I am lucky to live in a suburb surrounded by lush vegetation and a nature park. I get all sorts of wild life visiting, including monkeys, snakes, and more recently – as I was told by my neighbour – mice, because they have cleared some forest.
Among the birds who had visited are a pair of yellow vented bulbuls who had raised a few offspring in my pot of Japanese bamboo (assuming they are the same pair), a pair of spotted pigeons who live atop of my garden spot light, with some chattering sparrows for their neighbour in the eaves of my awning a few feet away.
It wasn’t until my hubby Mike upgraded his lens and showed me his shots of birds that got me interested in the birds in my neighbourhood, which I feel he should compile into a book – Birds of Burgundy Hills.
Having a birder as a neighbour has its plus and minus – D provides us with identity of the birds and books as reference; she also has her giant telescope trained at my bedroom window sometimes, which she tells me is actually aimed at the tree behind my house.
Yesterday she invited us to join her birding group to Kranji Marshes. Her birding friends, H and J were her classmates from the a birding course ran by the Nature Society in 2004. (“There is a birding course?” )
I was very excited. The migratory birds should have landed by now but H warned, “we didn’t make any appointments with the birds, so not sure if they are there.”
The birders’ eyes were immediately hooked somewhere in the sky upon arrival. I was offered a bin (binoculars) but I declined. I spotted a woodpecker and was congratulated immediately by the rest.
Subsequent finds were not so interesting. H was helpful – “That’s a mynah.” ‘That’s a crow.”
The birders had hawk eyes. “Two o’clock from the the xxx trees has a raptor.” It took me a few moments before I located the xxx tree, and the black dot that was perched on a branch. After that I accepted the bins.
It was a gloomy day and that made birding hard, as most birds appeared black when viewed with naked eyes. It’s only through the bins that I could appreciate the stunning pink parakeets on the tree.
At the marshes, the interesting sights are the moorhens and the purple swarm hen. The moorhens were there but the purple swarm hen, a rare resident was missing. In its place instead was a water hen.
Looking up all the time is tiring on the neck, so I was happy to spot ground level attractions.
We adjourned for lunch and decided we should visit Sungnei Buloh for more birds. Coming up next.