Singapore Bird Report – October 2015

October normally marks the peak passerine migration period for Singapore. Unfortunately it was also the peak time for peatland forest fires in Indonesia resulting in prolonged haze in the region. This is not a rant about our own inconvenience, but before we proceed further, spare a thought for the lost habitat for these migrants that have flown thousands of kilometres to find their wintering ground destroyed.

The globally threatened Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher at Bidadari on 3 October

The globally threatened Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher at Bidadari on 3 October

The list of migrants that came to our shore this month is a long one. Among the notable ones are the ever popular Black-backed Kingfisher that landed at Bidadari on 6 October. Bidadari, which is widely considered as the best place in Singapore to see migrant forest birds also played host to numerous Brown-chested Jungle Flycatchers. This globally threatened species made its first appearance on 3 October and a few seemed to have made it their wintering ground. The Siberian Blue Robin, another attractive species that occupy the same bushes and ground as the jungle flycatchers also made its first appearance on 5 October.

Ferruginous Flycatcher at Bidadari

Ferruginous Flycatcher at Bidadari

Other notable sightings at Bidadari include the Asian Paradise Flyacatchers that made their first appearance on 2 October, the attractive Ferruginous Flycatcher on 28 October. The short range migrant from Malaysia, the Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo made an appearance at Bidadari on 15 October. It’s cousin the similar looking Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo came from further north and consequently made its first appearance on 18 October. Another charismatic species, the Blue-winged Pitta was reported on 18 October.

Blue-winged Pitta at Bidadari.

Blue-winged Pitta at Bidadari.

Bidadari wasn’t the only place where migrants appeared. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve continue to play host to migrant shorebirds, with sighting of the Bar-tailed Godwits starting on 4 October. These godwits are known to migrant birds with the longest known non-stop flight, and also the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal (link). Shorebirds weren’t the only species that landed in Sungei Buloh. A Dark-sided Flycatcher was recorded there on 20 October, and a flock of Oriental Pratincoles on 27 October.

Shorebirds were also sighted at Pulau Tekong with the globally vulnerable Great Knot on 21 October, 2 Grey Plovers on 27 October and 4 Ruddy Turnstones on 30 October.

Swinhoe's Plover at Marina East. This is a subspecies of Kentish Plover.

Swinhoe’s Plover at Marina East. This is a subspecies of Kentish Plover.


Another area with shorebirds reported is at Marina East Drive, with sightings of 6 Kentish Plovers (a mixture of nominate subspecies alexandrinus and dealbatus also known as Swinhoe’s Plover) and Malaysian Plovers on 24 October. These species are normally sandy beach specialists, but they seem to have stayed on at the breakwater. Across the barrage at Gardens by the Bay, the first Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler was reported on 14 October. Photographers were also having a field day photographing the confiding Common Kingfisher at that locality.

Slightly further away, the locally very rare Lesser Frigatebird was found by workers at Marina South Pier with a hook in the stomach on 9 October. It was sent to ACRES but did not survive.

On the raptor front, Peregrine Falcons were reported at three localities. At Pulau Ubin on 1 October, Japanese Garden on 15 October, and Millennium Tower on 29 October. The Pulau Ubin and Millennium Tower birds were of the ernesti race, which are rare residents, while the Japanese Garden bird is believed to be of the japonensis race that migrate from the north.

Female Chinese Sparrowhawk at Jelutong Tower

Female Chinese Sparrowhawk at Jelutong Tower

Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk at Tuas South

Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk at Tuas South

At Tuas South and Jelutong Tower, the migrant raptors, swifts and swallows were reported flying past. Chinese Sparrowhawks were seen at Tuas South on 6 October, and Jelutong Tower on 7 October together with, Japanese Sparrowhawks (7) , Oriental Honey Buzzards (7) and a Pacific Swift. On the same day (7 October), a large flock of Oriental Honey Buzzards totaling 42 were seen at Tuas South. On 15 October, the Red-rumped Swallows made an appearance at Jelutong Tower. On 28 October, there were 21 Oriental Honey Buzzards, 2 Japanese Sparrowhawks, 8 Oriental Pratincoles and 2 Pacific Swifts at Tuas South. On 29 October, a Black Bittern and an Indian Cuckoo were also seen at Tuas South.

Female Oriental Honey Buzzard at Jelutong Tower

Female Oriental Honey Buzzard at Jelutong Tower

Over at the freshwater ponds at Turut Track, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 6 Little Ringed Plovers and a Grey Wagtail were reported on 25 October.

Finally, below is the summary of the birds reported and relevant comments in a tabular format. Thank you for your continued feedback and support.

 

Date   Species No. Locality Reported By Comments
01 Peregrine Falcon 1 P. Ubin Andrew Tan ernesti race
02 Asian Paradise Flycatcher 1 Bidadari Frankie Lim White morph.
03 Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher 2 Bidadari Francis Yap Photo. First for the season
04 Bar-tailed Godwit 1 SBWR Ben Lee Photo. Two were counted a few days later.
04 Whiskered Tern 1 Serangoon Reservoir See Toh Photo. Juvenile
05 Western Osprey 1 Dairy Farm Low Choon How Photo
05 Siberian Blue Robin 1 Bidadari Robin Tan Photo. Female. Also posted by Frankie Lim.
06 Black-backed Kingfisher 1 Bidadari Er Boon Siong Photo. Another new arrival
06 Yellow-rumped Flycatcher 1 Joo Chiat David Tan Photo. Crashed on to 3rd Floor window. Died.
06 Chinese Sparrowhawk 1 Tuas South Tan Gim Cheong Photo.
07 Chinese Sparrowhawks 4 Jelutong Tower Francis Yap Photo.
07 Japanese Sparrowhawks 7 Jelutong Tower Francis Yap Photo.
07 Oriental Honey Buzzards 7 Jelutong Tower Francis Yap Photo.
07 Pacific Swift 1 Jelutong Tower Francis Yap Photo.
07 Oriental Honey Buzzard 42 Tuas South Tan Gim Cheong First big flock of migrating OHB reported.
07 Amur Paradise Flycatcher 1 Bidadari Francis Yap Photo
09 Lesser Frigatebird 1 Marina South Pier David Tan Found with hook in the stomach. Sent to ACRES but died.
11 Aleutian Terns 4 Straits of Singapore Francis Yap Photo.
11 Swinhoe’s Storm Petrels Straits of Singapore Francis Yap Photo. On migration
11 Bridled Terns 100 Straits of Singapore Francis Yap Photo.
14 Blue-winged Pitta 2 Bukit Batok Sec School David Tan Died after crash.
14 Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler 1 Gardens by the Bay Vinchel Budihardjo Report. First for the season.
15 Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo 1 Bidadari Francis Yap Photo
15 Red-rumped Swallow 1 Jelutong Tower Francis Yap Photo. First arrival for the season
15 White Wagtail 1 Farmway 3 Canal Aldwin Recinto Photo. leucopsis race.
15 Peregrine Falcon 1 Japanese Gardens Boon Hong Chan Photo. First for JG
16 Black Bittern 1 Tuas South Low Choon How Reported by Lim Kim Keang. First for the season
16 Indian Cuckoo 1 Tuas South Low Choon How Reported by Lim Kim Keang. First for the season
16 Thick-billed Pigeon 1 Mount Faber Sarah Chin Photo. Pigeon crashed into window but survived.
18 Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo 1 Bidadari Liz How Photo
18 Snipe spp 3 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo. Swintail?
18 Blue-winged Pitta 1 Bidadari Tom Wilson Report
18 Intermediate Egret 1 Sentosa Sarah Chin Report
20 Dark-sided Flycatcher 1 SBWR Fadhi Admah/Mishak Shunari Photo
21 Great Knot 1 P. Tekong Frankie Cheong Photo.
23 Oriental Pratincole 1 SBWR See Toh Photo
24 Kentish Plover 2 Marina East Drive Loke Peng Fai Photo. One of the plovers looks like a Malaysian.
25 Kentish Plover 2 Marina East Drive See Toh Photo. Looks like a subspecies dealbatus
25 Wood Sandpiper 1 Turut Pond Subha Photo
25 Little Ringed Plover 6 Turut Pond Subha Report
25 Grey Wagtail 1 Turut Pond Subha Report
25 Savanna Nightjar 1 Tuas South Ave 16 See Toh Photo.
25 Malaysian Plover 1 Marina East Drive KC Ling Photo
26 Oriental Pratincole 1 Seletar East Link Henriette Woo Photo
27 Grey Plover 2 P. Tekong Frankie Cheong Photo
27 Oriental Pratincole 150 SBG See Toh Photo. 4th record of more than 100 birds.
28 Ferruginous Flycatcher 1 Bidadari Alan Ng Photo. First for the season
28 Oriental Honey Buzzards 21 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo
28 Japanese Sparrowhawk 2 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo
28 Pacific Swifts 2 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo
28 Oriental Pratincoles 8 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo
29 Von Schrenck’s Bittern 1 Taman Jurong Lee Van Hien Photo. Crashed into flats but recovered and flew off
29 Peregrine Falcon 1 Millennium Tower Zhang Zicong ernesti race eating a Yellow Bittern on window ledge
29 Ruddy Kingfisher 1 Parc Centennial Condo Chung Cheong Photo. Adult.
29 Asian Paradise Flycatcher 1 Telok Kurau Lor M Ng Chay Tuan Photo.
30 Ruddy Turnstone 4 P. Tekong Frankie Cheong Photo. First for the season.
31 Oriental Pratincole 59 Tuas South Francis Yap Photo.On migration south.
31 Blue-and-white Flycatcher 2 Tuas and Bidadari Low Choon How / Lim Ser Chai Photo. Female and male respectively

Note: This edition of the monthly bird report was compiled by Alan OwYong. The above records are taken from the various bird FB groups. pages, reports and forums. Many thanks for your postings. Photos and editing by Francis Yap.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s