Saturday, May 02, 2015

Bishan otters: A pictorial story

Against all odds

Spotted a pair of grey-rumped treeswifts in the midst of building a nest cup on March 01. The female had almost finished her work.
Forgot about the pair as I focused my attention on watching and learning about the pair of smooth-coated otters that are in neighborhood. On April 21, dropped by the location to check on the pair to find this little fella sitting in the nest cup. That afternoon, we had a huge storm but I didn't go on site to check on the chick.
When I did on April 23, the nest was empty and the parents were flying around but there wasn't any calls from the chick. I felt sorry for the parents as they has lost a chick that was so close to fledging. The next day, they were still hanging around and showed no signs of leaving the area. I thought to myself there may be a glimmer of hope.
On April 27, while passing the area I heard the excited calls and then saw one of the parent shadowing its fledgling in flight. It was probably the best Monday I had knowing that the little fella survived the storm and fledged.
Daddy was trying to coax it to fly but the fledgeling wanted to be fed instead. He flew off leaving the young one to stretch its wings, and wonder when one of its parents will relent and feed it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bishan otter pair is now a family

I kinda knew what this otter pair were up to but had to let nature take its course and quietly watch from the side lines.
Mama was absent for about three months. She was sighted briefly on several occasions and always very wary of humans.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unusual behavior of long-tailed parakeets

I first observed the unusual behavior of long-tailed parakeets feeding on the old roof tiles in my neighborhood last year after a heavy downpour.
On the evening of 8 January 2015, I again observed the same behavior with a a flock of long-tailed parakeets that made a stop over in the evening before they head to their roosting site. They were up in the rain trees as usual but a couple of birds started to descend onto a neighbor's roof then more started to follow. Soon there were over fifty birds on the roof peeling off material from the roof tiles to eat.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Excuse me, we aren't beavers

Spent the last couple of days during my break looking for the otters. It didn't start that way but I kept hearing of sightings around the park by regular park users. Must have walked the entire length of the park (I and II) several times over before spotting a crowd of people on Sunday.
They were all gawking at the pair. Many curious folks didn't understand that like humans, the otters have a the need for a safe personal space, and were encroaching on the pair. There was at one point a slight panicked look on one of the otters but they held their own. As the crowd thinned they were able to come out of the water.
It made it possible to confirm the sex of the pair and also to check on the condition of the animals. Generally healthy but one of them has an open cut on its right hind paw.
The otter on the right has a cut on its right hind paw

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rainbow lorikeets

My first introduction to the gregarious rainbow lorikeet was at the bird park's lory loft. Then there was the group of four birds trying to establish nest holes at Malcom Park in 2011 to the pair that  flew around my neighborhood.
Last week I heard the calls of many parrots in the trees along Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 but didn't stop to check out what species. I assumed that they were either long-tailed, red-breasted or rose-ringed parakeets since they are common in the area. It wasn't till Wednesday did I realize that they were rainbow lories (green-naped lorikeets) when I caught sight of a pair flying over me.
Pulling out the bins from the car and painstakingly peering through them at the birds feeding  on the flowering trees yielded javan mynas, orioles and finally the noisy rainbow lories (plenty of them).