By: Lim Kim Chuah & Lee Ee Ling.
NSS led a public walk to Kranji Marsh core area on 28 February. We were fortunate to have a nice balmy morning. The group of 22 participants was immediately greeted by a grand fly pass of 13 Black Bazas at the start. And it was continuous wave of action after that. Blue-throated and Blue-tailed bee-eater displayed openly on a bare tree. And not to be outdone were Red-breasted Parakeets and also a beautifully “litted up” Dollarbird under the warm morning light. However a rather skittish and distant Banded Bay Cuckoo had other ideas and could not be persuaded to keep still. And skulking Pallas’ Grasshopper Warbler could be heard calling in the dense reeds and as usual refusing to show. In the marsh, the usual Red-wattled Lapwing did not disappoint. Some lucky birders also had good views of the specialty here – the Black-backed Swamphen. Then there were the usual hoard of bird foraging in the marsh – Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Intermediate Egret, Yellow Bittern, Stork-billed, Collared and Common Kingfisher. To add some excitement, a lone “Swintail” Snipe left birders puzzled over its identity and an “unripe” Pond Heron generated some discussions on whether it is a Chinese or Javan (or maybe even an Indian). In the fenced up open field, there was a small flock of Pacific Golden Plover. The brownish plumage blended nicely to the colour of the ground and took the sharp eyes of some birders to pick them out. There was also a lone Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and several Paddyfield Pipit roving around the field. And finally to end the walk, some of us were treated to an insomniac Savanna Nightjar calling and flying low over the marsh.
Thanks to Ee Ling for coordinating and organizing the walk.
Birding at Kranji Marsh. Picture by Wong Chung Cheong
Klenn Koh showing participants how to take pictures through the telescope using a mobile phone. Picture by: Wong Chung Cheong
Some bird pictures from Klenn’s “phone-scoping” technique: A Blue-tailed Bee-eater basking under the morning light
One of the stars of Kranji Marsh – Red-wattled Lapwing. Photo: Klenn Koh
A lonely Wood Sandpiper – becoming increasingly difficult to see this species in Singapore. Photo: Klenn Koh.
Many thanks to Klenn Koh and Chung Cheong for the use of their photos.