Mainland Penang, 24 April 2013

The tide was good today, and I knew it was probably going to be my last chance to look at waders this northward migration season, so I headed for Teluk Air Tawar. Despite the excellent conditions, it was a big disappointment. The birds no longer roost near my vantage point, and almost no birds came within range even when the tide came up.

Common Sandpiper_Teluk Air Tawar_240413_IMG_3123This Common Sandpiper landed close in the early morning, and I knew it wouldn’t stay. I only managed a single frame before it realised my presence and flew off, but I was more than happy with it. This is uncropped.

Whimbrel_Teluk Air Tawar_240413_IMG_3128 Whimbrel_Teluk Air Tawar_240413_IMG_3127Whimbrels were my only other company – even the sand plovers stayed away.

Whimbrel_Teluk Air Tawar_240413_IMG_3159Taken about 3 hours after the above shots, just as the tide pushed the birds into the mangroves.

Ashy Tailorbird_Teluk Air Tawar_240413_IMG_8906A couple of male Ashy Tailorbirds spitting fire at each other were a welcome distraction from the hours of tedium!

At high tide, I decided to bypass the openbills and head to Air Itam Dalam, where an impressive array of flycatchers have been reported over the last 2 days, including Japanese Paradise and Green-backed. I was there for an hour and a half last night looking for the Japanese, but only succeeded in seeing a pair of incei Asian Paradise-flycatchers.

Asian Paradise-flycatcher_Air Itam Dalam_230413_IMG_8883A record shot of the male.

Today, even approaching midday, there was plenty of action.

Banded Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3277 Banded Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3170This obliging Banded Woodpecker feeding on ants was the first bird to entertain me.

Streak-breasted Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3193Next up was a male Streak-breasted Woodpecker positively showing off! There you go – check out my streaks!

Streak-breasted Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3197 Streak-breasted Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3194 Streak-breasted Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3190Which side would you like? Left? Right?

Streak-breasted Woodpecker_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3205Or maybe a rear view?

Ferruginous Flycatcher_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_3222A Ferruginous Flycatcher was added to the already impressive list of flycatchers seen in the last 2 days.Rubycheek_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_8965 Rubycheek_Air Itam Dalam_240413_IMG_8985

And the day ended with eye-popping views of a male Rubycheek at point blank range!

I’ve not been to this locality for a long while, but after today’s showing I certainly expect to be back more often.


7 thoughts on “Mainland Penang, 24 April 2013

  1. I have just read your last two posts, and as well as the great pics, they make fantastic reading. That is just incredible about the Openbills, and good that they are not going to be persecuted in any way, I do hope that some will stay and start to bread, that would be fantastic.
    All the best Gordon.

  2. Hi Dave,

    This brings back memories when you took me to Air Itam Dalam a couple of years ago. I believe Streak-breasted Woodpecker was a new bird even for you that day, wasn’t it?

    Great shots. It’s time to go back to the region again, it’s been too long.

    All the best,

    Vincent van der Spek

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