Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore

Friday 23rd of February 2018 and my alarm went off at 5 o'clock. The phone rang a few minutes later, my wake-up call from the reception. I had tea and oat meal in my room before I went down to take a taxi to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve where I hope to see some exciting birds, and of course, a few crocodiles. When I checked in yesterday they guy in the reception told me about this place. When i checked the internet I discovered that it was the same place I had been at when I came back from Tonga.

Never mind, I had already decided to go here back in Bangkok. I just need to check the time for low water as I expect to see crocodiles and exciting birds on the mudflats. And they have an NParksexcellent web page. National Parks have information on all the parks in Singapore. For more information visit their web page: www.nparks.gov.sg

Click HERE for the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve bird checklist

Click HERE for information about the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve nature walks

Click HERE for a Map of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve walking trails

To see the map in a full window click HERE


Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore
Singapore 06:00 from my hotel window

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore
Waiting for my taxi

The taxi arrives after just a few minutes and we're soon on the way towards Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. And I always forget that the daylight is later here than in Bangkok where I can start birding early. One hour time difference and it was still dark when I arrived to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve around 7 o'clock.

It is quiet when I arrive but the bird songs started at the first day light. I could hear several Black-napped Orioles. Reminded me about my birding adventure on Bali. Very noisy from frogs and lizards during the night. And at 6 it was like cutting the sound with a knife. The frogs and lizards stopped sharp, and a second later it was all the birds start to sing. A beautiful experience.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Early morning at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Listen to “Early morning at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve”

Suddenly the whole jungle woke up and there were bird song everywhere, it was still too dark to see any birds. The firs bird I spotted as the White-breasted Waterhen. The park was not open, but there is no fence or anything so it is just to walk in to the mangrove. And the crocodiles, the warning signs are still there so I will wait until it is at least a little day light before I enter.

I spotted two Yellow-vented Bulbuls and it seems like the breeding season have started as these two bulbuls looked to be a couple. It was kind of enough light and I went in to explore the mangroves. At the “Little Heron Deck” there was nothing and I continued towards the “Eagle Point”

Yellow-vented bulbul, Eastern Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier, นกปรอดหน้านวล
Yellow-vented bulbul

Yellow-vented bulbul, Eastern Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier, นกปรอดหน้านวล
Yellow-vented bulbul

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Bird of Prey with Johor Barhu in the back ground

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Bird of Prey with Johor Barhu in the back ground

Continue and you will reach the “Eagle Point” I saw a Collared Kingfisher that got scared when I arrived. Little Egrets looking for fish. Walking out on the bridge slowly and the Little Egrets moved away as slow. A bird of Prey was flying over Johor Straits, I don't know what it was, but as they have named the bridge to “Eagle Point” it might have been an Eagle.

I tried to come close to the Collared Kingfisher several times, but the bird just didn't want to be on picture. I spotted several Herons sitting looking for fish as well.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Collared Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Little Egret
Little Egrets at the “Eagle Point”

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Little Heron
Little Heron at the “Eagle Point”

Striated Heron, Little heron, Butorides striata, นกยางเขียว
Little Heron at the “Eagle Point”

Striated Heron, Little heron, Butorides striata, นกยางเขียว
Little Heron at the “Eagle Point”

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans
Male Pink-necked green pigeon

There were a few Striated Herons, or Little Herons. Yes, it is confusing with all the different names for the same bird. And on top of that they also call the heron for Mangrove Heron or Green-backed Heron. I got a few pictures before I left the “Eagle Point” and I continued on the “Coastal Trail” towards the Wetland Centre and the Buloh Tidals Pond.

I left the “Costal Trail” to check out the “Lumnitzera Walk” and the first thing I see is a male Pink-necked green pigeon sitting in the tree. And it looked like he was ripping of branches from the tree and then he jumped to the next tree. He came back without the branch, well, it was more like a twig. So yes, building a nest and it is breeding season.

Coming to the Kingfisher Pod/ Mud skipper pod I stopped to look for the White-throated Kingfisher. I could hear them all over the park. It sounds like they look for partners so I guess it is breeding season. I'm 99% sure it was a Stork-billed Kingfisher I could hear this morning when I entered the park.

It sounds like the park is full of Black-naped Oriole as I can hear them all over the park together and together with the White-throated Kingfisher it have been the two birds I have heard the most during the morning.

I spotted 2 White-throated Kingfishers at the bridge to the Kingfisher Pod, but they just flew by so no pictures. Well, I really like the place, but no place to sit down to look for the birds. And to have my picnic lunch

When I was a child we always had picnics when in the nature. Then it was boring as a teenager. Birding in New Zealand and we had picnic lunch every day. I loved it! Same on Cyprus, enjoying the lunch in the nature. So I had brought a couple of bottles with water and a few of those health bars. Whole grains and I don't know all the good stuff they put in to them.

I was looking forward to my picnic lunch. I had my back pack today, just because of the lunch and it was hot to carry around the backpack. But nowhere to sit down

ROASTED ALMOND - CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS
ROASTED ALMOND - CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS
Almond power! Real roasted almonds blended with
whole grain oats in this powerfully crunchy snack.

OATS ’N HONEY - CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS
OATS ’N HONEY - CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS
For when it’s crunch time, this crunchy bar combines delicious,
real honey with 16g of 100% natural whole grain oats.

CRUNCHY GRANOLA BARS

I came to the “Mud Experience” and there was a small board to sit on. Well, I don't know if the purpose is for sitting. Nut I sat down and I enjoyed my water and the granola bars. I spotted a Plaintive cuckoo in the tree above me (Too far away for any photo) It looked funny as the bird was sitting on the same branch as a pigeon. The Plaintive cuckoo came closer to the pigeon and it looked like the Plaintive cuckoo was walking over the pigeon.

I had been alone in the park all morning, but now I could see some people coming on the trail. Stay away from here on weekends! It is no pleasure with all the people, but today, on a normal weekday it was quiet and nice in the park.

I left the “Mud Experience” and it was a few minutes’ walk to the Wetland Center. Same as last time, no water in the vending machines, just sport water etc. But there was drinking fountains and I refilled one of my bottles. Same as last time, I spotted a White-breasted Waterhen on the pond just before getting up on the bridge.

I had passed a group of children in the Wetland Center. They were out to look at the nature and their Guides showed them the fauna and flora. I saw 3 ladies and a guy with a big camera on the bridge and they asked if I could take a picture of them with their phone. I asked them if they had seen any crocodiles.
- Crocodiles?

They had not seen any crocodiles and they had never seen any crocodiles here before. I continued across the bridge to the Buloh Tidals Pond. I will walk the “Migratory Bird Trail” around the Buloh Tidals Pond.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Monitor lizard

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Monitor Lizard
Buloh Tidals Pond

The first thing I see coming over the bridge was a big Monitor lizard. I stop at the second bird hide. There are a few Little Egrets and one Great Egret on the mudflats. There is also a Painted Stork. I take pictures of the stork and suddenly I discover that there is a crocodile laying on the mudflats next to the stork.

What to do? Screaming to the ladies still in the first bird hide and continue to take pictures? The stork is too far away anyway to get any good pictures. And the bird hide is too far away for them to hear me. I start running towards the first bird hide.

Yes, use your imagination, a cubic ton of lard and ass running down the “Migratory Bird Trail” Not something you wish to see early in the morning. I spotted the ladies coming towards me and I screamed at them pointing out to the mudflats
- CROCODILE!!!! CROCODILE!!!!!

They started to run but when they arrived the crocodile had disappeared down the water and I felt stupid.

Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Click HERE for bigger photo

Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Milky Stork

Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Milky Stork

Milky Stork, Mycteria cinerea - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Milky Stork

The guy with the camera came and I told him about the crocodile. I told him that I was taking pictures of the Painted Stork
- Don't you think it is a Milky Stork?
- I don't know, never heard of Milky Stork

I looked at the stork, exactly like a Painted Stork, BUT THE PINK FEATHERS ON THE RUMP WAS MISSING. It was a totally new bird for me and I have learnt something new. Certainly an interesting morning. I was walking with my new friend and the three ladies came back. Turned out it was my new friend's mother and her 2 friends. They told my new friend that they would wait at the gate and we could take as much time we wanted to look for birds.

So, a new friend and we walked together on the “Migratory Bird Trail” around the Buloh Tidals Pond. There were no shore birds. Most likely on the way back to the spring in Europe. I saw a group of maybe 5 or 6 birds flying at the bridge earlier. But I could not tell what kind of shorebirds it was. Pipers or Plovers or whatever.

We continued and we went in to all the bird hides we passed on the way. No birds on the mud flats, but we could hear several Black-naped Oriole and White-throated Kingfishers. My new friend spotted a Collared Kingfisher across the mud flats, too far away, but we could see the bird diving down to catch food in the mud flats.

We passed a bridge over a small pond and my new friend spotted a female Pink-necked green pigeon. She was very hard to get on picture as she was standing on a branch covered with leafs.

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Female Pink-necked green pigeon

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
A male come to “court” the female Pink-necked green pigeon

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Well, looks like we will have new Pink-necked green pigeons in a few month

Pink-necked green pigeon, Treron vernans - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Well, looks like we will have new Pink-necked green pigeons in a few month

She was soon joined by a male and suddenly they started to make babies. Good, then we know that there will be more of the beautiful Pink-necked green pigeon in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. We continued along the “Migratory Bird Trail” and we came to the look-out tower. We came to the second floor and we spotted two Crimson Sunbirds in the bushes below us. They were chasing each other and the breeding season is in full swing.

Crimson Sunbird, Aethopyga siparaja, นกกินปลีคอแดง - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Copper-throated Sunbird
Copper-throated Sunbird
As we can see, this picture is for nothing and I cannot
put the Copper-throated Sunbird on my list of observed birds

Around the corner form the look-out tower we ran in to the Copper-throated Sunbird. We looked up the tree and the bird was diving straight down at us changing course a few inch from our faces and landed in the bushes. What a beautiful bird it was but no pictures.

Plenty Black-naped Oriole was everywhere and all of them in pairs, so there will soon be more Orioles in the mangroves. I spotted a woodpecker but the bird was covered by leafs and twigs so it was not possible to get any pictures or a positive identity. My new friend suggested a flame back and by judging the picture I think he was right.

We were back at the bridge and we had completed the interesting “Migratory Bird Trail”. We looked down the water. Is it? We were not sure, but the log was moving and we saw that it was a crocodile. The same as before? Never mind, I call it crocodile #2.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Woodpecker
Woodpecker - The Flameback?

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Crocodile
A crocodile

We crossed the bridge and SWISH!!!! A Stork-billed Kingfisher flew across the river and under the bridge. A very very beautiful kingfisher and we were lucky to get to see the bird from above. I told my new friend that I would never become a good Photographer.
- A good Photographer would have taken a picture. I was just looki.....

BOOM! And the Stork-billed Kingfisher came back, SWISH and the bird landed in a tree. Again, I did not even lift my camera to get a picture. We sat down hoping Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st that the Kingfisher would come out again. But we were not lucky. I had got several Singapore birding tips and recommendations from my new friend. So I wanted to go back to my room for a shower before continue the bird watching in the afternoon.

We booked an Uber car and we walked to the parking place, we spotted several bats sleeping under the ceiling in the Wetland center. One of them had a baby so this day had started very good.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Bat
Bats sleeping

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve - Bat
We can see the baby

A shower and lunch and I was soon in a taxi on my way to Telok Blangah Hill Park. And what a day this turned out to be. We were arriving to the Telok Blangah Hill Park.
- STOP STOP STOP!!!!! I was screaming

I spotted a Collared Kingfisher on the parking sign. The first bird already before getting out of the tax, what a day! The Kingfisher took of to a tree and I went under the tree to continue taking pictures. Suddenly, the sky opened up and it poured down.

My camera, it have been full of water so many times now that I have lost count. And nowhere to take cover. I walked towards the Terrace Garden and there was a shelter. I spent the next 2 and a half hour in the shelter with a few other people taking cover from the rain.

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Telok Blangah Hill Park - Collared Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher in Telok Blangah Hill Park

Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, นกกินเปี้ยว, White-collared kingfisher, Mangrove kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher in Telok Blangah Hill Park

Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, นกกินเปี้ยว, White-collared kingfisher, Mangrove kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher in Telok Blangah Hill Park

Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, นกกินเปี้ยว, White-collared kingfisher, Mangrove kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher in Telok Blangah Hill Park

Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Telok Blangah Hill Park
It is pouring down

When the rain stopped I went to check out the Terrace Garden, full of birds, but my camera was not working so I decided to go back to my hotel to try to dry the camera with a hair drier. Yes, not the first time I have been caught in the rain bird watching. Buy quality and I'm pretty sure I have saved money buying a wee bit more expensive equipment. My old camera would have had capsized already the first time filled with water.

Well, I hope the camera is OK for tomorrow mornings bird watching. When we went to Wrist to pick up my parcel yesterday I asked the driver about the rain. Yes, we have my last birding adventure in Singapore fresh in mind. Rain and rain and cancelled bird watching. Anyway, the driver told me it was the dry season now and they had not have rain for a long time. He finished his sentence and BOOM! The sky opened up.

Rain in Singapore
It is pouring down in Singapore

I asked for a 5 o'clock wake-up call for tomorrow morning and I hope my camera is OK by then and that it is not raining. I had planned for another area for tomorrow morning, but I will go back to Telok Blangah Hill Park again. The Terrace Garden had looked very promising. Click HERE to find out if I see any birds.


Birding/ Bird watching in Singapore - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                         

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