By Lim Kim Seng
Chairman, Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee
The Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee continues to receive records of new bird species to the Singapore List and rarities as it has done every year since the 1980s. 2022 was another good year with three new species in Category A being added to the List. At the same time, two species were re-assigned to Category B as there had been no records in Singapore for more than thirty years. This report updates the findings for February-December 2022.
Three new bird species were added to the Singapore List, bringing the total number of species to 422, up from 421 in 2022 (Lim 2022). These included three additions to Category A. Two species were also re-assigned to Category B as they have not been recorded for thirty years.
Category A: Species which have been recorded in an apparently wild state in Singapore within the last thirty years
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
One bird seen at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 1-5 November 2022 by Art Toh, Geoff Lim, Lee Mun Foo and several other observers was the first record for Singapore.
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni
One bird seen at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park on 24th April 2022 by Veronica Foo, Atsuko Kawasaki, Stella Tay and Alan Bennet was the first record for Singapore. It has not been recorded in Singapore previously and is probably a non-breeding visitor from Malaysia.
Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui
One bird seen at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 30th October 2022 by Norman Wu, Liu Jianbin and Norvin Ng was the first record for Singapore.
Category B: Species which have been recorded in an apparently wild state in Singapore but not within the last thirty years
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
The last record of this species came from Poyan Reservoir on 17 January 1988 (Lim 2009). As there has been no subsequent records, this species is re-assigned to Category B.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
The last record of this species came from Senoko on 7 October 1984 (Lim 2009). As there has been no subsequent records, this species is re-assigned to Category B.
Category E: Species for which all published records are suspected as doubtful because of the possibility of mis-identification
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
One seen at Marina Breakwaters on 23rd September 2022 by Pary Sivamaran was assumed to be an Oriental Magpie Pica serica, a recent split from Eurasian Magpie. However, field characters differentiating the Pica pica complex are not definitive. It remains best to treat this as Eurasian Magpie. There have been past records of this species from Woodlands Town Park East in March 1992 and Lim Chu Kang on 11 May 1992 (Lim 2009).
Other updates to the Checklist
The taxonomy, nomenclature and systematics follow that of the latest IOC version 13.1 which was released in February 2023 (Gill et al 2023).
We would like to thank the following observers for submitting their records for review and for the use of their photographs in this report: Art Toh, Alan Bennet, Veronica Foo, Atsuko Kawasaki, Lee Mun Foo, Geoff Lim, Liu Jianbin, Norvin Ng, Pary Sivamaran, Stella Tay and Norman Wu. Finally, thanks are also due to my fellow committee members for their tireless work in the deliberation process: Benjamin Lee, Lim Kim Keang, Tan Gim Cheong, Tan Kok Hui, and Yong Ding Li.
To download the 2023 NSS Bird Checklist, please click NSS SG Bird Checklist 2023
Clements, J.F. (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World, Sixth Edition. Christopher Helm, London.
Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v13.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1.
Lim, K.S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore.
Lim, K.S. (2022). Records Committee Report 2022. Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee, Singapore.