...and a few moments later, the quiet of the otherwise peaceful evening was broken by very loud and discordant "AARRK-AARRK-AARRK!" cries made by one of the following - ...
Whoa..had two sightings of birds that I have never seen before in the wild in a matter of minutes! Though drained after a very long day at school, I suddenly found the energy to go bird-stalking. Haha. If not for meeting and Meryl and Lynette, I wouldn't have had the chance to end the day on such a high note :) However, I did feel like kicking myself when I realised that the long shots I took of the cockatoos (YES, there were like three or more of them 'obediently' perched on a branch) were aimed too high/low and contained no birds. Argh. Didn't have a chance to take more shots upon this realisation as they had all flown to a tree opposite the road, too high up for a good shot. Argh.
As I initially had no idea what the first bird was, I googled 'cockatoo' and one of the websites to come up was from ClubSNAP which solved the 'mystery' for me. See the page which has close-up and clear shots of both the Yellow-Vented Bulbul and cockatoo.
First and foremost, I really have to do something about my 'shaky' hands problem. It gets bad when I get excited at a new sighting.
In case you were wondering, we were at the bus-stop outside the OED which is just opposite Raffles Hall and the Kuok Foundation House. I've often heard bird cries at that bus-stop while waiting for the internal shuttle bus.
Back to the unidentified cockatoo. As they all stayed pretty high up and I only saw their underside, it's hard to tell exactly what species they are. Some species of cockatoos with white plumage which can be found in Singapore are the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) and Tanimbar Corella (Cacuata goffiniana). Edit: There's also the Yellow-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea) as pointed out by Ivan. Thanks! See his full comment for more info.
For more posts of birds sighted at NUS, take a look at KS's blog entry here.