Sunday, January 10, 2010

AWC 2010 : Go-cart Birdwatching 10th Jan 2010

Go-cart, Adong and Liku Bird Watching
10th Jan 2010
Time 6:00 am – 9:40am

Air temperature 27.7 ° Centigrade. Cloudy with light rain.
Main threats : Open burning, farming, major development of peatswamp (residential and commercial)
Participants : Steve, Rosie, Nordia and Musa (writer).

Our track in magenta.

It was still dark when I reached the go-cart parking place. The security guard sat on his motorbike watching me. Steve arrived a few minutes later. It rained lightly while we waited for the sun to rise. Since Rosie has yet to make an appearance, we went out to the lake to see if there're any early birds up and about.

We were greeted by a Pied Fan-tail as we walked over, not far was a White-breasted Waterhen.

Common Moorhen in the lake.

We reached the gate found some Common Moorhen in the lake. There were also two Wandering Whistling Duck swimming from the west of the lake. Heard a lot of barbet callings but did not see a single individual.

Wandering Whistling Duck.

Wandering Whistling Duck zoomed in.

Then we went back to the junction and went straight to Sungai Liku Plantation. We saw 6 White-breasted Waterhen. One of the waterhen was seen limping, perhaps the handiwork of a local toman known to lurk in these lakes.

Go-cart Lake in panorama.

We saw some Green Pigeon and a Spotted Dove. We went into one of the road leading to the plantation seedling nursery. We passed the housing area and straight to the end of the road. There we saw a single waterhen at the side of the road.

We went out of the area and stopped just after a bridge, where we sighted a pair of Stork-billed Kingfisher on a dead tree branches. A few Blue-thrated Bee-eater was also sighted. Several White-breasted Woodswallow and tree swifts flew by.

We went back to the parking where Rosie and her daughter were waiting for us. Rosie saw two egrets flew by.

We drove back to the lake and saw the same moorhen though we were secretly hoping that it was a coot. But later after we saw the white streak on its side, we gave up the coot idea alone.

The Intermediate Egret was seen lurking at its favorite hangout, then from nowhere we saw 10 Wandering WHistling Duck flying in a circle looking for the best feeding area. They settled in a nearby area to the west of the lake. We went closer to watch them.

Later we went to the nursery area again. This time we saw some green pigeons flying by. Three waterhens were still spotted on the side of the road.

We stop before a checkpoint where we noticed a big lake, scanned the lake it looked empty. It was drizzling outside. I went out gave it a general scan, no birds were seen in the area. Later after a short drive, we saw 9 individual egrets, one was Cattle Egret where the rest were Little Egrets.

We back tracked and entered an acacia forested area. There was no bird seen along the road until we reached the Liku ferry. Nearby was an area slotted as a sewage treatment plant. We stayed at the Liku ferry point and saw fifteen little egrets.

Little Egret.

We saw a pair of Oriental Magpie-robin as well as 10 Common Sandpiper actively feeding.

Common Sandpiper.

Black-capped Kingfisher

Not long after we saw a Black-capped Kingfisher perching on a fallen tree branch.
We sat down and observed the kingfisher bird feeding. Heard some barbet calling. Then a group of some 20 Asian Glossyi Starling landed on a tree neraby.

Asian Glossy Starling

We back tracked to the proposed sewage treatment area and toook a junction to the left. It is a communal pineapple farm. However the area to the right is not being farmed, but having plenty of dead trees, left after burning. We stop when Steve saw a bright yellow sunbird; it was too fast to be identified.

Later we saw two green pigeons and not long after we spotted 3 Blue-throated Bee-eaters.

Green Pigeon

A bunch of around 50 Dusky Munia flew on the left of us. They later scattered around playing hide and seek with us.

Dusky Munia.

About 100 meters in front of us we saw something moves. At first we thought it was a greater coucal, some thought it was more like a civet cat. Steve gave it a good look over and confirmed that it was a mongoose.

Bee-eater sp.

We passed the lake and saw a Purple Heron, where the ducks were though the ducks weren't there anymore.

A lone Purple Heron.

We drove back and was greeted a Yellow-vented Bulbul, we got back to the car park at 9:40am.

Birds :
Pied Fantail (1)
Common Moorhen 92)
White-breasted waterhen (18)
White-breasted Woodswallow (5)
Tree swift (5)
Little Egret (30)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (1)
Green Pigeon (2)
Asian Glossy Starling (+50)
Blue-throated Bee-eater (4)
Dusky Munia (50)
Oriental Magpie-Robin (2)
Unidentified Sunbird sp (1)
Spotted Dove (2)
Wood Sandpiper (3)
Cattle Egret (1)
Zebra dove (2)
Unidentified Bee-eater sp (1)
Yellow-vented bulbul (5)
Black-capped Kingfisher (1)
Purple Heron (1)

Mongoose (1)

Thus ended our first outing for the Asian Waterbird Census 2010. Next weekend we will be looking over several lakes near Curtin University.

If your are interested to participate, please email Musa or Sara. Come do a bit of citizen science for conservation of waterbirds around us, perhaps learn a few things about our feathered friends.

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