Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wuyuan 28-30May13

From JS

Here is the link to my trip report.
(For downloading)
(For viewing)

Briefly, I went to Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province, from 24-26 May 2013. Took a 3.5h bus ride to Wuyuan from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and went birding with a local photographer (paid him 1000RMB). My key targets were the critically-endangered Blue-Crowned Laughingthrush (only known to breed in Wuyuan!) and the Elliot's Pheasant. Saw the former and dipped on the latter. Nevertheless, I cleaned up a couple of easy ticks, allowing me to get a total of 16 lifers for the trip. Other tricky birds seen were a pair of Short-Tailed Parrotbills (probably the northernmost breeding ground?) and a lone immature male Silver Pheasant (Pheasants are generally hard to find without waterholes or feeding stations).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Japan 19-21May13

From Yamane

19 May

I report you about my birding at my favourite place on 19 May. At last, Japanese Paradise-flycatchers came!

19. May 2013 Hayama/Morito River Upperstream 10:00-15:00

1. Chinese Bamboo Partridge
2. Oriental Turtle Dove
3. Lessor Cockoo
4. Black Kite
5. Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker
6. Japanese Green Woodpecker
7. Japanese Paradise-flycatcher (male)

8. Jungle Crow
9. Varied Tit
10. Japanese Tit
11. Barn swallow
12. Brown-eared Bulbul
13. Japanese Bush Warbler
14. Long-tailed Tit
15. Eastern Crowned Warbler
16. Japanese White-eye
17. Blue-and-white Flycatcher (male)

18. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
19. Japanese Pied Wagtail
20. Meadow Bunting

* Japanese Paradise Flycatches reached here. I could see 1 pair of them. But they didn’t start meking their nest.
* Some Blue-and white Flycatchers seemed to start breeding. But not all. The male in this picture seemed not to find his partner.

20-21 May

I report you of White-bellied Green-pigeon, drinking sea warter. They started drinking around May to Oct. every year.

Left male, right female

Male has yellow breast and dark-red wings. Female is almost light-green breast & olive wings. As they are named, their bellies’ color is whity or cream. Generally they are residents in mountains. They come here for only drinking sea water. Some pigeons stay at the forest near the seashore in the previous night. Others come directly from the mountains, named Tanzawa mountains.

They come some times for drinking in a day, mainly in the morning. Between the drinking times they rest in the near forest.

After their breeding, also their young birds come here with the parents around Jul. It’s dangerous for the pigeons to drink sea water. Also on 21 May, we saw a pigeon that was washed away by waves unfortunately. We don’t understand why they drink sea water. Some persons are researching these behaviors. We know the Pigeons drink sea water at only some places.

Terugasaki, Oiso, Kanagawa
9. May 2013 9:30-12:00
20. May 2013 9:30-11:00
21. May 2013 8:30-11:00

1. White-bellied Green Pigeon
2. Streaked Shearwater

3. Japanese Cormorant

4. Whimbrel

5. Grey-tailed Tattler
6. Common Sandpiper
7. Black-tailed Gull
8. Black Kite (harassed by crow)

9. Jungle Crow
10. Barn swallow (In the building of Oiso train station.)

11. Common House Martin (We can see the many nests of Common House Martins near place.)

12. Brown-eared Bulbul
13. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
14. Japanese Pied Wagtail

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nee Soon 21May13

From Con

I went early today to Upper Peirce, arriving at the car park at 6:45 am. It only takes about 15 minutes to walk to the Nee Soon trail entrance, and I reached the last section of pipeline before the firing range by 7:30 am. I stayed in this area until 9:00 am. This should be the prime babbler period of activity. I heard or saw all the other babblersStriped TitAbbott’sChestnut-winged and Short-tailed. But didn’t hear any call of the White-chested despite playing back the Panti dialect.

I explored in the area, and it turns out there is a trail that goes off to the left of the pipeline and then rejoins the pipeline after it gets around the really wet part. In fact it is more than a trail. It’s a road. It must be the road they built when they were constructing the pipeline, it has a proper concrete bridge that goes across the stream. The stream is pretty good size, and looks to be suitable white-chested babbler habitat, so I tried around this area as well.

Then I noticed a faint trail on the left bank of the stream and followed it in. I didn’t get very far when I flushed a troop of Banded Leaf Monkeys very high in some tall old growth trees. I managed to get my bins on one to confirm, but no photo as they moved off quickly. My first time seeing leaf monkeys in Singapore, so now at least I know one spot that they frequent.

You can not follow the trail along the stream far, as it is wet and tangled. But there are trail markings and surely this is one of the spots NParks comes to for their surveys. As I was walking out of the stream a Blue-eared Kingfisher whizzed past.

So at about 9 am I walked out, with no sign whatsoever of the White-chested Babbler.

Venus Loop 19May13

From Con

Unlike the bad luck of yesterday, where the Blue-rumped Parrot didn’t show up all day, I arrived at about 9:30 am and the pair were already there feeding high on the tallest of the star fruit trees. But very difficult to photograph.

About 30 minutes later the pair flew over to the the lower tree we all got some better shots.

The pair stayed on the lower tree for about 15 minutes and then flew off and many folks left satisfied.

Venus Loop, Sime Forest, Halus 18May13

From KH
Con, Danny and I headed to Venus Loop for the pair of Blue-rumped Parrots which have been found feeding on star fruits. We had a very vocal Abbott's Babbler. A Greater Coucal was heard calling. However, since no parrots showed up, Danny and I decided to take a long walk, through HSBC treetop walk to Jelutong Tower.

At Jelutong Tower, the usual forest birds were still around. On the way back to Venus Drive, a White-rumped Shama was singing its heart out, but not showing.

Juvenile Greater Racket-tailed Drongo with dark eyes and without rackets on the left; adult on the right showing red eyes, very worn tail end and one racket lost.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Sime Forest

From Danny

Next drove to Pulau Punggol, on the bridge next to Seletar Airport, could spot the dusts churned up in the direction of the pond, sure enough on arrival, apparently, contractors hard at work, driving along could see many trees being cut down on right side of road towards Punggol Marina, not much trees left for next migratory season, sigh!

We ended up at Halus, surprisingly a lot of birds activities, from waxbills, tailorbirds, sunbirds, buttonquails, little terns (breeding plumage) and ten smooth otters fishing and feasting on plentiful supply of fish. The otters as a group had clever way of fishing, by crowding and forcing the fish to surface for easy catch, the entrapped fish practically jumped out and hit the otters guarding the surface, amazing!

Photos from KH

Smooth Otter family having a good time fishing.

Smooth Otter, Lorong Halus Smooth Otter, Lorong Halus Smooth Otter, Lorong Halus

Little Tern pair - the male (top) feeding the female.

Little Tern, Lorong Halus

Barred Buttonquail pair - female on the left.

Barred buttonquail, Lorong Halus

Golden-bellied Gerygone - the smallest bird in Singapore. Crimson-rumped Waxbill - one of several African waxbills released.

Golden-bellied Gerygone, Lorong Halus Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Lorong Halus

Singapore Strait 4May13

Summary from Colin

We went out on a spring seabird hunt on Saturday, and although we didn't record as many Swinhoe's Storm-petrels as we have perhaps done in previous sprngs, the highlight was undoubtedly a juv Christmas Island Frigatebird which saw from a long distance as it came west to east through the Singapore Strait and then gave us an amazing show playing with a fish alongside the boat!
  1. Swinhoe's Storm-petrel 18 (mainly moving east)
  2. Bridled Tern 13 (mainly moving west)
  3. Common Tern 2 (1 ad longipennis and 1 1st winter)
  4. White-winged Tern 5
  5. Black-naped Tern 3
  6. Little Tern 2
  7. Lesser crested Tern 14
  8. Crested (Swift) Tern 2
  9. 'crested sp.' Tern 4
  10. Christmas Island Frigatebird 1 juv
  11. "Short-tailed" Shearwater 1 moving east fast (somehow photographed by the equally fast Jia Sheng!). We've now recorded this species three years on the trot and it appears to be a regular spring west to east migrant in small numbers in early May.

Con Foley's traditional amazing photos can be see here.

And my map is here.

Write-up from Con

Videos from Martin

Flying alongside boat attempting take it
Flying alongside boat fish in bill
Flying high over boat

Photos from JS

Star of the day - juvenile Christmas Island Frigatebird

The Short-tailed Shearwater that almost got away!

Two Common Terns with different plumage. Left adult, right 1st winter.

Nee Soon, Pasir Ris Park 1May13

From KH

In the morning, Con, Danny and I went to Nee Soon after hearing report of White-chested Babbler heard there. No White-chested, but the rest were there: Abbott's, Chestnut-winged, Short-tailed and Striped Tit Babblers. Also present were Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots, parakeets, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, leafbirds, Bulbuls (Red-eyed, Cream-vented, Olive-winged), Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Crimson Sunbirds, and Orange-bellied Flowerpeckers.

In the afternoon, Danny and I went to Pasir Ris Park for the juvenile Schrenck's Bittern, but it was already hiding. Only activities of note were active nests of Ashy Tailorbird and Olive-backed Sunbird.