Friday, June 8, 2012

Japan 21May12

From Yamane

This morning, fortunately I could see an annular eclipse of the sun. It's cloudy, but good for me to watch directly.:-)

Japan 16May12

From Yamane

I went to the fifth step of Mt.Fuji with my friend by car. We can go to until the fifth by car or bus. If you want to go to over the fifth, for example the top, tenth, you have to walk on the gravel path. In this time, I brought bino in the car. For short time, I could see the below birds. There are many tourists, in spite of a work day. But almost tourists is foreigner, Chinese, Malaysian, etc. Unfortunately I could not see Spotted Nutcracker in this time.

If you want, I can bring you to good places for taking photos & birdwatching. Already, Japanese Flycatchers seem to reach here.

Narcissus Flycatcher (only song)
Red-flanked Bluetail (only song)
Coal Tit
Jungle Crow

Bullfinch: I could see male (This) & female.

On the way to the fifth step. TOYOTA Vitz(YARIS) is very nice!

Still keeping snow around the fifth step.
Japan 5-6May12

From Yamane

Date : 5. MAY 2012 Sat.
Weather : Fair

Today I found Narcissus Flycatcher. But I feel it will never stay here so long. 

Chinese Bamboo Partridge
Japanese Green Woodpecker
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker
Barn Swallow
Brown-eared Bulbul
Narcissus Flycatcher
Japanese Bush Warbler
Long-tailed Tit
Great Tit
Tree Sparrow
White-cheeked Starling
Carrion Crow
Jungle Crow

Date : 6. MAY 2012 Sun.
Weather : Fair

Today Narcissus Flycatcher already went away.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge
Japanese Green Woodpecker
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker
Barn Swallow
White Wagtail
Brown-eared Bulbul
Japanese Bush Warbler
Great Tit
Japanese White-eye
Oriental Greenfinch
Tree Sparrow
White-cheeked Starling
Azure-winged Magpie
Carrion Crow
Jungle Crow
Singapore Strait 5May12

From Con

From Colin

We took the boat out Sat an east along the north shore of Batam on Sat morning returning via Changi and west along port limits. It was initially rather slow with small numbers of terns, a handful of Swinhoe's Storm Petrels and some distant all dark shearwaters that were too far and moved too fast to be identified. Then on the return, along the edge of port limits east of Kusu Island we hit a passage of storm petrels and recorded 91 birds moving rapidly east in the space of about 15 mins.

Final totals for the days were as follows:

Swinhoe's Storm Petrel 96 (minimum) - a record spring count?
Shearwater sp (all dark) 4
Lesser Crested Tern 30
Black-naped Tern 8
Bridled Tern 2
Little Tern 2

The other highlight was a group of 5+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins north of western Batam.

Map of our route with dolphins and Swinhoe's passage location.

And some of Con Foley's Swinhoe's and bottle-nosed shots are below:

Storm Petrels (it's amazing how fresh and clean they look compared to the worn and tatty autumn birds we see):


Fraser's Hill, Merapoh 27Apr-3May12

From Con

At Merapoh, there is a nice Black-naped Monarch nest to add to the mix of pittas and philentomas.
Goldhill Ave 1May12

From Danny

Following Alan's message, drop in this morning for my first visit to this birding location. Gregarious Long-tailed Parakeets and screeching Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots were flying across the open area over the "circle"( better views of the hanging parrots at shorter trees over at the children playground). A pair of OP Hornbills turned up before retreating to the Albizia trees along Malcolm Road by the nosiy Tanimbars. No sign of the Lorikeets but there was a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets before a pair of African Grays flew in and chased away a single Tanimbar Corella. A few rally calls later, reinforcement arrived and the Grays had to retreat.

Heard the calls of the Crested Serpent Eagle in the distance but did not turn up. A round of alarm calls by the Yellow-crested Cockatoos alerted me to the presence of an adult Crested Goshawk who gamely tried to ignore the noisy cockatoos but quit and flew off after about 30 seconds. Too bad I don't have my scope with me.

Generally the open sky and crown level of the tall trees were dominated by the Long-tailed parakeets with the mid-level by the Tanimbars and Cockatoos. The residents are obvious nature lovers with a nearby community garden where they grow vegetables/flowers - litter free pavement with no sign of cleaners around. The friendly residents I spoke with were pretty upset by the recent felling of at least 4 mature trees where the Hornbills, Eagles and Kites used to perch (resident/regular birders please correct me) . The sawn trunks look pretty healthy to me. It takes 30 years to grow a mature tree, only half an hour to cut it down, sigh !

Anyway it's a nice place to bird, certainly an alternative to nearby Botanical Garden if time an issue in busy Singapore.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Japan 30Apr12

From Yamane

I visited my favourite place. At first Blue-and-White Flycatcher male welcomed me. In this time, I could not take photos of birds there. I will try to go there around the end of May. Japanese Paradise Flycatchers will breed there!

Date : 30. APR. 2012 Mon. 6:30~10:00am
Weather : Cloudy

Spot-billed Duck
Black Kite
Chinese Bamboo Partridge
Japanese Green Woodpecker
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker
Barn Swallow
Grey Wagtail
Brown-eared Bulbul
Blue-and-white Flycatcher 5 males & 1 female (Males was singing beautiful song!)
Eastern Crowned Willow Warbler
Asian Stubtail
Japanese Bush Warbler
Japanese White-eye
Long-tailed Tit
Great Tit
Varied Tit
Black-faced Bunting
Meadow Bunting
Oriental Greenfinch
Tree Sparrow
Jungle Crow

The path in the forest

Many spring water points

Flowers, I don’t know the name.

Lower Seletar, Lower Peirce, Hort Park 21-22Apr12

From Yamane at Lower Seletar and Lower Peirce

1. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, Yishun
Date : 21. APR. 2012 Sat. around 15:00pm

White-bellied Sea Eagle :
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

2. Lower Peirce Reservoir
Date : 22. APR. 2012 Sun. 8:00~10:30pm

White-bellied Sea Eagle : Perched on the branch of the dead big tree, and flew away
Common Sandpiper
Asian Koel
Collared Kingfisher
Blue-tailed Bee-eater : Perched on the branch of the dead big tree
Pacific Swallow
Brown Shrike
Bush Warbler sp.
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Common Myna
Jungle Crow

Brown Shrike

From Danny at Hort Park on 22 Apr

3 Oriental Honey Buzzards thermalling high above Hort Park.

Merapoh 16-21Apr12

From Con

Here are four shots from Merapoh.

Garnet Pitta

Malayan Banded Pitta

Large Frogmouth

Maroon-breasted Philentoma

Pasir Ris Park 18Apr12

From Danny

While visiting a friend, I dropped by Pasir Ris Park around 5.30 pm. An adult male Tiger Shrike was seen at the edge of the mangroves, next to the pathway from car park C to the 1st boardwalk on the right. April is possibly the best time to see a Tiger Shrike in adult plumage.
Sengkang 15Apr12

From Con

I went to Sengkang Floating Wetland for a couple of hours this morning.

Still plenty of ORW and BBRW but I could only find only RRW. Previously I’ve often been able to find two.

This one came out 3 times, but too fast for me to get a photo.
Sichuan 5-14Apr12

From JS

Having failed in our previous 2 attempts to visit Sichuan (cancelled in 2007 and substituted by Perth in 2011) and taking more than 3 weeks to arrange the concluded trip, my family, finally, visited Sichuan and Jiuzhaigou. Intended as a sightseeing trip, we only covered one site from the usual birding route, which is, not coincidentally, the "paradise-like" (a bit of exaggeration but the waterways are clearly more beautiful than Bishan Park's) Jiuzhaigou.

Unfortunately, we dipped on Jiuzhaigou's famed resident, the Rufous-Headed Robin. Actually, when we were there, we were just thankful that we were neither washed-out by the weather or chinese crowd; seeing any bird was a real bonus then. Still, we had the fortune to see a singing Sooty Tit, the gorgeous-looking endemic Pere David's Tit and count the number of toes of the Three-Toed Woodpecker. More birding-oriented, I glimpsed the large Black Woodpecker and a couple of Spectacled Parrotbill flushed by Chinese trying to photograph themselves in the tall dry "wheat-like" grass. Aforementioned species are specialties of Jiuzhaigou that birders would try to find or dip.

Covering Yingxiu 2008 Earthquake Memorial Site and Diexihaizi of Wenchuan, Mounigou of Huanglong Scenic Area, Taoping Qiang Village of Maoxian, Mt Xiling and Mt Qingcheng (Back Mountain) of Chengdu, Hailuogou of Moxi, Shixianghu (Rock Elephant Lake) and Bifengxia Panda Research and Breeding Centre of Ya'an, we saw a wide array of scenery and elevation. Although off the normal birding route, these places are still forested and provided a couple of lifers. For a starter, we had a pair of the brightly-colored Temminck's Tragopan at the Qiang Village (but in a cage) and saw the cook trying to catch a "flying" chicken for our lunch.

For a non-birder, those were certainly highlights and birds. However, these sights were just disappointing; for the rest of our trip, we didn't see another Tragopan again. To summarise our trip, it is better to do it like the Malaysian Government's report card format.

Laughingthrush (+Liocichla): 2/17 (White-Browed and Elliot's)

Pheasant/Partridge/Grouse: 1/18 (Common Pheasant) - Heard the Tibetan Snowcock and saw its footprints... Additionally, we heard several other unidentified birds. Oh well.

Parrotbill: 2/12 (Spectacled and Ashy-Throated) - Our sole consolation is finding a pair of Black-Throated Parrotbill of the poliotis race, which may be Sichuan's first record...

Woodpecker: 4/12 (Rufous-Bellied, Great Spotted, Three-Toed and Black)

Raptor: 5?/23 (Black Kite, Eurasian/Chinese Sparrowhawk and Northern/Crested Goshawk)

Fulvetta: 3/9 (Grey-Cheeked, Grey-Hooded and Gold-Fronted) - Seeing the rare endemic Gold-Fronted Fulvetta at Mt Qingcheng in a mega birdwave was really unexpected. My brother and I were scouting the road ahead when I stopped to phished out a birdwave into view. Putting my bins on it simply stopped me from going any further and got me to take out my long lens from my bag. Unfortunately, it stayed no longer than the time taken for a family to disturb the birds. What a tick!

Warbler: 8/39 (Emei Leaf, Chinese Leaf, Sichuan LeafAlpine Leaf, Sulphur-Breasted, Marten's, Brownish-Flanked Bush and Aberrant Bush)

Rose/Snow/Mountain Finch: 0/20 - Being in the "world capital" for rose/snow/mountain finch, that's probably as rare as a Giant Pitta in Panti.

Tit: 9/14 (Green-Backed, Great, SichuanPere David's, Rufous-Vented, Yellow-Bellied, Black-Throated, Sootyand Fire-Capped)

Treecreeper: 1/3 (Bar-Tailed)

Flycatcher: 1/13 (Rufous-Gorgeted)

Robin: 1/8 (Himalayan Bluetail)

Redstart: 5/9 (Blue-Fronted, Daurian, White-Capped Water, Plumbeous and White-Throated)

Other noteworthy species: White-Throated Dipper (Mounigou - DL only), Alpine Accentor (Moxi to Erlang - JS only), Rufous-Chested Accentor (Moxi to Erlang - JS only), Snow Pigeon (Diexihaizi - JS only)
CCK Park 13Apr12

From Con

The White-bellied Sea Eagles have two chicks which are growing fast. This photo was taken today at the nest near Danny’s home at Choa Chu Kang Park.

Japan 12Apr12

From Yamane

In Japan, already Barn Swallows came. I send the attached picture to you. I took the photo by iPhone in the old station. They are repairing the old nests for their breeding. I found 2 nests there.

Also Grey-faced Buzzards, here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sengkang 1Apr12

From Con

I went to Sengkang Floating Wetland and got my best shots yet of Mr Pallas’.

Still not perfect, but now can see more of the bird and features, including the reddish (brown – pink according to Wells) legs.

The first four pictures here.
Sengkang, Telok Blangah 18Mar12

From Con at Sengkang

I went to Sengkang this morning from 8 to 10:30.

The warblers are still there, at least two Oriental, at least ten Black-browed and one Rusty-rumped ... all these just from the platform that I was watching from. The Rusty-rumped came out for a split second twice in the 2 1/2 hours, that’s it! Could not get a photo, too quick.

The Oriental and Black-browed seem to be pairing up and chasing each other around.

No contractors, so the birds had the floating platform to themselves.

Also the other usual birds were there, Stork-billed KF, YVB, OBS, Prinia, Common KF, Yellow Bittern, Waterhen, Little Egret.

From Danny at Telok Blangah

A single torquatus race Oriental Honey Buzzard spotted thermalling over service reservoir at Telok Blangah Hill
Serangoon, Poyan 11Mar12

From KH

Con and Danny did the census at Poyan as usual and I did it at Serangoon.

1Red Junglefowl2
2Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker91
3Common Goldenback25
4Lineated Barbet -4
5Coppersmith Barbet3
6Oriental Dollarbird1
7Common Kingfisher4
8White-Throated Kingfisher32
9Black-Capped Kingfisher1
10Collared Kingfisher43
11Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater94
12Indian Cuckoo1
13Plaintive Cuckoo1
14Little Bronze-Cuckoo21
15Asian Drongo-Cuckoo1
16Asian Koel5
17Lesser Coucal11
18Red-Breasted Parakeet5
19Long-Tailed Parakeet18
20Swiftlet Spp2845
21House Swift2
22Common Pigeon9
23Spotted Dove1412
24Zebra Dove3
25Pink-Necked Green Pigeon117
26Slaty-Breasted Rail1
27White-Breasted Waterhen53
28Common Sandpiper1
29Black Baza12
30Brahminy Kite12
31White-Bellied Sea Eagle12
32Changeable Hawk-Eagle12
33Little Egret12
34Pacific Reef Heron2
35Purple Heron1
36Chinese Pond Heron1
37Striated Heron8
38Black-Crowned Night Heron3
39Yellow Bittern1
40Golden-Bellied Gerygone1
41Tiger Shrike1
42Brown Shrike2
43House Crow4
44Large-Billed Crow2
45Black-Naped Oriole615
46Pied Triller1
47Ashy Minivet16
48Pied Fantail4
49Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo3
50Common Iora55
51Asian Brown Flycatcher3
52Oriental Magpie-Robin1
53Asian Glossy Starling1440
54Common Myna2
55White-Vented Myna3035
56Barn Swallow1
57Pacific Swallow42
58Straw-Headed Bulbul3
59Sooty-Headed Bulbul1
60Yellow-Vented Bulbul1217
61Olive-Winged Bulbul1
62Yellow-Bellied Prinia51
63Common Tailorbird82
64Dark-Necked Tailorbird1
65Ashy Tailorbird1
66White-Crested Laughingthrush6
67Striped Tit-Babbler3
68Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker21
69Brown-Throated Sunbird42
70Purple-Throated Sunbird -2
71Olive-Backed Sunbird1310
72Crimson Sunbird-2
73Eurasian Tree Sparrow102
74Paddyfield Pipit11
75Baya Weaver18
76White-Headed Munia3
Total Species5551

Total No.274311