Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sungei Simpang Kiri

Is been a while since I last visited Sungei Simpang Kiri. Situated just next to Sembawang Park and can be reached by Sembawang Park Connector Network (PCN) all the way from Gambas Avenue/Admiralty.
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
 I arrived around 4pm initially plan to wait for the tide to go down and saw my first bird - a Little egret.
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
 I didn't know Little egret doing tip-toe too!
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
 There are a few Common Sandpiper near the water edge.
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
 Joining the feeding was this Common Green Shank.
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
This Grey Heron still in breeding plumage. Where could it came from? Probably just feeding here & the nest (heronry) could be a distance away.
Sungei Simpang Kiri
Before I could reach the shore, the sky started to pour heavily. I will have to come back again some time to explore the river mouth...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Special Gifts From Overseas

Is been a wonderful year of travel for me in 2013. With close to another 200 new species of animals seen this year, I'm all set and looking for another year of great travel in 2014.

With the year 2013 coming to an end soon, I received some really great gifts that provide me with more inspirations of where to go & what to see in 2014!
I received 2 books on birds of Taiwan & a very special calendar self-printed using photos from my friends first travel to Borneo. She was amazed by the beauty & the abundance of wild life there. I been there twice  & its just doesn't seem to have enough time no matter how long I've planned to stay there. You can read about my friend's - Euphtw first travel experience to Borneo on her blog at 蔚藍手札. Haha... is time for me to re-visit Borneo in 2014?
 I just love this very colourful book on birds of Taiwan -  台灣鳥四季

I have been to Taiwan and seen some of the birds as drawn. The drawing just amplify the main characteristic of the birds & made spotting and recognising the birds so easy. Isn't the drawing cute?
This book just give me all the information that I needed to get started on my new planning of birding in Taiwan.
All the birding hot spot in Taiwan with a brief description on what to expect. A very useful information indeed.

What a privilege to receive this "Not for sale" personal calendar. Let's have another good birding/traveling year in 2014.

Another calendar that I received is all the way from "Middle Earth". My colleague brought this back for me from New Zealand. I have really never do a proper birding in NZ. Another potential place to visit for 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Opportunistic Storks

I was at Sungei Buluh Wetlands Reserve (SBWR) last month & saw this Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) caught a big fish. 
Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
 This otter move to the shallow part of the pond prepare to enjoy the big catch.
Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
Just when the otter prepare to enjoy this big fish, a Milky stork (Mycteria cinerea) appear uninvited. This Milky stork is trying his luck.
Smooth-coated otter & Milky Stork
With the fish in mouth, the otter move away from the stork.
Smooth-coated otter & Milky Stork
 Two more storks join in trying their luck to have a share of the fish.
Smooth-coated otter chasing Milky Stork
As the storks move closer, feeling the threats, one of the other fight back. The otter chase the stork away like a hunting dog!
Smooth-coated otter chasing Milky Stork
The otters may appear cute, but when defending their food security, they are not taking chance. They really will not hesitate to drive any intruders away.
Smooth-coated otter chasing Milky Stork

Smooth-coated otter chasing Milky Stork

Smooth-coated otter chasing Milky Stork
 The otter chase one after another.
Smooth-coated otter eating fish
While the storks being chase away, the otter cross over to the other side of the pond and starts to consume the fish.
Smooth-coated otter eating fish
The temptation is just too big to ignore. The Milky storks can't resist and  follow the otters but keep a distance.
Smooth-coated otter & Milky Storks
The opportunistic behavior proof that is working. The storks got the bit & pieces of the fish that drop behind by the otters.
Milky storks

Milky storks
This is the first time seeing this opportunistic behavior on Milky storks. I'm sure the storks must have notice the otters will leave bits & pieces when they tear the fish to smaller bite size before consuming it.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Flying Fox Temple at Sara Buli, Thailand

After my boat trip at Bung Boraphet, is time for a change. I'm going to Sara Buli province for flying fox watching. Flying fox is actually one of the largest species of fruit bats with a wing span of up to 2 meters. 
Flying Fox, Thailand
If you are wondering if you are on the right track... yes you are! 4km more to Flying Foxes.
Sara Buli, Thailand
It looks like raptor on the sky from a distance away. The flag on the road side also means that there are some kind of festival going on not far from here. Hope is not at our destination.
Wat Se Da, Thailand
We finally arrived at our destination - Wat Se Da or temple Se da. The temple is having a festival and they are playing loud music. The flying foxes are know to roost around the tree in this temple. However, we didn't see any. Must be the loud music drive them out from their favorite roosting place.
Wat Se Da, Thailand
Since we can't find any flying fox in the temple, we drive around the temple to try our luck. As we drive out of the temple, we saw some movement across the paddy field.
Flying Fox, Thailand
On a closer look, bingo! We found the flying foxes!
Flying Fox, Thailand
Since they are nocturnal, this explain why most of them have their face covered by their wing. They are suppose to be sleeping now but was forced to move out from their usual roosting place.
Flying Fox, Thailand
They are so near yet so difficult to look for one that have a full view of this beautiful animal.
Flying Fox, Thailand
Hanged upside down on one leg and with their face(eyes) covered. Must be so uncomfortable to sleep under the hot sun.
Flying Fox, Thailand
Finally some of them take flight trying to move to a sheltered perch. This provide me to have a full view of this beautiful animal.
Flying Fox, Thailand

Flying Fox, Thailand

Flying Fox, Thailand
They looks just like some one on the paragliding when in the air.
Flying Fox, Thailand
What a beautiful animal. Well, times fly. After so many days of bird watching in Thailand. This is the 2nd last day in Thailand for this trip. I will stop by Khao Yai tomorrow morning before on route to catch my flight at airport.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Birding on Boat at Bung Boraphet

This is my second trip to Bung Boraphet. However, I didn't get to see the sea of lotus this time round.
Bung Boraphet, Thailand
Bung Boraphet, Lotus
When I was here last year, there are lotus flower every where. The whole place turn pink with the lotus flower brooming.
Black Capped Kingfisher
Well, this must be the season of Black-capped kingfisher. We seem to see this winter visitor every where.
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
Most of the time, we often heard than seeing Zitting Cisticola.
Streak Weaver
Streak weaver fly among Zitting cisticola and the Baya weavers.
Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra)
An Asian Pied Starling come out to peep at us when our boat pass by.
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Purple Swamp Hen with different colour shading when the morning sun shine on it.
Bronze-Winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus)
Bronze-winged Jacana running on top of water effortlessly.
Pheasant-Tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
Pheasant-Tailed Jacana with not so long tail without the breeding plumage.
Cotton Pygmy Goose(Nettapus coromandelianus)
Cotton Pygmy Goose
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Grebe with 3 chicks. At times the chick will ride on top of their mother.
Bung Boraphet

Bung Boraphet fisherman
This reservoir provide an important food source for the people living around this area.
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
While on the boat, is a good time to capture flight shots of Barn Swallow otherwise very challenging.
Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Not sure why this nocturnal Black Crowned Night Heron are out in the open.
Darter(Anhinga melanogaster)

Darter(Anhinga melanogaster)
Darter are perching high up the tree and get their feathers dry under the sun.
Pond heron

Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)
Great Egret and Pond heron are some of the very common birds here too.
When we are done with the boat trip, we saw this wagtail at the carpark. Another day well spent birding at Bung Boraphet!