Sunday 18 December 2011

Next up is Singapore

I've come to really enjoy the birding here in Denmark so it's disappointing for me to leave it behind. But on the other hand my next destination has a lot to offer!

This week I (finally) got a place to live in Singapore which means I can now concentrate on some of the more important things, such as the birds!

I've never been in Asia so I really don't know what to expect (in terms of birds and life in general) but I'm sure that it'll be fun. I think that the birding will be more difficult for me to get a grasp of when compared to Denmark because of a few reasons:

-> The family groups (let alone the species) are very different from those in North America where I am most 'at home'.

-> The field guide is not nearly as good as that of Birds of Europe - this is understandably because of the lack of coverage in Singapore (I couldn't even find a bird blogger from there!!)

-> And lastly because the island is very developed and many of the natural areas are out of bounds thereby limiting the number of birding hotspots.

Many people in Asia think of Singapore as the gateway to the Western world (or at least that's what my Vietnamese roommate once told me) so for me it'll be the opposite. The gateway to Asia and SE/Pacific in general. Which means that I have a few tricks (i.e. trips) up my sleeve!
Borneo is a short and cheap flight to the East, Thailand is equally short and cheap to the North and Indonesia is a swimmable (for a penguin) distance to the South. Oh, and Malaysia is literally just across the river!

The next 4 months are going to offer me a lot of opportunities to see some new, really strange and fun birds. The only problem is that I've done zero studying of them. I ordered a field guide and that is in Newfoundland now so I've been gleaning over trip reports online about Singapore.

Some things I'm looking forward to:
 White-bellied Woodpecker - From Wikipedia

 Black-capped Kingfisher - photo from here

You never know! Spoon-billed Sandpiper photo from here

Basically I just want to see more new species than I did in Europe. As of now that is 144!

So 150 sounds like a reasonable goal to me. Wish me luck! Again, I'm going to make the goal rather lax by including any new bird I see in Asia - so that includes Indonesia which happens to be very close by, a very likely trip to Thailand for shorebirds ;) and anywhere else my travels take me (Malaysia and Borneo come to mind).

But before I flee to Asia I have 1 monster exam to finish tomorrow followed by two full days of non-stop birding in DK followed by a short visit to Newfoundland for a week.

I'm making a last ditch attempt for a Black Woodpecker in 30 hours... I'm getting desperate