Halus, Chinese Garden 15Mar14From 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.
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...
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.
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)
1) Brahminy Kite (1)
2) White-Bellied Sea-eagle (1)