Tag Archives: Noah Strycker

Leica’s Birdwalk with Noah Strycker.

Leica’s Birdwalk with Noah Strycker.

L1190348_edited

Happy birders enjoying a great morning with Noah Strycker at the Gardens by the Bay. Photo courtesy of Chen Zhi Lin of Leica Camera Asia Pacific. 

Leica Cameras Asia Pacific flew Noah Strycker all the way from Antarctica where he was leading a trip to Singapore on 28 November to attend the Birdlife International’s Gala Dinner. It was only a “48 hours trip”, something Noah was used to when he did his Global Big Year in 2015. He set a new record of 6,042 species in a calendar year. Besides being one of the celebrity guests at the Gala Dinner, he also exhibited his bird photos taken with the Leica V-lux during his Big Year, the sale proceeds going to Birdlife International Conservation Fund.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-01 at 10.09.50

Geoff Lim’s low angle shot offering a different perspective of Noah Strycker with Con Foley at GBTB with Ee Ling, Veronica and Alan leading the way.

The marketing team at Leica Cameras Asia Pacific arranged a birdwalk with Noah for their clients and invited members of the Singapore Bird Group who helped Noah ticked the three species when he was in transit in Singapore on December 2015 (Link). They were the Straw-headed Bulbul, Grey Nightjar and the Tanimbar Corella.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-01 at 10.09.461-PC015715

The visiting Common Kingfisher put on a great show for us that morning. Ping Ling crouching for a better shot. Photo: Geoff Lim and Alan OwYong.

We knew that Noah had birded in many wild and exotic places around the world but we doubt if he had ever birded at a man made garden on a reclaimed land right in the middle of a financial hub. So we decided to take him to the Gardens by the Bay on the morning of Saturday 1 December. Con Foley his “go-to-birder” here promised him his lifer, the Ruddy-breasted Crake which had been loitering around the gardens for the past weeks. But he forgot to let the crake know that a celeb birder was coming to see him. So Noah had to settle for the Yellow Bittern as his best bird of the day because of the excellent close up views.

Actually Noah was quite impressed with the bird life at the gardens this morning. We had a good variety of resident birds and a few migrants to show him. They may be common to us like the Asian Koel but they were a treat for Noah.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-01 at 10.09.54

I cannot remembered what we were looking at but it was a lup sup bird as far as Con is concerned. Photo: Wong Chung Cheong.

The last species we saw were two displaying Oriental Honey Buzzards before ending up at Leica’s Shop at Marina Bay Sands where Noah regaled us with a slide talk on his adventures of his Big Year. Noah turned out to be a great storyteller and a funny one too.  This was the highlight of the day for most of us listening to why and how he went birding for 365 days almost non-stop often without sleep.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-02 at 16.57.13

Noah’s slide talk showing the many friends he made during his Big Year. Photo: Yeo Seng Beng.

Starting on board a ship at one end of the world on New Year’s day looking for penguins to spending Christmas in Australia with the Cassowary before returning to India to mop up 40 odd more species for his record. It was a journey of making friends across the world as much as a personal achievement. The ups and downs were a plenty. Missed flights and being stranded in the middle of nowhere were par for the course. So too were the enthusiastic birders in every continent who never once let him down.

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-01 at 14.32.01

Seng Beng, Kim Chuah, Ee Ling, Jimmy Chew and Jimmy Lee and Con standing, Fance and Kim Keang seated, having a lunch chat with Noah. Photo: Alan OwYong.

Many thanks to Leica for arranging this special bird walk and Noah for his company and talk. Thanks to Ray Tan and Chen Zhi Lin for making sure we all had a great morning. The sandwich and juice breakfast, bento lunches and Spoonie pins put together by Ginny Pang were much appreciated.

P.S. Noah has written a book “Birding without Borders” about his exploits doing his Big Year. It is a fascinating must read for every birder.  

 

 

 

Advertisements

Noah Strycker’s Global Big Year stop in Singapore.

 

Pointing-Con Foley

Pointing to the Grey Nightjar tree at Bidadari. From left Low Choon How, Con Foley, Noah Strycker, Wong Chung Cheong and Yong Yik Shih. Not in the photo out looking for flycatchers were Lim Kim Keang, Alfred Chia, Tan Ping Ling and Tan Ju Lin

Singapore has the distinction of being the shortest birding stop for Noah Strycker in his Global Big Year quest on 27th December. He had a couple of hours layover enroute from Perth to New Delhi. Instead of relaxing in the airport, Noah checked out and ended up with four ticks here with the help of Con Foley and other members of the Bird Group. He now needs eleven more species to hit the 6,000 mark before the year end.

When he first contacted Con in early December, his target species included the Hodgon’s Hawk Cuckoo, Lanceolated Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Grey Nightjar, Straw-headed Bulbul and some rare flycatchers among others.

Con took up the challenge and enlisted the bird group members for help to locate some of the target species. Not leaving anything to chance, Con spent a few days checking out Bidadari Cemetery, Bukit Batok and Changi Village for the wanted species.

Straw-headed Bulbul fron Bukit Batok

Straw-headed Bulbul from Bukit Batok

On the day itself, the trip was executed with military precision. The first stop was Bukit Batok after picking up Noah from the airport. Low Choon How had already staked out the Straw-headed Bulbuls there. A quick stop and a great start for Noah. This is the most reliable place to see this globally threatened species. A third study on this bulbul will begin next year.

Grey Nightjar at Bidadari

Grey Nightjar at Bidadari

Our top migrant site Bidadari was next. Con had the roosting Grey Nightjar “tagged” but Wong Chung Cheong was on hand to make sure it did not moved to another tree. One more tick down. Another team led by Lim Kim Keang combed the rest of Bidadari for the Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo, Green-backed, Narcissus and Japanese Paradise Flycatchers that were wintering there earlier this month. But they must have all moved on.

The Sengkang floating Wetlands is the most likely place to tick the Lanceolated Warbler but this super sulker did not give in so easily. All Noah got was a nice photo of our urban nature parks which he used as his cover photo in his blog “Birding without Borders”. Kim Keang suggested nearby Punggol Barat for the Ruddy-breasted Crake. Again it did not show, but at least it called, good enough for the tick.

The last stop was for the Tanimbar Corellas at Changi Village, which is close the the Changi airport. This feral species can be seen from the carpark compared to a long trek at its Tanimbar Island home in Indonesia.

We are glad that Singapore made a small contribution to Noah’s Global Big Year. All of us at the Bird Group wish Noah safe journeys and breaking the 6,000 species mark before the end of the year.

All photos: Con Foley. You can read about his trip here at https;//www.audubon.org/news/day-361-birding-singapore.