Sunday, December 28, 2014

Turut Track, Tuas, Pulau Punggol 13Dec14

From KH

Danny, JS and I started the morning at Turut Track. Firstly, a Rusty-rumped Warbler welcomed us. It was pretty responsive to JS's "chacking".

Then a crake caught our attention. I turned out to be a rare migrant Baillon's Crake!

Also present was a pair of resident White-browed Crakes.

It was interesting to observe the interaction between the two species. The Baillon's Crake is smaller than the residents and whenever it gets too close to them, it will be chased off. At a point in time, they were busy minding their own business, foraging on the floating vegetation. Then the migrant and a resident locked eyes, and the latter began chasing the migrant off! On JS's intel, CH showed up and managed to get the rare migrant before the contractors started cutting the reeds.

In Kranji Marsh, JS spotted some Pygmy Halfbeaks.

Before we left, a Black-browed Reed Warbler made an appearance. Raptor-wise, we had 1 Black Baza, 1 Grey-headed Fish Eagle, 1 adult White-bellied Sea Eagle, 1 Brahminy Kite, 1 accipiter.

Moving on to Tuas, we met See Toh. He told us there was nothing in the woods. Sure enough, we found out the reason, a Japanese Sparrowhawk hiding in the woods. In the sky, we managed to count 3 Oriental Honey Buzzard, 1 Changeable Hawk Eagle, 4 Black-winged Kite, 2 Brahminy Kites (nesting), 1 White-bellied Sea Eagle.

After lunch, I headed to Pulau Punggol and found that there is now a new pond near the entrance. The old pond has been filled in and is now just a few shallow puddles. Initially, in the new pond, I found a couple of Little Ringed Plovers. Then one of the plovers flushed and together with it, three smaller waders trailed behind. These got to be stints. Scanning the pond further revealed nine more LRP and another stint. Now, I am able to observe it and confirm it's a Long-toed Stint.

There were also 2 Common Sandpipers and many Yellow Wagtails.
Singapore Quarry, Tuas 6Dec14

Danny, JS and I started the day at Dairy Farm (adventure centre side) and walked to Singapore Quarry. There were a bunch of alien fish species in the quarry, such as metre-long catfish and kois. Nevertheless, there were also smaller resident species like Whitespots and some barbs. Bird-wise, the only migrants of note were 3 Mugimaki Flycatchers. Residents of note included Straw-headed Bulbul (heard) and Stork-billed Kingfisher (1). Otherwise, it was a rather quiet morning.

Moving on to Tuas, we saw the Common Kestrel along Ave 5 near REC. Seems like this bird will be wintering here. At Ave 16, we met CH and Francis. The woods were alive with 3 Eyebrowed Thrushes and 2 Mugimaki Flycatchers. There was also a flock 7 White-shouldered Starlings in the vicinity. Later, CH showed us the Barn Owl at the fence. At a distance, it looked like it was caught in the fence. On closer inspection, it flew to the nearby tree. Glad it was safe and alive.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

East Coast Park, Marina East, Changi 29Nov14

From KH

This morning, while Con was enjoying Day 1 of his paid Thailand birding, Danny, Jia Sheng and I went for the Green Broadbill reported by See Toh two days ago. A figging tree between East Coast Park Carpark D1 and the nearest toilet was already full of Pink-necked Green Pigeons, Black-naped Orioles and a couple of Asian Koels. At about 0730, our spotter found the Green Broadbill. Now that we have seen it, it must be a disperser! No? :)

Green Broadbill at East Coast Park near Carpark D1

Satisfied with the sighting, Danny suggested we explore Marina East. It was a muddy walk full of escapees - parakeets (Rose-ringed and Red-breasted), bulbuls (Red-whiskered and Sooty-headed) and Yellow-fronted Canaries. The only raptors around were a pale morph Changeable Hawk Eagle and an adult Brahminy Kite. Other uncommon birds present were Banded Bay Cuckoo and Red-wattled Lapwing. By now it was 10 am and time to head to Changi.

Rose-ringed Parakeet at Marina East

At Changi, we had 9 raptor species: 3 Common Buzzards, 2 JSHs, 1 CSH, 2 BBs, 3 OHBs, 1 adult WBSE, 2 BWKs, 2 Brahminy Kites, 1 CHE. Danny and Jia Sheng saw a Large Hawk Cuckoo to round up the morning's birding. Due to the rainy weather, we called it a day after Bak Kut Teh lunch at Loyang.

One of three Common Buzzards at Changi

A worn pale juvenile OHB at Changi

Rifle Range, Tuas 22Nov14

From KH
Following Francis's report of a Yellow-eared Spiderhunter at Dillenia Hut on 20 Nov, Con, Danny, Jia Sheng and I went over today and was rewarded, not just with the spiderhunter, but also a Thick-billed Flowerpecker! The latter came back thrice to the bare tree above the hut and did its tail-wagging dance each time. See Toh and Kim Keang were also there to witness these rarities. Francis was too late and missed the flowerpecker.

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter ©Con Foley

Thick-billed Flowerpecker ©Con Foley

With the help of Danny's scope I was the only one who saw a Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, and Danny was the only one who got to see a male Lesser Green Leafbird.

Greater Green Leafbirds were more common - male, female and juvenile seen.

Male Greater Green Leafbird ©Con Foley

Other uncommon birds present at the tall fruiting tree: Cinereous Bulbul, Streaked Bulbul, 1 CB Malkoha, 1 SB Kingfisher.

Today's raptors over Dillenia Hut: 3 OHBs, 1 immature GHFE, 1 pale CHE, 2 WBSEs.
After lunch at NP, it was to Tuas again. Unfortunately, it started to drizzle, so I bailed out.