Very Rare Resident Cotton Pygmy Goose, female, photographed at Turut Ponds on 4 Jan by Raghav N aged 12.
The influx of migrants as expected has slowed down. Most of the migrants seen here were fuelling up and enjoying the winter. The year started with a bang when a male Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus thoracicus was spotted (YYS & TCT) foraging among the parasitic plants along the trail leading to Chek Jawa at P. Ubin. This is a rare resident in Peninsular Malaysia and Southern Thailand though there were unconfirmed (location unclear) ringing and photographic records in 1970. If accepted this will be a new record for Singapore.
This was followed by rare sightings of the Gargeney Anas querquedula flying across the MacRitchie Reservior inlet (LKS) on 2nd and a female Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus photographed at the Turut Ponds ( S & R) on 4th. The former is a rare migrant duck last recorded on 2001 while the latter is a very rare resident last seen at the Kranji Marshes two years ago (LKS). S & R went on to photograph the rare Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes at Chek Java the next day. This very energetic mother-and-son team has been contributing greatly to our avifauna records.
Non Breeding Visitor, Brown-streaked Flycatcher at Dairy Farm on 22nd by Lena Chow.
The CCNR forest was the centre of attention for much of the month with multiple sightings of the Chinese Flycatcher Ficedula elisae near Jelutong Hut on 17th (YWJ) and another at Lower Pierce Boardwalk on 19th (LVH). A rare non-breeding visiting Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa willamsoni was photographed at the Wallace Center (LC) on 22nd and a Von Schrenck’s Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus seen at Venus Loop on 15th (LKS).
Outside the reserve, the Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida returned to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and was first seen on 15th (AL) at the forested area there. It later settled down at its favourite Ginger Gardens, much to the delight of our local photographers. Another returnee was the ernesti resident race Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus to the CBD area on 8th (LEL). An uncommon Black-capped Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus) was seen at the Turut Ponds on 3rd (LCH).There were six Red-rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica flying around at the Changi Coast (LKK) on 31st with a Dark-sided Flycatcher Musicapa sibirica photographed at P. Ubin (DT) on 25th.
Non Breeding adult Red-throated Pipit at Punggol Barat photographed on 25th by See Toh Yew Wai.
The open waste land at Punggol Barat was still attracting uncommon migrants like the Siberian Stonechat Saxicola torquata, with a female was photographed on 23rd (BB), Red-throated Pipits, Anthus cervinus on 3rd (LKK) and Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius.
Migrant Raptors reported include a Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus and Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus over at Tuas South on the 25th (LCH) a Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus over at P. Ubin (SS) on 26th and a Jerdon’s Baza, Aviceda jerdoni photographed on perch at Tampines Eco Gardens (SA) on 30th.
Residents of note reported this month included a Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis sighting at Dempsey Hill (LE) on 24th and another at Mount Faber (ZHD) on 30th. Greater Green Leafbird, Chloropsis sonnerati at Bukit Brown (LKC), a shy White-browed Crake, Porzana cinerea (STYW) at Lorong Halus and a single Mangrove Whistler, Pachycephala grisola at the Changi reclaimed land (LKK) all on the last day of January.
Bird casualties reported by David Tan, a Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis found death at the gardens of Kent Vale Apartments on 25th and a dead female Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu at the NUS Computer Center on 30th. This pitta has a unusually large bill but later photos showed blackish crown stripes. This species was previously considered conspecific with the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha
Reference: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. Edited by Yong Ding Li. All the records are taken from various facebook group postings, bird forum and individual facebook postings and personal reports from Yong Yik Shih (YYS), Tan Chay Tuan (TCT), Low Choon How (LCH), Lim Kim Keang (LKK), Subha and Raghav (S&R), Lee Ee Ling (LEL), Albert Low (AL), Lim Kim Seng (LKS), Yap Wee Jin (YWJ), Laurence Eu (LE), Benson Brighton (BB), David Tan (DT),SerinSabaraj (SS), Lena Chow (LC) Seng Avlin (SA), See Toh Yew Wai (STYW), Lee Van Hien (LVH) and Zacc HD (ZHD). Many thanks for all your records.Thanks for the use of photos from Raghav N,Lena Chow and See Toh.Yew Wai.