Birds Of Different Feathers – Part 4

Birding seemed to be in fashion for the past few weeks even among the noob birders because we had several charming visitors! The spotted wood owls, the sunbirds and…

Pin-tailed Whydah

Male Pin-tailed Whydah.

Pin-tailed Whydah

The experienced and not so experienced birders gathered here for the very purpose of shooting the Pin-tailed whydahs.

Pin-tailed Whydahs are not endemic to Singapore and thus a big hooha arose when they were discovered in Pulau Punggol Barat. What’s even better is that they are here for the “birds and bees” stuff! They are still here as I am writing this post on 18th April 2015 and my friends are going back to take more pictures and perhaps Yama could make a video of their elaborate mating rituals, which we witnessed on our last visit, with the male performing jaw-dropping (my jaw) displays of dips and dives, an entertaining aerial ballet, in order to woo the female.

Pin-tailed Whydah

The pin-tailed whydah (Vidua macroura) is a small songbird.

I processed my photos and whined out loud on Facebook…

“Whydah heck my pictures not sharp? Coz I got shaky hands and short lens, hahaha!!! Anyhoo… here’s my shots for the zippa dee dooda day” 😀

The pin-tailed whydah (Vidua macroura) is a small songbird. It is a resident breeding bird in most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. It has also been introduced to southern California and Puerto Rico.

This whydah is found in many open habitats including open woodland, scrub and cultivation.

It is a brood parasite which lays its eggs in the nests of estrildid finches, especially waxbills. Unlike the common cuckoo, it does not destroy the host’s eggs. Typically, 2-4 eggs are added to those already present. The eggs of both the host and the firefinch are white, although the whydah’s are slightly larger. The nestling whydahs mimic the gape pattern of the fledglings of the host species.

The pin-tailed whydah is 12–13 cm in length, although the breeding male’s tail adds another 20 cm to this. The adult male has a black back and crown, and a very long black tail. The wings are dark brown with white patches, and the underparts and the head, apart from the crown, are white. The bill is bright red.

The female and non-breeding male have streaked brown upperparts, whitish underparts with buff flanks, and a buff and black face pattern. They lack the long tail extension, but retain the red bill. Immature birds are like the female but plainer and with a greyish bill.

The male pin-tailed whydah is territorial, and one male often has several females in his small group. He has an elaborate courtship flight display, which includes hovering over the female to display his tail. The song is given from a high perch, and consists of rapid squeaking and churring. The diet of this species consists of seeds and grain. – Wikipedia

Pin-tailed Whydah

Whydah heck am I baking in this barren land?
Can you see the uneven tones of my skin colour?
I think there are 50 shades, lol…

Pin-tailed Whydah

Will he win her heart?

Pin-tailed Whydah

Hey, there’s a lizard!

Pin-tailed Whydah

And the chase begins!

The sun was scorching hot, the humidity absurd that morning! After an hours or so, I gave up (skin hurting) and begged the boys to leave.

Punggol Barat Pin-tailed Whydah

A group photo before Calvin (far right) gave us a lift to Compass Point where we had lunch.
This was shot with a long lens and we had to stand very far from the camera, hahaha…
When Vanessa saw this posting on my FB, she lectured me (like a mommy would) in the comment saying that my knee was still not healed and that I am taxing it.
She’s right but I’m a playful child again, hehehe…
Photo courtesy of Calvin Chan.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

The boys saw the FB comment and replied the thread to assure Vanessa that I was ok and that they would take care of me.
They carried my bag and tripod and said, “Take a pic to show her you are in good hands.”

Calvin made two trips sending us to Compass Point. Alaric, Benjamin and I were in the first batch. Whilst waiting for Jimmy and Yama, we soak in the aircon at Starbucks and enjoyed a brain freezing cup of Frappucino. When all of us were united again, we had lunch at Kopitiam Food Court. This was my first visit to Compass Point in Punggol.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Lunch time on a Saturday = Peak hours!!!
I approached a table where the family seemed to have finished eating but lingered on.
Perhaps the proximity made them uncomfortable, they left in no time.
The cleaning lady congratulated that we were lucky to have found a table so quickly.
The boys gave me a pat for being so “thick-skinned” standing unabashedly thus securing our communal table.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Benjamin’s meal of BBQ Chicken, omelet, cabbage and rice from an Indonesian cuisine stall.
He had the same meal the night before at Marina Square and said that the price here was cheaper by 3 dollars and much tastier, too.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Jimmy’s meal of seafood noodles in tomyum soup.
The noodles looked like those in instant packs.
This is completely personal but I will not opt for instant noodles when eating out!

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Yama’s set meal of Koo Kee Yong Tau Foo at $5.90 is a franchised or chain outlet from the original stall 高记 in People’s Park Food Centre. Read post below.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Alaric’s Bah Kut Teh (BKT) meal had the addition of kidneys which sparked a “debate” on my page that adding kidneys to BKT spoilt the dish.
There’s no right or wrong, just personal preferences and individual tastes.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

My lunch of Ban Mian with mee sua (wheat four noodles) which is cottony soft and had no QQ-ness (not meant to have the springy texture) unlike what we look for in egg noodles.
I like it a lot even though I would not make a purposeful trip to eat Ban Mian here.

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

And yes, I love fiery chilli padi!

Pin-tailed Whydah Compass Point

Kopitiam Food Court – where Kopitiam is the brand name not to be confused with after the general term kopitiam (kopi = coffee in Malay and tiam = shop in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect).

Kopitiam @ Compass Point
Address: 1 Sengkang Square, 4th floor.
Singapore 545078.

Happy eating and bonding 😀

Read post on Koo Kee Yong Tau Foo here.

5 Responses to “Birds Of Different Feathers – Part 4”
  1. Unique bird … good photos …

  2. steven says:

    Camping for more photos of this birds.


    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Steven! Will you or did you go for this pin-tailed whydah? My friends went again yesterday and managed to make some short clips of the mating dance. I am not equipped for this genre so I doubt I will go back unless by some freak chance I buy an up-to-speed body and lens 😀 Have a great week ahead! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.