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Kit's Fledgling BY


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Kitsafari

Thank you to all the BY participants for the rousing encouragement and support to get me going on my first attempt at the BY. 

I did wonder if I chose the wrong year to take part in as I have no plans for any birding trips or any safaris for the rest of the year, except for a tentative trip to Kamchatka which may not even happen. But I have to start somewhere and perhaps this thread will push me to take short trips in the region to see more variety of Asian birds.

Obviously, I ain't gonna try to catch anyone in the count so that's not my goal in doing this. and expect a lot of EBCs!

Herman and I have always liked birds, and we like stopping on safaris to see birds, but all these years, I have found it challenging to learn the differences in birds, and remembering the names. So this BY thread will force me to learn more about birds and learn to recognise the unique differences in birds. And the bonus - get us out in the local parks and wetlands early mornings for a healthier lifestyle!

 

so here goes.....I'll start with some home birds

 

Kit uses bridge camera Sony RX100 Mark III

Herman uses Canon EOS 7D

 

 001: Asian Glossy Starling, Pasir Ris Park February 16

 

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Resident bird. This bird can be found in the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia. Its old name was Philippines Glossy Starling but seems to make sense to change its geographical point! it's coat is blackish with strong green tinge, but my photo doesn't show the greens well. Feeds on insects and fruits.

 

 

002: Common kingfisher, Pasir Ris Park Feb 16

 

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also known as the Eurasian kingfisher found around mangroves, rivers and ponds. It feeds mainly on fish and we watched it as it tried to dive into the pond but failed - as did I as the little bird was just too quick. it's a resident in much of Asia, breeds up  in northern Asia and Europe. 

 

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Thank you to all the BY participants for the rousing encouragement and support to get me going on my first attempt at the BY.  I did wonder if I chose the wrong year to take part in as I have no

007 : Pacific swallow, Pasir Ris Park Feb 16     The only pictures I have of this swallow - they were too fast on the wings for me and I thought that sign was a good prop for the

003 Grey Heron Pasir Ris Park Feb 11     and adding this not too good a photo just to show the heron hoping to steal the otter's meal of a big fish - they were quite a distance aw

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Kitsafari

003 Grey Heron Pasir Ris Park Feb 11

 

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and adding this not too good a photo just to show the heron hoping to steal the otter's meal of a big fish - they were quite a distance away and in low light. 5a9b71117c56d_greyheron2-2.thumb.JPG.0e41e04eab1e6f5d7c4912b970071e98.JPG

 

This heron is often seen in the wetlands and parks in Singapore and is the most common of the herons here. It is also found in all of Asia. It is usually a solitary bird but nests in groups. Its first breeding nest in SIngapore was recorded in 1983. 

 

004: Striated heron Pasir Ris Park Feb 11

 

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once again, this heron was far in the distance. It was a difficult subject to follow and shy to boot. this is my only legible picture. There was an incident reported in Singapore that the bird picked up the breadcrumbs people had used to fish, and then dropping it into the waters for the fish to appear. now, that is a smart bird with good IQ! 

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Kitsafari

005: Little egret, Pasir Ris Park Feb 16

 

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Over a decade ago, these egrets began appearing in large numbers in Singapore and they could be found near my home which was next to a river. But the woods on the opposite bank of the river were cleared for a number of property developments and now we see them mainly in the parks. It's a common migrant, transits in Singapore during winter months. 

 

 

006: Oriental magpie-robin Pasir Ris Feb 16

 

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This belongs to a songbird group. These magpie-robins like to hunt for food in the undergrowth or on the ground. It's a resident bird but not commonly seen. It can be found in Southeast Asia and in Indian sub-continent. 

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Peter Connan

Welcome Kit.

 

I am enjoying your thread already!

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Kitsafari

007 : Pacific swallow, Pasir Ris Park Feb 16

 

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The only pictures I have of this swallow - they were too fast on the wings for me and I thought that sign was a good prop for the bird. hopefully i get better pictures during visits to other parks. Given that there are no true/pure forest in Singapore, man made-structures are inevitable and hard to avoid in wildlife pictures. At least there is still some wildlife here!

This is the only resident swallow of five swallow species in Singapore; it breeds in SEA to PNG. This swallow looks similar to the barn swallow which is a migrant; to tell them apart, a barn swallow has a cleaner breast.

 

008: Pink Necked Green Pigeon, Pasir Ris Park, Feb 16

 

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This is such pretty bird that I couldn't resist putting more pix of it. With its pink eye and pinkish neck and peach breast, this male pigeon was quite tolerant of us being close to the date palm as it fed. It was probably very hungry too. the female lacks the pink and peach colours. It is a common resident here but found mainly in the parks and away from heavy human traffic. Unlike the common pigeons here, it is mainly arboreal except when it comes down to drink. 

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PeterHG

Good to see you’ve joined this thread @Kitsafari and thank for the interesting additional info! Off to a good start.

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lmSA84

Great to have you onboard - fantastic start.

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Dave Williams

Great start, the more we have participating the better. Thanks for joining in as we will pick up some great info along the way.

 

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Tdgraves

Well done for taking the plunge. What you lack in numbers, you’ll make up for Asian birds, which I don’t remember seeing any of recently in the BY...

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TonyQ

Delighted to see you have started, and with some fascinating birds and lovely photos.

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Galana

Good to see you making such an excellent start. That Pink-breasted Pigeon is something else

and the Otter and Heron worthy of inclusion in its own right. (Asian Smooth coated?)

 

Looking forward to more.

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@Kitsafari....maybe you need to visit the Gardens by the Bay for a few more sightings?!:rolleyes:  You are off to a nice start!

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xelas

Welcome to the Big Year fun, @Kitsafari! You have started with several birds I have not seen yet (or have forgotten them), and for sure there will be more!

Whenever you will have a bird as pretty as PNGP (#008) do post more photos of it.

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Kitsafari

Thank you all. 

 

@Galana these are smooth coated otters. they were extinct in Singapore for many years, but they made their first appearances in the nature reserve in Sungei Buloh in the early 2000s and they have flourished since, making some inland permanent reservoirs and parks their home. They are quite a treasure in the country, with its own watch group to ensure they are not mistreated. The great benefit was that it raised Singaporeans' awareness of wildlife and protection of them. 

 

@marg of course - the Garden! it's in the list with the other places (Sungei Buloh, MacRitchie reservoir, AMK-Bishan park, Pulau Ubin, Kranji marshes, etc....)

 

@xelas surely - provided I get good photos of the pretty birds too! 

 

sorry for the interlude. I will continue later in the week. 

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Zim Girl

Hi @Kitsafari

Fantastic to see that you have started, and what a great start. Lovely Grey Heron and the pigeon is really pretty.

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Treepol

@Kitsafari I'm pleased that you have decided to join the current BY.

 

The Pink-necked green pigeon is a stunner.

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Kitsafari

Thanks @Zim Girl and @Treepol for the support. 

 

009. Spotted dove, Pasir Ris Park Feb 16 2016

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This dove is native to Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia. But it is a popular bird to have among residents which makes it a frequently poached bird in Singapore. But these are wild birds, and a handful hangs around my residence as well. I can't discount these birds as those who either escaped their cages or were set free. I prefer the zebra doves (in a later section) as they coo-coo-croo much sweeter than these doves who just cooo. Such bias on my part. 

 

and I'll end this section at Pasir Ris at

010. White-breasted waterhen, Pasir Ris Park, Feb 16 5aa3d45996a98_whitebreastedwaterhen(2)-2.thumb.JPG.aabe02add0f89a31bd1b7320610b02c3.JPG

 

I was surprised by this waterhen because I was not expecting a waterhen in Singapore! It just shows I need to get around the parks here more regularly. Apparently it is a common bird, being a winter visitor. In the distant past, it was caught and eaten but I assure you, it isn't these days. It's quite a cute bird, with a red bum/under-tail.

 

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Kitsafari

Now on to my trip to Mara in January 2018. When I arrived, I told the guides at Serian Mara North and Kicheche Bush Camp that I was thinking of joining ST's BY so I was on the lookout for birds. and the guides did make an effort to stop for birds, at least in between sightings of the big cats! the names I have were mainly from the guides, and those I missed, I tried to search for on Adam Scott Kennedy's Birds of the Masai Mara (mainly because each tent at Kicheche had a copy of the book which was why I bought a copy at Kicheche as well) and on Sasol and on google. 

So PLEASE, correct my IDs if I got them wrong. I know you all will do it. it's the only way to learn, I guess!

 

so here goes, with a caveat - plenty of EBCs ahead. :)

 

011. Abdim's stork - January 18, Mara North Conservancy (MNC)

- first time I've seen it and it had to be in the air. 

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012: African fish eagle - January 15, MNC. it was watching the pond for fish, but when another Serian vehicle came to join us, it flew away. My favourite African bird because of its iconic cry, and the way it flings its head back to cry. 

African fish eagle2.JPG

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Kitsafari

014: African harrier hawk  - Jan 15, MNC.

a beautiful bird which is rather underrated i think. It was just incredible when we first watched it in South Luangwa suspending parallel to the tree trunk and using its talons to try to dig for its meal in a hold in the tree. it came away empty. 

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014: African pied wagtail, Jan 16 on the way out of Masai Mara National Reserve back into MNC

 

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what a quick little bird! took me several attempts before I could get this one - just one - slightly clear picture. AN EBC for sure. 

 

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Galana

So far so good. Of course we will be happy to offer 'corrections' if required.

Abdim's in flight. Good capture!

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michael-ibk

Welcome to the Big Year, Kit, very happy you joined up. I enjoy seeing all these birds from Asia which are mostly unknown to me and also all the additional info - very educational.

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Dave Williams

Excellent stuff, keep them coming!

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Kitsafari
On 11/03/2018 at 7:29 PM, michael-ibk said:

Welcome to the Big Year, Kit, very happy you joined up. I enjoy seeing all these birds from Asia which are mostly unknown to me and also all the additional info - very educational.

 

Thanks Michael, and welcome back. Once im done with the Mara birds, I’ll work on my backyard birds!

Looking forward to your collection soon!

 

 

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Kitsafari

Now that I'm finally done with the Mara TR (phew!), I can focus on my baby steps in the BY! 

 

015: Litte bee-eater: OMC Jan 18-20 

 

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I used to get really confused between the little bee-eater and the little green bee-eater. But while checking the two, I've learned that the green bee-eater has two longish black tail streamers, which the little bee-eater doesn't have. Oddly, we didn't see any bee-eaters in MNC, but when we saw the first one in OMC, the others came rather quickly. 

 

 

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