Friday, May 06, 2022

Singapore Once More

After twelve years we're back in Singapore. Just as before we were amazed at the ambiance and clean surroundings of this small Asian country. More so now that everything is high-tech: at McDonalds you order using a huge screen, at our hotel restaurant you look at the menu by scanning a QR code - because there isn't any written one. We had a red-eye flight from Manila and a 2-hour delay made it even worse for this two elderlies. We checked in at our hotel at around 3 am and practically passed out as soon as we settled in our room. We woke up a little after 7 am and decided to have breakfast at the nearby McDonalds. After a hearty meal, we got our first bird - the Spotted Dove which is very common here in Singapore - just outside the hotel.
The most common species here is the Javan Myna. Our first (and not so good) shot was one perched on the mall entrance.
We then flagged a taxi to take us to the Singapore Botanic Garden. We were suprised at the number of people there. Then we realized that it was a holiday and it appears that a great majority of Singaporeans visit this nature park on such occasions. Thankfully there were still birds. A Pink-necked Fruit Dove was even that close as it negotiated a thorny palm tree.
Going through the narrow path and trying to avoid the hikers, we encountered our only lifer for the trip - an Olive-winged Bulbul!
As we approached the pond, we got a male Olive-backed Sunbird.
Perched on a tree across the pond was a Grey-headed Fish Eagle. Too bad it was quite far and in a dark area.
Then also from a distance came a Black-naped Oriole.
Red Junglefowls are common here in the park.
This time we got better shots at the ubiquitous Javan Mynas.
A small bird was flitting among the branches. Reviewing the photos later at the hotel I'd like to think that it was a Yellow-browed Warbler just because the migrant Arctic Warblers are probably gone since the migration season is over. If that's the case then it would be another lifer for us.
At 11:30 we decided to call it a day and headed to the mall to have lunch. We both were exhausted that we just rested for the rest of the day. The following morning we took a taxi to Bukit Timah. However when we got there we were daunted by the challenging trails. Since it rained early that morning, the steep trails were muddy and slippery and dark. Since we did not have hiking shoes on, Cynthia and I both agreed to skip this place and go back to the Botanic Gardens. It's no longer a holiday so we hoped there would be less people there. Indeed there only a few hikers when we got there. The first species that greted us was a Zebra Dove.
From really, really far away was a White-throated Kingfisher!
Good thing that its cousin, the Collared Kingfisher, was friendlier.
By the pond, this time we got a Pacific Swallow.
Feeding nearby was a pair of Brown-throated Sunbirds.
A White-breasted Waterhen was also busy feeding near the pond.
A Malaysian Pied Fantail also gave us good looks.
And our last bird of the trip was a very cooperative Oriental Magpie Robin.
It was almost noon and time to have lunch at the mall again. After lunch we headed back to our hotel room for some shut-eye to prepare us for our early morning flight back home.