16/10/2009 - 29/11/2013 31 °C
Probably its migrating season of birds lately, and interestingly, I was lucky enough to spot several, either lured by sharp chirping or smooth melody of calls. Sometimes randomly peeping out of my kitchen's window prized me wonderful sightings. While I have other similar postings about flora and fauna, this particular "room with a view" blog presents some interesting visual experience to readers who are as excited to know a little about the activities of common birds sighted in neighbourhood estates of Singapore (where I am lucky to be able to enjoy good visuals and learn a little every now and then about bird species, particularly from my room)...
16 Oct 2009 (Fri)
Weather was overcast, and suddenly this flock of Starlings (family?) - flew to the branches. The dark feathered ones are most likely the adults while the younger ones are in greyish feathers.
Closer look at the younger birds - nicer features..
30 Oct 2009 (Fri)
The "Golden Oriole - a forest and woodland songbird renowned for its flashy yellow and black plumage and attractive melodious songs. Orioles are robust in shape but fairly slender with an elongated look. Male orioles are usually brightly yellow and black or green and black, with black heads or eye stripes; females typically are duller, greener or browner. Oriole is from Latin aureolus, which means "golden" or "yellow"
9 Nov 2009 (Mon)
This bird has been loittering around our vicinity for more than a year, but everytime it called, none of us at home can spot it. It wakes up very early about 5.15am and calls intermittenly for about 2 hours (my parents said its calling for its long-lost partner!) then be back again later about 9am and calls for another 15 minutes. And in the evening its back again, calling intermittenly for longer duration into the night until 9pm or 10pm! It has a dense and high pitch voice and also there seemed to be a pattern of hideouts - sometimes the voice comes from trees behind our block, sometimes from the front of our block.
I was very lucky this morning when I was walking along the common corridor and heard the bird's call from my right. I turned my head, and spotted it perching on a thick branch.. I ran back, took my camera, rushed out again and snapped!
Notice how the bird gathers its internal strength(?) to its vocal box at the throat before it calls...
16 Nov 2009 (Mon)
Looking out of the kitchen window, spotted this colorful bird which flew and perched on a branch, I rushed to my room, retrieved my camera, back to the kitchen window, zoom...... alright! Bee Eater, spotted...
It flew circling that few particular branches before perching.. (same tree)
This shot is the best that I have got, coincidentally as if the bird is watching the girl walking home..
then it flew away, and a short while later, it came back, but this time I thought it looked darker - more to a darker green shade than blue. Probably a male and female specie.
then it flew away, circled the area twice,...
and returned with a catch, this picture showed its swallowing a worm inside its beak
again, it flew away, circled the area a few times,...
returned to the branch with a worm in its beak.
ok gone out flying and back with another worm...
and i was lucky today. while watching the actions of the bee eaters, this tiny bird kept chirping away and i spotted it and in less than 10 seconds it flew away!
and look, 2 bee eaters! both male and female!
and look at the other came back with a grasshopper in its beak..
it started to drizzle and the bee eater just refuse to fly away, kept calling (or waiting?) for its other partner...
i got tired of standing for 45 mins or so (when the bird is not 'moving') and I decided to go back to my room to view from there, and I was glad this angle proved to be a better shot at it! handsome! beautiful!
Briefly, Blue-tailed Bee-eater is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail is blue and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 23-26 cm, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike. This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open country, such as farmland, parks or ricefields. It is most often seen near large waterbodies. Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers. The insect that are caught are beaten on the perch to kill and break the exoskeleton.
For more details, please refer to Wikipedia
In the evening, about 5pm, spotted the yellow bird again, this time in good view of it, hopping from one branch to another... cute!
it then flew into the middle of the tree.. can you see it?
17 Nov 2009 (Tue)
this morning, after quick washup of my breakfast's cup and plate, I looked out of the window, and immediately rushed back to my room, took my camera, rushed to the window, snapped!
I shall call this pomp-pomp bird as it is so round and fluffy and seemed light as a cotton ball!
Pomp pomp bird goes, and another came almost immediately,... a pretty hairstyle and wide eyed brown fan-tail bird..
18 Nov 2009 (Wed)
Here's a short video of Oriole - we got to enjoy its singing every morning (~7.00am) and evening (~5.30pm)....free! Watch this video how it tilted its head as if wondering? - just so adorable, that look!
20 Nov 2009 (Fri)
It's a pair.. wonderful!
while writing my blog, "jheeg, jheeg,... jheeg, jheeg" (short sharp squeeky call). I took my camera, switched it on while walking towards the window, there it is!..... what a petite beauty! Its the Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
23 Nov 2009 (Mon)
Whoa,... strong wind today!
12 Dec 2009 (Sat)
Handsome olive-backed sunbird..!
A while later, it's beautiful partner came!
14 Dec 2009 (Mon)
28 Feb 2010 (Sun)
Munching bread and eggs, i stared out of the window.... huge!! HUGE WINGS!!
I raaaannnnnn to my room regardless, took my camera, ran back to the kitchen (now that I thought about it, why didnt I stay in my room and watch??), switched it on, perched it on the window grills for support, and snapped.
Eagle! This was the third time I had seen it lately.
The other unforgettable moment was when it perched just in front of this 'hollowed-out' branches of a bushy tree in front our block, directly in front view from our living room's window. I was just casually watching the train passing by and suddenly i thought I sensed something "white" moving among the leaves/branches. I stared at the 'object' and upon closer look, its the same eagle I spotted above, and it was at a much closer distance than the one I took above. Its height is about half an arm's length (from maybe about 5 meters away). Before I had a chance to get a closer look, it flew away, fast! Huge wings! [regrettably image was captured only in my head, else would have left it in here]
4 Apr 2010 (Sun)
The Oriole has been a common visitor every morning and evening at our vicinity so I have merely been lending it a listerning ear - "yes i've noticed your presence.." gesture by being its guest and admiring its call. But today its call sounded funny, as if having a sore-throat or a punctured-throat, or like a "toothless-call". So I got ready my camera, zoomed, and realised the reason was it had a fat caterpilla in its beak. It must have been calling for its partner to share its catch for the evening!
take a look at this video - it sounded eagerly 'shouting' for its partner "where are you??..."
19 Sep 2010 (Sun)
Striking colors of fruits from this tree standing tall behind our block of flats have been catching my attention...
New curiosity gave me another lesson today, that this tree with scaly branch is in fact Mahogany! "Broad-leafed Mahogany" to be exact. It is the ‘original’ mahogany of the furniture trade, and its timber is regarded as among the best in the world - used for making fine furniture and musical instruments. So that's it.
21 Nov 2010 (Sun)
I had been whinning recently - over non-sighting of birds - uncommon ones* i meant. Its the time of the year again - migratory season of the birds and because there was none* to be seen from my room, I had eagerly gone to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve the other day to keep up the positive thinking attitude.
This evening about 5.30pm, from my room I heard an unfamiliar loud, long and sharp "gheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek" (just once). I grabbed my camera and among the branches saw flashes of a big black bird and was about to take a good look when it flew away! Disappointed, my eyes scanned the trees and branches and suddenly something moved. Just in front of where I spotted the black bird earlier, I saw this 'big' bird:
That 'gheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek" came from this specie called Koel, or Asian Koel. That big black bird which flew away after I caught a short glimpse must have been its partner, because this colorful specie is Female.
According to Wiki, Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo at 45 cm. The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in colouration and size. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak.
The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik... call.
I have been fortunate today!
As I was enjoying the scene of birds flying back to their home for the evening and hearing their calls, this bird with tinge of yellow just flew past towards another block. It perched itself on the trunk of a woody tree but its too far for my camera to zoom for sharp take of it, but I managed to get it into record - a woodpecker! Seen for the first time, I heard it pecking away while taking pictures of it. Common flameback as it is called, the male specie is differentiated by band of red feathers at top of its head. So this is a female
I have been very fortunate today!!
22 Nov 2010 (Sun)
Its evening time again when birds fly home. This couple today was in a good mood, accompanying each other and singing... Watch the video and notice how one of them (i would think its the female) could sing two different tunes! [also pay attention to other birds' calls, including from a sunbird, at the background]
1 Dec 2010 (Wed)
The male Koel is back (the same specie which I mentioned in my blog article on 9Nov2009). I could hear its loud and clear call from my room, thinking it must have been the same old routine which I could only hear but not see it, adding to the fact that it was drizzling outside. Surprisingly, it was just perching on a branch and besides the trunk of a tree which was clearly visible from my window. Needless to say, it got into my camera.
12 Dec 2010 (Wed)
The leaves kept swaying - forced by strong winds. The scarlet-backed flowerpecker is back again
1 May 2011 (Sun)
Had been hearing this bird's call lately and had for some time assumed its the 'Starling' because I dislike its 'metallic-sharp' and short-wavelength call - monotonous and irritating. Especially when it calls so frequently in mid afternoon when weather is so hot - can be disturbing to one's peaceful mood. Then mid morning I heard it again, so decided to find out why it had been behaving as such, and to my surprise it was not. It's the young of an Oriole! Its call is similar to that of the Starling, only that it sounded denser and 'smoother'...
This video's sound recording did not align with the image after rotate-editing,...
12 Jul 2011 (Tue)
I was attracted to its loud and melody song. I screened the trees from the window of my room, but could not spot any movement. The call stopped for about 5 minutes and was back again, with another song. I wondered if they were of different specie or different gender. Flipped wings with flash of yellow then flew from far and perched itself to this fruit tree - where the Starlings inhabit. Spotted!
The Hill Myna, as it is called, has (as this specie is) violet shimmering plummage and orange bill. Its favourite feed is fruits and hence the Hill Myna can be commonly found in fruit plantations, besides forest and tea plantations. This Hill Myna is happily feeding the fruits (seemingly delicious when viewed from the camera!) - which I especially like that yellow wattles on its head - resembled those (of olden days) Japanese soldiers' WWII ear-flaps hat....
Video of the Hill Myna picking on the fruits (very delicious as they seemed!)
This good 5mins video managed to capture the different melodies (at least 5) sang by the hill myna...
Noon. Very sunny. Spotted an eagle
Morning at 8. Was sipping tea and staring out from kitchen window and noticed movement at top of tree. Scrutinised the area and spotted an eagle - thought it was the same specie taken from front pouch a month ago but seemed to be different - either difference in gender, age, or different specie altogether?
Cheeek... cheeek... light tone, short calls. Must be calls from that of a young, I thought.
Looking out from the kitchen window, there it is.
How much of a younger you am I able to catch sight of, Oriole?
Different. Its just not common. I have not heard this before. Kept asking my mum if she seen uncommon birds lately, she confidently told me its the 'diao4-yu2' bird [meaning 'kingfisher']. But I told her no its not. Then today she told me so eagerly, "quick bring your camera"...
WHAT? HORNBILL? Here? And half-a-dozen! Yes 6. It was just awesome.
It was just so rare to spot a hornbill, not to mention seeing 6 together.
Took a few pictures as I was busy watching them.
Are you able to spot 3 of them?
There's 2 here
Just look at those muscles
Hornbill sighted again. Only a couple this time. Perching low.
Just habitually "scanning" the trees from my kitchen window in the morning. From tree top then scanning side then slowly downwards. Nothing.
Stayed for a while and looking far, wondered if I would have luck with eagles. Maybe not, I thought. Commented to my mum that we've not seen eagle for a while now.
Then something moved among the leaves. Similar to the green of the leaves. Very fast. My eyes followed. Unable to see clearly at first, just like a lump of leaves 'rolling'. Around lower branches, nearer to our block.
I ran to my room. Again.
Mum has grown to like my interest too.
I returned (in less than 10 seconds), popped the camera against the window grills for support.
Mum pointed, said she saw it.
Scanned again, lost it.
Seconds later, saw it again. Zoom the lens to the location, snapped, snapped, snapped. Flew away.
What a pretty day I had!
I learnt that its an Oriental White-Eye with lime green plumage - a sociable bird. Breeding season is Feb-Sep. I had to translate it to Chinese for my mum as she is also keen to know what specie it is. Its called "東方白眼" I said. She nicknamed it "東方不敗".
Spotted a small red patch by its short tongue-rolling squeak (shorter and sweeter than that call of a sunbird). Pointed to my mum its location while I walked back to room (didn't run this time since this specie have never stayed at this area for more than 15 secs). While walking back to to the kitchen, I asked my mum if it was still there. She replied it did. [Mum's vision is getting better!]
Surprise it stayed for more than 45s, at the same spot...
... And, the following day... (that same squeak)
- the fluffy
- the lean
listen to the squeak-call...
[*initially it was individual appearance. 15mins later, both appeared and flew away together.]
'quack....quack.... [lighter, and short].... so close. The Hornbill, just nearer.