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

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