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.
Yesterday, mama otter finally brought out her pups. She is seen here seconds away from total panic becuase someone used a flash. The family is very cautious and wary of any possible threats. Mama screamed in panic and fled with her pups to safety.
If you want to appreciate this family, watch quietly, don't use flash if you want to photographs of them, and please respect their need for personal space. You and I need our personal space so do otters. Should they panic because someone frightened them. Give them time to calm down to realize that they are in no danger.

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).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A lazy Sunday morning at Haji Lane

I kinda like a quiet and lazy stroll around the Kampong Glam area on an early Sunday morning. There's hardly anyone around and the area is peaceful. These two kartek ayams and their girlfriend greeted me in the car park. They belong to someone who lives in the neighborhood. Ended getting down on the ground to photograph them with a wide angle lens since I was too lazy to pull out my other lens from the boot.
Sargent major here was crowing his lungs out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bishan otter has a mate

This rather territorial big bird alerted me to the presence of something in the river when it flew down to the river. On getting closer, I spied the familiar dark brown shape of an otter in the water. Then another head pops up from under water. The Bishan Park otter population has increased. Since I had no camera with me during my walk, I had to walk very quickly home (30 mins) to get my kit.
My first sighting of an otter in Bishan was on 12 September. I shot this photo with my iPhone.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Great-billed herons courtship dance

Lucky me caught the courtship dance of a pair of great-billed herons at Sungei Buloh last Sunday. 
There were initially three herons in breeding plumage breeding (sliver streaked feathers on the lower neck, back and crest) but it was difficult to tell which of the three was the female since these herons have no plumage dimorphism.
The first heron started a display and the other fly in from across the rock island and they began a courtship dance, which was very interesting to watch. Another thing that I noticed was the growling sounds that the pair were making. Although we were very far from the pair we could hear them vocalizing as they danced.