By Doreen Ang.
Birding at the Bulim Grasslands with Peng Ah Huay, Ian and Freda Rickwood. Photo: Michael Toh.
Large open grasslands are a premium in Singapore, especially those that are left wild and untouched. They are refuge for many of our grassland species like the Zitting Cisticolas and Paddyfield Pipits. Often during the raining season they are waterlogged, creating a haven for bitterns, crakes and snipes. One such grassland is by Bulim Avenue where both our resident Painted Snipes and the migratory Common and Swinhoe’s snipes have been seen.
First winter Red-throated Pipit turned out to be our bird of the day. Photo: Michael Toh.
So on Sun, 25.3.2018, Ian & Freda Rickword, Peng Ah Huay, Tan Sock Ling, Michael Toh and I decided to venture to Bulim grasslands to do some sniping. We spent slightly more than 2 hours in the morning. The grounds were wet as it had rained the night before. We saw about 6-7 Red-wattled Lapwings, 1 Common Sandpiper, some Intermediate Egrets and many Pipits. But zilch snipes! What a let down!
Intermediate Egret coming in to land. Photo: Michael Toh.
In one particular flock, there were about 13 pipits on the ground. One seen through the bins looked a bit darker and ‘fatter’. I cannot confirm if Michael’s photo was taken from this flock but his photo does show a Red-throated Pipit (a first winter as Kim Keang and you indicated). At least this sighting save our morning birding.
Good to see the Red-wattled Lapwings back foraging at the grasslands. Photo: Michael Toh.
We don’t know how long before the whole area will be developed. Already a bus depot has taken a good piece of land next to the PIE. Several buildings are under construction, parts of the grasslands are fenced off and other parts are cleared with a concrete road running through it. Best is to enjoy it while it is there, before such habitats become just a memory.
No Black Kite, our resident Brahminy will do. Photo: Michael Toh.
Many thanks to Michael Toh for the use of his photos.