Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birding at Bukit Batok Nature Park 2013-04-25

I got up early as usual, took the MRT to Bukit Batok station and started walking towards the park.

When I arrived, there were a lot of elderly people doing their taichi exercise. Before reaching the small pond, I saw on a distant tree a silhoutte of a greater racket-tailed drongo with one tail missing.

Greater racket-tailed drongo

At the pond, I strolled a bit trying hard to find some birds because of too many people around. I can hear the birds, but had no lucky seeing anything other than the bold mynas. Without much luck, I sat down at the edge of the pond and waited for some movements on the shrubs at the opposite rock face.

After a few minutes, I notice some movements and calls that I'm sure came from a dove. When I saw the bird, I took some shots and I identified it as a pink-necked green-pigeon. More birds did showed up: a couple of noisy yellow-vented bulbuls, a female olive-backed sunbird, some tiny black birds which I couldn't identify and some more pigeons.

Pink-necked green-pigeon

After about an hour or so, the people started to disperse as they ended their morning exercise. Thinking that it's now my chance to increase my bird count, I started walking again. I followed the sign to the Japanese war memorial which is an uphill trail. Along the way, I heard some movements on the forest floor on the dried leaves then I saw a bird and a squirrel. At first, I thought it was a yellow-vented bulbul, but on close inspection it's not. It was another lifer: a white-crested laughing-trush.

White-crested laughingtrush

At one bend, I saw many movements on the trees and managed to capture a blurry shot of those very active birds: Pin stripped tit-babbler

 Pin stripped tit-babbler

When I reached the antenna tower at the top following the marker. I didn't see much bird there, so I just turned back.

The marker

 At the area where people did their morning exercise, I heard some calls and followed them to see those tiny black birds again. I wasn't able to photograph any of them due to their constant movement, until I grew tired and just gave up.

Later, I was able to see a white collared kingfisher, a rather bold one. I managed to approach it gently until I was only about 3-4 meters from it where I managed to get some decent shot.

White-collared kingfisher

 I also met a couple of local birders who did their own bird searching.

I ended my birding after the kingfisher and head back to Sembawang.

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