Bird watchers know that a fruiting fig or a flowering tree in our parks and forests are magnets for frugivores birds like bulbuls and pigeons. Many will trek up to the summit of Bukit Timah Hill when the big ficus tree fruits to tick some of the rarer resident forest species. But now another tree the False Curry Leaf is attracting the bird watchers and photographers and some of the hard to find species at the Dairy Farm Nature Park.
The False Curry Leaf Tree (Clausena excavata) is a small slender tree that looks like the Curry Leaf plant. Native from India to Indochina down to Malaysia, its leaf has a slight curry smell when crushed. Small green berries formed at a terminal cluster from tiny white flowers. They turn pink when ripe and has a taste of grapes. This seems to attract many of the forest species that find this berry irresistible, They in turn will help to disperse the seeds.
Some of the birds seen feeding on this plant at Dairy Farm Nature Park after alert from Doreen Ang on the Jambu Fruit Dove. Other species that were also seen feeding on the berries were Asian Glossy Starlings, Red-crowned Barbet, Black-naped Oriole and Red-eyed Bulbuls.
Eye-browed Thrush by Lee Van Hien. An uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor first seen at Bidadari on 27th November.
Cinereous Bulbul by See Toh Yew Wai. A uncommon non-breeding visitor and wanderer from Peninsular Malaysia. This season we are seeing a broad dispersal across the island.
Jambu Fruit Dove Juvenile by Alan OwYong. Uncommon non-breeding visitor and resident that is globally neared threatened.
Streaked Bulbul by Alan OwYong. Non-breeding visitor most probably from the hill forests of Malaysia partly due to its nomadic behavior.
Asian Fairy Bluebird by See Toh Yew Wai. Common forest resident. Mid canopy feeder mostly seen at fruiting trees. Sharp one or two notes witt calls.
Straw-headed Bulbul by Lee Van Hien. We are lucky that this globally vulnerable and nationally threatened species is doing well in our parks and forest when they are poached to extinction in their range.
Reference; A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. 2013.Yong Ding Li, Lim Kim Chuah and Lee Tiah Khee.