Monday, September 29, 2014

Turut Track, SBWR, Mandai Mudflat, Seletar Dam 6Sep14

From KH

Thanks to Danny's good suggestion, we started at Turut Track and managed to reach Kranji Marsh from there. It is a great place for almost all the breeding resident raptors - GHFE (1), BWK (1), WBSE (1), Brahminy Kites (2) and CHE (1 heard).

Other notables were Cinnamon Bitterns (4), Common Moorhens (2), Red-wattled Lapwings (>5) and Common Kingfishers (2).

Also present were common birds like Laced WP (1 male), Common Goldenback (1), Sunda WP (1 heard), bee-eaters, Banded Bay Cuckoo (1 heard), Lesser Coucals, Long-tailed Parakeets, Purple Herons (4), waterhens, Large-billed Crows (1), Oriental Magpie Robin (1 female), laughingthrushes, fantails, ioras, Ashy Tailorbird (1), Common Tailorbirds.

The greatest surprise was a Malayan Box Terrapin! ©Danny Lau

A quick check at NSRCC yielded Little Ringed Plovers (2) and Yellow Wagtail (1).

Soon it was high tide and we reached SBWR in time to catch Black-tailed Godwits (5 juveniles), Grey-tailed Tattler (1 in partial breeding plumage), Whimbrels (>25), Common Sandpipers and lots of Redshanks.

Grey-tailed Tattler molting out of breeding plumage ©Danny Lau

At the sluice gate opposite Platform 1, we saw Marsh Sandpiper (1), Greenshanks and more Redshanks. There was also a Saltwater Crocodile (~2.5m) sunning itself with mouth agape. ©Danny Lau

A loop round the mangrove boardwalk near the entrance yielded nothing much except for Violet Vinegar Crab's diet - one was feeding on fallen leaf, the other on moss.

After lunch, tide was still high, but receding. A scan of Mandai Mudflat revealed Red-necked Stint (1) and lots of Lesser Sand Plovers. A scan in another direction revealed another Grey-tailed Tattler - this time a juvenile. Soon more and more waders came - PGPs, Whimbrels, Greenshanks, Redshanks, Common Sandpipers and more LSPs. No GSP, but another croc!

Estuarine Crocodile with Whimbrels, Redshanks, PGP and Grey Heron ©Danny Lau

There were also Little Terns (5), Great Egret (1), Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Little Herons.

Next up: Seletar Dam. There were not many waders around - Curlew Sandpiper (1 juvenile), PGPs, LSPs, Common Sandpipers. Again no GSP.

A quick check on P. Punggol revealed busy construction work and guarded entrance. Many trees have been felled. Now we worry about shelter and Booted Eagle during raptor watch!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bishan Park, SBWR, Bidadari 23Aug14

Con, Danny and I went to Bishan Park. It was nice to see some Grey-rumped Treeswifts, including this male.

There was a pair of Black-naped Orioles getting intimate.

A pair of Slaty-breasted Rails were out in the open totally ignoring our presence.

However, we did not see the Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo, nor Con's much-desired BY tick - Violet Cuckoo. Little Bronze Cuckoos were heard though.

Soon it was late morning and high tide, so we headed to Sungei Buloh for some wader-watching. There were not many birds around, only Redshanks, Greenshanks, 1 Marsh Sandpiper and some Common Sandpipers.

After lunch, Danny and I went to Bidadari. Spotted Wood Owl was on the same tree, but now there were two! We were surprised that there were no migrants yet, no flycatcher, no drongo, just the common birds.
Eton Hall 17Aug14

From Danny

While I was walking around Eton Hall, a raptor flew overhead. A quick peep through the bins, ID as Crested Goshawk. As the bird thermal up, I managed a few record shots when a second Goshawk flew in but I managed only photos of one bird, id by the moulting wings.

The 1st pic, a terrible shot but yellow eyes were obvious, the second and third shots provide images of six primary fingers, whitish undertail coverts, round wings with bulging secondaries and the distinct nip-ins, well seen when raptor in flight overhead. Another distinct feature of the Crested Goshawk in flight are the refined bars on the thighs, not seen in the pics but discernible in the originals.

Punggol 10Aug14

A Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo was photographed at Punggol opposite Halus Wetland in the morning, but only reported on Facebook in the afternoon. Once I saw the post, I made a dash for the bird, but it was nowhere to be found. There were other cuckoos though - Plaintive, Banded Bay and Little Bronze.

Also present were some other "cuckoos" - Francis, Seetoh, Low CH and Myron.
Bt Gombak 7Aug14

From Con

I went this morning from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. The Oriental Darter was hiding somewhere and finally came out around 11:00 am and I got a few shots.

Tuas, Halus 02Aug14

Danny and I were at Tuas in the morning and Halus in the afternoon.

We walked around the only patch in Tuas with some tall trees. Sure enough a pair of bronze-cuckoos were found, but they were Little Bronze-cuckoos, not Horsfield's...

Also present were their potential hosts - Golden-bellied Gerygones.

There were a pair of roosting Brahminy Kites and a Black-winged Kite.

Moving on to Tuas, Little Terns were nesting in the field, and a Black-winged Kite was chased away by the terns!

Also present were many Zitting Cisticolas, probably also nesting.

In the grassland was also a juvenile Plaintive Cuckoo.

After lunch at the usual Punggol foodcourt, we were off to Halus. Again, no Horsfield's...

There were many Golden-backed Weavers nesting over the Grebe Pond at the Tidal Gates side.

When we were about to leave, we saw a gathering of photographers at the buttonquail place, and sure enough a female Barred Buttonquail was present.