Showing posts from March, 2015

Brown-Headed Gull of Peninsular Malaysia

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

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

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…