If you live in Malaysia and your hobby is birding you are going to sweat. The only issue is whether you want to sweat in the jungle, sweat in the mangroves or sweat in the paddy fields. What a dilemma. In the end we settled for paddy sweat as it entails less physical effort than mangrove or jungle sweat!
As usual it was up at sparrow farts and on the road within 30 minutes so as to arrive at sunrise to catch the birds having breakfast. Aside from a few sections still being prepared the paddy fields we visited were flooded and glowing the green of newly planted rice. This heralds a time of plenty for the Herons, Egrets and Lesser Adjutants that tramp the paddy searching for frogs and mice that make the paddy fields their home. Any stick protruding from the paddy is prime real estate for Bee Eaters and Swallows which feed on the myriad of dragonflies and insects that fill the air above the fields.
Being Sunday, we were feeling a bit lazy, so we found some sticks and parked the car and waited. Sure enough less than five minutes later a Pacific Swallow or House Swallow as it is more correctly named perched on the stick and proceeded to preen. It was a chance for some great shots of this attractive little bird not to be missed.
The calm did not last long as it seemed that the stick was a perch envied by others and the poor bird was buzzed and harassed by others wanting the top spot. No problem for me. I just fired away. Swallows are very swift birds and I was half expecting to come away without a single shot of the aerial harassment. So I was more than pleased with the shot at the top of the page. I also managed some nice frames of the defense of the top of the stick from a bird that tried to dislodge the Swallow by climbing up from midway down the stick.
It was quite interesting watching a swallow fight. The whole saga only lasted a few minutes and the winner was the fastest Swallow.
Now, you try and figure out how that can be!