Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekend Birding at Bukit Batok Nature Reserve 2013-07-06

I went to Bukit Batok Nature Reserve during the weekend for some birding. I started out a bit late, when I arrived there it was already half past 9 in the morning. It doesn't make sense to go there early anyway because during my past visits there, it was crowded with people doing their exercise during the early morning hours. Being a bit late has some merits as most of the people are done with their morning exercise, and only a few joggers remain.

I took a different path to the park via the Upper Bukit Timah road, when I reached the former Japanese WW2 memorial area, there was a citizen army unit doing their morning jog as well. I initially thought I will have a hard time finding birds in the area due to the number of people, so I decided to explore a bit. I walked past the twin antenna tower and find myself in another residential area road with trees on both sides. I listened and found a group of birds, the common Asian glossy starling.

Asian glossy starling

When I reached a dead end, I walked back to the WW2 memorial area but along the way, I was surprised by 4 noisy White crested laughing trush. After they left, I proceed to the quarry lake area, but before I get to the exercise area, I saw another group of WCLT.

White-crested laughing trush

When I reached the exercise area, I saw a local bird photographer. Initially, I didn't know what he was trying to capture, but I immediately joined him when I saw the tiny bird on a shrub about 10m from me. I realized the colorful plumage after I took the shot and was surprise that it was a lifer. I knew that it must be some species of flowerpecker due to it's size and shape but I was not exactly sure what it was and was able to identify it only when I searched the web later. I tried to be friendly and talk to him, but he just ignored me, oh well.

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

Along the way, I saw 2 WCLT again and above was a Lesser racket-tailed drongo.

Lesser racket-tailed drongo

I stayed a few more minutes at the exercise area, but didn't see any other birds aside from the uninteresting Javan myna. So I started walking to the exit via a side trail and at one point saw a green bird that flew past me. I initially thought it was a parrot, but it was after I managed to capture a shot that I realized it wasn't. I continued walking and meet another birder, I told him about the bird and he was able to identify it as a barbet species.

Lineated barbet

Along the trail, I also captured some dull brown bird which I initially thought was a yellow-vented bulbul, but realized that there's no white on the head.

Olive winged bulbul 

A few meters from the exit, I saw a group of tiny pin-stripped tit-babbler, but wasn't able to capture any of them due to their constant movement. I tried a few minutes, but failed each time so I simply gave up.

When I left the park, I decided to visit Little Guilin again. After visiting the park, I proceed to the Bukit Gombak town center, look at the shops and head home.

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