Bird Parade at Singapore Botanic Garden

For the past weeks, there has been much excitement as birders gathered at Botanic Garden to view/take photo of not one, not 2 but 3 rare birds that are not commonly seen in Singapore. And the amazing thing is that unlike most time when rare birds are spotted, they are usually found in different locations but this time for some reasons, all 3 birds are found not just in the SBG but in 1 common location. It was almost like Escape to Madagascar where all 3 birds have decided to escape together!

And so I present these 3 rare birds:

First up is the cannot be missed Silver Pheasant. This is a beautiful bird. This bird can only be found in mainland South East Asia and China and so it is a mystery how a lone bird has appear in SBG.  Some speculate it was released by Jurong Bird Park, some think it is an escapee or a released pet bird. Whatever it is, it appears quite tame and unafraid of human walking around calmly with the photographers clicking away.

Next is the slightly more common Red Legged Crake.

The one spotted is a junvenile. The Red Legged Crake is resident in Singapore but not easy to see because of its shy nature although this little one certainly isn’t shy. It was at the same area with the Silver Pheasant and walking up and down the fallen log. Unfortunately, due to the poor lighting condition there and its dark color, I didn’t manage a proper shot. 

Last but not least, just in time for Chinese New Year is this Orange Headed Thrush which had the birding community in rapture.

And it is certainly beautiful with a full orange body. This is a rare winter bird that originates from the Indian continent or China and mainland South East Asia.

And as a bonus, on our way out, we saw this Buffy Fish Owl.

4 birds that I have not seen previously. In birding speak, a lifer! and I got 4!

So the next time you visit the Botanic Garden, don’t just look at the plants. There are many many interesting wild birds there as well!

Birds at Pasir Ris

Pasir Ris is a bird haven and I hope it continues to stay that way although with the continuous non stop construction, I am fearful of this.

Here are just some of the birds during a 2 hours walk from Drive 1 to the Pasir Ris Park one hot afternoon last week.

Starting from Sungei Tampines, the ever present magnificent Grey Heron flying so close to the HDB flats10-PRP_0219

A little bird that is now a permanent resident. Little Terns are a joy to watch as they swooped down on high to pick the fish from the river.09-PRP_0287

The parakeets seemed to have invaded the East. They are now abundant in Changi, East Coast and Pasir Ris with big flocks of them.07-PRP_0478

The Collared Kingfisher is another very commonly seen bird in Singapore. At Bedok Town Park a few weeks ago, there were many of them and likewise on this walk there were a number of them over at Sungei Tampines and in the park itself.06-PRP_0502

And the family of Spotted Wood Owl is still there despite the recent pruning of trees by Nparks01-PRP_0535

Didn’t spot any woodpecker this time round though. Just many hornbills but they were too far away for a decent shots.

Owls at Pasir Ris Park

There was a fair bit of excitement over at Pasir Ris Park the past days after a young owl fell off the tree and had to climb back up the tree by itself. So this morning, on my way back after covering the Venus Run, I decided to go and kaypoh and take a look see. The last time I was there, I was fortunate enough to spot a Coppersmith Barnet and the owl but back then the shot of the owl was badly taken as it was too high up and my lens was not long enough and it was badly backlitted.

This time round, despite it being noon, I was lucky enough to spot the mother owl and its 2 young owlets.

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This I was told by one of the many photographers hanging around is the mother owl.

And the next 2 are the young owlets. Aren’t they cute?

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I also saw a yellow color bird which I thought was a Black naped Oriole but one of the photographer there said it was a flycatcher. I also saw a barbet or woodpecker. Unfortunately, the photo for these 2 didn’t turn up well. But I was fortunate enough to spot another 2 other birds.

This one I been told is an Ashey Tailorbird.

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And this one running around on the ground is an Oriental Pipit.

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Not bad for an hour work with just my 70 – 200 lens which pales in comparison to the giant guns totted around by the other bird photographers around there.

 

In my own Backyard

The green forested areas around the neighbourhood are fast disappearing and it its place sprung high rise apartments. Fortunately for me, living along the Sungei Tampines, there are still plenty of flora and fauna remaining. This morning, I took the camera out and went for a stroll and these are what I caught after just 1 and an half hour of strolling from Street 51 to Pasir Ris Park.
I think this is an Black Naped Oriole. (somebody correct me if I am wrong in my guestimation)

A monitor lizard on the bank of the Sungei Tampines. Too bad didn’t spot any otters

The Grey Heron flying next to the HDB flats. The herons have prove resilient to the many constructions going on around the neighbour and are still abundant.

Is this a waterhen?

Common kingfisher

A squirrel scrambling all over

White collared kingfisher

And first time ever I spotted owls in Singapore! And 3 of them some more. Not too sure what species are these though

And nearby the owls, a woodpecker Coppersmith Barbet was displaying its beauty and renovation skill to the group of admiring photographers

Common Mine? A flock of them were flying around but it was kinda difficult to shoot with my long lens

Last but not least, a little birdie that flew and landed just in front of me before swooping off again. 1 chance was all I got and thank goodness it came out right!