I made a couple of trips to the mainland this past week to try to catch up with the Brown-headed Gull flock before they leave. The first visit was in the afternoon - forgot that the sun would be in my eyes, and the tide was too high to boot, so only saw half a dozen birds distantly.
The next trip, the light and tide were perfect, but the birds forgot to show up - perhaps they're already on their way north. Below are some bits and pieces from the two visits.
There were around a hundred Common Redshanks at the mouth of the river - this was one of the few in any semblance of breeding plumage. Most of the breeders are gone by now.
I'm taking more of an interest in these since Chris Kehoe pointed out a possible 'alba' Great Egret in Wong Tsu Shi's blog here (the gigantic one!). This is potentially a new taxon for Malaysia. In Birds of East Asia, Mark Brazil notes that alba is perhaps specifically distinct from modesta (which is the one we get here in large numbers) and is an increasingly observed winterer in Japan and Korea, while modesta winters further south. Alba is larger than modesta and, in the non-breeding season, has pale or bright yellow tarsi and toes, as opposed to the all black legs and feet of modesta. So a bigger-than-usual Great Egret in these parts should be scrutinised, and if possible, photographed alongside others.
here and following).
This is the best time of year to tick off the pond-herons, and the Teluk Air Tawar area is one of the best places to do so in Malaysia. Top to bottom - Chinese, Javan and Indian Pond-herons.
Tim Worfolk's 2006 paper! I recently came across this extraordinary record of Brown and Tiger Shrike hybridizing in Korea (scroll about half way down). No wonder they confuse us!
Where the wagtail was - sunlight under thunder clouds over paddyfields - a visual treat!