Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changi, Bidadari, Pulau Punggol 29Oct11

From Con

I think the bird of the day for our outing was a Mangrove Whistler seen at Changi Reclaimed Land, a lifer for a couple of us.

We stopped along one of the regular tracks on the West side of Changi Airbase East because we noticed some bird activity, and were hoping for Eastern Crowned Warbler or some other goodies.  I first noticed a bit of an odd “Asian Brown Flycatcher”, but Kok Hui quickly realized it was a Mangrove Whistler.  We observed the bird from at least 10:15am until 10:40am.  Occasionally it would give us quite good views, although all were back light as the sun was generally behind the bird.  In general the weather was fine and getting hot, although there had been a passing shower a bit earlier.

Here are some shots of the Mangrove Whistler, the first four are from today, the last two are from Hantu several years ago.

The bird responded to playback and came forward.  It also sang in response to playback and it’s song was a match with one of Sharringa’s recordings.

I see from Avifauna and Robson that although the core habitat is mangrove, it does occur in coastal areas and other disturbed areas.

From KH

We started off at Changi and then moved on to Bidadari and finally Pulau Punggol.

Raptors seen at Changi:
1) OHB 3
2) Peregrine Falcon 1
3) Accipiter 1
4) CHE 2 (1 dark, 1 pale)
5) BWK 2
6) WBSE 2
7) Brahminy Kite >5

Mangrove Whistler ©Lau JS

At Bidadari, we had a Jambu Fruit-dove, Crow-billed Drongo, Flycatcher (Yellow-rumped and Asian Brown), Asain Paradise-flycatcher, Arctic Warbler, Tiger Shrike, Oriental White-eyes, etc.

Jambu Fruit-dove ©Danny Lau

Danny and I went on to Pulau Punggol and saw these raptors:

1) CHE 2 (1 dark, 1 pale)
2) Osprey 1
3) WBSE 3
4) Brahminy Kite 2
Bidadari 28Oct11

From KH

Was running errant in the afternoon and sneaked in 1.5 hrs at Bidadari.

1) Ferruginous Flycatcher 1
2) Yellow-rumped Flycatcher >3
3) Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
4) Asian Paradise Flycatcher 1
5) Arctic Warbler >5
6) Crow-billed Drongo 1 (apparently survived the J Sparrowhawk!)
7) Tiger Shrike 1
8) Pied Triller 1 male
9) Brahminy Kite 1 adult
10) Tanimbar Corella 1 noisy bird
11) Common Goldenback 1 female
12) Variable Squirrel 2

Also the usual residents: Collared and White-throated Kingfishers, Pink-necked Green Pigeons, mynas, starlings, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, swiftlets.
NTL2 27Oct11

From Con

Here are some shots of the Whiskered Terns

I counted a max of 9 terns on the railing and I think they were all whiskered. I think we had a white winged tern fly by, but I don’t think he landed. In the shots that follow I processed more of the ones with longer “side burns” because they are perhaps more easily confused with white winged terns.

NTL2, SBWR 26Oct11

From KH

Con, Danny and I spent Deepavali birding at NTL2 and SBWR. Here are the hightlights:

1) 2.5-m-long King Cobra at SBWR
2) Whiskered Terns at Kranji Reservoir
3) Black-tailed Godwit and GSP at SBWR

1) Black-winged Kite 1
2) CHE 1 heard
3) Osprey 1
4) Accipiter spp. 2
5) WBSE 2
6) Brahminy Kite 1
7) Whiskered Tern >6
8) White-winged Tern >3
9) Yellow Bittern 3
10) Lesser Coucal 3 including 1 hopping on ground
11) Common KF 3
12) Blue-throated BE >2 still around
13) Blue-tailed BE >2 have arrived
14) Brown Shrike >1
15) Yellow Wagtail 1
and the usual White-throated & Collared Kingfishers, Dollarbirds, Red-breasted Parakeets, crows, bulbuls, swallows, ioras, mynas, sunbirds, swiftlets.

1) Yellow Wagtail 1

1) Black-tailed Godwit 1
2) Greater Sand-plover 1
3) Broad-billed Sandpiper >2
4) Red-necked Stint >16
5) Great Egret 2
6) Intermediate Egret 1
7) Cattle Egret 1
and the usual LSP, PGP, sandpipers (Marsh, Curlew, Common), whimbrels, redshanks, greenshanks, Little Egrets.

1) Copper-throated Sunbird 1 pair

From Danny

Refer 1st pic - single Whiskered with two White-winged Terns. Thicker bill and larger gist for the Whiskered with eye-stripe extended to nape. Looking towards higher quality pic from Con.

Thx to Kok Hui's patience for spotting the only GSP among the hundreds of LSP, not once but twice. Attached pic showing the classic differences between the two species, namely head shapes, size/shape of eyes, yellow legs (snuggled below body of GSP) & most critical the size/thickness/shape of bill.

From Con

Thanks for spending the time to dig this Greater Sand-plover out of the sea of Lesser Sand-plovers and keeping it there while I went back to the car to get my camera.

Not the best of images, but at least something with a largish bill and yellowish legs .... although David Bakewell did say in his course that some Lesser Sand-plovers also have yellowish legs, but I forget if this was adult, juvenile or only on Halloween.

2.5-m-long King Cobra sighted at SBWR today at the Main Hide end of main bridge.


Changi 25Oct11

From Con

Was at Changi Cove with Subaraj today for an NParks survey (with a valid permit to enter).

About 240 LSP, 1 Ruddy Turnstone, about 9 MP, 3 White-faced Plovers, and maybe a few GSPs. Several Purple-backed Starlings.

One BWK and one Eastern Marsh-harrier. My first harrier of the season. Sorry not a very good photo. This bird was very near the Exhibition Centre. We flushed him and I tried to go back but couldn’t locate him again. Late afternoon around 5pm today.

SBWR 24Oct11

From KH

Dropped by Sungei Buloh after work and managed to see the Black-winged Stilt at Hide 1C secs before it flew off!

Bt Tinggi 22Oct11

From Con

Oriental Honey-buzzard torquatus

Changi, SBWR, KNT 22Oct11

From JS

Covering the area within LP149, Changi Water Treatment Plant and SBWR (including Kranji mangrove boardwalk), 1 Common Buzzard, who may be the same duty personnel as previous years, 3 OHBs and 1 Chinese Sparrowhawk. Due to good thermalling conditions and low-hanging cloud formations, we didn't really have the views needed to sex or age the sparrowhawks but could still figure out their id by the wing shape.

In case you are wondering how a 5-pixels-sized accipiter on the camera sensor could be conclusively identified, I have to admit that those five-pixels are, thankfully, just enough to make out the diagnostic wing shapes of each accipiter sp. The 7 positively-id Japanese Sparrowhawks showed distinctive rounded wings (aka bulging secondaries) with protruding 4 outer primaries while the Chinese Sparrowhawk nearly slipped by and was only recorded because it had left behind a 5-mp on my camera sensor that adequately showed the diagnostic pointed underwings with black tips.

Unlike the accipiters, the OHBs were more grounded with 3 posing nicely on the treetop at 3 different location.

As usual, the immature Brahminy Kites misled my father and I many times and had it not been Kok Hui's good call, we would had wasted more time.

In short, below is the list of raptors sighted.

1) Changeable Hawk Eagle (3, including 1 adult dark morph, 1 2nd yr(?) pale morph and 1 juvenile)
2) White-bellied Sea-Eagle (>3, including 1 juvenile)
3) Osprey (1)
4) Brahminy Kite (>5)
5) Black-winged Kite (4)
6) Japanese Sparrowhawk (>7, including a flock of 6 thermalling individuals and 1 female)
7) Chinese Sparrowhawk (1)
8) Common Buzzard (1)
9) Oriental Honey Buzzard (3, including 2 males)

In addition to the above sightings, I have a 5-mp-sized photo of a raptor which I am not sure of its id. Its size misled us to think that it was a crossing brahminy kite, one of the 4 that was heading towards the airport from the Cove. However, it lacked dark secondaries and carpals. In my opinion, it fits the id of an OHB but I would need your verification. If it is, this would be OHB no. 4.

From Danny

After Changi Cove we went over to SBWR, the rightful place to bird in the rain. We were pretty bored at KNT boardwalk until Jia Sheng whistled down a family of Golden-bellied Gerygone and started a mini bird wave. The interesting bird of the day is the Eastern Crowned Warbler seen well at both locations within 0.5 km from the coast. Personally think these were fresh arrivals and doubt they stay long unlike those in the Central Catchment.

Location: Kranji Nature Trail
Time: 4.00 pm to 5.05 pm
Tide: receding

1) Little Egret - 3
2) Little Heron - 2
3) Grey Heron - 6
4) Common Sandpiper - 3
5) Sunda woodpecker - 1
6) Lesser crested Tern - 2
7) Collared Kingfisher - 2
8) Great Egret - 4
9) Osprey - 1
10) WBSE - 2
11) Common Flameback - 2
12) Golden-bellied Gerygone - 3 (1 adult, 2 juv)
13) Eastern Crowned Warbler - >1
14) Arctic Warbler - 1
15) Pied Triller - 2
16) Brown throated sunbird - 1
17) Eclipse Olive-backed sunbird - 1
18) Stork-billed Kingfisher - 1
19) Large-billed crow - 5
20) Oriental white-eye - 6
21) Asian Paradise Flycatcher - 2
22) Asian Brown Flycatcher - 2
23) Dollarbird - 2
24) Common Redshanks - 6 in flight
Jurong Lake 21Oct11

From GC

I took a walk around Jurong Lake on Friday afternoon, after the rain.

In Chinese Gardens, near the northern part, winged ants were taking flight from the ground next to a 3m tall screen of vegetation and there were swarms of swifts flying low, enjoying the feast. On the ground were some Yellow-vented Bulbuls and some Javan Mynas, also feasting on the winged ants. Out of the blue, a juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk flew in at high speed along the vegetation screen and attacked the birds on the ground. The attacker ended in the vegetation screen and the cries of a hapless bird (likely a Yellow-vented Bulbul) could be heard. Then the attacker flew off. After 2 minutes or so, 2 Pied Fantails came to the feast and soon the YV Bulbuls and Javan Myna were back.

Just a I was going to leave, an adult Crested Goshawk was seen outside Japanese Gardens, perched quietly, preening its feathers.

My final stop was Old Jurong Lake Park where a female Japanese Sparrowhawk was encountered. Other migrants included 2 Asian Brown Flycatchers. A Pied Triller was seen high in the trees.
Singapore Strait 15Oct11

From Con


From Colin

Although it was quieter than September and we didn't get quite so far out we recorded the following:

Aleutian Tern – min. 7 (all winter plumage)
Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel - min. 9 (no noticeable movement, mostly disturbed off the sea in pairs)
Bridled Tern - 73 all moving east
Crested (Swift) Tern – min. 44, with a noticeable movement to the east
Lesser Crested Tern - 6
Little Tern – 1
Long-tailed Jaeger (Skua) – 2 ( harassing the terns off the north eastern end of Batam)

Finally we also returned via the Grey Heron colony at Pulau Bukom, where there were about 16 active nests and a nearby white phased Reef Egret, plus a Great-billed Heron on Pulau Jong on the way past.

Route is at the below link.
Japan 8Oct11

From Yamane

On this day (8 OCT Sat.), the report of count at Irago Cape, in the central Japan (It's the most famous Raptor Watch place in Japan) is as follows.

OHB: 64
GFB: 372
Common Buzzard: 45
Japanese Sparrowhawk: 66
Chinese Sparrowhawk: 21

Mt Faber, Labrador Park 02Oct11

From Danny

Juvenile Crested Goshawk at Mt Faber carpark A.

Location: Labrador coastal point
Time: 9.05 am to 10.25 am
Tide: low, rising

  1. White bellied sea eagle - 3
  2. Common Sandpiper - 2
  3. Collared Kingfisher - 1
  4. Brahminy Kite - 2

Changi, Serangoon 1Oct11

From KH

Today, only Danny and I were available to bird. We went to Changi in the morning and Serangoon Reservoir (Halus/Punggol stretch) in the afternoon. There were no migrant raptors at Changi and nothing of special interest.

At Serangoon Reservoir, we first encountered a GHFE while exiting TPE into Halus. After parking our cars, we were happy to see a Japanese Sparrowhawk thermalling up. Next, at the other grebe pond, the Little Grebe was home. So was a very vocal Tiger Shrike. The highlight, however, was a family of 4 Smooth Otters in the reservoir.

After lunch at Popeye, we walked towards the old Punggol Grassland. However, it started to rain. While waiting for the rain to stop, we encountered flocks of Purple-backed Starlings. I estimated there to be >500 of them!

And there were also Little Terns and White-winged Terns to entertain us.

The Little Terns were diving for food right in front of us!

Japan 26Sep11

From Yamane

According the report of Japanese Raptor Watchers on our mailing list, last weekend seems to be 1st peak of the migration of raptors in this year around west of Tokyo City. Around 600 GFBs & around 20 OHB passed by on 23 SEP Fri. Over 300 GFBs & around 30 OHB, on 24 SEP Fri.

I feel the next peak is 2nd week of Oct. on other root. On the root, none saw big amount yet. It’s southern root of Tokyo City through Tokyo Bay.

In this season, I’m watching around my place. But no raptor here yet, except Black Kite.

About the Streaked Shearwater flying in mountains, many birders saw it on Fri. & Sat. Almost of them was surprised. Because they saw a seabird in the mountains. Maybe, it was brought to the mountains by the BIG TYPHOON. It seems to have gone back to Pacific Ocean later. Someone saw it flying south on Sat.
Kranji Nature Trail 25Sep11

From Danny

Time 4.50 pm to 6.35 pm
Tide : High

1) Little Tern - 2
2) Little Heron - 4
3) Grey Heron - 11
4) Common Sandpiper - 5
5) Sunda woodpecker - 3
6) Great Cormorant - 4
7) Collared Kingfisher - 2
8) Little Bronze Cuckoo - 1
9) Cattle Egret - 1
Japan 22Sep11

From Yamane

After BIG TYPHOON passing by, some members report about the migration of raptors. In the west of Tokyo City, over 80 GFBs & 1 OHB passed by in this morning. And 1 Streaked Shearwater in mountains, not on the sea. Maybe, because of BIG TYPHOON.

Singapore Strait 17Sep11

From Con


From Colin

We were out again on the monthly NParks supported seabird survey boat again on Saturday (Sept 17th) and migration was in full swing. The most numerous birds were Bridled Tern with a total of 597 all moving east, however in second place were Swinhoe's Storm-petrel with a total of 510 almost all moving west. The Bridled were moving throughout the day and all across the channel, but almost all the Swinhoe's were seen between 07.45am and 10.45am along the Indonesian side of the shipping lane north of Batam. Despite these vast (record?) numbers other birds were in short supply with about 20 Aleutian Terns (mostly moulting adults) being the only other notable sightings. The other interesting sighting was watching a Swinhoe's Storm-petrel sat on the sea picking at a small dead fish floating on the surface.

From JS

Common Tern 1

Common Tern 2

Swinhoe's Storm-petrel

Seletar Dam, Sembawang Park 13Sep11

From KH

Site: Seletar Dam
Time: 5:15 - 6:45 pm
Tide: Low

1) Terek Sandpiper 4
2) Common Sandpiper 10
3) PGP 20
4) LSP 150
5) Little Egret 1
6) Grey Heron 5
7) Little Heron 5
8) WBSE 2
9) Brahminy Kite 1
10) Collared KF 2
11) Rose-ringed Parakeet 5

From Con

By coincidence, I counted at Sembawang Park from 10 to 11:30, yesterday morning, Sep 13.

I had taken off my shoes and was prepared to count on both my fingers and toes.

But there was not a single water loving bird anywhere in sight. Not a tern. Not an egret. Not an eagle.  Just the usual pigeons, mynas, crows. No blackwits, barwits or dimwits either.

Poyan, Serangoon 11Sep11

From KH
This year, Con counted alone to the Poyan as Danny had to work. As usual, I counted at Serangoon. The weather was gloomy island-wide. Fortunately, it did not rain at Serangoon, although it did at Poyan. At Serangoon, most of the grassland was gone, but I was glad that the little amount left was sufficient to attract a flock of 25 Javan Munias. Coincidentally, Con also counted Javan Munias at Poyan - first time during the census there. The other interesting find is an escaped/released Common Waxbill at Poyan.

Serangoon Poyan
Species Count Species Count
1 Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker 4 1 Red Junglefowl 1
2 Rufous Woodpecker 2 2 Laced Woodpecker 1
3 Oriental Dollarbird 2 3 Common Goldenback 3
4 Stork-Billed Kingfisher 1 4 Lineated Barbet 7
5 White-Throated Kingfisher 4 5 Coppersmith Barbet 1
6 Collared Kingfisher 3 6 White-Throated Kingfisher 6
7 Plaintive Cuckoo 1 7 Blue-Throated Bee-Eater 3
8 Little Bronze-Cuckoo 2 8 Asian Koel 1
9 Asian Koel 4 9 Lesser Coucal 2
10 Long-Tailed Parakeet 3 10 Long-Tailed Parakeet 12
11 Common Pigeon 7 11 Spotted Dove 15
12 Spotted Dove 13 12 Zebra Dove 5
13 Zebra Dove 2 13 Pink-Necked Green Pigeon 16
14 Pink-Necked Green Pigeon 9 14 White-Breasted Waterhen 1
15 White-Breasted Waterhen 3 15 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 1
16 Common Sandpiper 7 16 Golden-Bellied Gerygone 1
17 Pacific Golden Plover 8 17 Large-Billed Crow 1
18 White-Bellied Sea Eagle 1 18 Black-Naped Oriole 16
19 Little Egret 7 19 Pied Triller 1
20 Grey Heron 6 20 Common Iora 6
21 Striated Heron 17 21 Oriental Magpie-Robin 1
22 Black-Crowned Night Heron 7 22 Asian Glossy Starling 36
23 Golden-Bellied Gerygone 4 23 Common Myna 2
24 House Crow 12 24 White-Vented Myna 45
25 Black-Naped Oriole 6 25 Barn Swallow 25
26 Pied Fantail 6 26 Straw-Headed Bulbul 3
27 Common Iora 12 27 Yellow-Vented Bulbul 30
28 Oriental Magpie-Robin 1 28 Dark-Necked Tailorbird 1
29 Asian Glossy Starling 36 29 Ashy Tailorbird 1
30 Common Myna 2 30 White-Crested Laughingthrush 5
31 White-Vented Myna 36 31 Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker 1
32 Pacific Swallow 2 32 Olive-Backed Sunbird 1
33 Sooty-Headed Bulbul 3 33 Crimson Sunbird 1
34 Yellow-Vented Bulbul 7 34 Eurasian Tree Sparrow 10
35 Yellow-Bellied Prinia 4 35 Paddyfield Pipit 4
36 Common Tailorbird 6 36 Javan Munia 6
37 Ashy Tailorbird 8 37 Scaly-Breasted Munia 1
38 Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker 4 38 Swiftlet Spp 35
39 Brown-Throated Sunbird 4 39 Common Waxbill 1
40 Olive-Backed Sunbird 12 Total Count 309
41 Eurasian Tree Sparrow 11
42 Paddyfield Pipit 1
43 Baya Weaver 4
44 Javan Munia 25
45 Swiftlet Spp 45
Total Count 364