In January 2012, I received news that a pair of Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) were nest building at Japanese Garden in Singapore.
As the Crested Goshawk was a rare resident species, I was excited to have a look and get some photos of the pair. A few avid photographer friends have observed that the birds tend to make their way from the adjacent Chinese Garden to Japanese Garden in the early morning with twigs for their nest.
On the morning I had some free time to check them out, I waited at the Japanese Garden side nearer to the nest, but they did not turn up. Fortunately, the birds were later seen landing at Chinese Garden near the bridge joining these two locales. Rushing there, I managed to find them after a short search. There was enough time to see them mating, but unfortunately my camera settings were not ideal, so the mating pictures turned out blurry.
I observed that they were cutting tree branches, and anticipated they will fly away to their nest location. Positioning myself near the bridge, I managed to capture one of them flying relatively low across water. Thankfully the weather was ideal and the flight path was relatively clear.
On Friday, I took a bit of time off from work to have a stroll at Japanese Garden. It’s a park in Jurong that as the name implies have some Japanese influence in it’s landscaping. It’s also a favourite haunt for bird photographers as there is a wide variety of birds both resident and migrants that congregate there and the adjoining Chinese Garden. The reasons are simple. There are many trees and more importantly many ponds and even a lake there. Source of food and water. It also helps that it is pretty devoid of bird predators (except probably for some raptors which are also birds anyway).
So on this short trip, I saw hornbills, kingfishers, shrikes, flycatchers, sunbirds and herons. Nothing stands out, except for two things.
First, I had another encounter with yet another stork-billed kingfisher. Unlike my previous encounter at Hindhede Quarry, this time I was much nearer.
It’s an adult and it’s looking for food. Unfortunately, it’s not very adept at fishing. I was observing it hunting a few times unsuccesfully.
But not to worry, there are plenty of fishes at the pond and it has all the time to get it right. BTW on the same day, I received a promotional letter from Nespresso that came with a 50 cents stamp. Guess what, the picture on the stamp is that of the Stork-billed! Coincidence?
The other picture above is that of the Grey Heron. It is interesting just because of its pose, which reminded me of the shape of a heart. It’s actually the heron sunning itself, but makes for a somewhat unusual image.