My rudimentary hide kept a bit of the heat off.
The birds were pretty distant from a photography point of view, but the numbers were quite spectacular!
Best viewed by clicking on the image and enlarging! I managed a reasonable count of the birds on the deck at low tide today – 12,600 birds! This was limited by my optics’ ability to pierce the haze, as the bay stretches further than I can see, and my count was certainly only a fraction of what was there.
The headland in the distance is Kuala Muda, which is where the mudflats stretch up to!
As the tide rose, the birds retreated into baylets formed by stands of accreting mangroves, where they were largely invisible. Occasionally, the advancing tide or a threat invisible to me would put all the birds up, and only then give me an idea of how many there actually were – I would say – “a lot!”. Again, worth clicking on!
A couple of flock shots taken as the tide rose – Pacific Golden Plovers (top) and a nice mix of larger waders (bottom two) (all the species from the Quiz, plus Eurasian Curlews, Grey Plovers, Common Greenshank and probably a Whimbrel or two).
The full count is here (registration (free!) is needed to view), but in brief, the highlights were:
1,000 Great Knot, including this Ko Libong-flagged bird (perhaps the same as this one).
52 Nordmann’s Greenshanks (and 300 Common Greenshanks – both are shown here). The NG number smashes my previous high count here (and indeed, anywhere – my first half century!), but there is no logical reason why there were not more than this – if only I could see the whole bay!
The thin white line! Nordmann’s live on the edge, in more ways than one. Twelve of them are here, as well as a Grey Plover, of which there were 120 today (less significant globally, but more than double my previous best count last visit).
There’s a video here of 32 roosting NGs (as well as a Common Greenshank).