Wednesday, March 18, 2009

17th March 2009: Tanjung Tokong, Penang

Another brief trip to Tanjung Tokong in the hope of catching the Redshanks close again proved a disappointment as far as the Redshanks were concerned, though there were some compensations!

A flock of 22 Black-crowned Night Herons was disturbed from some nearby mangroves by something - not sure what - and they spent most of the afternoon circling around, many of them with their bills open, whether from heat, exhaustion, or some other reason I couldn't be sure.


The egret roost gave a good opportunity to compare the various species almost side by side - here are a Great Egret, a Little Egret and a Little Heron.

And the same species flying by!

This pond heron has just enough breeding feathers to enable it to be identified as a Javan Pond Heron.

By following the upward gaze of the pond heron, I spotted the resident Peregrine soaring overhead. I think this is the resident 'ernesti' race, which is darker, greyer below than the migratory races.

Also up there was an adult White-bellied Sea Eagle with a freshly caught meal.

Another predator taking advantage of the falling tide was this Smooth Otter. It was the first time I've seen a lone otter - usually there's a pair - so either it's bad news - the other has died, or good news - it's holed up somewhere with cubs.

Anyway, it had a great time hunting for mudskippers on the far side of the river.

Here are two tiddlers chasing each other!

This Little Egret almost caught its reflection!

I spoke to the owner of the seafood restaurant where I sit to take my photos and he told me the Redshanks had been there yesterday - why am I not surprised?! I pointed out a Little Heron to him but his comment was "That kind of bird not beautiful!" Well, I beg to differ!

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