Friday, 30 September 2016

Langkawi Bird Watching: Waders Check

The start of the migratory season will be a good time to check for migrant waders. Waders are birds or any other animals that wade in any part of the sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. In relation to  birds, they are also known as shorebirds.

I headed out to my favourite coastline for waders on a gloomy morning with the rough sea condition. Thankfully for the strong wind that helped blew those rain clouds away. 
This is normal for Langkawi during the South-West monsoon
On my way to the coastline, I was greeted by this common migrant who has successfully made its journey to Langkawi. Welcome back, Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus.

The tide was coming in when I arrived at the coastline. There were about four grey-coloured egrets catching their breakfast under the grey sky. 
Pacific Reef-Egret Egretta sacra (Dark morph)
Pacific Reef-Egret having it nape feathers being blown by the "natural hair dryer"
Teaser: Name these two birds
This individual had a small fish. Better than nothing!
I was amused watching this same individual having a choke after gobbling the small fish 
For half an hour I was observing and photographing the egrets and then suddenly, a small bird caught my eye. Well...hello there..Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis, our migrant kingfisher!

More migrant waders showed up after the Common Kingfisher.
This was very unexpected. My first sighting in Langkawi and record shot of a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus on flight at a far distance. 
A Little Tern Sternula albifrons was spotted among the rocks taking shelter from the wind. It was attempting to fly out towards the sea but it was fighting against the wind. The wind was too strong for it. After awhile it found a resting spot before continuing the flight.
A Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva moulting to non-breeding
A flock of Lesser Sand Plovers Charadrius mongolus. Can you count them?
Lesser Sand Plover
When most of these waders have moved on to another location, it was time for me to head back. When I reached further inland, I noticed a tern flew past me. It was probably taking a shelter from the strong wind. It was fast and I could only managed a record shot of this tern.
This migrant possibly is a young Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
I am still learning more about waders and this group of birds is always a challenge to identify. With some help from MNS Waders support group, we managed to zoom in to Whiskered Tern. If anyone think is another species of tern, please let me know. And if this is really a Whiskered Tern, then it will be my lifer! Woohoo! Special thanks to Andy Lee and Liung for responding to my questions. 
A young White-Bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster was also observed fighting with the wind. This is our resident raptor.


2 comments:

  1. Great Photos of the waders and the catchy write ups, brings people to experience your journey. Well done Wendy.
    Please call me : Eric Sinnaya 0194499142

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    Replies
    1. @Raj Langkawi, thank you for your comments here. I do hope that this will encourage more visitors to join me for birdwatching on Langkawi.

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