April 2015

Monthly Archive

Singapore 2015

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Granddaughter soccer playBeth and my month-long trip to the Far East, mainly Singapore visiting our grandkids, ended April 6.  The trip home was a killer as usual.  Thirty-two and a half hours from leaving our son’s house in Singapore at 3:30 AM, through Hong Kong, San Francisco and Orlando, to arriving home at midnight.

But it was worth it.

It’s always wonderful to visit the grandkids at their own home, plus we both love Singapore.  We attended soccer games, soccer training, track meets and school events.  Granddaughter played in a youth soccer tournament with teams from fifteen countries participating, coming from as far away as Japan, Sri Lanka, Australia and Oman.

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Pulau Ubin by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

back view of birdingI wanted to visit Pulau Ubin, a 2500 acre island just off the northeast coast of Singapore, and I was running out of time.  We were down to Wednesday and Thursday before Easter.  Wednesday’s forecast was sixty percent chance of rain, Thursday’s eighty percent.  We elected to wait until Wednesday morning to decide go or no go.

Pulau Ubin is now mostly National Park and relatively unspoiled, with abandoned rubber plantations, old orchards, fish ponds and a fair bit of original mangrove forest.  There are few roads, several bike trails and a lot of hiking paths.  It is reached by bumboats from Changi Port.  Bumboats are not state-of-the-art vessels, don’t tie up to embark and disembark, don’t bother carrying life vests and have no set schedule. They are restricted to twelve passengers, so wait until twelve people show up, then quickly load and head out.

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Close But Not Counters (Twice) by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

white-throated KingfisherWe all went separate ways our last day in Langkawi, Malaysia.  The younger generations went sightseeing together, Beth went to a craft center then chilled and I hired a guide and went birding.  For the morning session, I was accompanied by a Japanese couple who were photographers rather than birders –the guide even had to supply binoculars.  In the afternoon, I was alone with the guide.

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Kilim Geopark by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

We booked a boat tour of Kilim Geopark for our second day in Langkawi, Malaysia.  We were joined by another couple and their young son, who were staying at the same hotel.  At 8:30 we were picked up and driven a half hour to the park boat ramp where we met our guide, Kiernian. Continue Reading »

The Andaman Hotel on Langkawi by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

coralOur grandkids’ spring break occurred while we were visiting them in Singapore.  The whole family took a short vacation and flew to the island of Langkawi, Malaysia, for three days, staying at the Andaman Hotel.  What a place!  The grandkids and Beth and I had adjoining rooms overlooking the sea at high tide and a coral bed, complete with reef egrets and heron, at low.  Sea Eagles and Brahminy Kites soared overhead.  Beautiful!  Our son and wife were on the ground floor and had a suite complete with their own pool.

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CANAVERAL NATIONAL SEASHORE FIELD TRIP REPORT, APRIL 18, 2015

Posted by on 28 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding

friendly towheeWe had a gorgeous day for birding the Seashore, a light breeze and no mosquitoes. We started at parking lot 5 to beat the rush for the limited parking and even at 8:00 am got 3 of the last 4 spots. There were quite a few Ruddy Turnstones and a few Sanderlings along the river shore. Royal Terns were sailing overhead and there were small flocks of unidentified species to peak our interest. White-eyed Vireo and Towhees were singing and soon found along with beautiful Prairie Warblers. One lone Blue Grosbeak  hopped up for a brief view. There were lots of Gray Catbirds lurking in the bushes and  one Towhee was going from car to car singing and looking at himself in the mirrors. Continue Reading »

WASHINGTON OAKS FIELD TRIP REPORT, APRIL 10, 2015

Posted by on 15 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: birding

black snakeWith lots of sunshine and no mosquitoes or sand gnats (no-see-ums), it was a beautiful day for a trip to Washington Oaks Garden State Park. We all enjoyed strolling the gardens – the air was scented with blooming flowers and spring green was bursting out all over. The colorful Northern Parula is always good to see and hear. High up in a Cabbage Palm a Yellow-throated Warbler made a brief appearance. A small Black Snake bravely challenged our presence in the orange grove area but Don Picard was not deterred and took several up close photographs.

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