The Autumn migration is well underway this month with the arrival of the shorebirds early in the month followed by a flood of passerine migrants on the very last day. The wader stops are at Seletar Dam, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR), Kranji Marshes and Pulau Tekong. The star was the globally endangered Great Knot, Calidris tenuirostris, arriving on 13th and staying around the Seletar Dam for a few days.
The Wader of the Month is this Great Knot in partial breeding plumage taken at Seletar Dam by Francis Yap. It had been recently upgraded to globally endangered due to the loss of refueling wetlands at East Asia.
The newly reclaimed land off Pulau Tekong is turning into a preferred stop for many of the waders. Four globally threatened Chinese Egrets, Egretta eulophotes, on 6th and an Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, on 5th were recorded there. A big thank you to Frankie Cheong for monitoring this restricted location where he also found a family of 2 Malaysian Plovers, Charadrius peronii, adults with two chicks there on the 13th.
The newly reclaimed land at Pulau Tekong getting its fair share of rare waders this season. The Asian Dowitcher was the first record here. Three Grey Plovers in breeding plumage and a Greater Sand Plover are next to the Dowitcher. Photo: Frankie Cheong.
An unmistakable Ruddy Turnstone in breeding plumage arrived at P. Tekong on the 27th. Thanks again to Frankie Cheong for getting this on record.
Parts of the construction site next to Kranji Marshes were flooded and shallow pools of fresh water attracted many of the waders that were looking for water fleas and larvae there. 13 Long-toed Stints, Calidris subminuta, (Alan OwYong) were counted on 31st. This is a high number for this uncommon plover as past records were in the single numbers. Also present were at least two Wood Sandpipers, Tringa glareola, and up to 13 Little-ringed Plovers, Charadrius dubius, (Martin Kennewell).
These two juvenile Eurasian Curlews arrived at SBWR on 25th. The first arrival was recorded at P. Tekong on the 5th by Frankie Cheong. Photo: Millie Cher.
Here is the list of some of the first arrivals.
|Wood Sandpiper x 2||3rd||Kranji Marshes||Martin Kennewell||First reported on 31/8|
|Common Redshank x 30||5th||SBWR||Lim Kim Seng|
|Eurasian Curlew||5th||P. Tekong||Frankie Cheong.||Two birds reported at SBWR by David Li on 25th|
|Chinese Egret x 4||6th||P. Tekong||Frankie Cheong|
|Black-tailed Godwit||7th||SBWR||Adrian Gopal||One reported on 13th at Seletar Dam by Francis Yap.|
|Pacific Golden Plover||9th||Seletar Dam||Francis Yap||Most in breeding plumage.|
|Great Knot||13th||Seletar Dam||Francis Yap||Partial breeding plumage.|
|Greater Sand Plover||18th||Seletar Dam||KC Ling, Timothy Chua||Timothy Chua. Another reported at Seletar Dam on 31st.|
|Terek Sandpiper||19th||Seletar Dam||Zacc HD||Another seen at P. Tekong on 27th by Frankie Cheong.|
|Marsh Sandpiper||19th||SBWR||David Li|
|Common Greenshank||19th||SBWR||David Li|
|Asian Dowitcher||20th||SBWR||Keita Sin||With a Black-tailed Godwit.|
|Intermediate Egret||23rd||SBWR||Veronica Foo|
|Ruddy Turnstone||27th||P. Tekong||Frankie Cheong||One bird in breeding plumage.|
|Little-ringed Plover x 7||27th||Kranji Marshes||Martin Kennewell||Numbers increased to 13 on 30th by Martin Kennewell|
|Long-toed Stint x 2||27th||Kranji Marshes||Martin Kennewell||Numbers increased to 13 on 31st by Alan OwYong|
|White-winged Tern||27th||SBWR||Martin Kennewell|
|Grey Plovers x 12-15||31st||P. Tekong||Frankie Cheong||All in breeding plumage together with an Asian Dowitcher.|
The Greater Sand Plover taken at Seletar Dam on 22nd by Francis Yap showing all the identification features.
Then on the last day of the month, we had a furry of passerine making their first landfall here. Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, at Dillenia Hut from Francis Yap, a male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ficedula zanthopygia, at Venus Loop from Goh Juan Hui and a Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, at the Gardens by the Bay from Danny Khoo. Earlier in the month an Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa latirostris, was photographed at the Japanese Gardens by Kristie Yeong on 20th, four Daurian Starlings, Agropsar sturninus, were seen flying around at Seletar Dam on 21st by Keita Sin. We can expect to see more of these song birds at our forests and woodlands next month.
Our first Ficedula for the season, a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher at Venus Loop on the last day of the month. Photo: Juan Hui Goh.
Also on the 31st, two non breeding visiting bulbuls were reported at P. Ubin by Lim Kim Keang and Willie Foo. The uncommon Streaked, Ixos malaccensis, and Cinereous Bulbuls, Hemixos cinereus. A rare winter visitor was the Brown-streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa williamsoni, reported at SBWR on 9th by Kingsley Phang.
Tan Gim Cheong was surprised by a Ruddy Kingfisher, Halcyon coromanda, flying across his path at Kelicap Hut, P. Ubin on 11th. This is our rare resident race, H. c. minor, that had only been recorded in P. Tekong and Ayer Merbau groups of islands. This is the first record for Ubin confirming some local dispersal. We received an unconfirmed record of three male Cotton Pygmy Goose, Nettapus coromandelianus, a rare resident, flying over Cove Village at Sentosa from Esther, a resident there. I was not able to get more details on this sighting.
Other resident records were easier to confirm like the male Violet Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus, over at Jelutong on 5th by Francis Yap. As usual he got some great shots of this uncommon cuckoo. A Little Spiderhunter, Arachnothera longirostris, was also photographed at Venus Drive by KC Ling, and a report of the Spotted Wood Owl, Strix seloputo at West Coast Park by Keita Sin, both on the 5th. Jansen Seah came in with a report of a pair of Greater Green Leafbirds, Chloropsis sonnerati, chasing away other birds at Upper Thompson Road. Frankie Cheong showed us a photo of a dark morph Pacific Reef Heron, Egretta sacra, again at his backyard at Tekong on 6th. This Egret made its appearance at SBWR on 27th at the Striated Heron Island at the main pond (Daniel Ong and Francis Yap).
Pacific Reef Heron paid a visit to Sungei Buloh and stayed for a few days. Photo: See Toh Yew Wai.
Geoff Lim chanced on a Buffy Fish Owl, Ketupa ketupa, at Lower Peirce Boardwalk on 6th. It was seen again on the 26th by Thio Hb. This was one of the most reliable locations to see this uncommon owl before they spread out. The newly fledged Buffy Fish Owl at SBWR made an appearance at the reserves on 21st spotted by Wing Chong. Great to know that it is doing well.
Sungie Buloh’s Buffy Fish Owl Jr. can now hunt for itself. Seen here finishing its catch. Alan OwYong
Zacc was really happy to get the House Swift, Apus nipalensis, on his sensors at Punggol Barat on 9th. This resident swift is getting rare nowadays. Aldwin Recinto photographed a Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis, a forest specific, at Pasir Ris Park on 20th, most likely a dispersal from across P. Ubin.
Greater Coucal a forest species photographed at Pasir Ris Park by Aldwin Recinto.
The resident ernesti race Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus, was seen flying over Punggol Barat on 31st by Lawrence Cher. Tan Gim Cheong will have the rest of the raptor records in this coming Raptor Report.
Some notable records from eBird for August: Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradisi, at BTNR on 9th and an Asian Palm Swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, at Coney Island on 12th both by Christopher Gainey. A Greater Sand Plover, Charadrius leschenaultii, at Marina Barrage on 16th by Malcolm Graham. A Brown Boobook, Ninox scutulata was seen at 7 pm on 23rd along the MacRitchie Boardwalk by Marcel Finley.
Lim Kim Seng. The Avifauna of Singapore. 2009 Nature Society (Singapore).
Yong Ding Li, Lim Kim Chuah and Lee Tiah Khee. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. 2013. John Beaufoy Publishing Limited.
Craig Robson. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia. 2000.
This report is compiled by Alan OwYong and edited by Tan Gim Cheong from selected postings in various facebook birding pages, bird forums and individual reports. Some were not verified. We wish to thank all the contributors for their records. Many thanks to Francis Yap, Millie Cher, See Toh Yew Wai, Frankie Cheong, Aldwin Recinto, Goh Juan Hui and Alan OwYong, for the use of their photos.