With the identity of the buzzard still in the balance, I decided to go back to try to get another look and more photos.
I started off pre-dawn at the snipe marsh. There was lots of bouncing going on in the gloom, but the birds retired to the reeds before it became light enough for photography. Other birds on view included Yellow Bittern, Watercock and Slaty-breasted Rail, Common and ‘Swintail’ Snipes, Pallas’ Grasshopper Warbler and Oriental Reed Warbler.
Once it was properly light I headed over to the small copse where I guessed the buzzard might have roosted overnight. At about 9.15 a.m. the bird came out of the woods, followed by an ‘escort’ of Brahminy Kites and House Crows.
Also in the distance I could see a lot of mist-nets, so I drove over there to get the precise location to send to the Wildlife Department.
This took me to an area I’d never visited before. A large flock of Purple-backed Starlings landed nearby, so I stopped to check for a vagrant Chestnut-cheeked as I usually do. BINGO! A stunning adult male!
It even posed for some digiscoped shots! I contacted the Hums and Terence who were birding nearby and we came back for another look, but the rain had begun in earnest and we were not able to relocate the bird. I would estimate that there are about 300 starlings in the area though, so I’m sure it’s still there, and perhaps there are others too. Well worth a look.
So, two more ‘lifers’ to add to my Peninsular Malaysia list in two half days of birding – I’m going through quite a purple patch at the moment!