Monday, August 19, 2013

Arrival of familiar migrants from the north

Though the East Atlantic and East Asian-Australasian Flyway are at least half a continent apart at their furthest separation, the two flyways share a fair number of similar migrant species. Once in a while there'd be vagrants that would cause some excitement on either side of the flyways. For example a Little Ringed Plover in Jaeren vis a vis a Common Ringed Plover in Kuala Baram.

Birders in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway ie, Sarawak may have a chance to spot these migrants in their magnificent breeding plumage early in the season before they moult into non-breeding colors. Early enough in the Autumn migration season several species sport "colorful" plumage when they left their breeding ground in the north during Aug/Sep and on arrival in Borneo.

Red Knot in breeding plumage from Langnes, Tromso (May 2013) when it arrived at it's staging area before continuing to Greenland, it's breeding site. Red Knot on the East Asian flyway has been recorded at Kuala Baram Lagoon as late as June by Miri birders. Great Knots have also been recorded along Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah coasts.

Juvenile Red Knot (Reve, Jaeren, Norway Aug 2013).

Common Ringed Plover (Tungenes Fyr, Norway Aug 2013) though very common and breed on the coasts in Norway have so far been reliably recorded in Lok Kawi, Sabah almost every year with 1-2 individuals (rare). This species have not been recorded in Miri, more common are the Little Ringed Plover which has been recorded in small numbers in Kuala Baram Lagoon and old Sg Miri delta (now developed).

Sanderling (breeding plumage, Tungenes Fyr, Norway Aug 2013) are common on the coasts in Sarawak though in small numbers. These whiter than white guys are always sighted frantically feeding at the surf. They can be seen in Kuala Baram, Luak Bay, Bekenu, Baraya and other sandy beaches.

Ruddy Turnstone (breeding and non breeding plumage, Tungenes Fyr, Norway Aug 2013) are regularly recorded in small numbers in Kuala Baram. Though they are more common on the rocky coral beaches in Sabah islands and coast. Pulau Tiga in Sabah is an ideal place for turnstones.

Ruff (non-breeding plumage, Reve, Jaeren, Norway Aug 2013) has been recorded in Kuala Baram on several occasions during autumn migration. In late April and early May, Ruff in breeding plumage normally arrived their breeding grounds in the north ready to lek.

Ruff in breeding plumage (Tisnes, Tromso, Norway May 2013).

Bar-tailed Godwit (Reve, Jaeren, Norway Aug 2013). This has been sighted in Kuala Baram though in small numbers, greater numbers are recorded in the south near Kuching wetlands.

Little Stint (Reve, Jaeren, Aug 2013), so far only 1-2 unconfirmed sightings of this species has been recorded in Kuala Baram lagoon. 

Eurasian Curlew (Obrestad, Jaeren, Norway, June 2013). Every year at least one sighting of the Far Eastern Curlew, which is the biggest of the curlew species with the longest bill, is made in Kuala Baram. More common are the smaller sized Whimbrel. One sighting of several Far Eastern Curlews were made in Pulau Tiga by members of MNS Miri birders during a fieldtrip back in 2008.

Common Sandpiper (Sorbotn, Tromso, Norway May 2013). Probably the most common in our region, this species can be seen almost every place where there's water ... in the fields, on the beach, in drains in residential areas. One can almost hear their call to each other in the morning and it's unmistakable.

Words and images by Nazeri Abghani/Norway, Aug 2013
For more wader pictures from Norway and Miri

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We must learn from the hornbill about our weather especially Jimmy the Piasau Oriental Pied Hornbill. Of all the commotion who built the nest and who break the nest. And finally we manage to put things together. In this ninth cycle of Jimmy and Faridah Nesting we have monitor the bird without disturbing them. There is a 12 hours video recording daily been setup at the area. The bird started to make the nest around 4 May 2013 and Closed it at 12 May 2013. It was found out that the Nest material was dissolved by heavy rain that came just coming in from the dry period. This is similar noted at the last season where the nest was assumed broken by a poacher during a heavy rain thunderstorm night which is similar to the night of 2 August 2013. Thus breaking of the nest by (the birds) either Faridah or Jimmy is not true. It in their natural instinct with weather pattern the know when to nest. A tide height table difference of Miri 2013 is being compare with the nesting session 2013 correlated with a dry season where the differences are at the maximum. Similar to the idea and theories who make who seals the nest opening of the nest. It was thought that Jimmy is making the nest. No. Jimmy only support in the making the nest by bringing materials like clay balls and wood chips. It was Faridah who munch these materials and padded it on the wall until the hole is small that she can no longer goes out. The making of the nest started on the 4 may and Faridah can no longer comes out on the 12 May. It took them around 9 days closing the nest opening. From 4 to 13 May Faridah came out of the nest ever every evening joining Jimmy. A few caressing was noted during this period, but no love making was recorded. All the while Faridah making the nest Jimmy will bring in foods. Food Jimmy bring over to the nest are garden snails, beetles, frogs lizards, baby or yellow vented bulbul besides Figs, berries and Oil palm kernel. Feeding is around 5 – 21 cycles per day. Mama Bird is out of the nest Faridah lays two eggs as soon as she seal herself that is 12 May. One of the egg hatch 28 days after sealing that is on the 9 June. Another one hatch a bit later not realises there is another egg in the nest., until we saw t sets of small beaks. On the early morning of 2 August there is a heavy rain and strong wind this soften the clay of the nest covering. Faridah who put out her wing out in the morning make the clay nest covering fall off. Then she flew out of the nest. The elder bird who is ready for flight flew off with after that. The second baby probably still nervous and may not be able to fly. It is estimated that they will fledge around 31 August. Jimmy miss calculate, rainy season came too early. One of the babies is still in the nest Jimmy stay around the nest where as the Mother flew high behind the house 53. The baby bird actually was where Jimmy was yelping in the morning. We only had seen it in the evening. Jimmy still came feeding the left out baby. Faridah have no business feeding baby. Around the evening Jimmy and Faridah was seen together. The baby who flown off earlier stayed at the casuarinas tree. There is a small call the baby is telling the parent that it is there somewhere. Jimmy is sure to know where it is. As this time of writing I saw Jimmy feeding the elder baby where as one of the baby was still in the nest. Faridah is around and hiding. I set up the camera and left it there to record if Jimmy still feed the left out baby.