The paddyfields around Kampung Permatang Nibong are being ploughed at the moment, and are a pretty good place for raptors, as I found out during an afternoon and evening foray last week.
Star of the show was this Greater Spotted Eagle. I don’t have any good raptor books in my collection, so am a bit wary of aging more precisely than ‘juvenile’, ‘subadult’ or ‘adult’ but Dr Chaiyan says this is a 3rd plumage bird (plumages don’t necessarily correspond to calendar years with large raptors).
There was also a fine pair of adult White-bellied Sea-eagles cruising around, as well as a pair of Peregrines, a Black-eared Kite or two, several Black-shouldered Kites, many Brahminy Kites, and several each of Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers.
One Pied Harrier in particular, a juvenile male (judging by the grey uppertail) was particularly obliging.
Pesky and persistent – that crow just would not give up!
Near to dusk, I found a promisingly ‘crakey-looking’ bit of marsh, so I decided to stop the car and wait to see what would emerge.
First to step out of the thick vegetation was a male Great Painted-snipe. I took this using my digiscope set-up at 1/50s, so I wasn’t able to freeze his nervously bobbing rear end. Eventually there were at least six painted-snipes in this little patch of marsh, including 2 females trampolining up and down with wings akimbo – a great display!
Oriental Reed Warblers became active near dusk, and sat in plain view preening. I was down to 1/40s on this one! I could hear at least one Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler calling in there too, but couldn’t catch a glimpse.