|Common Moorhen with its reddish mask swimming in a pond filled with white flowers and lily pads|
Sungai Balang in Johor was my next destination for birds and waders after Parit Jawa. Together with my wader sifu Ang Teck Hin, we scoured the paddyfields at this site which had been made popular in the past with sightings of the Little Curlew, Small Pratincole and (many years ago) a juvenile Amur Falcon. The latter was a vagrant visitor to Malaysia, suspected to have been blown off-course by stormy winds of Southeast Asia. There is an odd-looking green plastic statue of a Crocodile which passers-by will encounter going pass Sungai Balang as you enter the paddyfields from the trunk road. It is perhaps a reminder that there is a river called Crocodile Nest River ("Sungai Sarang Buaya") nearby. A 3m long crocodile had been sighted in this area a few years back. A tree full of Baya Weaver nests caught our attention. One of the weavers popped out of the nest, its head all golden yellow as it continued to put the finishing touches to its "home". Another pair were adding on fresh green blades of grass into their nest (see earlier pictures above). We marveled at these winged architects.
The birds and waders spotted at Sungai Balang, Johor have been entered through eBird and that checklist is available HERE. I had the chance to marvel at the beautiful plumage of the Curlew Sandpiper from a scope. Was struggling to get a good video recording of the Curlew Sandpiper feeding in the paddyfields that hot Saturday morning. Taking pictures and videos from a scope with mobile phone affixed onto it wasn't easy, more so when the glaring sun made everything look dark on the mobile screen:( Some of the wader species seen as well as the Grey Heron are pictured below and above (the Wood Sandpiper).
|Black-winged Stilt - such long legs for this elegant-looking wader that would rival those of top fashion models:)|
BTO poster celebrates the World Migratory Bird Day and has an educational migrations poster with some serious mileage and speed feats recorded by some waders and waterbirds such as Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Snipe, Arctic Terns and Bar-headed Geese. 4,000 species of birds are known to migrate and this is an astonishing 40% of the total number of birds in the world.