Thursday, November 13, 2008

11th and 13th November 2008: Tanjung Tokong

The last couple of visits to Tanjung Tokong have been somewhat frustrating! On 11th I set up my hide on the sandspit, only to find that the birds were roosting on a newly-formed sandbar some distance away. So I got no pictures from the hide at all for my troubles.

Then today, I set up my hide on the new sandbar 3 hours before high tide, and the birds roosted on the sandspit! So in 3 hours of roasting heat I managed about 20 shots of 2 birds - a Little Egret and a Common Sandpiper! Here are the best of slim pickings.

3 Bar-tailed Godwits on the 11th. Bar-tailed Godwits are one species where the size and bill length difference between the sexes is really noticeable. The huge, long-billed bird in front is a female, the two behind are males.

A Common Sandpiper in typical stiff-winged flight on the 11th.

A few Little Ringed Plovers have started feeding on the mudflats. They are the only common Charadrius plover to lack a clear wingbar in flight.

Since my last visit the number of Kentish and White-faced Plovers has also increased - to 11 and 6 respectively. I couldn't get close to them on either of my visits, but here's a useful comparison of the two.

A Pacific Swallow on its favourite perch.

A Little Egret, still with most of its breeding plumes.

Here it is in full 'rouse'. Rousing is the term given to what birds do when they raise all their feathers, often after a preen. It's supposed to be a sign of well-being. I suppose it puts all the feathers in place.

Walking past the hide.

A Common Sandpiper having a bit of a rouse too!

The fruits of my 3 hour wait!

What happens when you get the tide wrong!

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