by Geoff Lim, & Tan Gim Cheong (ed.)
Resident species dominate this month’s report. Of note is the report of 11 newly hatched Lesser Whistling Duck at Gardens by the Bay, the preponderance of forest species at Dairy Farm Nature Park, as well as the stars of Pulau Ubin – the Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Mangrove Pitta and the Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike.
Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) & DFNP
The bulk of sightings in this area took place at Dairy Farm Nature Park (DFNP) as birds were drawn to several fruiting mulberry and false curry leaf trees near Wallace Centre. Between 3 and 22 June 2019, a variety of forest species were spotted:
- A Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica was spotted on 22 June by Saravanan Krishnamurthy;
- Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu; a male and female were spotted on 3 June 2019 by Steven Cheong, a female on 5 June by Betty Shaw, a female on 6 June by Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan, a female on 9 June by Nicholas Lim and a female again on 13 June by Peter Lim;
- Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus sumatranus: two sightings of this non-parasitic cuckoo were reported on 3 June (Steven Cheong) and 5 June (Terence Tan);
- Both species of Barbets were observed. The resident Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii and introduced Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata were spotted on 7 June by Terence Tan. The Lineated Barbet sighted was a juvenile;
- A Banded Woodpecker Chrysophlegma miniaceum was spotted on 7 June by Terence Tan;
- Both trees attracted the Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris, which is more commonly seen at the summit of Bukit Timah Hill, from 2 to 10 June by various observers such as Siew Mun, Dean Tan, Raymond Bong, Terence Tan and Steven Lee, the Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex on 8 June by Yong Ding Li and Geoff Lim, and the Asian Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus on 5 June by Betty Shaw and 7 June by Peter Lim, who also spotted the critically endangered Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus (BirdLife 2018) on 6 June;
- Two species of Leafbirds were observed. A female Greater Green Leafbird Chloropsis sonnerati was seen on 5 June by Betty Shaw and Terence Tan feeding on the false curry leaf tree, and a male on 8 June by Yang Chee Meng. This species occurs in lower densities. Currently listed as being Vulnerable (Birdlife 2016), the bird’s singing abilities have made it a target of songbird poachers in Indonesia (Chng et al, 2017). The more colourful Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis was spotted on 4 June and 10 June (male) by Desmond Yap, 11 June (male) by Vincent Chin and 16 June (male) by Angela Yeo. All sightings involved the bird feeding on a mulberry tree.
- The Van Hasselt’s Sunbird Leptocoma brasiliana was reported on 5 June (Terence Tan) and 13 June (Kok M Lee), the Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja on 9 June (Liu Xiao Dong; juvenile bird) and 13 June (Kok M Lee), and the Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra on 16 June (Angela Yeo).
A short distance away at the Singapore Quarry, the Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster was reported on 26 June 2019 by Benson Brighton, while a juvenile Barred Eagle-Owl Bubo sumatranus was spotted on 28 June 2019 by Art Toh – good indication of successful breeding for the year. The regular pair of Brown Hawk-Owl Ninox scutulata was seen at Hindhede Nature Park on 26 June 2019 by Khoo MeiLin.
Mandai Track 7 held the Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera, which was spotted on 5 June (Steven Cheong), 9 and 16 June (Angela Yeo) and 22 June (Francis Yap), as well as the Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii, which was spotted on 9 June 2016 by Angela Yeo.
Other birds reported within the CCNR include Plume-toed Swiftlet Collocalia affinis reported on 11 June 2016 by Oliver Tan, a Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera, which was heard on 14 June 2019 by Oliver Tan, a Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus on 16 June 2019 by Francis Yap, and a juvenile Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris on 16 June 2019 by Vincent Lao.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
A pair of Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa was spotted on 8 June 2019 in the Gardens by Cheng Li Ai.
A Black Bittern Dupetor flavicollis was spotted on 6 June at the Baker Street pond by Veronica Foo. Two Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis were seen at the pond behind the Lorong Halus wetland centre on 18 June 2019 by Feroz Ghazali, while one was seen on 22 June 2019 at Lorong Halus by Darren Leow. A Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica was seen at the Lorong Halus Wetland vicinity on 30 June 2019 by Martin Kennewell. The bird was said to be flying east at 10:10am.
On 4 June, two Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea were spotted within the grounds of Pasir Ris Park by Fadzrun Adnan; two birds were subsequently seen within the mangrove broadwalk on 22 June by Graham Risdon. The resident Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo was seen on 5 June by Charlie Pitts, while two female Common Flameback Dinopium javanense were observed fighting on 7 June by Jimmy Ng. The Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri was observed on 14 June by Alvin Seng. Further afield, Little Tern Sternula albifrons, which were reported since 5 June, continued to receive the attention of photographers at the water bodies around Pasir Ris Town Park.
About 1.5 kilometres away at Tampines Eco-Green, a Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis was seen on 8 June by Ken Joree Tan and on 15 June by Wang HM, while up to two Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus were spotted on 9 and 13 June by Wang HM.
Visitors to Pulau Ubin seeking out the rare Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes tristis were rewarded by sightings of the bird on 2, 5, 8 and 23 June (Jerold Tan, Francis Yap, Adrian Silas Tay and Arasu Sivaraman, respectively). During this period, the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha was seen on 1 June (Desmond Yap) and nesting activities observed on 8 June (Khoo Meilin), while the Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus was spotted on 2 June (Jerold Tan) and 8 June (Marvin Heng and Khong Yew). Visitors also saw the White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus, including one juvenile on 8 June by Khoo Meilin, and an adult on 11 June by Leong Kaikee. A rare Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus was seen on 22 June by Ben Keen, who noted that it was “seen clearly from top of viewing tower on east side of island around 8am. Flew into tree next to tower all white underneath, all dark on top. No white on wings. Recently saw some bar-winged flycatcher-shrike [sic] so I had a point of reference.”
Also spotted on Ubin were four Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus during the joint NParks-NSS Bird Group survey on 23 June 2019, as well as a Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis on Ubin Day on 29 June 2019 at the entrance of Butterfly Hill by Kerry Pereira.
Other birds seen in the east included more than thirty Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri on 3 June 2019 at the vicinity of Loyang Villa by a friend of Julie Wee, and feeding Coconut Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus on 18 June at Eastwood Estate by Herman Phua.
Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica were sighted at Gardens by the Bay on 8 June 2019 by Kay Aik. Subsequently a pair were seen with 11 ducklings at the Garden grounds on 27 June 2019 by Steven Wong.
A Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus was spotted at the nature park area of Sentosa on 12 June 2019 by Choong YT, while a House Swift Apus nipalensis was seen at the vicinity of Imbiah at Sentosa on 18 June 2019 by Dick Dallimore.
Considerable attention was paid to the Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting at Jurong Eco Garden (JEG); the bird was seen on 9, 11 and 18 June by Leong Kaikee, Alok Mishra and Terence Tan, respectively. Visitors to JEG also observed the presence of a female Laced Woodpecker Picus vittatus on 12 June (Kok M Lee) and Coconut Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus on 16 June (Desmond Yap). A Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus sumatranus was spotted on 19 June by Terence Tan.
A family of three Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupu, comprising a juvenile and two adults was spotted at Jurong Lake Garden on 9 and 12 June (Siew Mun and Dave Koh, respectively) indicates successful nesting for the species. One of the adults appeared to have some abnormality in its left eye. Also, a family of Lesser Whistling Ducks with 7 ducklings were recorded on 28 June (Khoo Meilin).
A Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis was reportedly found at the grounds of Chinese Garden on 7 June and left at an animal lover’s home at a nearby HDB estate in Jurong West in the morning. The incident was reported by Xin Yan, who reported that the bird remained weak and died during the night.
There were no reports on bird activities around Kranji Marsh, save for one of a Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus seen on the ground foraging on 17 June by Tan Eng Boo. Further away, visitors at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) reported the presence of up to three Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus on 7 and 15 June (YK Han), while a Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana was reported on 9 June by Angela Chua. A pair of Slaty-breasted Rail Gallirallus striatus were reported at Sungei Kadut during the evening of 16 June by Koh Tse Hsien.
Pandan River, which continued to attract photographers, saw Little Tern Sternula albifrons on 6 June (David Chan) while looking for the resident Grey-headed Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus.
Further afield, we received continuing reports of the Slaty-breasted Rail Gallirallus striatus at Jurong East on 6 June (Steven Chong), the House Swift Apus nipalensis at West Coast Drive on 20 June (Tay Kian Guan) and the Abbott’s Babbler Malacocincla abbotti at West Coast Park on 27 June (Steven Wong).
BTNR: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
CCNR: Central Catchment Nature Reserve
DFNP: Dairy Farm Nature Park
JEG: Jurong Eco Garden
SBG: Singapore Botanic Gardens
SBWR: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
TEG: Tampines Eco-Green
This report is written by Geoff Lim and edited by Tan Gim Cheong. We are grateful for the birders and photographers whose postings in various Facebook birding pages, bird forums, individual reports and extracts from eBird make up this report. This compilation is not a complete list of birds recorded for the month and not all the records were verified.
Many thanks to Saravanan K., Steven Cheong, Terence Tan, Betty Shaw, Angela Yeo, Art Toh, Khoo Mei Lin, Alvin Seng, Wang HM, Marvin Heng, Steven Wong, Siew Mun, Benson Brighton, Julie Wee, Vincent Lao, Francis Yap, Xin Yan, and David Chan for allowing us to use their photographs.
Chng, S. C. L.; Eaten, J. A., and Miller, A. E. (1997) “Greater Green Leafbird – the trade in South-east Asia”. TRAFFIC Bulletin Vol. 29 (1): 4-8.
Downloaded on 10 July 2019.
BirdLife International 2016. Chloropsis sonnerati. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22704950A93992403. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22704950A93992403.en. Downloaded on 10 July 2019.
BirdLife International 2018. Pycnonotus zeylanicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22712603A132470468. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22712603A132470468.en. Downloaded on 10 July 2019.
LIST OF BIRDS REPORTED IN JUNE 2019
|Anatidae||Lesser Whistling Duck||Dendrocygna javanica||8 Jun 19|
|Lesser Whistling Duck||Dendrocygna javanica||27 Jun 19|
|Podicipedidae||Little Grebe||Tachybaptus ruficollis||18 Jun 19|
|Ardeidae||Black Bittern||Dupetor flavicollis||6 Jun 19|
|Great-billed Heron||Ardea sumatrana||9 Jun 19|
|Pacific Reef Heron||Egretta sacra||17 Jun 19|
|Anhingidae||Oriental Darter||Anhinga melanogaster||26 Jun 19|
|Accipitridae||Changeable Hawk-Eagle||Nisaetus cirrhatus||17 Jun 19|
|Grey-headed Fish Eagle||Haliaeetus ichthyaetus||10 Jun 19|
|Grey-headed Fish Eagle||Haliaeetus ichthyaetus||11 Jun 19|
|Rallidae||Slaty-breasted Rail||Gallirallus striatus||6 Jun 19|
|Slaty-breasted Rail||Gallirallus striatus||16 Jun 19|
|Recurvirostridae||Black-winged Stilt||Himantopus himantopus||23 Jun 19|
|Scolopacidae||Whimbrel||Numenius phaeopus||7 Jun 19|
|Whimbrel||Numenius phaeopus||15 Jun 19|
|Laridae||Gull-billed Tern||Gelochelidon nilotica||30 Jun 19|
|Little Tern||Sternula albifrons||7 Jun 19|
|Little Tern||Sternula albifrons||6 Jun 19|
|Columbidae||Common Emerald Dove||Chalcophaps indica||22 Jun 19|
|Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon||Treron fulvicollis||29 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||3 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||3 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||5 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||6 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||9 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||9 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||10 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||11 Jun 19|
|Jambu Fruit Dove||Ptilinopus jambu||13 Jun 19|
|Green Imperial Pigeon||Ducula aenea||4 Jun 19|
|Green Imperial Pigeon||Ducula aenea||22 Jun 19|
|Cuculidae||Chestnut-bellied Malkoha||Phaenicophaeus sumatranus||3 Jun 19|
|Chestnut-bellied Malkoha||Phaenicophaeus sumatranus||5 Jun 19|
|Chestnut-bellied Malkoha||Phaenicophaeus sumatranus||19 Jun 19|
|Violet Cuckoo||Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus||16 Jun 19|
|Plaintive Cuckoo||Cacomantis merulinus||9 Jun 19|
|Plaintive Cuckoo||Cacomantis merulinus||13 Jun 19|
|Drongo Cuckoo||Surniculus lugubris||16 Jun 19|
|Strigidae||Barred Eagle-Owl||Bubo sumatranus||28 Jun 19|
|Buffy Fish Owl||Ketupa ketupu||9 Jun 19|
|Buffy Fish Owl||Ketupa ketupu||12 Jun 19|
|Spotted Wood Owl||Strix seloputo||5 Jun 19|
|Spotted Wood Owl||Strix seloputo||4 Jun 19|
|Brown Hawk-Owl||Ninox scutulata||26 Jun 19|
|Caprimulgidae||Savanna Nightjar||Caprimulgus affinis||8 Jun 19|
|Savanna Nightjar||Caprimulgus affinis||15 Jun 19|
|Savanna Nightjar||Caprimulgus affinis||7 Jun 19|
|Apodidae||Plume-toed Swiftlet||Collocalia affinis||11 Jun 19|
|House Swift||Apus nipalensis||18 Jun 19|
|House Swift||Apus nipalensis||20 Jun 19|
|House Swift||Apus nipalensis||30 Jun 19|
|Alcedinidae||Blue-eared Kingfisher||Alcedo meninting||9 Jun 19|
|Blue-eared Kingfisher||Alcedo meninting||11 Jun 19|
|Blue-eared Kingfisher||Alcedo meninting||18 Jun 19|
|Bucerotidae||Black Hornbill||Anthracoceros malayanus||2 Jun 19|
|Black Hornbill||Anthracoceros malayanus||8 Jun 19|
|Megalaimidae||Lineated Barbet||Megalaima lineata||7 Jun 19|
|Red-crowned Barbet||Megalaima rafflesii||7 Jun 19|
|Red-crowned Barbet||Megalaima rafflesii||9 Jun 19|
|Picidae||Banded Woodpecker||Chrysophlegma miniaceum||7 Jun 19|
|Laced Woodpecker||Picus vittatus||12 Jun 19|
|Common Flameback||Dinopium javanense||7 Jun 19|
|Buff-rumped Woodpecker||Meiglyptes tristis||2 Jun 19|
|Buff-rumped Woodpecker||Meiglyptes tristis||5 Jun 19|
|Buff-rumped Woodpecker||Meiglyptes tristis||8 Jun 19|
|Buff-rumped Woodpecker||Meiglyptes tristis||23 Jun 19|
|Psittacidae||Rose-ringed Parakeet||Psittacula krameri||14 Jun 19|
|Red-breasted Parakeet||Psittacula alexandri||3 Jun 19|
|Coconut Lorikeet||Trichoglossus haematodus||18 Jun 19|
|Coconut Lorikeet||Trichoglossus haematodus||16 Jun 19|
|Pittidae||Mangrove Pitta||Pitta megarhyncha||1 Jun 19|
|Mangrove Pitta||Pitta megarhyncha||8 Jun 19|
|Mangrove Pitta||Pitta megarhyncha||14 Jun 19|
|Tephrodornithidae||Black-winged Flycatcher-Shrike||Hemipus hirundinaceus||22 Jun 19|
|Pycnonotidae||Straw-headed Bulbul||Pycnonotus zeylanicus||6 Jun 19|
|Black-crested Bulbul||Pycnonotus flaviventris||4 Jun 19|
|Black-crested Bulbul||Pycnonotus flaviventris||6 Jun 19|
|Black-crested Bulbul||Pycnonotus flaviventris||7 Jun 19|
|Black-crested Bulbul||Pycnonotus flaviventris||10 Jun 19|
|Cream-vented Bulbul||Pycnonotus simplex||8 Jun 19|
|Asian Red-eyed Bulbul||Pycnonotus brunneus||7 Jun 19|
|Timaliidae||Chestnut-winged Babbler||Stachyris erythroptera||14 Jun 19|
|Chestnut-winged Babbler||Stachyris erythroptera||5 Jun 19|
|Chestnut-winged Babbler||Stachyris erythroptera||9 Jun 19|
|Chestnut-winged Babbler||Stachyris erythroptera||16 Jun 19|
|Pellorneidae||Abbott’s Babbler||Malacocincla abbotti||27 Jun 19|
|Leiothrichidae||Chinese Hwamei||Garrulax canorus||12 Jun 19|
|Sturnidae||Common Hill Myna||Gracula religiosa||8 Jun 19|
|Muscicapidae||White-rumped Shama||Copsychus malabaricus||8 Jun 19|
|White-rumped Shama||Copsychus malabaricus||11 Jun 19|
|Chloropseidae||Greater Green Leafbird||Chloropsis sonnerati||5 Jun 19|
|Greater Green Leafbird||Chloropsis sonnerati||5 Jun 19|
|Greater Green Leafbird||Chloropsis sonnerati||8 Jun 19|
|Blue-winged Leafbird||Chloropsis cochinchinensis||4 Jun 19|
|Blue-winged Leafbird||Chloropsis cochinchinensis||10 Jun 19|
|Blue-winged Leafbird||Chloropsis cochinchinensis||11 Jun 19|
|Blue-winged Leafbird||Chloropsis cochinchinensis||16 Jun 19|
|Nectariniidae||Van Hasselt’s Sunbird||Leptocoma brasiliana||5 Jun 19|
|Van Hasselt’s Sunbird||Leptocoma brasiliana||13 Jun 19|
|Crimson Sunbird||Aethopyga siparaja||9 Jun 19|
|Crimson Sunbird||Aethopyga siparaja||13 Jun 19|
|Little Spiderhunter||Arachnothera longirostra||16 Jun 19|