Thursday 28 May 2015

Worth fighting for... err... allegedly!

It finally arrived last week -- only five months or so late -- and now sits in pride of place in a dark, little-noticed corner of the kitchen mantelpiece (Sybil flat-out refuses to have it on display in the living room... can't think why).

The venerated Golden Mallard -- finally home to roost

So, I thought now that it's here it might be an idea to go about trying to keep it a little bit longer. A few useful year ticks gleaned over recent weeks are bound to help. Spotted flys are back -- not the ones in / around the garden but one on the far side of the lake does the job nicely. Also picked up a singing reed warbler, which is a handy bonus, as it's more luck than judgement (my main birding strategy, truth be told) getting them on patch.

Then, walking around the north-east perimeter one evening I happened upon the elevated spot where I can see the only sliver of sea from patch. Conditions were perfect -- I could read the writing on the side of a passing container ship clearly with my bins -- unheard of. Then I spotted the tell-tale white flashes as gannets wheeled and dived. Score!

Not sure if I'm forgetting anything -- but gannet pushes me on to 81 species, which in real money converts to 95.29%.

Not bad... but I'm running out of tickable options fast!

Saturday 16 May 2015

Hangin' out there

Back in the blogosphere to update the Blackdog score on the door to a very lower table 69.98% (86 species). The brief sprinkle of migrants a couple weeks back brought a sprinkle my way too but nothing to get in a tizz about. More exciting was an Osprey yesterday (4th here, I think) and to prove that nothing's changed, here's a typical "action" shot.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Maybirds in may... fancy that!

I was on the verge of turning back rather than cycling all the way around the lake. My "really can't be arsed" gene is the dominant one, and wins out more often than not -- but last night something made me change my mind.

And a good job too, because over near the north-west boundary of the patch was a field full of whimbrel. Fifteen of 'em to be exact (I know, coz I counted em). Bingo!

The last few weeks also saw buzzard make it onto a list that's seen painfully slow progress recently, and along with a fly-by cuckoo today puts me on 90.59% -- or, in other words, still trailing the tropics.


Sunday 10 May 2015

Sunday seawatch

Snuck up to Galley whilst supposedly working as there was news of poms past the Old Head - paid off as within 5 mins of setting up I had bonxie, puffin and best of all, a cracking adult long-tailed skua through the scope! Perservered for another hour trying to get a pom but only managed 2 arctic skuas, which wasn't a year tick cos I'd had one from the house this morning!

Saturday 9 May 2015

schpot fly

Managed a hurried 20 minutes at Shite Lane this evening and well worth it too as I knocked a fine spotted flycatcher into the back of the metaphoric net innit.

He shoots, he scores!

Thursday 7 May 2015

Keep 'em coming...

Eyes to the skies for the latest additions. First up, a pair of Asian pied hornbills flew over yesterday. Not sure where they came from or where they are going. Not a migrant, and big enough that they are hard to overlook so where they have been hiding since the start of the year s a mystery. And second, a small raptor displaying over the small patch of remnant forest proved to be a crested goshawk. Not a species that was on my radar but time is beginning to show just how low my expectations were for this site.

Moves me on to 92.22%, which is nice.

In other news, an off patch wander to the former cemetery of Bidadari produced not one but two (count 'em) Jambu fruit doves. Lifer! A pair if you will. Or at least a male and a female sitting within ten feet of each other. Although I don't think the species has been recorded breeding in Singapore (yet). But f they want to, this pair had better get a move on as one of the best birding sites in Singapore is about to disappear under concrete. Progress...

The dove above is the male - a smart looking bird. And I know you have all been waiting to ask . Why Jambu? What on earth does that mean? Well, as far as I can tell it means 'fruit' in Malay (variations on guava). So this is the Fruit fruit dove. Makes perfect sense, no? 


Friday 1 May 2015

banging them in

A quick stumble about on Galley this am produced ringed plover, sandwich tern, and common scoter for the year - not a bad hours work!