There were 6 new residents in town this migratory season, and they are big. The Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans), which is found in the northern parts of South-East Asia from Thailand running through Myanmar, Cambodia and west to India, has been spotted for the first time in Singapore. The news triggered many bird photographers down to photograph them. Naturally I would not have missed this chance either.
I went down on 3 separate occasions to photograph these massive birds. The first time was disappointing as they stood in the trees without much activity. I was waiting for them to take flight to the ground but none came.
I went back the second time and this time they stood at the top of the trees, which was a better spot to photograph than the previous time. However, there were only 4 birds left. The morning light cast a nice orange glow to the pictures. But again they stood and did nothing much other than a little of stretching here and there. Finally they took off but it was a short flight as they flew into another tree to get away from the sun, and that marks the end of shooting for the day.
The third time, I was again hoping for them to take flight and come to the ground to feed. It did not take long for them to take flight. The first was circling round before landing back onto the trees. Shortly after, all 4 storks took flight and circled around before flying further and further northwest, and soon they were out of sight. According to other birders it was the first time they flew so far away. I was wondering if they had gone back to where they came from.
Although I did not managed to get the storks foraging on the ground, I was glad to have taken shots of them perching and flying. I do not know if they will appear in Singapore again, but if they do, I will be back to photograph them again.
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