Bird Records Committee Report (May 2018)
By Lim Kim Seng. Chairman, Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee.
Booted Warbler Iduna caligata at Kranji Marshes, 10 Dec 2017, Singapore’s first record and the second for Southeast Asia. It stayed till March 2018. Photo by Adrian Silas Tay.
The Records Committee continues to receive records of new bird species to the Singapore List and rarities. This report updates the findings of the last 12 months up to May 2018.
Six new bird species were added to the Singapore List, bringing the total number of species to 403. The updated official NSS Singapore Checklist 2018 edition (2) here.
They include the following:
Little Stint Calidris minuta
An adult and an immature seen and photographed at Tg. Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin on 21 Sep 2017 by David Li was the first record for Singapore.
Little Stint at Check Java by David Li.
Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina
A lone bird seen and photographed at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 9 Oct 2017 by George Presanis was the first record of this sedentary species for Singapore. It was not seen subsequently despite some observer effort.
Verditer Flycatcher at Dairy Farm Nature Park by George Presanis.
Indian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
A female seen and photographed at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 2 Dec 2017 by Oliver Tan was the first record for Singapore and Southeast Asia. It was last seen on 10 Apr 2018.
Indian Paradise Flycatcher at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve by Tan Gim Cheong.
Booted Warbler Iduna caligata
One was first photographed but not identified by Fadhil, an NParks staff, at Kranji Marshes on 4 Dec 2017. On 10 Dec 2017, several observers including Adrian Silas Tay, Richard Carden, Martin Kennewell, Francis Yap and Lim Kim Chuah also saw and photograph the mystery bird. Eventually, a close study of its features, habits and vocalization revealed this to be Singapore’s first and Southeast Asia’s second record of this species. It was last seen on 23 Mar 2018.
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
A female seen and photographed at Chek Jawa Coastal Boardwalk, Pulau Ubin, on 4 Mar 2018 by Roger Boey was our first record for this species.
Female Ruby-cheeked Sunbird taken by Roger Boey at Pulau Ubin.
Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus
A female photographed near the summit of Bukit Timah on 2 May 2018 by Ted Lee and subsequently seen and photographed by several other observers on 4 and 5 May 2018 was the first recent record for Singapore. It was last seen near the Treetop Walk at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on 12 May 2018. This species was previously assigned to Category B.
Great Slaty Woodpecker at Bukit Timah Hill by Kwong Yew.
The following eight rarities were accepted.
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
An individual photographed at Sungei Buloh on 18 Oct 2017 by Con Foley, Danny Lau and Tan Kok Hui was a noteworthy record of this rare non-breeding visitor to Singapore.
White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
An individual photographed at Henderson Waves on 19 Oct 2017 by Keita Sin was our second record. Another photographed here on 31 Oct 2017 again by Keita Sin was the fourth while yet another photographed at Jelutong Tower on 25 Oct 2017 by Francis Yap was our third record.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
A bird photographed at Henderson Wave Bridge on 26 Nov 2017 by Francis Yap was our third record for Singapore. The only other records were from Tuas View Lane by Martti Siponen on 14 Nov 2010 and Keita Sin, also at Henderson Wave Bridge, on 17 Nov 2016.
Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
An individual photographed at Changi on 26 Nov 2017 by Adrian Silas Tay was our third record. Our only previous records were from Changi Coast by Tan Gim Cheong on 21 Nov 2007 and Lower Seletar Dam on 16 Dec 2016 by Yip Peng Sun.
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina
A female photographed at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 28 Nov 2017 by Veronica Foo and Marcel Finlay was our second record. Another female photographed at West Coast Park on 3 Jan 2018 by Stuart Campbell was our third record.
Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx macutalus
A female photographed at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, on 23 Dec 2017 by Esther Ong was our second record. It stayed till the end of the year.
Band-bellied Crake Porzana paykulii
An adult photographed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 19 Jan 2018 by Meena Vathyam was our second record. It was last seen on 28 April 2018.
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
An individual photographed at Singapore Quarry on 18 Feb 2018 by Richard White was the second from this locality and our fourth record overall of this rare non-breeding visitor.
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus
A female seen and photographed at Jelutong Tower on 20 Jan 2018 by HB Thio was our fourth record. Another seen and photographed by Lim Kim Seng at Chek Jawa Coastal Boardwalk, Pulau Ubin, on 6 May 2018 was our fifth record.
In addition to the above, we have also received further records of Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii in the Singapore Straits on 29 Apr 2017 and 6 May 2017 from Lau Jiasheng. These two records were confirmed to be outside Singapore waters and are assigned to Annex 1. To date, we have no records of Bulwer’s Petrel in Singapore. Annex 1 is for species occurring near to but outside Singapore, e.g. birds occurring in the Indonesian and/or Malaysian side of the Singapore Straits.
We would like to thanks the following observers for submitting their records for review: Roger Boey, Stuart Campbell, Marcel Finlay, Con Foley, Veronica Foo, Danny Lau, Lau Jiasheng, David Li, Geoff Lim, Lim Kim Seng, Esther Ong, Alan Owyong, George Presanis, Keita Sin, Tan Kok Hui, Oliver Tan, Adrian Silas Tay, Meena Vathyam, Richard White, Francis Yap and Yip Peng Sun. Special thanks go to Dave Bakewell for help in unravelling the identity of Little Stint and Indian Paradise Flycatcher based on submitted evidence. Finally, thanks are also due to my fellow committee members for their expertise in the deliberation process: Alfred Chia, Kenneth Kee, Lim Kim Chuah, Lim Kim Keang, Alan Owyong, Dr Frank Rheindt, Tan Gim Cheong and Dr Yong Ding Li.
Thanks to Adrian Silas Tay, David Li, George Persanis, Tan Gim Cheong, Roger Boey and Khong Yew for the use of their photographs.
Lim, K.S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore.