Monday, December 3, 2018

Birds of Masai Mara - The Ostrich

Continue on the birds of Masai Mara - Grassland and Open Areas, the Ostrich.
Ostrich, Masai Mara
Seeing Ostrich in the wild reminds me of a commercial that featured some gadget just earlier this year. The feather of this Ostrich is in the pristine condition. Remember seeing those in the enclosure with feathers that are in the very poor condition probably due to stress.
Ostrich, Masai Mara
Not seeing one but 2 Ostrichs! This is female Ostrich trying to court the male  with darker feathers and pink leg (male Ostrich in Masai Mara tend to have pink legs, not sure is only during breeding period or throughout the year) by moving in front of the male with the wings slightly open.
Ostrich, Masai Mara
The female start running when the male show interest and what happen next is like the wild goose chase...
Ostrich, Masai Mara
 After few rounds of chasing, the male Ostrich succeeded in mating with the female. What happen  next is even more unbelievable...
Ostrich, Masai Mara
 The female just lay an egg on the floor and go away... left this male Ostrich not sure what to do with the egg.
Ostrich, Masai Mara
The male Ostrich just roll the egg from one place to another. We didn't wait to see until the end. Not sure what the male Ostrich did with the egg...

I guess this is an unfertilised egg and that is why the female just drop it and go away? If the female just mated with this male for the very first time, chances is this is an unfertilised egg. But again, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Birds of Masai Mara - Grassland and Open Areas

One have to really keep in focus of what they really want when out on a photography trip. especially in Masai Mara. There are so many interesting thing to shoot. From landscape, cultural, and the most famous Big Five!

While shooting animals, I'm also always on the look out for other feathers friend that are nearby. I shall start with birds of grassland and open areas.
Southern ground hornbill
I saw this Southern ground hornbill fly pass  overhead while I'm busy shooting a cheetah. However, this hornbill prefer to have our full attention and willing to wait for us to finish with the cheetah! She make sure we have good photo of her before she fly away. What a good way to start by African birds collection!
Pied Crow
 I'm so excited when I first saw this  Pied Crow. All the crow in Singapore are black in colour.
Helmeted Guineafowl
I have seen this Helmeted Guineafowl many times. But this is also my first time seeing one in their natural habitats.
Unmistakable,  Ostrich  is the fastest running birds in the world. The only animal that fast enough to catch them is cheetah.
Anteater Chat
 Another very common bird in Masai Mara is Anteater Chat. I see them almost every day.
African pipit
African pipit is another new bird for me. So far all the birds that I spotted are new to me! Going at this rate, seeing 30 or 40 new birds for this trip is not a problem at all.
Temminck’s Courser
Temminck’s Courser have a rather short tail compare to the body size. May be that is the reason they prefer to run from any threat rather than take flight...
Yellow-throated Longclaw
Yellow-throated Longclaw have a very distinctive yellow throat that set them apart from pipit.
Black-bellied Bustard
 Black-bellied Bustard is also a new bird for me.
Kori bustard
Kori bustard is one of the largest bird that can fly. Although Ostrich is much larger but they have lost the ability to fly.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Very First Trip to Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa

I can’t remember when, but ever since I first came across the documentary that featured the rich wilderness of Africa. I told myself one day, I want to visit this place and see it with my own eyes. Watching the movie Born free further fueled my desire to wanted to visit this wonderful place on earth.

Thanks to my friend Ling, I finally get to visit this wonderful place in October 2018. We started our preparation way back in February, and all the trouble is worth it.

Flight to Kenya
There is no direct flight from Singapore to Kenya and we have our transit in Bangkok, Thailand. After crossing the Indian Ocean, we finally arrived at Kenya! My very first visit to Africa continent.
Nairobi, Kenya
 It was a dream come true for me to set foot on this continent!
Superb Starling
 As soon as I am out of airport, I was greeted by this Superb starling! What a great way to start my trip.
Nairobi, Kenya
 Yes. I want to see the huge African elephants! So far I have seen the pygmy elephants of Borneo, elephants of Thailand and never seen a African elephant yet.
 Once we are out of the city of Nairobi, I have a first glimpse of  the African savanna.
Kenya Rift Valley
 The place that we are going, Masai Mara, sits right in the middle of the Great Rift Valley.
Kenya Rift Valley
Will Africa be split into 2? There are lots of debates going on and my take is it will happen one day. Not if, but when. Our earth is moving and changing everyday just that it happen so slow that we didn't notice it...
Kenya Rift Valley
Just a few months ago, a mysterious crack happens in Kenya. Not sure if it is related but it just add to the ongoing debates of the Africa splitting into 2 theories...
 Masai people with their cattle.
Talek, Kenya
We stay in Talek for one night, a small village on the outside of the Masai Mara entrance. Feeling excited, I woke up at 3am and took this photo of the African night sky with the 4WD that we will be using to explore Masai Mara for the next few days.
Masai Mara
The gate is not even open when we arrive. Can't wait to get into Masai Mara.... to be continued

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Oriental Pied Hornbill Picky About Snail

While on my way to Hide 1D from the Main Bridge of SBWR, spotted this Oriental Pied Hornbill caught an african snail. Like other hornbill, as their bill is much longer than other birds they can't manipulate their food with their tounge. So they have to toss the food caught directly to their throat.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Seeing an Oriental Pied Hornbilll on the ground is uncommon and getting to see this male hornbill catch the prey on the ground is even epic.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
After the 1st toss, the hornbill manage to move the snail to the middle of his bill.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
The hornbill continue to jerk his head and move the snail further in.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
The hornbill crushed the shell of the snail in the process. Not sure if this is by purpose to de-shell it or accidentally.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
The hornbill repeat the tossing process with the half 'naked' snail.
Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental Pied Hornbill
The hornbill miss the snail and fell off it's grip.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
The hornbill pick it up again and I didn't realise is the different snail until I take a closer look while processing the photos.
Oriental Pied Hornbill
This time round, the hornbill decided to go somewhere else to enjoy his meal lead me one big question unanswered. Is the hornbill dropped the half 'naked' snail by purpose or accidentally. Could it be the hornbill become picky when the food is abundant?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Migratory Birds Arrived at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

I was told that migratory birds have started to arrive at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR). Is rather early this year, so I made a trip there on 2 September.
estuarine crocodile
 Is getting easier to spot crocodile in  SBWR. I saw this huge crocodile at the main bridge.
estuarine crocodile
 Not just one but 2 at the main bridge.
purple heron (Ardea purpurea)
 This very colorful Purple heron patiently waiting for fish to swim near the river bank.
little egret (Egretta garzetta)
 Different from the Purple heron, this little egret is more active in finding food.
Painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
 Painted stork taking a rest with both leg down.
Common redshank
 This Red Shank is one of the early batch of migratory birds that arrived in Singapore.
Common redshank

collared kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
 Other than migratory birds, I saw a pair of Collared Kingfisher.
Flying dragon
 A flying dragon
Sea Almond tree
Twice a year, Sea almond tree shed their leaves. This is closet to autumn that we can get here in tropical.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Last Birding Stop Before Leaving for airport at Pak Phli

After 5 days of birding in Thailand, is time to go back to Singapore. While on our way to airport, we have about 2 hours to spare so we make a pit stop at Pak Phli.
Pak Phli
There are 2 different habitats in this area. We should be able to see open country birds.
Pak Phli, buffolo
As well as water birds since this is also a paddies field.
Red-wattled lapwing
One of the most common lapwing in Thailand is this Red-wattled lapwing. You will not miss it in any open country area.
Green bee-eater
Another common open country bird that we saw is this Green bee-eater.
Blue tailed bee-eater
Migratory Blue tailed bee-eater has also arrived here in Thailand.
Asian pied starling
Asian pied starling may not be common in Singapore, but they are very common here in Thailand.
Little Cormorant
Little Cormorant getting sunlight to help speed up the drying of the feathers.
Pond heron
Pond heron is fishing from the top of lotus leaf.
Black drongo
This Black drongo took few attempts before able to perch steadily on top of the lotus flower bud.
Black-shouldered kite
Another common bird of prey of open country is this Black-shouldered kite.
One of the rare find of this trip will be this Watercock in breeding plumage! Can't wait to coma back to Thailand for more birding soon.