This autumn, a Ferruginous Flycatcher landed at Bidadari on the 21st September, setting a new extreme date for this flycatcher. The previous date was 25th September. But it did not stay and left the next morning. The second sighting of this uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant on the 6th October brought a large group of photographers to Bidadari. Dubbed “Iron Boy” because of its rusty plumage, it is more distinctive than the other Muscicapa flycatchers, making it a favorite among the photographers.
The first record for Singapore was on 9 October 1986 when two birds were seen at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. For the next 10 years, they were still recorded from Bukit Timah until the closure of the trails changed the ground cover. Other records came from Botanic Gardens, Kent Ridge, Sembawang, Nee Soon and Rifle Range. Interestingly most of them were adults, a trend unchanged to this day.
It has a wide range from Nepal to S. China, Taiwan, Greater Sundas and Philippines. Migrates to SEA and Hong Kong. (King et al 1975). Unlike the Asian-browned and Dark-sided Flycatchers, the Ferruginous Flycatcher prefers to perch lower down in the undergrowth and flies down to pick up insects from the ground.
Ref: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. Photos: Francis Yap.