Friday, April 30, 2010

Encounter with The Black Giant Squirrel

Slightly bigger than a cat and possibly one of the largest squirrels in the world, the Black Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) is indeed a beautiful animal.
The squirrel measured about a meter from head to tail with the tail almost half of the body length.

A solitary and extremely shy nature make it a bonus for any nature lover when meet one during their trip.

Despite of their size, they can leap from branch to branch in the high canopy looking for food. At times they may be found at lower level when feeding but rarely coming to ground

Searching for juicy fruit.
Really spoilt for choice with so many fruits to choose from.
Look at how the squirrel hold the fruits! The claw are used for climbing and not for food.

The squirrel is enjoying the juicy fruit of Cashew tree!
I was fortunate to be able to observe this giant squirrel in such a short distance. I saw it about 600 meters away when I was watching birds. I approach the squirrel slowly and managed to take some really close photo.

These photos are taken in Pulau Tioman of Malaysia early this month. There are long tailed macaque on the island as well, perhaps is competition for food that forced this squirrel to look for food out from the dense forest?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Singapore Botanic Garden

Singapore Botanic Garden is one of my favourite place for birding. Although the migratory birds had left, there are still lots of birds waiting for interested birders. Such as this Blue-Throated Bee-Eater(Merops viridis)

This bee-eater dive in to the water to cool down on a hot afternoon
 The Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) busy looking for food
Male Common Flameback

Female Common Flameback
I heard the very distinctive call of the Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) and finally got to take a closer look today right on top of me.
Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)
I have seen White-Crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) many times at Bukit Batuk Nature Park & Kent Ridge Park but never before at Singapore Botanic Garden.
This squirrel was happily carry the fruit of Sand Box Tree without realising that the fruit will split into segments when ripped. The fruit explode when the squirrel starts to chew on it. The loud noise caused the squirrel looses it grips and fell down from the tree. After fell from the tree the squirrel running in circle like a crazy horse. It stops under another tree after running for about 45 seconds. I wonder if there is any squirrel actually killed while taking this 'highly explosive' fruits.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sad Sad Sad

Today is a very sad day for me while birding at Singapore Botanic Garden. For whatever reason that I don't know, some really sick person tie a cable tie on the leg of a Javan myna (Acridotheres javanicus). Is so tight that the blood can't flow through and have made the leg crooked!
This Myna was grounded as it can't balance herself like usual anymore!
The leg has swollen and crooked!
The pain that this bird is suffering must be unbearable.
What happen to our society? How can this thing happened?
Javan myna are consider pest to some people as they look for food in hawker center, bin centre and they make lots of noise. This does not mean that they deserve this treatment! We have all kind of people here...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little Grebe @ Singapore Quarry

Singapore Quarry could be one of the last area in Singapore where Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) can be found.

Here are some of the photos I took recently.
Little Grebe spent most of their time swimming, they can fly too.
They combine flying and running to create this special move.
I noticed that this special 'performance' only take place when there are at least 2 birds together.
I seen this special move at Japan last November by Mallard. It was amazing to be able to see the same performance here in Singapore.

I can't differentiate the male from the female. Are these performance part of the courtship?...

Don't forget to look out for this special performance the next time you visit Singapore Quarry!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Broken Arrow

"Broken Arrow" refer to lost or accidental event involves nuclear weapons, and also refer to calling for air strike.

It was raining the whole morning and only turn to drizzle in the afternoon. After the long wait for the rain to stop, despite the drizzle, I head to Bukit Timah for birding. I saw this Brahminy kite holding some twig at a distance away. Without hesitation, I took out my camera and shoot..
Holding twig in flight
The kite loose the grip on the twig
The kite continue to flap its wings
With lighter load, the kite soar higher and continue the flight

So, the next time if you a hit by falling branches and there is no tree around....don't be puzzled! It could be another "Broken Arrow"!