[Oversea] 70 Nordmann's Greenshanks!- the largest flock recorded in the northern Selang

70 Nordmann's Greenshanks!- the largest flock recorded in the northern Selang

Report from Wetlands International

5 Feb 2007

70 Nordmann's Greenshanks!- the largest flock recorded in the northern Selangor coast, Malaysia

Dear birders,

I couldn’t believe my eye!

Up to seventy Nordmann’s Greenshank (nearly 10% of the current population estimates) were seen on 3 Feb 2007 (Saturday) 6pm at Sungai Nibong (N 3degree 34.704 minutes, E 101 degree 03.615 minutes). The birds were recorded by a boat survey of the shorebird high tide roost for the annual AWC in Malaysia by myself. It was cloudy with light shower during the day, and the light for viewing was generally poor. The areas are believed to be the only expose mudflat area in the surrounding coast during the peak tide of the month with deep mud of more than 1 m along the mangrove edge. Therefore there was no disturbance of collecting shore fish by people, but however, they were disturbed by boat passing by. The sites are also support more than 1500+ redshanks, 2000+ Sandplover, 100+ Whimbrel and 500 whiskered terns, besides some small numbers of Terek sandpipers, red-necked stints. There is no way to walk on the mudflat, therefore I could only land at two locations on the mudflat try to identify the birds with water come up to my chest.

The flying flock of greenshanks draw my attention and I saw the birds with curve up bills and their legs not extend belong to the tail. However, with the poor light condition, I could not id the colour of their legs and bill.

Luckily, I found a large piece of wood on the mud and I could stand on it and use the scope with in 50 m distance to the birds. I got very excited when I found all the bird was with clear yellow legs. I can’t believe my eye by discovering such a large flock of Nordmann’s Greenshank (believe this is the largest population recorded in the last 20 years, besides was a 60 individuals in the inner gulf of Thailand in Dec 2005 by the Thai birdwatchers)!

However, the birds flow to a much further distance before I start count them. Anyhow, I could relocate the birds at about 100 meter distance and count them carefully, as well as took some pix with a slightly improved light condition before dark! Surprise to me, I found one of two of the picture are actually good enough for id purpose.

With the findings of this species, we could obviously confirm that the West Peninsular Malaysia coast supports a crucial population of the species, with up to 38 recorded in Peneng (Butterworth) coast, 12-14 at Sungai Burung high tide roost (about 25km north of Sungai Nibong) and 15-19 at Kapar power station Ash Pond in central Selangor coast in the last two years.

It’s believed the recently increasing count of the species in Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar was only because of increasing number of birdwatchers, bird surveys and improving of birding equipment instead of growing population of the species. This assumption can be supported by no surveys were conducted at Sungai Nibong and Sungai Burung High tide roost before.

Best regards,

David Li
Waterbird Conservation Officer & AWC International Coordinator
Wetlands International