“On 20th June 2013, we were exploring the seaward end of the jetty at Kampung Paya, Pulau Tioman, West Malaysia, when we chanced upon a nest of the Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica). It was situated underneath the jetty and created in a corner, well protected from the elements (above).
“From its perch, the swallow had lovely views of the clear waters below, teeming with schools of small fish (above). It would thus be able to witness the exciting hunting activity of various carnivorous fish, such as trevally and needlefish, as they propelled themselves toward the school of bait fish.
“Throughout its range, Pacific Swallows breed between January to August and may lay three to four eggs (Robson, 2000). The swallow’s nest we observed was composed of mud and fibrous material. But where would the swallow have gotten its mud from? One of the most likely sources would have been from the banks of the lower reaches of the nearest river, Sungei Paya. This river is easily accessible and swallows were indeed observed to fly around and over the river. At times, they would take brief rests and perch on overhanging branches (above).
“A brief video clip of the swallow resting on a branch over the river may be previewed above.
“From this viewpoint, the swallows could witness the engaging feeding and fighting activity of Fiddler Crabs along the river bank when it was exposed at low tide (above).
Brief video clips of the feisty Fiddler Crabs may be previewed above and below.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming & Saker Subaraj
2nd July 2013
Robson, C., 2000. A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London. 504 pp.