Monthly Archives: June 2021

Singapore Bird Report – May 2021

IPH, 020521, Bedok Canal, Herman Phua

Indian Pond Heron, Bedok canal, 2 May 2021, by Herman Phua

May 2021 – most of the migrants have departed. A rare Pheasant-tailed Jacana flying to the north was photographed at Pasir Ris Park on 12 May 2021 by W K Ang. The Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii at Dover Road stayed till 8 May 2021 (Russell Boyman), while another individual at Bedok canal stayed till 13 May 2021 (Max Khoo).

For the cuckoos, a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus was photographed at Thomson Nature Park on 6 May 2021 by Norman Wu; a Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor reported at Changi Business Park on 8 May 2021 by Lim Kim Keang; and an Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus at Pasir Ris Park on 14 May 2021, by Oliver Tan.

A Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps and an Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis were recorded at Gardens by the Bay on 15 May 2021 by Kaeden Sim. On 8 May 2021, Low Chong Yang photographed a Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella certhiola, and on 16 May 2021, Yip Jen Wei recorded another at Kranji Marsh.

At Sembawang beach on 3 May 2021, an immature Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus was photographed by Steven Cheong. An unfortunate Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida was found dead at Chestnut Avenue on 5 May 2021, by Troy. On 9 May 2021, Betty Shaw recorded a Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus at Bukit Panjang Link, and the wintering Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka at Hampstead wetlands was still around (Max Cheo). An Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia with long breeding plumes was photographed at Ulu Pandan on 20 May 2021 by Olga Lipunova.

Intermediate Egret, 200521, Ulu Pandan, Olga Lipunova on BICA

Intermediate Egret, showing long breeding plumes, Ulu Pandan, 20 May 2021, by Olga Lipunova

At the Central Forests and its fringes, an adult Barred Eagle Owl Bubo sumatranus was photographed at Rifle Rang Link on 13 May 2021 by Lam SG; at Jelutong Tower on 8 May 2021, a Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex and a Van Hasselt’s Sunbird Leptocoma brasiliana were recorded by Norvin Ng; at Mandai Track 7 on 2 May 2021, Tan Yes Chong recorded a Red-crowned Barbet Psilopogon rafflesii and a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus sumatranus, and on 16 May 2021, Russell Boyman recorded 6 Chestnut-winged babblers Cyanoderma erythropterum. At Windsor Nature Park, Alex Fok found the Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus feasting on the starfruits on 1 May 2021, and for several days after, at least until 11 May 2021, as noted by Gerald Lim. At Dairy Farm Nature Park on 2 May 2021, Norvin Ng encountered three Rufous-tailed Tailorbirds Orthotomus sericeus.

BR Parrot, posted 110521, Windsor NP, Gerald KC Lim

Blue-rumped Parrot, male, Windsor Nature Park, 11 May 2021, by Gerald KC Lim

At Turut Track, a Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis was photographed on 8 May 2021, and three Greater Painted Snipes Rostratula benghalensis were photographed on 9 May 2021, both by Norvin Ng. Towards the south, Gilbert Lee photographed three Lesser Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna javanica at Satay by the Bay on 4 May 2021, and Ray Ng saw many Little Terns Sternula albifrons at Marina Barrage on 1 May 2021. At Pasir Ris Park, the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha was still around on 4 May 2021 (David Kow), and the Sunda Scops Owl was also detected on 12 May 2021 (Erwin Foo).

Elsewhere, a Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana was photographed at Sembawang beach near PAssion Wave on 1 May 2021 by Benjamin Seah; a male Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus was recorded at Eco Lake, Botanic Gardens on 1 May 2021 by Andrew H.; and a White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata visited the terraces at Telok Blangah Hill Park on 2 May 2021 (Khoo MeiLin). On 11 May 2021 at Jurong Lake Gardens, Jade Neo photographed an Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris holding a naked chick in its beak (this is quite common as the hornbill is a prolific nest raider). At the park connector along Hougang Avenue 7 on 22 May 2021, a handsome male Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata with a ring on its left leg (escapee) showed up, photographed by Danny Khoo.

Parasitic Jaeger, 080521, port limits, Norhafiani A Majid

Parasitic Jaeger, pelagic off east coast within port limits, 8 May 2021, by Norhafiani A. Majid

During a pelagic trip conducted off the east coast, within port limits, on 2 May 2021, Francis Yap recorded a Common Tern Sterna hirundo. On another similar trip on 8 May 2021, Herman Phua photographed a Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus.

Lau Jia Sheng spent three weekend sessions at Kusu Island watching distant seabirds. He reported six Short-tailed Shearwaters Ardenna tenuirostris on 16 May 2021; 23 Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monorhis on 16 May 2021, and 41 individuals on 22 May 2021; ten Bridled Terns Onychoprion anaethetus on 22 May 2021, and nine individuals on 29 May 2021.

Bridled Tern, 080521, port limits, Herman Phua, crop

Bridled Tern, pelagic off east coast within port limits, 8 May 2021, by Herman Phua

Breeding records

At Pasir Ris Park on 1 May 2021, a Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo chick that landed on the ground managed to climb back up the tree on its own effort, reported by George Koh. Alan Chew reported 4 owls in total, 2 adults and 2 fledglings.

At Whampoa, a Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus was photographed outside a treehole on 14 May 2021 by Gilbert. In the vicinity of Hampstead Wetlands on 3 May 2021, Joe KS photographed a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills Anthracoceros albirostris checking out the abandoned tree hole, with the female entering the hole, but they apparently decided not to use it. On 1 May 2021, Jeremiah Loei reported that the female hornbill at Newton Food Centre had broken out of the nest hole, and suspected another nesting failure.

The pair of Collared Kingfishers Todiramphus chloris which successfully raised three chicks at Pasir Ris Park in April was observed mating on 3 May 2021 by Alan Chew. At Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 1 May 2021, Max Cheo saw a Purple Heron Ardea purpurea flying with a stick in its beak. A pair of Copper-throated Sunbirds Leptocoma calcostetha were attending to their nest at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) on 14 May 2021, by Anthony L; and the nest of a pair of Yellow-bellied Prinias Prinia flaviventris at Punggol Barat held three eggs on 28 May 2021, by Keith Hutton. At the eastern end of Yishun Dam, Keith Hutton found a Striated Heron Butorides striata sitting on its nest on 28 May 2021.

BN Tern, 050521, PRP east end, Wong Sangmen

Black-naped Terns, about to mate, Pasir Ris Park, 5 May 2021, by Wong Sangmen

Near Sophia Residence on 3 May 2021, Eric Tan found a Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier nest with two young chicks. At Dairy Farm Nature Park on 25 May 2021, Tan Boon Tiong saw the Swinhoe’s White-eye Zosterops simplex feeding its fledgling; and at Ulu Pandan on 28 May 2021, Kelvin Ng photographed a Little Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus in a nest being fed by a Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea.

At SBWR, Alex Low found a nest of the Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps which held three chicks. He reported that an Oriental Whip Snake was warded off by, interestingly, by a sunbird, and the next day, an Abbott’s Babbler grabbed one chick and dropped it on the ground. The chick was rescued and put back into the nest, but two days later, Alex found the nest empty and abandoned.

At the eastern end of Pasir Ris Park, several Black-naped Terns Sterna sumatrana frequented the offshore buoy. On 4 May 2021, Keith Hutton observed courtship feeding and mating. Mating was also observed on 5 May 2021 and 15 May 2021 by Wong Sangmen. On 8 May 2021, there was at least one chick, photographed by Yeong WaiKai. The terns were also breeding at their traditional site, the nearby Loyang Rock, also known as Squance Rock, observed by various birders.

For the escapees, Janssen Tan saw a male Golden-backed Weaver Ploceus jacksoni flying with a blade of grass at Neo Tiew area on 8 May 2021, and Tan CY photographed a pair mating on 9 May 2021; at Halus Wetlands on 20 May 2021,  Avadi L Parimalam photographed a Black-headed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus in the early stages of nestbuilding.

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim. 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 Herman Phua, Olga Lipunova, Gerald KC Lim, Norhafiani A. Majid, and Wong Sangmen for allowing us to use their photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – April 2021

A rare White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus made a brief appearance at Holland Plains on 25 Apr 2021 (Richard White), and at Pulau Ubin, a Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis also made a brief appearance on 11 Apr 2021 near Jalan Batu Ubin-Jelutong junction (Keita Sin & Geraldine Lee). At Chek Jawa on 3 Mar 2021, Lim Kim Keang counted seven Chinese Egrets Egretta eulophotes, dropping to five birds on 4 Apr 2021 (Leslie Loh) and 2 birds on 18 Apr 2021 (Norman Wu).

Amur PFC, 080421, JLG, Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan

Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Jurong Lake Gardens, 8 Apr 2021, by Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan

At Tampines Eco Green on 7 Apr 2021, Lester Tan bumped into a male long-tailed Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata which was only seen again on 13 Apr 2021 (Khong Yew). A female showed up at the same area on 17 Mar 2021 (Ch Gan). At Jurong Lake Gardens on 23 Apr 2021, a short-tailed individual was recorded by Jared Tan; and on the first day of the month, another individual appeared at the Botanic Gardens (Dennis Lim).

For the Amur Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone incei a long tailed male was recorded by Ash Foo on 8 Apr 2021 at Jurong Lake Gardens, where there was also a Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus on 24 Apr 2021, recorded by Herman Phua. A Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus was still at the lake gardens on 2 Apr 2021 (Shahrul), but another individual, an adult, showed up at Rower’s Bay Park on 26 Apr 2021 (Basil Chia), and stayed for a few days.

Common Moorhen. 280421, Rower Bay, TGC

Common Moorhen, Rower’s Bay Park, 28 Apr 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong

In addition to the Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii at Dover Road, present  till 23 Apr 2021 (Chen Yi-Fan), there was another individual at the field next to the Chinese Garden MRT station on 21 Apr 2021, recorded by Norhafiani A. Majid. Breeding plumage Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosawas recorded at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 2 Apr 2021 by Jeremy Lim, and at Marina East Drive on 10 Apr 2021 by Wong Chung Cheong. Recognisable Chinese Pond Herons Ardeola bacchuswere at Labrador Park on 1 Apr 2021 (Lucas), and at Marina East drive on 8 Apr 2021 (Donald).

A Himalayan Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus was at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 3 Apr 2021 (Raghav N.) and 4 Apr 2021 (Art Toh); while a Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratiiwas atConey Island on 1 Apr 2021 (Norvin Ng). A Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor was recorded at Tampines Eco Green on 4 Apr 2021 by Pher Joseph, and at Ketam Quarry, Ubin on 10 Apr 2021 by Aps Kumar.

Himalayan Cuckoo, 040421, DFNP near toilet, Art Toh

Himalayan Cuckoo, Dairy Farm Nature Park, 4 Apr 2021, by Art Toh

For the flycatchers, a Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea was still at Windsor Nature Park on 1 Apr 2021 (Lam SG); two Green-backed Flycatchers Ficedula elisae a male and a female were at Rifle Range Link on 5 Apr 2021 (Wong Lee Hong); while a male Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimakiwas at Jurong Lake Garden on 7 Apr 2021 (Kok M Lee).

At Pasir Ris Park, a White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus showed up on 11 Apr 2021 (HongWY); a Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis at the bridge near car park B on 18 Apr 2021 (Ray Ng); and the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha was still around on 25 Apr 2021 (Yip Jen Wei). Around six Black-naped Terns Sterna sumatrana were observed at the buoy off the eastern end of the park on 21 Apr 2021, by Vincent Yip.

A shy Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus was seen at Changi Business Park on 15 Apr 2021 by Ramesh T.; two Pacific Reef Herons Egretta sacra one dark morph and one white morph were seen at Marina East on 19 Apr 2021 by Darren Leow; and a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea at Check Jawa, Ubin caught a big fish on 24 Apr 2021 (Peh Chee Ee).

Grey Heron eat big fish, 240421, CJ, Ubin, Peh Chee Ee

Grey Heron caught a big fish, Chek Jawa, Ubin, 24 Apr 2021, by Peh Chee Ee

The small Van Hasselt’s Sunbird Leptocoma brasiliana was seen near Jelutong Tower on 4 Apr 2021 by Lam SG, and a Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis on 6 Apr 2021 at Golf Link after the boardwalk towards Jelutong Tower (Keith Hutton).

A male Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu showed up at Hindhede Nature Park on 14 Apr 2021 (Raghav N.), while a female appeared at Rifle range Link on 26 Apr 2021 (Tan Ping Guang). Lesser Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna javanica were seen near the PIE- Bedok PCN intersection on 11 Apr 2021 by Ryuta Teo (7 birds), and at Satay by the bay on 26 Apr 2021 by Sylvester Goh (9 birds). A Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka was photographed at Pasir Ris Park on 2 Apr 2021 by Bhupesh Kurade, while the nightjar at Hampstead Wetlands was still around on 4 Apr 2021 (Peter Cheng).

Elsewhere, a Ruddy-breasted Crake Zapornia fusca was photographed at Neo Tiew Harvest Link on 6 Apr 2021 by Meena Vathyam; an Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus atConey Island on 7 Apr 2021 by Vincent Yip; three Pacific Golden Plovers Pluvialis fulva in different plumages at Bedok Canal on 19 Apr 2021 by Tan Gim Cheong; a Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinusat Goldhill Avenue on 12 Apr 2021 by Steven Cheong; a White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata at Telok Blangah Hill Park on 16 Apr 2021 by Ash Foo; and two Straw-headed Bulbuls Pycnonotus zeylanicus at Little Guilin on 18 Apr 2021 by Wong LP.

PGP, 250421, Bedok canal, Ho Siew Mun, crop

Pacific Golden Plover, this individual was the most advanced in moult into breeding plumage, Bedok canal, 25 Apr 2021, by Ho Siew Mun

During a pelagic trip conducted within port limits on 25 Apr 2021, four Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris were recorded – three near Changi and one nearer to Marina East (Francis Yap). From Kusu Island, Lau Jia Sheng saw two of these birds on 24 Apr 2021.

For escapees, two Vinous-breasted Starlings Acridotheres burmannicus were back at Ang Mo Kio Street 53 on 1 Apr 2021, noted by Tan Heng Liang; while a female Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata was at the field between Hougang Ave 3 and Defu Ave 1 on 9 Apr 2021 (Mark Oei) and on 22 Apr 2021 (Vincent Yip).

Breeding records

Mating was recorded for the following species: Common Flameback at Tampines Eco Green on 20 Apr 2021 by Lim Chong Hwee; Long-tailed Parakeet at Sembawang on 20 Apr 2021 by Keith Hutton; and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita mating with a Tanimbar Corella Cacatua goffiniana in April photographed by Julie Edgley.

CPSBB, 170421, HWL, TGC

Coppersmith Barbet, feeding its chick, Hampstead Wetlands, 17 Apr 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong

Mating was also observed for the Blue-throated Bee-eaters Merops viridis at Sentosa in April, by Vincent Yip; and at Tampines Eco Green on 18 Apr 2021 by Wong Sangmen. The bee-eaters were seen digging holes in a sand pile at Sentosa on 8 April 2021 by Norvin Ng; and in the ground at Punggol end on 25 Apr 2021 by Mark Oei.

An Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis was perched in a nest being built by a Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus on 14 Apr 2021 but was chased away by the weaver, noted Thomas Chong. A Chestnut-bellied Malkoha Phaenicophaeus sumatranus couple was building their nest near Jelutong Twr on 11 Apr 2021, seen by Ingo Moench. The Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster was seen nesting at Lorong Halus on 9 Apr 2021 by Senthil Kumar Damodaran. A number of Golden-backed Weavers Ploceus jacksoni were building nests at Lorong Halus on 10 Apr 2021, noted Peter Wong. At the Botanic Gardens on 12 Apr 2021, an Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis nest containing eggs was raided by Oriental Pied Hornbills Anthracoceros albirostris (Cheng Li Ai).

TGC_4784,-Collared-KF, 1280x960, 130421, PRP

Collared Kingfisher feeding a gecko to its chick, 13 Apr 2021, Pasir Ris Park, by Tan Gim Cheong

At Hampstead Wetlands, a pair of Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus was feeding their chicks on 2 Apr 2021 (Derrick Wong) and through many days thereafter. At Pasir Ris Park, a pair of Collared Kingfishers Todiramphus chloris wre also feeding their chicks on 10 Apr 2021 (Julian Wong), and Samantha Wong reported that all three chicks fledged on 14 Apr 2021. At Petir Road on 30 Apr 2021, an adult Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus moluccensis was seen feeding a big chick in its nest hole (Cheong Khan Hoong).

At Jurong Lake Gardens on 29 Apr 2021, Neo Jinju saw a Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier feeding a fledgling, while Benny Ng reported that chicks of the Striated Herons Butorides striata at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve had fledged on 21 Apr 2021. At Rifle Range Link on 4 Apr 2021, Lam SG photographed a recently fledged Barred Eagle Owl Bubo sumatranus covered mainly in white feathers, and the fledgling was recorded on subsequent days, including on 25 Apr 2021 by Christian H.

BEO chick, early April 21, RRL, Norhafiani A Majid

Barred Eagle Owl, Rifle Range Link, early April 2021, by Norhafiani A. Majid

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim & Alan OwYong. 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 Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan, Peh Chee Ee, Art Toh, Ho Siew Mun and Norhafiani A. Majid for allowing us to use their photographs.

 

Singapore Bird Report – March 2021

Emerald Cuckoo, 050321, May Swales

Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Living Lab, Pulau Ubin, 5 Mar 2021, by May Swales

A number of rarities showed up in March 2021. An Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus, for which there are less than five records, was photographed by May Swales at Living Lab, Pulau Ubin on 5 Mar 2021. The female was present till 8 March (Wong Wai Loon).

At Lim Chu Kang Lane 3, Lau Jia Sheng photographed the elusive Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus on 6 Mar 2021. And at Marina East, Linda Teh photographed a Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus that made a brief visit on 19 Mar 2021. On 19 Mar 2021, another 1-day bird, a female Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius visited Catalina Tong’s high rise balcony along Thomson Road opposite Singapore Polo Club.

The Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus that showed up at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park last month was joined by a second bird on 2 Mar 2021 (Yk Goh) but both birds promptly disappeared the next day. The Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides noted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) in February continued to be present from 1 Mar 2021 (Wilson Chua) till 13 Mar 2021 (Leslie Loh).

Green Sandpiper, 060321, 0925h, LCK3, Lau Jia Sheng, crop

Green Sandpiper (left) with a Wood Sandpiper (right), Lim Chu Kang Lane 3, 6 Mar 2021, by Lau Jia Sheng

A rare Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea put up a brief appearance at Jurong Lake Gardens on 15 Mar 2021, photographed by Vincent Chin and Joseph Pher. Five days later, on 20 Mar 2021, one monarch, probably the same individual, showed up at Clementi Woods Park (Frank Rheindt) and remained for most of the day but disappeared thereafter.

At Dover Road on 8 Mar 2021, a pond heron that started to moult into breeding plumage showed signs of it being an Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii (Art Toh), and it would develop into full breeding plumage over the course of the month. A male Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata with long tail showed up at Coney Island on 18 Mar 2021 (Richard Wee) and those who braved the rain in the afternoon were rewarded with views of its exquisite beauty.

At Kent Ridge Park, a Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata skulked in the bushes on 23 Mar 2021 (Norman Wu), and was present till 26 Mar 2021 (Lee Chin Pong). On a northeastern island, a Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes showed up on 20 Mar 2021 (Frankie Cheong). Two Oriental Pratincoles Glareola maldivarum gave close views at the Marina East field on 2 Mar 2021 (Vincent Yip).

BNM, 200321, Clementi Woods, Art Toh, crop

Black-naped Monarch, Clementi Woods Park, 20 Mar 2021, by Art Toh

The skittish Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata was recorded at Upper Peirce Reservoir Park on 6 Mar 2021 by Teo Soon Haur, and at Turut Track on 14 Mar 2021 by Fitri Titi. The Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus was first noted near 1036 Sembawang Road on 15 Mar 2021 by Desmond Yap, with up to 17 birds showing on 19 Mar (Fadzrun A.); the species was also recorded at Lorong Halus on 21 Mar 2021 and up to 12 birds were observed (Russel Boyman).

Two smart-looking male Yellow-rumped Flycatchers Ficedula zanthopygia were recorded at Upper Peirce Reservoir Park on 14 Mar 2021 by Lam SG, and another two males at Jurong Lake Gardens on 20 Mar 2021 by Yang Chee Meng. A shy Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides was noted at Changi Business Park on 3 Mar 2021 (Ash Foo), and an injured individual, probably from flying into a window, was resting on a tree along Jalan Pemimpin on 15 Mar 2021, noted by Lian Yee Ming.

The next three species were recorded at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio (BAMK) Park and another location. A Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosa at BAMK on 11 Mar 2021 was coming into breeding plumage (Pher Joseph) while the one at Marina East at 29 Mar 2021 had attained breeding colours (Herman Phua). A Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus at BAMK on 15 Mar 2021 (Sneo), and another at Springleaf Nature Park on 20 Mar 2021 (Ho Kinyunn) were in recognizable breeding colours. A female Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus was at BAMK on 12 Mar 2021 (Vincent Yip) and a male at Eco Lake, Botanic Gardens on 18 Mar 2021 (Steve Ang).

JPFC, 180321, Coney, Lum Lai Har

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, male, Coney Island, 18 Mar 2021, by Lum Lai Har

The juvenile diffusus Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis was still at SBWR on 12 Mar 2021 (Tan Gim Cheong) and the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha at Pasir Ris Park was also still around on 20 Mar 2021 (Keith Loh). A Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius atriceps was recorded at Jelutong Tower on 5 Mar 2021 by Emily Wong; a female Greater Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis was at Turut Track on 14 Mar 2021 (Fitri Titi); two Chestnut-winged Cuckoos Clamator coromandus were recorded at Coney Island on 15 Mar 2021 by Sze Kai; and a Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea was at Windsor Nature Park on 31 Mar 2021 (Yip Jen Wei).

Steven Struyck photographed a White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis holding a mouse it its beak on 8 Mar 2020, and Joseph Lim photographed a Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris holding a baby squirrel in its beak.

As for species which are more clearly escapees, there was an Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra at Jurong Lake Gardens on 18 Mar 2021, photographed by Gan Lee Hsia; a Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus at Changi Business Park on 22 Mar 2021 photographed by Nomis Gnat; and a small flock of Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata at Upper Peirce Reservoir Park, one of which was caught by an adult Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus on 3 Mar 2021, photographed by Liu Xiao Dong.

Breeding records

Mating was observed for these two species: Pied Trillers Lalage nigra on 5 Mar 2021 by Sim Chip Chye, and Red-crowned Barbets Psilopogon rafflesii on 14 Mar 2021 by Ivan Khor. Copper-throated Sunbirds Leptocoma calcostethawerenestbuilding at SBWR on 4 Mar 2021, observed by Koh Wen Min, who saw 6 birds.

TGC_8924,-CTSB,-male, 960v, 080321, SBWR

Copper-throated Sunbird, male, displaying its yellow pectoral tufts, SBWR, 8 Mar 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong

On 14 Mar 2021, Tabiyeo photographed two Grey Herons Ardea cinerea at their nest at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. On 18 Mar 2021 Alyssa Sng photographed a Pied Imperial Pigeon Ducula bicolor sitting on its nest. An active Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalusnest was observed Jurong Lake Gardens on 16 Mar 2021 by Tan Gim Cheong, and another at Hampstead Wetlands by William Chua on 19 Mar 2021. On 23 Mar 2021, Philip Ng photographed a male Common Iora Aegithina tiphiasitting on its nest at Lorong Halus. And on 24 Mar 2021, Helen Tee recorded a pair of Collared Kingfishers nesting at Pasir Ris Park.

A Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator chick was accompanied by its parent at Jurong Lake Gardens on 24 Mar 2021, observed by Dennis Lim, while Tracy Doan saw a Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea feeding a Little Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus, its brood parasite.

There were four reported nestings for the Black-naped Oriole. One nest was observed outside Sophia Residences on 18 Mar 2021 by Eric Tan. On 20 Mar 2021 Khoo MeiLin reported a nest at West Coast Park being raided by a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills which were undeterred by the mobbing by the adult orioles. Tan Tze Siong reported a successful nesting at Bukit Timah with two chicks fledging, he also noted that the parents fed the chicks with a baby bird. At Satay by the Bay, a nest with two chicks was observed on 15 Mar 2021 (Steve Ang), it was unusually open, perhaps as a result of the nest tree shedding leaves. On 17 Mar 2021 Andy Chew saw a House Crow Corvus splendens taking one chick from the nest, and killing it. On 19 Mar 2021, another Black-naped Oriole tried to raid the nest but was driven away, and on 22 Mar 2021, the remaining chick fledged (David Kow). This last pair fed their chicks with small geckos, grasshoppers and small round fruits (16 Mar 2021, Tan Gim Cheong).

BNO nest, 160321, SBTB, TGC

Black-naped Oriole nest with 2 chicks, the nest was unusually open, perhaps as a result of the nest tree shedding leaves, Satay by the Bay, 16 Mar 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong

At Pulau Ubin on 8 Mar 2021, a male Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris was feeding its family through the slit in a man-made nestbox, observed by Lee Chin Pong. Unfortunately for theOriental Pied Hornbill nest in the vicinity of Hampstead Wetlands, one chick was found dead on 14 Mar 2021 by Justin Jing Liang, and another chick dead on 19 Mar 2021, observed by Valli Nalla. On 21 Mar 2021 the male was still seen feeding the female through the slit (Tuck Loong), but the hole was reported as having been unsealed on 22 Mar 2021 by a birder who goes by the initials “R L”.

Three nestings were also reported for the House Crow, all of which were parasitized by the Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus. At Marina East on 9 Mar 2021, Neo Jinju observed a koel chick being hosted by the crows. At Fort Road car park on 25 Mar 2021, a nest with three crow chicks and one koel chick was observed by Sylvester Goh. And at Yishun Street 22 on 18 Mar 2021, Keith Hutton found three koel fledglings out of the nest being fed by the crows.

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim & Alan OwYong. 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 May Swales, Lau Jia Sheng, Art Toh, and Lum Lai Har, for allowing us to use their photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – February 2021

CPG, 090221, BAMK, SCC

Cotton Pygmy Goose, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, 9 Feb 2021, by Sim Chip Chye

February 2021 was marked by a number of interesting records. A Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensis, the first for Singapore, was photographed at Hindhede Quarry on 17 Feb 2021 by Jackie Yeo and Yeak Hwee Lee. The Brown Fish Owl even sired an owlet with a Buffy Fish OwlKetupa ketupu. At Yishun, a juvenile Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius showed up at an apartment block on 12 Feb 2021 to the delight of Lee Lay Na (refer to the Feb 2021 raptor report for more details for both of these).

A rare Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus showed up at a pond at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 8 Feb 2021, recorded by Teo Ang Guan, and was present through the month. At Goldhill Avenue/Malcolm Road patch of woods, a male Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus with a portion of its tail missing/broken, was photographed on 25 Feb 2021 by Thomas Soo. A Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides was seen and sound-recorded at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) on 9 Feb 2021 by Yong Ding Li, and also recorded by others through the rest of the month, with Norhafiani A. Majid snagging a photo on 28 Feb 2021.

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, 280221, SBWR entrance boardwalk, Norhafiani A Majid, pic

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, SBWR, 28 Feb 2021, by Norhafiani A. Majid

A juvenile diffusus Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis was photographed at Hampstead Wetlands on 21 Feb 2021 by Ash Foo, and also at SBWR on the same day by Ang Hou Boon. At SBWR, 14 Lesser Adjutants Leptoptilos javanicus were recorded on 7 Feb 2021 by Rene Sun, and on 27 Feb 2021 by Spencer Yau. About 100 Asian Openbills Anastomus oscitans at SBWR on 27 Feb 2021 early morning recorded by Bernard Seah flying southwest was the biggest flock for this season; there were 74 at Tuas South on the same day mid-morning, possibly the same flock, heading west, recorded by Martti Siponen. At nearby Lim Chu Kang Lane 3, a Baillon’s Crake Zapornia pusilla was photographed on 27 Feb 2021 by Keith Hutton.

Towards the south, a Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis was recorded at Satay by the Bay on 7 Feb 2021 by Saravanan K., and an Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum at Marina East on 27 Feb 2021 by Lam SG. The wintering Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus was at Central Boulevard on 6 Feb 2021 (Khoo MeiLin), and at Marina East on 18 Feb 2021 (Marcel Finlay). Interestingly, Adrian Silas Tay found a Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata at Central Boulevard on 21 Feb 2021, and the bird was on site for the next four days. The Pied Bushchat at Holland Plain was still there on 11 Feb 2021 (Yip Jen Wei).

PBC, 230221, Lee Chin Pong, crop

Pied Bushchat, Central Boulevard – Marina Gardens Drive junction, 23 Feb 2021, by Lee Chin Pong

Elsewhere, a Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 5 Feb 2021 by Tan Gim Cheong; an Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina at Ubin on 5 Feb 2021 by Mike Hooper; the Grey Nighjar Caprimulgus jotaka was still wintering at Hampstead Wetlands on 22 Feb 2021 (Johnny Wee); a Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida at Venus Drive on 25 Feb 2021 by Adeline Goh; an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Black-backed) Ceyx erithaca at the rail corridor south of King Albert Park on 27 Feb 2021 by Gideon; and a Javan Pond Heron Ardeola speciosa had started to moult into breeding plumage at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on 28 Feb 2021 (Khoo MeiLin).

A male Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae was recorded at Rifle Range Link on 7 Feb 2021 by Ramesh T., while individual females were recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park (1 Feb 2021, Steven Cheong), Central Catchment (6 Feb 2021, Raghav N.), and Hindhede Nature Park (18 Feb 2021, Choong YT), quite a month for the Green-backed Flycatchers.

GBFC male, 070221, Rifle Range Link, Ramesh T

Green-backed Flycatcher, male, Rifle Range Link, 7 Feb 2021, by Ramesh T.

Breeding records

Mating was observed for the following birds: Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus at Windsor Nature Park on 16 Feb 2021 by Ong Peline; White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis on 19 Feb 2021 by Lai Yeu Huan; Zebra Dove Geopelia striata at Hampstead Wetlands on 20 Feb 2021 by Meena Vathyam; Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus at Hampstead Wetlands on 21 Feb 2021 by Ash Foo; and Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane on 21 Feb 2021 by Wang Jun Loong.

A Red-legged Crake Rallina fasciata chick was moving about with its parents at Hindhede Nature Park on 5 Feb 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong. At Whampoa, the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus was visiting a treehole on 9 Feb 2021 (Eric Yeo), and was photographed bringing leaves, tucked into its rump feathers, back to the treehole on 25 Feb 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong.

At Hampstead Wetlands, a pair of Banded Woodpeckers Chrysophlegma miniaceum was observed feeding their chicks in a treehole on 11 Feb 2021, by Kwok Tuck Loong. On 15 Feb 2021, Javan Mynas Acridotheres javanicus entered the nest hole and attacked the chicks, causing one chick to fall into the pond below. Unfortunately, as the chick struggled on the water, a monitor lizard closed in swiftly and caught it, observed by Jess Leo, Serene Ong and Tan Heng Liang. This is an example of how an invasive species (Javan Myna) can negatively affect native species (Banded Woodpecker). The parent woodpeckers fought with the mynas and one chick was strong enough to fly to safety (Yeak Hwee Lee). In the aftermath, the Javan Mynas occupied the nest hole. Note: in mid-November 2020, Wong Keng photographed the Banded Woodpecker and Javan Mynas fighting over the tree hole, and the Banded Woodpeckers proceeded to use the hole for nesting.

Banded Woody fight J Myna, 150221, Hampstead, Lai Yeu Huan

Banded Woodpecker defending its nesting hole against a Javan Myna, Hampstead Wetlands, 15 Feb 2021, by Lai Yeu Huan

In the vicinity of Hampstead Wetlands, a male Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris was seen bringing food to its mate sealed in a treehole on 3 Feb 2021, by Wong Chung Cheong. Unfortunately, this nesting failed eventually. At SBWR, a Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja nest with two chicks was observed on 21 Feb 2021 by Andy Chew, but on 25 Feb 2021 only one chick remained and a pair of Copper-throated Sunbirds Leptocoma calcostethaattacked the nest and were chased away by the nesting sunbird. On 28 Feb 2021, the remaining chick was found dead, noted by Khoo MeiLin.

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim. 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 Sim Chip Chye, Norhafiani A. Majid, Lee Chin Pong, Ramesh T., and Lai Yeu Huan for allowing us to use their photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – January 2021

Common House Martin lagopodum, 030121, NTHL, Mike Hooper, crop

Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum, subspecies lagopodum), Neo Tiew Harvest Lane, 3 Jan 2021, by Mike Hooper

January 2021 – birders who bagged photos of the ‘Asian House Martin’ at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane on 3 Jan 2021 were in for a surprise when Frank Rheindt scrutinised their photos and found that it was a Common House Martin Delichon urbicum of the eastern lagopodum subspecies, which had a bigger white rump compared to the Asian House Martin, this information came from a recent article on House Martin identification shared by Yong Ding Li. The lucky photographers included Mike Hooper, Rob Arnold, Fadzrun A. and Geoff Lim.

BN Monarch, 250121, Ubin, Eunice Kong, crop

Black-naped Monarch, at Butterfly Hill, Ubin, 25 Jan 2020, by Eunice Kong

Nearby, at Lim Chu Kang Lane 3, a rare Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus was photographed by Norman Wu on 17 Jan 2021, and by Choong YT on 21 Jan 2021. On Pulau Ubin, another rarity, the Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea was photographed by Eunice Kong at Butterfly Hill on 25 Jan 2021.

GHLW, 250121, MED, Danny Khoo

Grey-headed Lapwing with well developed black breastband, Marina East, 25 Jan 2021, by Danny Khoo

The Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus was still at Marina East on 3 Jan 2021 (Chen Boon Chong), but had shifted to Central Boulevard from 9 to 12 Jan 2021 (Yip Jen Wei & Kwok Tuck Loong respectively), but was back at Marina East on 23 Jan 2021 (Kwok Tuck Loong). By 25 Jan 2021, it had developed a nice black breastband, as photographed by Danny Khoo. Marina East also had a Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris on 27 Jan 2021, photographed by Sim Chip Chye. Unfortunately, the knot stayed not – it only appeared for a while.

Great Knot, 270121 1537h, ME, SCC

Great Knot, Marina East, 27 Jan 2021, by Sim Chip Chye

At Pulau Ubin, two Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica and three Red-necked Stints Calidris ruficollis were recorded on 11 Jan 2021 by Krishna G.; a Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres on 24 Jan 2021 by Chen Boon Chong; a Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus on 14 Jan 2021 by Yip Jen Wei; and a Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus on 14 Jan 2021 by Yip Jen Wei, and 26 Jan 2021 by Steven Cheong. On 27 Jan 2021, Yong Ding Li saw and sound-recorded a Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides at Ketam mangroves, Ubin.

At a very small patch of woods along Marina View, next to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC), a Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda was recorded on 6 Jan 2021 by Kwok Tuck Loong, and was present till 15 Jan 2021 (James Gan). Kwok Tuck Loong also recorded a Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides in the same patch on 7 Jan 2021, and a Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida along the footpath of the SCCC on 6 Jan 2021.

Ruddy KF, 150121, SCCC vicinity, James Gan

Ruddy Kingfisher, Marina View, 15 Jan 2021, by James Gan

At Jurong Lake Gardens, a Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator was recorded on 3 Jan 2021 by Norhafiani A. Majid, and a Baillon’s Crake Zapornia pusilla on 6 Jan 2021 was reported by Lee Ee Ling.

At Dairy Farm Nature Park, the diffusus Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis was still around between 3 Jan 2021 (Andy Lee) to 12 Jan 2021 (Choong YT). A Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius atriceps was also recorded on 5 Jan 2021 by Krishna G.

At Hindhede Nature Park on 20 Jan 2021, Richard White recorded an Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina, an Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus, and a Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae.

TGC_6678_00001,-OHT,-960v

Orange-headed Thrush, Hindhede Nature Park, 25 Jan 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

Elsewhere, an adult Barred Eagle Owl Bubo sumatranus was recorded in the Central Catchment on 6 Jan 2021 by Richard White; a Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa williamsoni at the Botanic Gardens on 15 Jan 2021 by Tan Swee Nam; a Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus was feeding on Yellow Bittern at West Coast Park on 24 Jan 2021 (Sebastian Lim): a White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis was recorded at Pasir Ris Park on 25 Jan 2021 by Mike Hooper; and three White Wagtails Motacilla alba of three subspecies (ocularis, leucopsis & lugens) were recorded at Pelton Canal on 26 Jan 2021 by Felix Wong. At Neo Tiew Harvest Lane, Tan Tze Siong photographed a pair of Coppersmith Barbets Psilopogon haemacephalus mating; Valli Nalla saw a White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis eating a changeable lizard on 21 Jan 2021; and the Pied Bushchat Halcyon smyrnensis was still at Holland Plain on 3 Jan 2021 (Russell Boyman).

WTKF eating CL, posted 210121, Valli Nalla

White-throated Kingfisher caught a changeable lizard, 20 Jan 2021, by Valli Nalla

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim. 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 Mike Hooper, Eunice Kong, Danny Khoo, Sim Chip Chye, James Gan and Valli Nalla for allowing us to use their photographs

Singapore Bird Report – December 2020

Gadwall, 041220, SBWR H1D, TGC 2

Gadwall, our 2nd record, one of five birds at SBWR Hide 1D pond, 4 Dec 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

December 2020 heralded two amazing records of migrants. The first was the appearance of five Gadwalls Mareca strepera after 31 years! This being the second time that the Gadwall was recorded in Singapore, the ducks were seen at SBWR Hide 1D on 4 Dec 2020 afternoon by Daniel Loh, who graciously shared his sighting with Pary Sivaraman, who kindly spread the news. The other amazing record was that of a Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula also only the second record of the species in Singapore, after a break of 21 years, photographed at the pond at Marsiling Park on 12 Dec 2020 by Derrick Wong.

Tufted Duck, 121220, Marsiling Park, Derrick Wong, same 3

Tufted Duck, our 2nd record, Marsiling Park, 12 Dec 2020, by Derrick Wong

Next up was the 4th record of the Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina at the Healing Garden section of the Botanic Gardens on 2 Dec 2020 by Vincent Lee. Notably, this was the first male of the species to be recorded in Singapore and it was present at the Healing Garden from 2 to 6 Dec 2020, seen and photographed by many birders. The Healing Garden also hosted a juvenile Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea on 2 Dec 2020, recorded by many birders including Albert Low.

Narcissus FC male, 031220, Healing Gdn, TGC, crop

Narcissus Flycatcher, male, Healing Garden, SBG, 3 Dec 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

The rare Grey-headed Lapwing Vallenus cinereus at Marina East Drive, recorded on the last day of November 2020, was present on various days through December, seen and photographed by many birders, such as Tay Kian Guan on 1 Dec 2020 and John Marriott on 31 Dec 2020.

GHLW, 031220, MED, TGC, crop

Grey-headed Lapwing, Marina East Drive, 3 Dec 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

Another rarity, the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus was found hiding in the flooded vegetation at the grassland along Marina East Drive on the evening of 4 Dec 2020 by Khoo Meilin, Esther Ong and Kwok Tuck Loong. The Jacana was present for the next two days from 5-6 Dec 2020.

PT Jacana, 051220, MED, Norhafiani A Majid

Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Marina East Drive, 5 Dec 2020, by Norhafiani A. Majid

At the partly flooded grassland along Marina East Drive, an Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia caught a mouse/rat on 5 Dec 2020, photographed by Zacc HD; a Greater Painted Snipe Rostratula benghalensis with 3 chicks were seen on 6 Dec 2020 by Soumen M; a Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica family with 9 ducklings were recorded on 26 Dec 2020 by Herman Phua; a Watercock Gallicrex cinerea on 31 Dec 2020 by Gabriel Koh; a Baillon’s Crake Zapornia pusilla on 20 Dec 2020 by Kwok Tuck Loong, Esther Ong & Khoo MeiLin, present till 30 Dec 2020. Another Baillon’s Crake was recorded at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane (NTHL) on 26 Dec 2020 by Raghav Narayanswamy and on 27 Dec 2020 by Tan Kok Hui.

LWD, 261220, MED, Herman, with 9 ducklings

Lesser Whistling Duck family, Marina East Drive, 26 Dec 2020, by Herman Phua

Other birds recorded at NTHL included a Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus on 6 Dec 2020 by Mike Hooper; and the single Sand Martin Riparia riparia noted in November 2020 was still around on 1, 5 and 6 Dec 2020 (Krishna G, Yip Jen Wei and Jeff Tan respectively), and was joined by another individual from 24 to 27 Dec 2020 on 24, 25 and 27 Dec 2020 as noted by Francis Yap, Benjamin Naden and Rob Arnold respectively. At the nearby Kranji Marsh, 8 Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus were recorded on 31 Dec 2020 by Martti Siponen.

Siberian Thrush, 091220, DFNP, TGC, crop

Siberian Thrush, adult male, Dairy Farm Nature Park, 9 Dec 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

At Dairy Farm Nature Park, a juvenile Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus was photographed on 2 Dec 2020 by Dennis; an adult male Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica photographed on 8 Dec 2020 by Joy Kutty, and present till 11 Dec 2020; a male Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula Mugimakion 9 Dec 2020 by Wong Chung Cheong; a Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx fugax on 29 Dec 2020 by Oliver Tan. There was also a juvenile Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis of the migrant diffusus subspecies on 31 Dec 2020, photographed by Tan Hong Kim. The diffusus Black-naped Oriole is a known winter visitor, but in the field, little attention has been paid to subspecies of this otherwise common bird which has a large resident population.

BNO diffussus, 311220, DFNP, Tan Hong Kim, crop

Black-naped Oriole, juvenile migrant diffusus subspecies, (note the white belly, yellow in resident maculatus) Dairy Farm Nature Park, 31 Dec 2020, by Tan Hong Kim

At Pasir Ris Park, a Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis was recorded behind the toilet of car park B on 13 Dec 2020 by Nasir M; a Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor on 13 Dec 2020 by Valli Nalla; a Von Schrenck’s Bittern Ixobrychus  eurhythmus in the mangroves on 17 Dec 2020 by Oliver Tan; and the Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhynca on 30 Dec 2020 by William Chong

At Changi Business Park, an Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus was recorded on 8 Dec 2020 by James Wong; a Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparveroides on 17 Dec 2020 by Felix Wong; and an adult male Blue-and-White Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana on 26 Dec 2020 by Lee Yin Mun.

The Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was recorded at Changi Business Park on 11 Dec 2020 by Tan Gim Cheong, at Dover Rise on 31 Dec 2020 by Jonathan Lin, and at Sentosa Skywalk on 31 Dec 2020 by Wilson Chua.

YB Warbler, posted 311220, Sentosa skybridge, AOY

Yellow-browed Warbler, Sentosa Skywalk, 31 Dec 2020, by Alan OwYong

At Jurong Lake Gardens, a Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu was recorded on 4 Dec 2020 by Kok M Lee; a Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus on 6 Dec 2020 by Tay Kian Guan; and a Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis apparently carrying food, on 31 Dec 2020 by John Paul Briones.

Chestnut-cheeked Starling, 041220, The Grandstand, Alfred Chia, crop

Chestnut-cheeked Starling, The Grandstand vicinity, 4 Dec 2020, by Alfred Chia

Elsewhere, a rare Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis was picked out from a flock of Daurian Starlings Agropsar sturninus at The Grandstand on 4 Dec 2020 by Alan OwYong and photographed by Alfred Chia; a Slaty-breasted Rail Lewinia striata apparently was nesting in the vicinity of The Grandstand, returning to the same patch of grass where chicks could be heard on 4 Dec 2020 by Tan Gim Cheong; 150 Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea were reported by Krishna G. at the Yishun Street 11 roost on 7 Dec 2020; an injured Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka at Raffles Place MRT on 9 Dec 2020 was reported by Ashley Ng; a tired Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida at Bukit Merah on 11 Dec 2020 was reported by Grace Ho; a Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana at West Coast Park on 11 Dec 2020 was reported by Dave Koh; the Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata was still at Holland Plain on 21 Dec 2020, by Andy Chew.

Gadwall, 041220, SBWR H1D, TGC 5 birds

Gadwalls, the five birds that visited SBWR Hide 1D pond, 4 Dec 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

This report is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong, assisted by Geoff Lim. 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 Derrick Wong, Norhafiani A. Majid, Herman Phua, Tan Hong Kim, Alan OwYong and Alfred Chia for allowing us to use their photographs

The last jigsaw to the Mystery of the Crested Serpent Eagle.

By Alan OwYong and Tan Gim Cheong.

After publication of the previous article on the Crested Serpent Eagles at Goldhill, we received many reports from bird watchers and photographers of notable and important sightings of these eagles. We thank you for these records.

We now know that the serpent eagles may have paired up almost two years back in March 2019, thanks to Art Toh’s photo of two adults perched on the same tree.

We may have our final jigsaw piece yesterday (8 June 2021). These are the dramatic photos from Koh Lian Heng showing the adult handing to the juvenile a skink it had captured earlier this afternoon. This is also the first time that both the adult and juvenile were seen together.

The adult capturing the skink at the open field.

According to Lian Heng, the adult flew to a nearby Albizia tree after capturing the skink with both of them calling out. The juvenile could not locate where the adult was despite all the calling. The adult then flew higher up to another branch.

The juvenile flying to meet up with the adult after calling out to each other.

Seeing the adult fly, the juvenile flew in to join the adult. It was then that the adult passed over the skink to the juvenile, and then flew off leaving the juvenile to eat the skink alone.

The adult passing over the skink to the juvenile.

The juvenile with the skink in its talons and was about to tear it with its beak.

Last month on May 28th , MeiLin Khoo related that the adult caught a small monitor lizard and did not eat it. Instead it flew deeper inside the forest with the lizard in the direction where the juvenile was last seen. While both eagles were out of sight, they we calling to each other the whole time.

Many thanks to Koh Lian Heng and MeiLin Khoo for this last pieces of evidence to determine the status of this family of Serpent Eagles.

Photos by Koh Lian Heng.

The Mystery of the Goldhill Juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle.

By Alan OwYong and Tan Gim Cheong.

The Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis Cheela, is listed as a rare resident and migrant in the NSS Bird Group’s Checklist 2021. Earlier authors were divided on its status. Robinson (1927) was not sure of its presence, while Burknill & Chasen (1927) noted that they visited on occasions. Gibson-Hill (1950) recorded it as a resident with small numbers. Chasen considered the subspecies here as the malayensis ( Thai-Malay Peninsula and N. Sumatra). Visiting burmanicus subspecies ( Indochina) have been recorded including one at the Chinese Gardens.

Cindy Chen had been photographing this Serpent Eagle at Goldhill for more than three years. An unusual back view of the eagle looking flustered fending off the mob attack of the Collared Kingfishers was one of her more memorable images of this eagle.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, two individual Crested Serpent Eagles were residing at the Upper Seletar Reservoir Park. Subsequent records from around the island were mostly single birds and were assumed to be wanderers from Johor.

Over the past decade, a Crested Serpent Eagle had been visiting a patch of open forest at the end Goldhill Avenue. It seemed to be taken up residence there during the past few years, mainly due to the availability of reptiles and rodents there.

The tall Albizia trees fringing the open fields at Goldhill Avenue provide vantage perches for hunting for the Crested Serpent Eagles. Photo: Alan OwYong.

The first record of another bird here was on 14 March 2019 when Art Toh photographed both eagles perched on the same tree. They appeared to be of different sex but no bonding or pairing between the two was seen. Will these two be the real deal?

Photo of the two Serpent Eagles perched on the same tree on 14 March 2019 by Art Toh.

It took almost two years before we got the answer. On 7 March 2021, Julian Wong videoed the mating of this pair on an Albizia tree at the fringe of the Goldhill area. He was surprised to learn that this is the first record of these eagles mating here. This was great news as the Crested Serpent Eagle has no proven breeding records in Singapore.

Julian Wong videoed the first mating of a pair of Crested Serpent Eagles on 7 March.

But it was the photo of a juvenile bird taken by Tan YinLing on 25 May 2021 at the same forest that got us excited. This was the second photo of a juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle in Singapore (the other photo was in August 2018 at Bukit Batok). The first record of an immature was from Botanic Gardens on 11 November 1982. On 12 December 2001, a juvenile was recorded at Kent Ridge Park. Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua of the Kasetsart Laboratory of Raptor Research, Thailand, commented that this is a malayensis subspecies.

Second photo of the juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle taken on 25 May by Tan YinLing.

Trevor Teo made his own luck, roaming the area for several days, and finally got a close up look at the juvenile eating a snake on 3 June 2021. A just reward for his hard work. Unfortunately he did not see how the juvenile got the snake.

Trevor Teo worked very hard to get this photo of the juvenile with a snake. It was tearing and eating the snake when he saw it.

But the big question remains unanswered. Where did this juvenile come from?

So far no one has spotted any nests around the Malcolm Road area. These eagles build large platform nests with sticks and small branches close to the canopy of tall and secluded trees. They lay one egg and incubate it for 37-42 days. It will take a further 59-65 days before it fledges. The interval between mating to appearance of this Goldhill juvenile was 80 days. This time line looks a bit tight.

Curiously, none of the adults had been seen together with the juvenile, either on the same tree or close to each other. There were no reports of the adults chasing the juvenile away. No feeding was observed.

Juveniles are known to wander around. In a tracking study done in Taiwan, a juvenile was recorded some 20 km away from its natal site.

The Bird Group’s Records Committee will be evaluating this in their next review to determined the origin of this juvenile and change its status if needed.

We wish to thank Cindy Chen, Art Toh, Julian Wong, Tan YinLing and Trevor Teo for sharing their sightings and notes with us and for the use of their photographs.

References:

Lim Kim Seng. The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore) 2009

Gombobaatar Sundev and Toru Yamazaki (compilers). 2018. A field Guide to the the Raptors of Asia. Volume 1.

Wikipedia.

In letters Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua. Kasetsart Laboratory of Raptor Research and Conservation Medicine. Thailand.