“Attracted to some squawking above a ketapang tree (Terminalia catappa) next to the Changi Point ferry terminal. Tried to identify the birds making those noise but view was blocked by thick foliage. Few minutes later, out flew a Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffini) towards the sea, and seconds later a hornbill flew inland.
“Decided to try my luck to take a shot of the corella and walked towards the seaside. Encountered two flocks of pigeons scurrying on the ground, and nearer the beach was a fairly big flock of ‘white doves’ (above). Was pleasantly surprised they turned out to be Tanimbar Corellas (about 15). Most of them were on the ground feeding and a few were sitting on the ketapang trees.
“Managed to make my way as close as possible to them. Some even moved to barely 3m from my squatting position. They were all busy picking up ketapang fruits from the ground, shelled them between their beaks, and dexterously held it with their claws the inner seeds and feed on the tasty morsel (above). A few were observed to roll and rub themselves on the grass and sand while the feeding was going on.
“Remember as a kid, tried to get the ‘nut’ from this dried sea almond fruit (left). Had to use a rock to smash open the shell, often pulverising the tasty morsel. These birds can just halve them between their beaks.”
Singapore, 25th May 2011