Wednesday 4 January 2012

Singapore - day 1

23 hours of flight time, 4 plane meals and 1 minute of sleep and you could also be in SE Asia looking at some new birds.

Without even birding I had seen a handful of new species around the University campus. In fact I had only ever seen one of the species before and that was a Barn Swallow. I didn't think it was a Barn Swallow at first because it was in the non-breeding plumage so it didn't have the long tail feathers.

Another unusual observation was a White-throated Kingfisher hanging out in a field. No where close to any water. Really unusual...

To be honest, I couldn't identify any of the birds I saw this morning without the help of my guide. I didn't take any field notes or photos so it was all based on memory. I'm thinking that I'll be relying a lot on my camera these next four months to help identify the birds I see. The other option is to observe the bird noting details of its plumage and behaviour. A hard core birder might suggest the notebook approach but I think it's easier to take a photo... I'll probably be using both methods.

In the evening I went for a short walk around campus garnering some long stares from the locals at the white guy with the weird scope/camera and binoculars.

1 of 4 White-throated Kingfishers within 50 meters of each other:

Pink-necked Green-Pigeon:

As a side-note, all my recent photos have been (and future photos will be) digiscoped (i.e. camera looking through the scope) unless I say otherwise.

Check out Jeremy Hatt's neat poem about the Bell's Vireo at Point Pelee last May:
Cerulean Sky