Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not In Kent

This will be my last post about this year's autumnal passage waders. I have posted photos of Whimbrel and Terek Sandpiper, so here I'll be posting photos of the other 2 regularly seen waders in Beppu, the Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nihonensis) and the Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes). After photographing the Terek Sandpiper in the earlier post at Shouninga-hama beach, I made a short visit to Mochiga-hama beach to check if there's any interesting migrant. There I found a lone first-winter Kentish Plover sitting in a shallow hollow on the sandy beach trying to blend itself into the environment. I just wished that it was the same juvenile bird that I found earlier in summer.
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nihonensis)

The bird proved to be quite obliging and I didn't have to crop these images much. The light was also perfect and I took these shots at ISO200 only. I searched through the internet about the origin of the name Kentish Plover and sadly found out that the bird doesn't breed in Kent or the rest of UK anymore. It seems to be just a scarce visitor now. It reminds me of a similar case of a mammal called White-thighed Surili (Presbytis siamensis) that I saw at Fraser's Hill earlier in March this year. Photos and story of it can be view here. Its scientific name siamensis refers to the former name of Thailand, Siam. However, the species is not found in what is called Thailand today. Similar but not the same, the reason why the White-thighed Surili is not found in Thailand anymore is because the area where the species was first described in 1841 by Müller & Schlegel, which was then occupied by Thailand, was sold to England in 1908 as part of Malaysia. So, equally strangely, we now have an animal with the name that refers to Thailand but cannot be found in Thailand anymore.

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nihonensis)

Interesting effect caused by different backgrounds!
This is how the bird was first found!
On the next day, I visited Shouninga-hama beach again in hope of getting some more shots of the waders, but it turned out to be a bad day for photography. Most of the birds stayed out on the artificial sea walls far from the shoreline. There was only a few Grey-tailed Tattlers running along the small beach. I spotted one individual with fishing net tied to its legs. It seemed to have difficulty walking and couldn't step its left foot firmly on the ground. It allowed me to get as close as a few feet away but not close enough to catch it, so I couldn't help unravel the net from its legs. It later flew away and joined the group which was perching on the sea wall. I just wished that it will survive even with both legs tied up.

Juvenile Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes)


Phil said...

Brilliant shots of the Kentish Plover Ayuwat, and like you say perfect light. It's not often I get to use ISO200 here in the UK. Shame about that line caught around the tattler - how many die like that without being seen?

Russell said...

Beautiful photographs. Great light and DoF. How do you do it? Great close-ups of waders..and super info. Thanks.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Thanks a lot, Phil and Russell!
I see shorebirds with only 1 leg quite often, especially gulls. One of the many sad stories on earth...

Stu said...

I've only ever been to Kent once-what a nightmare I had too...............

Great photos of the Plover, wish it had a different name!!!!!