Sunday, April 08, 2012

26 - 30 March 2012: Sungai Johor

This was a working visit to the southernmost state of Peninsular Malaysia, but I was very much hoping to be able to pick up a couple of Pen Mal ticks along the way - Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon and Great-billed Heron.

My work required a couple of days doing boat surveys of the Sungai Johor and its tributaries - still in the main remarkably intact and good quality mangrove forest.

Plenty of Mangrove Pittas here!

We disturbed two Ospreys as they rested on kelong poles. This one shows not much of a necklace so is likely a male.

The dark neck markings on this bird suggest a female.

White-bellied Sea-eagles were numerous, and moderately approachable by boat.

We came across a small group of roosting Great Crested Terns, with a single Lesser (left) among them.

Apart from the obvious size difference and in the proportions and colour of the bill, it was interesting to notice that the Lesser appeared to have longer legs. However, at least in this light, the supposed difference in tone of grey of the upperparts was difficult to discern.

A first-year Greater.

The same Lesser, showing a marked difference in leg length and thickness.


There was no shortage of Grey Herons!

And finally, we found the big one - a juvenile Great-billed Heron - a Peninsular Malaysia lifer!

No green pigeons except the familiar Pink-necked this trip, but I was happy to have got this rather restricted-range heron (in West Malaysia) in the bag; the pigeons can wait!

Surprise of the trip was this Calotes versicolor - Garden Fence Lizard. Usually a rather drab and unassuming brown colour, this guy was definitely pumped up about something - probably another male which I couldn't see. Very impressive!


Unknown said...

Nice shot of Great billed Heron..the lizard is in breeding mode,a male.

digdeep said...

Hi Muin

Re: the lizard. Somehow I guessed as much. It reminded me of certain human males I have observed!

Terence Ang said...

Agreed with your osprey sexing
Great photo.


jytou said...

I would love to see that Great-billed Heron......... the lizard are often doing that in around my house, not sure if that is purely to attract attention of females or really having a competitor nearby...