Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sleepy Hollow Holland Drive Wet Market receives an Unexpected Visitor

What a rare treat ! While walking out to the Holland Drive market one bright and sunny morning, I ran into a Hornbill resting against  a tree trunk.

Hornbills like to nest in tall trees

The Hornbill is a large  bird with a  yellow helmet like casque on top of its massive bill. This striking combination gives it an awesome  appearance. 

Amazing bird with its massive bill topped by a casque

It drew the attention of aunties and uncles out marketing, (including me) to pause and gawk and ask excitedly "kwa see me ? kwa see me?"  "Kwa jeow kwa jeow" is my jocular reply and on hindsight, hope it didn't get misinterpreted as a vulgarity !:)

Aunties and uncles crane their necks to get a better view

Shutterbugs and bird watchers   gathered with their cameras, telephoto lenses, tripods, smart phones and  binoculars to grab a picture or a view of this unexpected visitor.
Birders and Shutterbugs all agog

Waiting patiently with their long telephoto lenses 

As I had with me only a low end phone camera I could only get this not so sharp picture of the bird. Still, I can see it is peering into the hole of the tree trunk which I guess  must be the nest. Is the female bird with eggs inside ?

Is he feeding the family ..?

...to be continued when chicks are hatched and learn to fly.....

Update 1 Christmas Eve 24 Dec 2016 10.30 am

Shutterbugs are still staking out at Holland Drive

According to the market talk the male hornbill comes every few hours to feed the female (who is sitting in the hole hatching the eggs) I was not lucky enough to catch sight of it during my visit. Nevertheless, thank you Hornbill for bringing joy and wonder this Christmas 2016 to the elderly uncles and aunties in this sleepy community of Holland Drive.

Holland Drive Wet Market
thank you Hornbill

...to be Updated....
Update 2 Jan 17 2017  Morning....
Sad ! No sign of the bird on my market visits since I last saw it in Dec. Heng managed to catch a brief glimpse a few days ago with this rather hazy picture as it was late afternoon.
Bird is still around.

.......Hopefully there will be more dramatic updates when baby birds learn to fly......
Final Update March 3rd 2017
Well I guess its chapter close and good bye Hornbill as I have no more sightings of it on my regular visits to the market and all the shutterbugs and bird watchers have disappeared too.
One final word, the bird was highlighted in ST Feb 27 as shown in picture below:
Straits Times Feb 27 picture


  1. This pair were nested in trees in the block 11 Holland Drive precinct, directly outside my front door, for over 6 months before they were forced to move on when the trees were pruned. Glad they are still in the area!

    1. Wow you are lucky to have a grandstand view of the hornbill and its nesting site. I just hope they don't prune the trees at the Wet Market. Thanks for sharing.