Saturday, April 26, 2014

Halus, Chinese Garden 15Mar14

From KH

Con is in the Philippines, so Danny, JS and I continued our Swinhoe's quest (as Con put it). The first site today is Halus. We started the day with two Jerdon's Baza, one of which was having breakfast. Many birders/photographers were around and there was to be an NSS outing. So we decided to go up the hill to hide from the crowd. An odd swift got us excited, but it turned out to be a tailless swiftlet, instead of a spinetail... Interestingly, this has happened about 2 years ago at the nearby tidal gates.

Also flying around was an Asian Palm-swift. Look out for the slimmer of the swifts with a forked tail and no pale rump.

Asian Palm-swift ©Tan KH

A snipe did flush from a drain connected to the grebe pond, but it was gone before we could observe it. Continuing on to the river connected to the reservoir, two accipiters caught our attention. Initially, hopes were high that one of them could be an Eurasian Sparrowhawk, but they turned out to be female Japanese Sparrowhawks. Other raptors present were 2 pale CHE, 1 Chinese Sparrowhawk, some Black Bazas and a WBSE.

After lunch at our usual Punggol coffeeshop, it was decision time again. Where else to snipe? Chinese Garden came to mind. A pair of snipes have been roosting at one of the ponds there for weeks now. Soon after reaching, one of the snipes started moving over to the drain to take a bath. We observed its acitivities and took many photos. We think it was a Swinhoe's Snipe, but our photos do not show the fully fanned tail...

Snipe ©Lau JS

Since the bird was now back to its resting spot, we went to check out the spots of the other highlights here: bb crake, grey nightjar and boobook, but they were all nowhere to be found.

From JS

Lr Halus
1) Changeable Hawk-eagle (3)
2) White-bellied Sea-eagle (1)
3) Black Baza (>6)
4) Jerdon's Baza (>2)
5) Japanese Sparrowhawk (>3)
6) Chinese Sparrowhawk (1)
7) Oriental Honey-buzzard (1)

Chinese Garden
1) Brahminy Kite (1)
2) White-Bellied Sea-eagle (1)
CCK Park 11-12Mar14

From Danny


On Tuesday evening around 7.20 pm at CCK Car Park, saw a pair of screaming Savanna Nightjars flew in from the army camp. The dry condition must have driven them out from Warren to the army camp next to CCK Car Park.


As for Hawk Eagle, finally solve the mystery of the open nest at CCK Car Park. In December last year, I had located the new nest of the the WBSE over at the corner formed by the army camp, KJE slip road and CCK car park though there was another smaller open nest on an albizia tree along the slip road leading to Mi Casa condo. On a few occasions, without benefits of bins, I have seen raptors behaving suspiciously around the nest but often it remained empty without any activities.

On Wednesday evening, I drove over to the back gate of Mi Casa and the army camp. The moment I left my driver seat I spotted another nest sitting high on a stout tree on the remaining wild wooded forest and next to the perimeter fences of the army camp. Thru' my bins, I could see the small head of a unknown bird. On further observation, it was clear a young chick with downy plumage was on the nest, possibly two weeks old, as it could stood on side of the nest. Before long a pale morph CHE flew in to feed the week old baby. After feeding, the pale morph CHE flew off to a higher branch to finish off whatever leftover of an unknown prey. I checked out the open nest and it was empty, soon the familiar call of the CHE brought me back to the real nest and there was a dark morph adult Hawky on the nest. The nest building and incubation started in December and hatch sometime in late Feb.