Saturday, September 13, 2008

Waders Watching at Tanjung Sedili, Johor

13th of September 2008 -- Woooh So many Great Crested Tern.

It is a habit of MNS Selangor birders long trips that normally try to educate it's members as many birds in different habitat as possible. Trips to Panti Forest would not be complete without a ½ day trip for shore birds/waders at it's coast facing the South China Sea.

Head to it's beach front facing the South China Sea from Kota Tingi town, one could feel the quite, peaceful kampung lifestyle unlike the hectic and hassle/bustle in the big city like Kuala Lumpur. There are a numbers of nice holiday resorts and chalets erected along it's coastal lines. During our time of visit, I noticed that these holiday resorts/chalets are empty, maybe it was not school holidays as well as during Ramadan whereby it is a fasting month for the Muslim. Normally during fasting month it is the lowest seasons for all of the holiday resorts in Malaysia.

This is one of the small village that we visited for our tea break. This small little village many years back one need to takes boat from this jetty to get across to the other side. Those days there is no road to lead to this village. Now there is a nice pave tar road that would lead you passed by a palm oil plantation, some holiday resorts along the way.
A beautiful mosque in that small village. We also notice that this village also populated by chinese as well.
As the low time in the daytime happen around 10am during our visit, we only could head to it's
coastal line on 13th of September – (the 2nd day). By the way low tide happen twice in a day. Each day it varies to the times it happen and how low it would be. Tides at certain times of the month are unusually lower or higher than at others. The reason for this has to do with the position of both the sun and the moon relative to the Earth. At low tides waders on their migration passage would takes the opportunities to feeds and rest at it's shore lines. To enjoy waders watching it is still the best to refer to the latest tidal tables before you head to the beach front. For malaysia do click on

The time when the tide is the lowest very likely the waders would be too far to be definitely ID them. Therefore we normally would prefer the in-between not to low nor high. Waders watching unlike bird watching in the forest where are trees for shades from the scorching sun. Waders watching at the beach the heat not only comes from the scorching sun but also from the sand that reflect back the heat. This could be one of the main reasons that normally will put people off from enjoyed the beauty of the waders.

Anyhow waders/shore birds due to many of them are migrants or passage migrants to Malaysia coastal lines, for this reason we could not have them all year round. Even though Malaysia all year round is having warm tropical climate and no doubt that our coastal lines are with ever rich source of foods ready for the waders.
One of the example of nice juicy crabs for the shore birds.

Shorebirds even though they comes in all shades of dull brown and white but at certain stages of their life especially juvenile and breeding, they do have some additional catchy interesting colors. Unlike forest bird watching where we normally trek, stop, hear and look out from where the sound originate. Waders watching only need to find a shady places, sit and relax, the whole bunch of waders waiting ready for you to scan through to be pick up on which one you would like to see.

I did this way... My birders friends says that I'm indeed crazy baking myself in the hot sun. Waders normally prefer to feeds very near to the shore lines. With a 10 X binoculars it is indeed a hard task to look at them. Therefore if the shore permit me to walk through with my feathery light body I would rather try to get to the nearest safe range between the birds and me. Not to frighten them off I slowly crept over. Was it hot baking myself like this manner? Well at that very moments I forgotten the meaning of hot as I noticed OOOOOh yoh... so many ... so many waders.

Waders would normally rest, preening or feeding near the shorelines. They even do it in the nightime during the low tide.

Not all of the time they are pecking and dig deep into the beach..

One of the preening moments of a Sand Plover. Notice it eye lid is close.
Their legs are not injuired. This is one of the way to rest.
Finaly I managed to sight Little Tern resting unlike in Bagan Sungei Buloh, Selangor where it always on flight in it's hunting motions.
Waders come in different size.
For waders watching at Sedili one would not complete her/his list without the Malaysian Sand Plover Charadrius Peronii. It is only 15cm, it would favour undisturbed sandy,coral and shelly beaches. Due to this one of the example of species that it's choosy habitat of survival, it further the aspect that waders are protective species.

Malaysian Plover

As we noticed the tide is yet to reside at the desirable level for waders watching instead of wasting time at the usual beach front. We travel to Kampung Sri Ganding, Sedili Kecil and Sedili Besar. We would head to the beach front to look out for waders.

These are some of the common migrants shorebirds/waders that our Malaysia shorelines would temporary host them.

Looook... LOOOK so many terns. This is the largest flock that I have seen so far.. I only could managed to take a snap shots a portion of them only. They are mainly Great Crested Terns.

A Common Redshank.
I wrongly Id this much earlier. I do recall this bird is much more taller than those Lesser Sand Plover that also attracted me. This bird is still in it's breeding garments. Well not all of the time shorebirds are brown and white..
This is not in it's breeding garments.. This bird is moulting..
This small little one are the Lesser Sand Plovers.. A few of them have some intresting plumage.
Poke deep for food.
Looking for food.

This is a different Individual.

For this 1/2 a day trip from 10am + till about 2pm + with at least 3 stop-over. We sighted
Malaysian Sand Plover (they normally moves in pair)
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Common Green Shank
Common Red Shank
Marsh Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Little Heron
Little Egret
Little Tern
White Throated Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Black Naped Oriole
Abbot Babbler
Magpie Robin
Common Iora
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Peaceful Dove
Bhraminy Kite
White Bellied Sea Eagle
Greater Crested Tern -This is most exciting part to me is able to sight a huge resting flocks about 500+


Jamal said...

wow....that's my kampung

Wong Chor Mun said...

ooh really... I like your kampung. Those big bag fill with fresh fish those kampung folks keeps pestering peoples to buy looks nice and yummy..

Ding Li said...

Wa u come so near singapore never tell me! Must come over here and yum cha ma!

Wong Chor Mun said...

Too far to swim over.. Passport sudah expire

Cheng said...

Hi Ms Wong,

I am a teacher from Singapore. Nice pictures taken in Tanjung Sutera. I am bringing a group of students to Tanjung Sutera for educational trip and would like to request using some of your photos (on shore birds) for our learning journal. I assure you the usage is purely for educational purposes only and I will be happy to acknolwedge you in the journal upon your kind consent on usage. Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon... :-)

Wong Chor Mun said...

Hi Cheng Fun,

Yes you may used those photos. Hope that you and your students have a nice time at Sedili

Cheng said...

Thank you very much for your kind consent. We are certainly looking forward to a fun and educational trip this weekend...:-)