Mainland Penang, 12 Dec 2013

Tempted back to the ‘starling spot’ by Hor Kee’s flight shot of a White-shouldered Starling, I arrived at first light just in time to see flocks streaming out of what had evidently been an overnight roosting site!

What followed reminded me very much of searching for Waxwing flocks in wintertime in the UK (except of course, for the weather!). Hor Kee and I drove slowly around the area looking for flocks in trees or in flight, and eventually we did connect with a small flock of 60 or so birds.Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7900Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7901

Careful scrutiny failed to reveal anything unusual among the Purple-backed (Daurian) Starlings, though they were very photogenic models!

Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7912 Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7918 Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7920

Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7902 Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_7905

Eventually they landed.

Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_0604

I think this is a juvenile.

Purple-backed Starling_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_0609At this site we also glimpsed a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, but neither of us were fast enough to catch it on camera.

Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler_Kg Permatang Nibong_121213_IMG_8000Several Pallas’s Grasshopper Warblers crept about furtively, but few gave good views. This is a very common species at this time of year in the right habitat. It is the only migrant warbler here which sings while on the wintering grounds, and it also has a number of very distinctive calls.

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