Pulau Mantanani: 8 – 12 Oct 2012: Herons

Cattle Egrets are ubiquitous on the island, in all habitats, including deep forest! I also saw some birds flying high overhead – and these were probably migrants.

Great Egret – I watched one flying past at sea on 9 Oct being mobbed by Lesser Frigatebirds! On 10 Oct there were 6 birds, including 3 at the abandoned resort.

Intermediate Egret – Three were at the abandoned resort on the 10th and 2 on the 9th. Rather incongruously, one was foraging in the forest!

Little Egret – 6 on the 8th, and 1 on 9th and 10th. One of the more extraordinary birding experiences of my life was watching the flock of 6, with 1 Cattle Egret, fly in and land in a sheltered bay. One bird crouched down in the water, as if to cool off. A few moments later, it was dead! The others, somewhat startled, flew off and landed a short distance away, leaving the corpse to float off with the tide! A case of death by natural causes I suppose.

Black-crowned Night-heron – At least 5 loudly calling birds were spotlighted flying over at night, while I was owling!

Little Heron – Two birds heard at night on the 10th and 12th, with a juvenile seen at the abandoned resort on the 11th.

pond-heron sp. – One bird sat just inland of the beach on the 8th, looking a little the worse for wear! If it was a migrant from points north, I suppose the probability was that it was a Chinese. Either way, pond-herons are scarce in Sabah.

Grey Heron – 1 bird flew over on the morning of the 12th.


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