Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rifle Range, Tuas 15Nov14

From KH

Danny, JS and I went to Rifle Range in the morning. We reached Jelutong Tower at about 0745.
This morning's raptor watch (0745-1030) at Jelutong Tower with Danny and JS yielded 7 OHBs, 2 JSHs, 1 CSH, 3 Black Bazas, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 3 CHEs (2 dark, 1 juv pale), 1 GHFE (adult), 1 Brahminy Kite, 2 WBSEs.

The best animal today was a Red-tailed Racer, about 3 feet long.

Moving on to Tuas, we only got 2 migrant raptor species: OHBs and JSHs. The first surprise was the interesting flight pattern of Oriental Pratincoles. Eagle-eyed Low CH was the first to spot the flock of thermalling pratincoles. When we lock our bins on the flock, we witnessed about half of the flock flying clockwise and the other half anti-clockwise! We witness this pattern again later in the afternoon. The other surprise was a mixed flock of Cinereous and Streaked Bulbuls. Who would have guessed that these birds, that are known to associate with forests, appearing at Tuas.
From JS

Attached are three different photos of the Streaked Bulbul that we found in the small trees at TSA16 at 1pm.

Besides being a rare migrant, the sighting of the Streaked Bulbul presents a very good example of the passerine migration that could be taking place alongside the raptor migration.

So far, I have recorded 2 Brown-Chested Jungle-flycatchers, 1 Tiger Shrike, 1 male Mugimaki Flycatcher, 2 Streaked Bulbuls, 6 Cinereous Bulbuls, 1 immature Indian Cuckoo, 1 immature Malaysian Hawk-cuckoo, 1 Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo and 1 Black Bittern. These sightings reminded me of our birding at Pulau Punggol where we would see Large Hawk-cuckoo, Chestnut-Winged Cuckoos, Hawk-cuckoos, Indian Cuckoos, Drongo Cuckoos, Drongos and Asian Brown Flycatchers appearing at different timings. It may be coincidence but I can't help it to think otherwise.
Halus 9Nov14

Today is the Annual Raptor Watch, Danny and I covered Halus this year due to Pulau Punggol being deforested and construction work going on. Alvin joined us again.

Migrants: 1 Jerdon's Baza, 1 dark morph Booted Eagle, 3 Black Baza, 8 JSH, 12 OHB, 1 unid accipiter
Residents: CHE, BWK, WBSE, Brahminy Kite
Others: 1 unid raptor

Left: Jerdon's Baza. Right: Booted Eagle (dark morph)
Tuas 8Nov14

Danny and JS started the day at Turut Track and got a Lanceolated Warbler.

Due to the morning rain, I did not join then, but went straight to Tuas at 9+.

Counters: JS, Danny, me, Seetoh, Lim KK, Francis, Ee Ling, Low CH

0910-1345 + 1500-1630 Total 1 Jap SH, 9 OHB, 1 Common Kestrel, 1 unid accipiter, 1 Indian Cuckoo

Ground Wind SW. Cloud Direction: SW

1 Common Kestrel made a few appearances throughout the day
1000-1100 7 OHB, 1 JSH, 1 unid Accipiter
1250 1 Indian Cuckoo
1630 2 OHB

Tuas 7Nov14

From GC

Look how long the bill is! @ TSA16

Eurasian Curlew migrating over Tuas

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tuas 1Nov14

Counters: KH (1000-1700), Low CH/David Awcock (1430-1700), Woo Jiawei (1600-1700), Low CH/Lawrence Cher/Ron Chew/Chong Boon Leong/Ee Ling (0940-1200)

Ground Wind NW. Cloudy/overcast in morning. Light haze

0940-1700 Total 58 OHB, 10 JSH, 2 CSH, 2 Black Baza, 1 Common Kestrel, 1 P. falcon, 4 unID accipiter, 1 unID raptor, 1 Northern Boobook

0940-1000 1 Common Kestrel
1000-1100 43 OHB, 2 CSH, 1 BB, 3 unID accipiter
1100-1200 4 JSH
1200-1300 no migrant raptor
1300-1400 1 JSH
1400-1500 7 OHB, 1 unid accipiter
1500-1600 3 OHB, 1 JSH, 1 BB, 1 Northern Boobook
1600-1700 5 OHB, 4 JSH, 1 P. falcon, 1 unid raptor

Northern Boobook - 1st record for Singapore

Common Kestrel

Juvenile OHBs

Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Singapore Bird Race 25-26Oct14

Danny, JS and I participated in this year's bird race and managed to emerge the winner for the very first time!

The flag-off was at Bishan Park, where we quickly ticked a few common birds before we had to go wader-watching (low tide was at about 6 pm). Our plan was to do a quick check at Seletar Dam and then Mandai Mudflat. To our horror, there were no waders at Seletar Dam, except for Common Sandpipers! Where did the waders go??

As the lights are dimming, we made a dash for Mandai Mudflat and were fortunate to catch the last lights. We had a good haul of waders, including Red-necked Stints and a Broad-billed Sandpiper.

Moving on to Turut Track, we head several Savanna Nightjars but failed to see any... Fortunately, we managed to tick Large-tailed Nightjar and Buffy Fish Owl. By now, it was about 8 pm and the decision was to have dinner and have a good rest. The tally so far: 39 species.

The next morning, we were at Rifle Range carpark at about 6 am. We heard a few Brown Hawk Owl, before connecting with one. We only heard one Collared Scops Owl, but did not connect with it. Soon the sun was out and after ticking off a few forest birds, it was time to climb the tower. Red-crowned Barbet and Chestnut-bellied Malkoha were good ticks, so were some bulbuls and flowerpeckers. We stayed on the tower till 8 am. If we had stayed a while longer, JS would have cleared his nemesis - Blue-rumped Parrot!

At the pump house, Danny first noticed an interesting bird, which soon turned out to be the bird of the day - Sakhalin Leaf Warbler (this bird has only be added to the Singapore checklist early this year!). Near the Rifle Range carpark, all three of us got our SG tick - Grey-faced Buzzard!

Next stop, Halus. A quick check at the tidal gates revealed White-winged and Whiskered Terns. At the wetland itself, the Little Grebes did not disappoint, but a Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo was a surprise catch.

After Halus was Pasir Ris Park for the Spotted Wood Owls, but we made a wasted trip - there were none present. A quick drop-by at Changi Village for packed lunch was yet another disappointment - no corella, no parakeet, no sparrow! Changi Cove did give us several species, but not all the birds during our recce...

It was not time for Bidadari. Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher and Black Baza did not disappoint, but Tiger Shrike was nowhere to be found.

A quick check of NSRCC added Yellow Wagtail as expected. Turut Track and Neo Tiew added the final 10 species to our list, making 112. We later found out that we had only won the runner-up by 1 bird! All in all, a tiring, but rewarding race. Time to retired.

1) White-Vented Myna 1700h Bishan Park
2) White-Breasted Waterhen 1700h Bishan Park
3) Asian Koel 1700h Bishan Park
4) Common Pigeon 1705h Bishan Park
5) Barn Swallow 1705h Bishan Park
6) Pacific Swallow 1720h Yio Chu Kang Rd
7) Olive-Backed Sunbird 1720h Yio Chu Kang Rd
8) Black-Naped Oriole 1725h Yio Chu Kang Rd
9) Coppersmith Barbet 1728h Yio Chu Kang Rd
10) House Crow 1728h Yio Chu Kang Rd
11) Spotted Dove 1733h Jalan Kayu
12) Brown Shrike 1737h Seletar
13) Asian Glossy Starling 1740h Seletar
14) White-Throated Kingfisher 1740h Seletar
15) Little Egret 1750h Seletar Dam
16) Yellow-Billed Egret 1750h Seletar Dam
17) Grey Heron 1750h Seletar Dam
18) Striated Heron 1750h Seletar Dam
19) Daurian Starling 1750h Seletar Dam
20) Common Sandpiper 1750h Seletar Dam
21) House Swift 1800h Mandai Ave
22) Crested Honey-Buzzard 1800h Mandai Ave
23) White-Bellied Sea-Eagle 1805h Woodlands Rd
24) Brahminy Kite 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
25) Common Kingfisher 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
26) Collared Kingfisher 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
27) Common Redshank 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
28) Common Greenshank 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
29) Lesser Sand Plover 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
30) Pacific Golden Plover 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
31) Whimbrel 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
32) Marsh Sandpiper 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
33) Red-Necked Stint 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
34) Broad-Billed Sandpiper 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
35) Curlew Sandpiper 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
36) Great Egret 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
37) Little Tern 1815-1855h Mandai Mudflat
38) Large-Tailed Nightjar 1915h Neo Tiew Lane 3
39) Buffy Fish Owl 1950h Turut Track
40) Brown Hawk Owl 0615h Rifle Range
41) Siberian Blue Robin 0645h Rifle Range
42) Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo 0650-0715h Rifle Range
43) Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker 0650-0715h Rifle Range
44) Pin-Striped Tit-Babbler 0650-0715h Rifle Range
45) Dark-Necked Tailorbird 0650-0715h Rifle Range
46) Asian Paradise Flycatcher 0650-0715h Rifle Range
47) Fork-Tailed Swift 0650-0715h Rifle Range
48) Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater 0650-0715h Rifle Range
49) Asian Fairy Bluebird 0650-0715h Rifle Range
50) Short-Tailed Babbler 0650-0715h Rifle Range
51) Long-Tailed Parakeet 0650-0715h Rifle Range
52) Olive-Winged Bulbul 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
53) Banded Woodpecker 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
54) Red-Crowned Barbet 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
55) Common Hill Myna 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
56) Oriental Dollarbird 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
57) Forest Wagtail 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
58) Thick-Billed Green Pigeon 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
59) Crimson Sunbird 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
60) Chestnut-Bellied Malkoha 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
61) Blue-Crowned Hanging-Parrot 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
62) Asian Brown Flycatcher 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
63) Arctic Warbler 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
64) Pink-Necked Green Pigeon 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
65) Red-Rumped Swallow 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
66) Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker 0720-0825h Jelutong Tower
67) Asian Red-Eyed Bulbul 0830h Rifle Range
68) Sakhalin Leaf Warbler 0850h Rifle Range
69) Grey-Faced Buzzard 0910h Rifle Range
70) Yellow-Rumped Flycatcher 0910h Rifle Range
71) Sooty-Headed Bulbul 0947h-1025h Halus
72) Common Goldenback 0947h-1025h Halus
73) Changeable Hawk Eagle 0947h-1025h Halus
74) Pied Triller 0947h-1025h Halus
75) Brown-Throated Sunbird 0947h-1025h Halus
76) Little Grebe 0947h-1025h Halus
77) Japanese Sparrowhawk 0947h-1025h Halus
78) Yellow-Vented Bulbul 0947h-1025h Halus
79) Golden-Bellied Gerygone 0947h-1025h Halus
80) Baya Weaver 0947h-1025h Halus
81) Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo 0947h-1025h Halus
82) Common Iora 0947h-1025h Halus
83) White-Winged Tern 1030-1100h Halus
84) Paddyfield Pipit 1030-1100h Halus
85) Savanna Nightjar 1030-1100h Halus
86) Long-Tailed Shrike 1030-1100h Halus
87) Whiskered Tern 1030-1100h Halus
88) Cattle Egret 1103h Pasir Ris Farmway
89) Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle 1133h Pasir Ris
90) Black-Winged Kite 1200-1300h Changi
91) Common Myna 1200-1300h Changi
92) Zebra Dove 1200-1300h Changi
93) Scaly-Breasted Munia 1200-1300h Changi
94) Black-Headed Munia 1200-1300h Changi
95) Common Tailorbird 1200-1300h Changi
96) Zitting Cisticola 1200-1300h Changi
97) Asian Drongo-Cuckoo 1200-1300h Changi
98) Chinese Sparrowhawk 1200-1300h Changi
99) Brown-Chested Jungleflycatcher 1400h Bidadari
100) Black Baza 1400h Bidadari
101) Yellow Wagtail 1455h NSRCC
102) Red-Breasted Parakeet 1455h Neo Tiew Lane 3
103) Tiger Shrike 1500-1600h Turut Track
104) Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker 1500-1600h Turut Track
105) Pied Fantail 1500-1600h Turut Track
106) Red Turtle Dove 1500-1600h Turut Track
107) Lineated Barbet 1500-1600h Turut Track
108) Purple Heron 1500-1600h Turut Track
109) White-Crested Laughingthrush 1500-1600h Turut Track
110) Red-Wattled Lapwing 1500-1600h Turut Track
111) Sand Martin 1500-1600h Turut Track
112) Large-Billed Crow 1500-1600h Turut Track
Turut Track, Tuas 25Oct14

Danny and I started the day recceing Turut Track and were rewarded with a juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle! It was first mobbed by 2 WBSE and 1 Brahminy Kite at about 10 am. Then at about 1030 am, we saw it being mobbed again, now by 2 Brahminy Kites.

Later we found Brahminy Kites nesting on a tower.

A quick drop-by at NSRCC revealed only Yellow Wagtails and no plover. Then, at the sand pile area, Danny spotted a few Sand Martins.

After Turut Track, we headed to E2I to fetch Jia Sheng and then to Tuas.

1330-1515 Total 3 JSH, 101 OHB
Ground Wind - SW. Hot and slightly hazy
(1330-1400 90 OHB
1400-1440 3 JSH, 11 OHB)
Tuas 23Oct14

From GC

Greater Spotted Eagle, 1st of the season!

It just gets better... 10 mins after the GSE... 1st of the season... a Black Kite!

Changi, Pasir Ris, Serangoon, Tuas 22Oct14

Danny, JS and I went on a recce before the bird race. We started at Changi. Not bad - Black Drongo, Red Avadavats, Oriental Reed Warbler, Red Collared Dove and 3 species of munias (White-headed, Black-headed and Scaly-breasted).

Moving on to Pasir Ris Park, the Buffy was not around, but the pair of Spotted Wood Owls were.

Next at Serangoon Tidal Gates, the terns were still around, so was the Rosy Starling.

Lastly, we went to Tuas for lunch and some raptor-watching, but the rainy and overcast
weather seems to have prevented any raptors from migrating - there was a grand total of
0 raptor!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rifle Range, Tuas 18Oct14

Danny and I went to Rifle Range for the Asian House Martin reported by Francis Yap on 16-17 Oct, and sure enough the bird was still around. So are Grey-rumped Treeswift, swallows (Red-rumped, BarnPacific) and swiftlets. There were also 3 species of bulbuls (Red-eyed, Cream-vented, Olive-winged) and a juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk.

Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk at Jelutong Tower

After that, we headed to Tuas for our usual raptor count.

Counters: Danny, Tan KH, Lee EL
Weather: slightly cloudy turning to overcast, PSI in 70+
Ground Wind: SW
1230-1615 Total 1 Booted Eagle, 18 OHB, 14 JSH, 2 CSH, 15 Pacific Swift, 1 Schrenck's Bittern, 10 White-shouldered Starling, 50 PGP

1230-1300 6 OHB, 1 JSH
1300-1400 2 OHB, 9 JSH, 2 CSH
1400-1500 1 Booted Eagle, 10 OHB, 4 JSH, 4 Pacific Swift
1500-1600 11 Fork-tailed Swift, 1 Schrenck's Bittern, 10 White-shouldered Starling
1600-1615 50 PGP

Collage of a single dark morph Booted Eagle

Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk hunted an Eurasian Tree Sparrow and tearing it up!

Pacific Swifts

Pacific Golden-plovers
Japanese Garden 15Oct14

From Con

Immature Chinese Sparrowhawk taken over JG on Wednesday.