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Due to heavy reconstruction of this webpage, this blog is temporary suspended to renew in this summer, it will be updated again after late-autumn, thank you for your visits in these 9 years.

26 September 2015

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone (翻石鷸)
Vanuatu (2012)
8th October, 2013. Port Vila

Ruddy Turnstone is a small wading bird, one of two species of turnstone in the genus Arenaria. It is now classified in the sandpiper family Scolopacidae but was formerly sometimes placed in the plover family Charadriidae. It is a highly migratory bird, breeding in northern parts of Eurasia and North America and flying south to winter on coastlines almost worldwide. It is the only species of turnstone in much of its range and is often known simply as turnstone.

It is a fairly small and stocky bird, 22–24 cm (8.7–9.4 in) long with a wingspan of 50–57 cm (20–22 in) and a weight of 85–150 g (3.0–5.3 oz). The dark, wedge-shaped bill is 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long and slightly upturned. The legs are fairly short at 3.5 cm (1.4 in) and are bright orange.

At all seasons, the plumage is dominated by a harlequin-like pattern of black and white. Breeding birds have reddish-brown upper parts with black markings. The head is mainly white with black streaks on the crown and a black pattern on the face. The breast is mainly black apart from a white patch on the sides. The rest of the underparts are white. In flight it reveals a white wingbar, white patch near the base of the wing and white lower back, rump and tail with dark bands on the uppertail-coverts and near the tip of the tail. The female is slightly duller than the male and has a browner head with more streaking.

19 September 2015

Herons and Bitterns found in Malaysia

From left to right :
60sen : Black-crowned Night Heron (夜鷺) ; 70sen : Striated Heron (綠簑鷺)
80sen : Grey Heron (蒼鷺)
Malaysia (2015)
26th June, 2015. Seremban, Negeri Sembilan

Black-crowned Night Herons are small stocky, short-legged compared to other herons. They are handsomely attired in a tri-colour plumage of black, grey and white, with two long plumes on the nape. Night Herons are very aggressive and steal eggs and young of other heron colonies.

Black Crowned Night Herons eat a wide range of prey from aquatic invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to land invertebrates including small mammals. Prey is shaken vigorously until stunned or killed and then juggled about in the beak and swallowed head first.

The Striated Heron also known as mangrove heron, little heron or green-backed heron, is a small heron. Striated herons are mostly non-migratory and noted for some interesting behavioral traits. Little herons are often encountered at Sungei Buloh Nature Park, hunched into a compact egg-shape on a branch over the water, motionless but intently looking out for prey. Little herons use a wide variety of hunting techniques, but usually hunt from cover and rarely forage on the open mudflats.

The grey heron is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is a large bird, standing up to 100 cm tall and measuring 84–102 cm long with a 155–195 cm wingspan. Grey Herons have long necks and powerful bills for a long and strong reach. They usually wait on the mud or at the water’s edge to snatch passing aquatic prey. They can stand motionless for hours.

Black-crowned Night Heron (夜鷺)
Malaysia (2015)
25th June, 2015. Kuala Selangor

12 September 2015

Traditional hunting

From top to bottom :
Golden Eagle (金雕) ; Saker Falcon (獵鷹)
Peregrine Falcon (黑翅長腳鷸)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

'Salburun'which means "Hunter's Zest" in Kyrgyz language, is a traditional hunting fest that has been held annually since 1997 in the area of Issyk Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.

Hunting with golden eagles is a skill handed down from generation to generation in rural Kyrgyzstan. It dates back to the times when hunting was the only means of survival in the Kyrgyz steppe. The organisers of the "Salburun" Festival revived the tradition in the form of a competition four years ago in order to preserve local culture. Hunting has always been an integral part of the nomadic lifestyle of the Kyrgyz people.

There are only a few "berkutchi" - birds of prey hunters - left in Kyrgyzstan. The majority of them learned the secrets of taming the wild bird from their fathers and grandfathers. The hunter takes the bird and begins training when it is a nesting. When it grows up, the bird remains faithful to its owner and even recognises his voice.

Kyrgyz hunters say that in former times one hunter with a golden eagle could support a large family.

Golden Eagle (金雕)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

Saker Falcon (獵鷹)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
14th May, 2015. Bishkek

Peregrine Falcon (擬游隼)
Kyrgyzstan (2015)
15th May, 2015. Bishkek

5 September 2015

Macao wetlands

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Macao (2015)
5th May, 2015. Seac Pai Van

Wetlands, known as the “Kidneys of the Earth”, together with forests and oceans, comprise the three paramount ecosystems of the Earth. This May, to demonstrate China’s achievement in wetland conservation and its pioneering experience in the development of wetland protection, China Central Television (CCTV) kicked off a major charity programme – “Beautiful China – Tour of Wetlands” and launched an internet poll in late September. A combination of the online votes and the organising committee’s evaluation selected Macao’s wetland as one of China’s Top Ten Charming Wetlands.

Amid rapid economic development and continuing population growth, China’s wetlands face many problems such as declining biodiversity and decreased nationwide wetland area, etc. This programme aims to discover and exchange experiences on wetland conservation, and also hopes to awaken people’s awareness of conservation of the natural environment and the need to safeguard the healthy growth of wetlands. The programme started in May and included an opening ceremony, a documentary show, an internet poll and an award ceremony, etc. Across the entire network it is recorded more than 230 million people voted online, with the Macao wetland receiving more than one million votes. In combination with the evaluation by the organising committee, leaders from the State Forestry Administration, experts and scholars based on the rarity of prominent species and benefits from conservation, Macao was successfully included in the list of China’s Top Ten Charming Wetlands.

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Macao (2015)
5th May, 2015. Seac Pai Van

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Macao (2015)
5th May, 2015. Macao

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