Latest Wild Sojourns (Wild About Life)

China 2018

ChiangMai 2018

Access to Chiang Dao from Chiangmai is via a 3 hour winding road around the mountain and down to the Padi fields. A series of fast moving rivers and man-made waterfalls are where the Crested Kingfisher likes to hangout. Amidst the swirling waters, look for some pools of calm waters; spots where river fishes rise to breathe – food for the Crested Kingfisher (even larger than the Stork-billed kingfisher). Where it fishes, varies from day to day and luck plays an important part in landing this lifer.

Night Stalker (Trip 1)

Pulau Ubin at night – creepy crawlies abound. On 5 Jan 2018, we were fortunate that it did not rain. We covered the eastern section of the island and we had 2 lifers – a leaf insect and a bark mantis. Stick insects were common, especially the Lonchodes brevipes. Whipsnakes (green as well as the brown) were easily spotted. We encountered five whipsnakes that night. Mist nets put up by the Vertebrate Survey team managed to trap insectivorous bats (a surprise) while the harp nets caught nothing ( during the time we were there). The Net-casting spider was a welcome find as it is the second time that I had encountered it. The Land Planarium worm was rather unusual at it had only one colour and it was large! The new species of Stick insect still eluded us.

Taiwan

Areas covered include:

  • Yang Ming Shan National Park, Jing Shan
  • Chiayi
  • Sun Link Sea Forest
  • Dasyueshan Forest Recreational Area
  • Longtan, Taoyuan
  • Wantan
  • Xinpu

At the Yangmingshan National Park, we had hoped to see the Taiwan Blue Magpie but that failed to materialise. The Taiwan Barbet was also elusive, preferring to hide among the leaves. The Crested Serpent Eagle made spectacular flights as it descended to feed. The Swinhoe Pheasant at Dasyueshan Forest was more obliging; however its mate (as many as three, preferred to feed on the lower slopes and hence was more challenging to photograph. Even more challenging was the Osprey at a river at Wantan. Took us 2 days to get some decent images and most of it was shot in pouring rain. At Chiayi, the Oriental Honey Buzzard ravenous appetite was revealed as it fought off swarming bees to get to the honey comb and honey. Word got around that the Japanese Thrush was in town but with bad weather and failing light, we only managed to get ‘document standard’ images.

Singapore

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