Monday, August 15, 2011

15th August 2011: Air Itam Dam, Penang

I decided to follow up a tip from Hor Kee, who wrote that Brown-backed Needletails were coming down to drink in the evening at Air Itam Reservoir.

The needletails did eventually arrive - but when it was already far too dark for photography. However, this was made up for by the presence of 10-20 Grey-rumped Treeswifts flying low to and fro along the dam, which gave me a good opportunity to try and capture some flight shots.





Males.





Females.

This seems to be the inter-breeding period. Most birds were in wing and tail moult, with some having lost their longer outer tail feathers altogether, which made them look quite odd in flight!

Toward dusk they went to roost in some small trees near the guard house. This was a challenge photographically, as they were against a colourless sky, and I was very limited in my viewpoint options (mostly directly below!). Hope to go back and improve these shots on a better day.







Very fluffy!



A Brahminy Kite provided a considerably simpler challenge!

7 comments:

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

I love treeswifts! Too bad, we only get the Crested Treeswift here in Chiang Mai. Right now they're all getting civilised. They even nest on electrical wires along the road.

Choy Wai Mun said...

Love those flying shots. I know how hard it is to obtain them.

Hor Kee said...

Great shots Dave! I'm greatly honoured by this post. From my expreience, the Needletails tend to come down to drink mainly during overcast or dull weather conditions. Good luck next time too :-)

Erwin Luesink said...

Amazing work again!

I was wondering what lens you use. Or are these made using digiscoping?

John said...

Dave, it looks like you were up to the Treeswift Challenge, despite the poor light !

digdeep said...

Thanks to all for your kind words. Erwin - I'm still using my trusty old Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 L lens.

Erwin Luesink said...

nice sharp images with that lens!