Saturday, April 12, 2008

8th April 2008: Kapar Power Station Ash Ponds, Selangor (Part 1)

First things first - the bird in the last post was correctly spotted and id'ed by Tun Pin aka Tippytommi- a Sanderling. Good job!

Before heading to the ashponds I drove to Klang to take advantage of a generous offer by Jason Tan, of Trifid Optics, to borrow his 400 prime lens with 1.4 teleconverter.

I arrived at the site at around midday, and, after setting up my hide at the main roost site, I spent an hour or so unsuccessfully trying to see a Mangrove Pitta that had been calling nearby the previous day.

Once I had installed myself in my hide I discovered that I had sited it right on top of an ants' nest, so for the next five hours I suffered their attacks. The things we do for our art!

In the first group of waders to arrive there were a couple of Nordmann's (one flying in in this shot).

Panic stations! A Peregrine comes in for a surprise attack! I was so intent on photographing the waders that I didn't see the Peregrine till I got back to the hotel and looked through my photos!

You can see the urgency in the way these birds are trying to get up to maximum speed! Thanks to the Peregrine, I finally got a half decent shot of the white underwing coverts of a Nordmann's Greenshank.

Everyone seems to have survived the scare! Here six Nordmann's are joined by three Asian Dowitchers. a Common Greenshank and a Broad-billed Sandpiper.

The day was much more overcast than yesterday, which meant I didn't have the beautiful afternoon light. One the plus side, it also meant there was no heat haze. Here's today's version of 'the three musketeers' - Marsh Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank and Common Greenshank, with Great Knot, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Greater Sand Plover thrown in for good measure!

Here the greenshanks are joined by a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits and a dowitcher. Note that the chestnut colouration on the Black-tailed Godwit only extends to the lower breast.

Another shot of the Black-tails, showing the straight, pink-based bill (Bar-tailed is slightly upturned and sharper at the tip). The different bill structure of Asian Dowitcher(centre) is well illustrated here.

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