Ron Chew had been monitoring and documenting the shorebirds at Mersing for some time now. Mersing Bay turned out to be a stop over for many of the rarer shorebirds during the spring migration. The bonus of seeing them at this time of the year is that many of them are in their breeding plumage.
Early this week, I made my way up there and found two groups of roosting shorebirds. One flock consists of 500 Lesser Sand Plovers, 200 Little Terns, 100 Terek Sandpipers and I was told a few Grey-tailed Tattlers and Common Sandpipers.
Another cluster has about 400 Lesser Sand Plovers, 60 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Grey Plovers, 20 Great Knots, 14 Kentish Plovers, a few Ruddy Turnstones, Common Greenshanks, Common Sandpipers and a Broad-billed Sandpiper.
Best time to photograph them is during late afternoon with the setting sun behind you. The tide should not be too low or else the waders will be feeding further out.
Breeding plumage of a Lesser Sand Plover and a Kentish Plover.
Reference: A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia.Wild Bird Sciety of Japan. 1993.
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Timing coincides with Raptor (e.g. Oriental Honey Buzzards) migration from Indonesia to North & Northeast Asia.
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