Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fun But Organized

Just returned from 8 days in Singapore, where we went for a wedding (a beautiful affair, congratulations and best wishes to Wilson and Siew Ping!).  Photos of our trip are on my flickr site:

"Fun but organized" was a phrase I read in the text accompanying an exhibit at the Singapore Flyer (World's Largest Giant Observational Wheel, FYI) and it seems like an apt description for the country as a whole.  We had a great time seeing friends, doing touristy things (National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, the aforementioned Flyer, the Marina Bay Sands (big mistake), lots of restaurants and shopping), and birding.

Oh, the birding! We booked a private birding guide (the amazing Kim Seng: for two hot, somewhat grueling, incredibly productive days in Singapore and Malaysia.   List of birds right here Please note that Brian and I would never claim to have ID'd each of these birds ourselves, but we did actually see each of them and relied on Kim Seng's identifications. Also please note that these are not complete lists for each location, as I've only listed the first sighting of each bird - we saw many species in multiple places.

October 8, 2013, Central Catchment Area near MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore:
Collared Scops Owl (H)
Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Thick-billed Pigeon
Tiger Shrike
Red-crowned Barbet
Olive-winged Bulbul
Striped Tit Babbler
Magpie Robin
Brown-throated Sunbird
Asian Glossy Starling
Long-tailed Parakeet
Raquet-tailed Drongo
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Brahminy Kite
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Pacific Swallow
Arctic Warbler
Hill Myna

Butik Batok Park, Singapore 10/8/13:
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
Dollar Bird
Blue-throated Bee-eater
Crimson Sunbird
Duck-necked Tailorbird
White-crested Laughingthrush
Common Golden-backed Woodpecker
Laced Woodpecker
Banded Woodpecker
Lineated Barbet
Glossy Swiftlet
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Changeable Hawk-Eagle
White-throated Kingfisher
Straw-headed Bulbul
Common Myna
Java Myna

Sungei Buloh Wetland Preserve, Singapore 10/8/13:
Long-tailed Shrike
Grey Heron
Common Sandpiper
White-bellied Sea Eagle
Emerald Dove
Black-naped Oriole
Copper-throated Sunbird
Collared Kingfisher

Kranji Marsh, Singapore 10/8/13:
Red-breasted Parakeet
Zebra Dove
Rose-winged Parakeet
Ruddy-breasted Crake (H)
Pied Triller
Black Koel

Panti Forest Preserve, Malaysia 10/9/13:
Little Green Pigeon
Buff-vented Bulbul
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter
Red-rumped Swallow
Rufous Woodpecker
Black-headed Bulbul
Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker
Raffles' Malkoha
Black-naped Monarch
Tree Swift
Barn Swallow
Black Magpie
Yellow-vented Tailorbird
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Crested Serpent Eagle
Asian Fairy Bluebird

Pasir Ris Park, Singapore 10/9/13:
While Bellied Waterhen
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Red Junglefowl
Golden-fronted Gerygone
Citron-crested Cockatiel (exotic)
Little Egret
Long-tailed Shrike
White-bellied Sea Eagle

Lorone-Holus Wetlands, Singapore 10/9/13:
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Tern
Purple Heron
Scaly Brown Muna
Baya Weaver
Pacific Golden Plover

Other critters encountered:
Plantain Squirrel
Three striped ground squirrel
Long-tailed macaque
Leaf monkey
Water Monitor
Clouded Monitor
Flying Lemur
Giant Mudskipper
Gibbon (H)
Changeable Lizard
Flying Lizard

(H = heard, not seen.)

Monday, March 18, 2013


Five Reasons to Love Boise!

1. They don't just have a Library, they have a Library!

2. Birds everywhere! California Quail in the backyard next to our inn! Wood Ducks in a city park (below)! Prairie Falcons nearby at Snake River Canyon! Peregrine Falcons in downtown Boise! With a nest cam! 

3.  The aforementioned Snake River Canyon! Very beautiful!

4.  The Idaho Central Credit Union has a big ol' party van and sends it out on Friday night with a DJ and street dancer! 

5.  Huge rocks!  Deposited by glacial melt!

 And here's a bonus reason to love Boise! The Northwest Lineman College in nearby Meridian!  I kid you not! Hard to tell from the photo, but there is a whole complex of different types of poles, towers, and power lines here! How else do you think they learn how to be linemen?!

Boise, Baby!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

We started the new year off right with a spectacular day of birding at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (mainly at the Sacramento Unit, but with a stop at Colusa) with our friends Kevin and Susan.  Yes, we dragged out butts out of bed at 3:30 a.m. on New Year's Day in order to be there before dawn, but it was worth it.  We saw a gorgeous sunrise and many thousands of birds on a beautifully sunny, clear and cold day, and even managed breakfast at the Black Bear Diner in Willows. Here's our list for the day (all seen at the Sacramento Unit unless otherwise noted, many were seen at both locations): 

Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron (at Colusa)
Black-crowned Night Heron (at Colusa)
Turkey Vulture
Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
American Wigeon
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ruddy Duck
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-necked Pheasant
Black-necked Stilt
Long-Billed Curlew
Great Horned Owl (at Colusa)
Northern Flicker (at Colusa)
Black Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Western Scrub Jay (heard only, at Colusa)
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow (at Colusa)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Pipit (at Colusa)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
California Towhee
Song Sparrow (at Colusa)
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark (at Colusa)