Saturday, January 26, 2013

Maiden Tour of The Asian Openbill

The Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)  finally made their maiden tour to Singapore!! Just as I wished, they finally pay a visit to Singapore. I don't know how long they will stay here in Singapore. Well, wish them all the best and hope to see more of them here.

I was told that one bird was spotted at the other location. That means there are more than 6 that have made it to Singapore! A very good start of 2013 for birding in Singapore!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Asian Openbill Stork

The Asian Openbill or Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans) is widespread and common in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and India but very rare in Malaysia and so far no record in Singapore yet. However, it was spotted first in Penang in early January, then Malacca & last week in Johor. Singapore is just few km away, will the storks continue to fly south to Singapore?
Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)
This is how they got their name - Openbill!
Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)

Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)

Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)

Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)
Openbill is smaller than Milky Storks in comparison.
Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)
The Asian Openbill feeds mainly on large molluscs (snails).
Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)
Asian Openbill is a broad-winged soaring bird and they too relies on thermals of hot air for sustained flight to move from area to area for feeding.

These photos are all taken in Thailand. The next time when you out for birding in Singapore make sure you look out for it, it might be your lucky day!

** 24 Jan update** - 1st bird landed in Sg on 22nd January!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thailand 2013 Birding Trip - Part 2

This is the second part of my first birding trip to Thailand in 2013. After the very fruitful trip to Pak Thale on shore birds, we move to Kaeng Krachang National Park for our forest and open country birds. 
Kaeng Krachan
Kaeng Krachan is situated near the South-Western of Thailand. This is my 2nd visit to this beautiful place  - One of my biggest find the last time I visit here is a leopard!.  
Kaeng Krachan, White Fronted Scops Owl
This two White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) was so cute that I decided to show them first in this post.
Kaeng Krachan, Pintail Parrotfinch
This Pintail Parrotfinch (Erythrura prasina) is new bird for me. This is my first time seeing this colourful bird that about the size of a sparrow.
Kaeng Krachan, Golden Fronted Leafbird
Golden Fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)
Kaeng Krachan, Indian Nightjar
Another nocturnal bird that we saw - Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)
Kaeng Krachan, Black Naped Monarch
Black-Naped Monarch, female(Hypothymis azurea)
Kaeng Krachan, Blue Bearded Bee Eater
Blue Bearded Bee Eater (Nyctyornis athertoni)
Kaeng Krachan, Mountain Imperial Pigeon
Mountain Imperial Pigeon (Ducula badia)
Kaeng Krachan, White Handed Gibbon
The very skittish White Handed Gibbon. Managed to get a shot while this mother with baby cross the road in-front of us on the tree top.
Kaeng Krachan, Burmese Striped Squirrel
A very cute Burmese Striped Squirrel.
Kaeng Krachan, Squirrel
 Another squirrel that we saw.
Kaeng Krachan, Siberian Blue Robin
 Siberian Blue Robin (Luscinia cyane)
Kaeng Krachan, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush
 Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax pectoralis)
Kaeng Krachan, Red Throated Flycatcher
 The Red Throated Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) will show orange throat during breeding plumage.
Kaeng Krachan, Black Dronggo
 Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) that is quite common there.
Kaeng Krachan, Brown Shrike
 Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Kaeng Krachan, Green Bee Eater
 Green Bee Eater (Merops orientalis)
Thailand, Asian Openbill
 Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) is very common especially at the paddy field along both side of the road.
Thailand, Plain Prinia
 Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Thailand, Siberian Stonechat
 Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maura)
Thailand, Bronze Winged Jacana
 Bronze-Winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)
Thailand,  Red-Wattled Lapwing
 Red-Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
Thailand, Black-Capped kingfisher
Black-Capped kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)

Thailand recorded more than 900 species of birds. This for sure won't be my last birding trip to Thailand, I'll sure come back for more...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Black Baza & The Praying Mantis

The Black Baza (Aviceda leuphotes) is one of the common winter visitor that can be found in open country and wooded areas.

They are usually found in small flock and fly from tree to tree, they usually stays on top of the tree and I hardly see them stay at one tree for longer than 3 minutes. According to "Singapore Biodiversity", Black Baza feeds mostly on insects, especially beetles. I have never been able to see or photograph feeding Black Baza until last Sunday at Bidadari.  
Black Baza, (Aviceda leuphotes)
For the first time, I managed to get close to this bird to see what this bird is hunting & consume it. It was a huge Praying Mantis!

Black Baza, (Aviceda leuphotes)Black Baza, (Aviceda leuphotes)

Black Baza, (Aviceda leuphotes)

Black Baza, (Aviceda leuphotes)
Their feeding behaviour very similar to other smaller birds, they bite off the head of their prey before consume the rest of their prey.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thailand 2013 Birding Trip - Part 1

I have my 2013 first birding trip last week at Thailand. Like many other country of South East Asia, birding at Thailand during this period will have opportunity to watch both the resident as well as migratory birds.  Visit during this period will have higher chance of meeting with the less common & rare birds such as the one that appeared on the sign board that bring us to our intended birding site, Pak Thale Shorebird Site - Spoon-billed Sand piper! I was told that only 3 birds recorded this season!
Pak Thale, Thailand
Pak Thale is one of the best birding site I ever visited. The birding site sits right in the middle of huge salt pan along the Gulf of Thailand. This in return give bird watcher a opportunity to watch bird in anytime of the day as long as there are sun light (from sun rise to just before sun set) as this site is not affected by tidal changes and the water level is consistent throughout the day.
Pak Thale, Thailand
Salt are harvested when sea water evaporated.

Eurasian Curlew, (Numenius arquata)
Saw this huge flock of  Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) from far before we even arrive at the site. I have never seen so many Eurasian Curlew before. I use to see only Whimbrel in Singapore!
Common Sandpiper
We start with the more common birds - the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) is also quite common in Singapore.
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Bird that not so common in Singapore - Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)
Temminck's Stint
Stints are some of the smaller shore birds, smaller than a plover - Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
Long-toed Stint
Another stint that I saw - a Long-toed Stint (Calidris subminuta)
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
A very beautiful Sanderling  (Calidris alba)
Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank  (Tringa erythropus) is quite common here, but not in Singapore.
Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea)
Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea) bigger birds in photo with bill slightly curved down.
Black-winged Stilt
One of the most beautiful water birds, with long pinkish/red leg - Black-winged Stilt  (Himantopus himantopus)
Common Snipe  (Gallinago gallinago)
Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)
Common Tern
Numerous of terns and gulls can be found here too. Such as this - Common Tern  (Sterna hirundo)
Brown-headed Gull,  (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)
Brown-headed Gull  (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)
Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit  (Limosa limosa) with her super large bill.
Black-headed Ibis
Another uncommon encounter - Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus). Very similar to Sacred Ibis that are now very common in Taiwan. Instead of black patch on tail, this Black-headed Ibis have grey patch on their tail.
Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) in non-bleeding plumage. My 1st time seeing this rare birds.
Pied Avocet
Another new bird for me, extremely beautiful shore bird that with a very unique bill - Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
The bird of the trip will be this Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus). It took us 2 days to find this beautiful bird. Managed only to take a record shot as the sunlight is really too harsh to take a proper photo.

Our list recorded more than 60 species at this site and they are just too many to be included in this post. You have to visit the site to look at yourself and be amazed by all the beautiful birds!