Tuesday 7 February 2012

Shorebirds at Senetal Dam

On Saturday I made my way over to Senetal Dam after enjoying great looks at the Reed-warblers. I timed my arrival well because the tide was just receding and the first shorebirds had just arrived.

At first there were 54 Lesser Sand-plovers:

And soon enough a flock of 350 Pacific Golden Plovers landed nearby:

At one point all the shorebirds became very still and would occasionally tilt their heads to look skywards. I couldn't see any raptors but I can only assume that that's what they were seeing:

Some of them were crouching low to the ground:

Really low to the ground:

And slowly they let themselves rise as the predator (presumably) went away:

I came here looking for a Malaysian Plover but unfortunately dipped on that species. Another bird that was on my mind was the Greater Sand Plover. It looks pretty much the exact same as the Lesser Sand Plover except that the bill is longer, the lower-legs are longer and the legs are paler. They are larger but I've read that the size can overlap (as can the other features most likely). 

Anyway, I couldn't confirm that any of the birds were a Greater but this individual was the Greatest of the Lessers, if you know what I mean. And interestingly there was noticeably more orange on the breast. I sent it off to some locals to help with the ID and it looks good for a Greater. Great!

Striated/Little Heron's were running around like shorebirds too. Something I've never seen a Heron do in North America - usually they're hidden in the reeds:

Poor shot of one of the Lessers preening:

It's too bad there was so much garbage on the beach - it really doesn't look nice in the photos.