-And now, an exclusive tour of the set of Bird Encounters of a Balcony Kind–
When we take photographs of birds from our balcony, they are so far away that we need to use a huge lens. Our first few pictures of birds (before we got the lens) were taken by holding a small camera to the binoculars!
We used a super cool Leica Rangefinder belonging to a relative to estimate the distances the trees are from our balcony to see how far away the trees are.
Now, on to the most exciting part…
We’ll be giving you a tour of the popular spots for birds and what regular visitors we have 😀
(Note: we use these names because when you see a bird, you can’t really yell “THAT TREE” and expect everyone to know what you are talking about.)
1. The Pigeon Tree (34m)
Named because of the flocks of Pink-Necked Green Pigeons that gather there often, the Pigeon Tree was also where we saw our first birds – said pigeons and a Yellow-Vented Bulbul.
Notable visitors: Pink-Necked Green Pigeon, Red-Whiskered Bulbul, Common Iora
2. Drying Station (32m)
A group of rather hidden branches frequented by birds after a bath in the pool. A quiet location for birds to preen in peace.
Notable visitors: Straw-Headed Bulbul, Red-Whiskered Bulbul, Red Junglefowl, Oriental Magpie-Robin
3. The Tree (50m)
The most popular of the trees in our area is not just any tree. It is THE TREE. If you have been checking out our blog, you’d definitely have seen many pictures of birds sitting on The Tree! It is one of the first places we check when looking out for birds. It used to have some leaves, but now it is bare (which is partly good because it is easier to spot bird silhouettes against the bright sky). Birds of all kinds have been sighted here!
Notable visitors: White-Throated Kingfisher, Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Brahminy Kite, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Jerdon’s Baza, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo, Asian Koel, Thick-Billed Crow, Blue-Throated Bee Eater, Blue-Tailed Bee Eater, Rufous Woodpecker, Lineated Barbet and more
4. Palms In Front (20m)
These palms line the swimming pool. Their fruits are bright red and yellow, and attract many birds.
Notable visitors: Common Flameback, Oriental White-Eye, Pied Triller, Brown-Throated Sunbird, Hill Myna
5. The Palm (64m)
This palm is the most obvious as it is a tall palm amongst smaller ones! It has a long stem-like stick sticking out on top, which has been clung to by tiny birds and chewed on by parakeets.
Notable visitors: Long-Tailed Shrike, Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker, Oriental Dollarbird, Long-Tailed Parakeet, Red-Breasted Parakeet
6. Faraway Tree (164m)
Hidden behind the palms, we didn’t notice the significance of this tree until Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters were spotted there for the first time! It is so far away that it is hard to identify birds even with binoculars. We have to take a picture first and zoom in on the birds in order to identify them.
Notable visitors: Blue-Tailed Bee Eater, Coppersmith Barbet, Thick-Billed Crow, Common Buzzard
7. Really Big Tree (79m)
Not much has been spotted here due to its lushness and its distance, except for a bright yellow oriole or a squirrel or two. However, raptors seem to visit it, making it impossible to take pictures of them since they are so hidden amongst the leaves.
Notable visitors: Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle
8. Palm Above Heliconias (20m)
Since it is so near to us, it’s quite easy to spot birds here! Bulbuls frequent it often while catching bugs.
Notable visitors: Rufous Woodpecker, Common Flameback
9. Heliconias (20m)
Favourite spot of the sunbirds who love flitting around!
Notable visitors: Olive-Backed Sunbird, White-Breasted Waterhen
10. Kingfisher Branch (41m)
A small hidden branch further behind which White-Throated Kingfishers seem to like.
Notable visitors: White-Throated Kingfisher
11. Close Big Tree (34m)
It’s generally hard to spot birds in this tree due to its lushness, but unlike the Really Big Tree this tree is nearer to us which makes birdwatching easier.
Notable visitors: Changeable Hawk Eagle, Red-Whiskered Bulbul, Hill Myna, Asian Koel
12. Bare Tree (50-53m)
This tree used to be really popular with birds, but seems to have quietened down. 😦
Notable visitors: Blue-Throated Bee Eater, Coppersmith Barbet, Pied Triller
Favourite venue for bulbul pool parties (spa services and sunning) and for birds to chill on hot days. Near the Drying Station for a convenient preening location.
Notable visitors: Yellow-Vented Bulbul, Oriental Magpie Robin, Straw-Headed Bulbul, Red-Whiskered Bulbul
Now that we’ve got these distances, we are really glad to be so lucky to have such an amazing little forest just by our balcony! However, some of these trees are still growing, and so will the landscape. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the tour~