011

4 and 5 February 2011: Sungai Dua, mainland Penang

I've spent the last two evenings at Sungai Dua ricefields trying to track down a Steppe Eagle seen by Hakim. So far, no joy, but plenty of consolations!

Stubble burning - not good for our atmosphere but it brings in the birds - swiftlets and swallows to feed on the insects and raptors for the rodents.

Black and Brahminy Kites were there aplenty, but what I wanted to see was aquilas. I missed on here yesterday, but this adult Greater Spotted was present on my arrival today.

I was puzzled by the white patch on the throat till I realized that it was caused by under feathers exposed by an extremely distended crop. The bird had obviously just swallowed something large!

That might explain why the bird had its beak open most of the time.

You can get an idea of the size of the crop from a side-on profile.

Had I arrived 5 minutes later I would have missed it altogether - it was probably off to find a quiet spot to digest its meal.

This Peregrine was present both days, sitting on the same pylon.

It was an immaculate bird in perfect, fresh plumage.

Keeping a wary eye on me!

Watching swiftlets.

And checking out Hakim!

All these pics and the video were taken with my new canon S95 through the telescope at up to 60x magnification. I'm very happy with the results!

It had a fly around once. In flight a grey background colour to the underparts was noticeable, contrasting with the white throat.


Comin at ya! The last view of a Peregrine many birds ever see!

Returning to her perch. The alula (the raised feathers at the carpal joint) is used for braking.

At dusk today, while I was waiting for the Great-eared Nightjars, this juvenile Peregrine flew past. It looks as if it had fed well!

We got brief views of a juvenile Pied Harrier yesterday.

And this fine adult male Eastern Marsh put on a good show both evenings.

These are last evening's pictures.

This evening it was closer...

...till it spotted me!

Great light!

A couple of resident Black-shouldered Kites - this is one of the adults.

And one of their offspring, already quite mature.

A digiscoped Blue-tailed Bee-eater at dusk.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Never saw alulas before - interesting!