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Showing posts from March, 2015

Brown-Headed Gull of Peninsular Malaysia

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Unlike the Black-Headed Gull which are quite common in Europe, Brown-Headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus) is reported to breed in Central Asia and winters in South East Asia. At one time Brown-Headed Gulls are quire rare in Malaysia but their regular presence here since in the early 1990s has made them quite a common winter migrant. Recently they have decided to venture closer to the mainland than their usual resting areas along the tide line. So i have had a rare opportunity to view them up close and obtained several interesting photos.



Unlike some waders (eg plovers and sandpipers) which can zig-zagged on the mudflats at incredible speed, Brown-Headed Gulls can be considered a graceful flyer.
Here you can see the typical features of a gull - pronounced gonys and a stubby bill. However not all gulls have a white iris - Black-Headed, Kittiwake and Common Gulls for example have black irises.
A typical pose from a gull.


Their wings can appear quite long when fully stretched
From the abov…

Red-Necked Stint and Broad-Billed Sandpiper

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Red-Necked Stint can be quite similar as "Little Stint" if you have not seen a "Little Stint" before and you can get even more disillusioned when your bogey bird keeps eluding you for a long time. Here are some of the "Red-Necked Stint" photos which i have taken recently and the first two photos below look quite similar to a "Little Stint".

My reasons for saying so: "slight drooping bill", "longer tibia" and "faint supercilium". Dave Bakewell's comment: "horizontal", "neckless" and "big head". I guess the key word here is "Slender Body(horizontal)". So it is not a "Little Stint" after all.
The rest of the photos below were more straight forward and should point to a Red-Necked Stint.






Unlike the Red-Necked Stint, Broad-Billed Sandpiper is much easier to identify (i.e less confusing). Here are some of its photos:









Now you might asked how does a "Curlew Sandpip…

The Great Knots of Peninsular Malaysia

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Looking at the number of participants in the recent workshops organized by the Malaysia Nature Society S'gor bird group on waders, it appears that there is a surge of interest in waders watching lately. A few individual profiles of some shorebirds here would hopefully sustain their interest. This is the first part of a few series to come and i will start with Great Knot.
Great Knot is reportedly a long distance migratory shorebird. They used several staging sites/stopovers along the flyways in the Asia Pacific region on its annual trips between their breeding grounds in Siberia and Russia. Apparently there are 3 important flyways in the Asia Pacific region: i) the Central Pacific flyway, ii) the East Asian-Australasian flyway and iii) the Central Asian flyway.


It was reported that some of these Great Knot would fly directly/non-stop from Eastern Siberia to Northern Australia using the East Asian-Australasian flyway. (Info: Australasian Wader Studies Group - AWSG).
The spots on th…