Our Avian Visitors, the August Stars

Henry Koh got the ball rolling with a lone Greater Sand Plover at Seletar Dam on 8th. An early star which can be difficult to find and ID.  This was enough to rekindle the Big Year ticking. It stayed for a week or so unlike the 300 + Lesser Sand Plovers, many still in their summer plumage. Those who came later in the month missed it but had the consolation ticking a Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, a few Pacific Golden Plovers and Common Sandpipers – nothing special.

Lesser Sand Plover

Lesser Sand Plover at Seletar Dam.

Over at Kranji, Kim Seng was delighted to find the Little-ringed Plovers, the Great and Little Egrets wintering near the golf course on the 10th. On the same day, Vincent Lao posted a photo of a cuckoo from Lorong Halus. It was identified as the rare Austral non-breeding visitor Horsfield Bronze Cuckoo, a much sought after lifer for many birders here. Alas, it turned out to be a one day wonder. So was another non-breeding visitor that Roland Yip photographed, the uncommon Brown-streaked Flycatcher, again at Halus on 30th.

The first flycatcher was a worn out Asian Brown seen by Kim Seng at Sime Forest on 21st. I heard that some photographers had the Asian Paradise Flycatchers earlier in the month, but I could not get records to publish here. The Yellow-rumped Flycatcher followed, a female as expected, reported by Lawrence Cher on 30th at Bidadari, our soon to be developed migrant trap.

Asian Dotwitchers

2013 File photo of Asian Dowitchers at SBWR

The excitement went up a few notches on 30th when Ben Lee posted a photo of an Asian Dowitcher roosting at Sungei Buloh. The Big Yearers all rushed down to the main hide on Sunday 31st hoping to add to their barren month. Alas it gave us all the slip. Luckily the trip was non in vain. Five Black-tailed Godwits turned up together with a Terek Sandpiper, a lone Grey Tattler and one or two Curlew Sandpipers. Most of us added at least three species to our list.

Common Kingfisher Shirley Ng

Common Kingfisher at Gardens by the Bay by Shirley Ng.

Rounding up, Shirley Ng presented us with a gorgeous Common Kingfisher from the Gardens by the Bay. She reported seeing two of these beautiful winter visitors, always a favorite among the bird photographers.

More migrants will be turning up in September and everyone will be glad to be back clicking in the field. Keep the post coming and happy birding.

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