Monday, March 14, 2011

Our juvenile Grey-headed Fish Eagle doing well

View of Kuala Baram Lagoon in the early morning, there were some waders around on the flats ie. Greenshank, Lesser Sandplover, Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper, Oriental Pratincole, Stints sp. as well as Little Egret, Great Egret, Collared Kingfisher. A smallish kingfisher sp. spotted earlier during the week was not seen.

A juvenile Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus seen feeding on fish at the nest. It was still sporting downy feathers when it was first spotted in January 2011.

Our first sighting of a Grey-headed Fish Eagle in these parts was made way back in 1999 during MNS Miri Branch's Asian Wetlands Census trip to Loagan Bunut National Park, the same trip we recorded Storm's Stork. Similar trip LBNP in 2009 yielded one sighting, though none was recorded in 2010.

Throughout 2010, we made several sightings in the Kuala Baram area. A sighting of a nest in January, a juvenile in a nest in February and several sightings of adult birds throughout the year. We did not follow through the development of the downy fledgling we first saw in January 2010, so wasn't sure whether it had fledged and left the nest. During Sarawak's Waterbirds Survey January of this year, with much excitement we noticed another downy juvenile.

Today we went over the location to check out on the family unit. Both adult and young were at nest, but were perched a couple of branches below the nest. Initially the view was blocked, it then became apparent that the adult was enticing the young to feed. First the attempt was conducted on the big branch, later the prey (fish) was brought into the nest, the sub-adult followed. The adult flew off the nest leaving the young to tear at the prey on the nest successfully feeding itself.

The young bird already exhibits the grey head of the adults, the rest appear more streaky, white band on the tails not evident from viewing point. The curved pointed beak is already pronounced at present age.

Other birds in the area:

Collared Kingfisher, with nearby open water, there's many of this species in the area.

Intermediate Egret, this guy was initially feeding at the verge of the road before it got spooked and flew off passing by the car window.

Brown Shrike, this is the first time this bird was sighted in the area.

Blue-throated Bee Eater Merops viridis, this species is plenty in open grassland area.

Lesser Coucal, one almost flew into the back window of the car as it was flying across the road.

Striated Grassbird, common in the area and sometimes seen foraging on the grass verge along the the road oblivious to passing cars.

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, trees along the road provide ample hunting ground for this active little bird.

Other birds seen:
White-breasted Woodswallow
Olive-backed Sunbird
Black-winged Kite
Pied Thriller
Asian Glossy Starling
Cattle Egret
Kentish Plover
Lesser Sandplover
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Zebra Dove
Spotted Dove
Cuckoo sp.

Words and images by Nazeri Abghani, March 2011

1 comment:

  1. A good place for birding:)

    Kah Wai