Tag Archives: Cinereous Bulbul

Singapore Bird Report – May 2018

As the remaining migrants made their exodus back to their breeding grounds, and residents nest and raise their broods, the most exciting news for May was the return of the Great Slaty Woodpecker for a period of about eleven days. The Great Slaty Woodpecker was first recorded in Singapore in 1904; a specimen was collected from Woodlands. The last two sightings, unconfirmed, were reported from Changi in the 1970s, and the bird was thought to be extinct, until this month’s sightings. 

2 GSW,, 110518, CC, Fryap

The Great Slaty Woodpecker photographed at the MacRitchie Reservoir area by Francis Yap on 11 May 2018.

The Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus was first reported by Ted Lee, when he sought for help to identify an unusual bird photographed at around 2:15pm on 2 May 2018 near the summit of Bukit Timah Hill. Dominic Ng subsequently spotted the bird during the early morning hours of 4 May 2018 near the location where Ted first saw the bird. Others visited the Hill on 5 May 2018, and were rewarded by the bird staying within the vicinity of the summit until late evening. The woodpecker was then seen on the hill on the morning of 6 May 2018. It was sighted around MacRitchie Reservoir on 11 May 2018, and was last seen on the afternoon of 12 May 2018.

Report on Migrants

Sightings of migrant species continue to be reported. A Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus was seen at Satay by the Bay (SBTB) on 1 May 2018 by Veronica Foo, who also heard a Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis calling at the carpark behind the church at Dempsey Hill on 4 May 2018. Several late departure dates were noted this month. Fadzrun Adnan’s report of an Amur Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone incei on 5 May 2018 represented a new late departure date for the species; later than previous records by one week. Lim Kim Keang’s sighting of a Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin on 6 May 2018 represented a new extreme date; the Great Knot’s last recorded departure date was 14 March.  Another new late departure record was made by an Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus seen at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) by James Lambert on 6 May 2018. Amin’s report of a White Wagtail Motacilla alba in the Aljunied Canal on 17 May 2018 was an extension of more than a month.  Vincent Lao’s report of a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) on 28 May 2018 represents an extension from a previous record of 2 May; one was earlier spotted by Richard Davis on 1 May at SBWR.

3. WWT

The White Wagtail photographed at the Aljunied Canal by Amin on 17 May 2018.

Reports on Residents

There were several nesting reports of resident species. Khoo Meilin reported an active nest of a pair of Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala at Chinese Garden on 4 May 2018 and another at Lorong Chencaru, on 8 May 2018, where the chick was seen calling from its nest hole. Mark Nelson Valino photographed a Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus with two chicks at Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) on 14 May 2018. Lawrence Eu reported a Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera engaged in nest-building activity in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) on 12 May 2018, while Khoo Meilin observed a Striated Heron Butorides striata nest with two chicks on 19 May 2018 in Bishan Park near the Grub Café and a juvenile Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus was seen by Doreen Ang at Burgundy Drive, a first for the area. On 23 May 2018, Edwin Choy reported that one Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus chick fledged from a tree at Pek Kio Market.

4. LTNJ

The Large-tailed Nightjar with a chick at the Singapore Botanic Gardens; photographed by Mark Nelson Valino on 14 May 2018.

Resident species included a male Barred Button Quail Turnix suscitator and Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca spotted at Bidadari by Amin on 6 May 2018.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) yielded a Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris feeding on yellow figs at the summit (4 May 2018 by Stuart Campbell), several Greater Green Leafbird Chlropsis sonnerati (4 May 2018 by Lim Kim Keang), and a Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu (5 May 2018 by Geoff Lim and Kozi Ichiyama). A Barred Eagle Owl Bubo sumatranus was sighted on 23 May 2018 near Singapore Quarry by Peter Ding Chu Teck.

5 BBQ

The Barred Button Quail photographed at Bidadari by Amin on 6 May 2018.

Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) had reports of a Red-crowned Barbet Megalaima rafflesii (17 May 2018 by Con Foley; 24 May 2018 by Art Toh) and Cream-vented Bulbuls Pycnonotus simplex (19 May 2018 by Martin Kennewell and 20 May 2018 by Fadzrun Adnan).

6 RBC

The Ruddy-breasted Crake photographed at Bidadari by Amin on 6 May 2018.

Dairy Farm Nature Park (DFNP) yielded an Asian Palmswift Cypsiurus balasiensis (1 May 2018 by Fadzrun Adnan), Lesser Green Leafbird Chloropsis cyanopogon  (18 May 2018 by Martin Kennewell and 26 May 2018 by Con Foley, Tan Kok Hui and Danny Lau), a Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii (23 May 2018 by Martin Kennewell) and a Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus (27 May 2018 by Lim Kim Chuah).

 

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The Violet Cuckoo photographed at JEG by Jesse Tan on 28 May 2018.

In the west, Jurong Eco-Garden yielded another Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus (28 May 2018 by Jesse Tan), and a Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting (10 May 2018 by Luke Milo Teo).

In the east, a female Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus was spotted at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin (6 May 2018 by Lim Kim Seng and Lim Kim Keang), while about 16 Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica were seen at Pasir Ris Farmway (27 May 2018 by T. Ramesh).

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Lesser Whistling Ducks at Pasir Ris Farmway on 27 May 2018 by T. Ramesh.

Two Black-naped Terns Sterna sumatrana were seen feeding together with Little Terns Sternula albifrons at Pasir Ris Park (17 May 2018 by Luke Milo Teo). In the north, Veronica Foo heard a Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha calling at Seletar End on 31 May 2018, a new record for this location.

On a separate note, the Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis was reported at several locations – Tampines Eco-Green (25 May 2018 by Alvin Seng), SBWR (27 May 2018 by Art Toh) and Seletar End (31 May 2018 by Veronica Foo).

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The Savannah Nightjar at the Tampines Eco-Green on 25 May 2018 by Alvin Seng.

Lim Kim Keang sighted a Cinereous Bulbul Hemixos cinereus, a non-breeding visitor at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin on 6 May 2018. Records occur mainly in the year-end to early part of the year, previously up to 5 April. They are probably the result of  post-breeding dispersal of this species resident in Malaysia.

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A pelagic survey led by Francis Yap and See Toh Yew Wai on 5 May 2018 along the multi-national Straits of Singapore yielded 6 migrating Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel Oceanodrama monorhis, along with 3 Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris, 19 Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus and 1 Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica. Note that some of these sightings might not be in Singapore waters.

Short-tailed Shearwater

A Short-tailed Shearwater at Singapore Strait on 5 May 2018 by Francis Yap

Abbreviations:
BTNR: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
CCNR: Central Catchment Nature Reserve
DFNP: Dairy Farm Nature Park
JEG: Jurong Eco-Garden
KM: Kranji Marsh
PRP: Pasir Ris Park
SBG: Singapore Botanic Gardens
SBWR: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
SBTB: Satay by the Bay
TEG: Tampines Eco-Green

This report is compiled by Geoff Lim and Alan OwYong, and edited by Tan Gim Cheong based on selected postings in various facebook birding pages, bird forums, individual reports and extracts from ebird. This compilation is not a complete list of birds recorded for the month and not all the records were verified. We wish to thank all the contributors for their records. Many thanks to Amin, Alvin Seng, Francis Yap, Jesse Tan, Khong Yew, Mark Nelson Valino and T. Ramesh for the use of their photos. 

 List of Sightings in the May 2018 Bird Report

Date Species Location
Anatidae
27-May Lesser Whistling Duck Pasir Ris Farmway
Ardeidae
19-May Striated Heron Bishan Park
Rallidae
6-May Ruddy-breasted Crake Bidadari
Turnicidae
6-May Barred Button Quail Bidadari
Scolopacidae
6-May Great Knot P. Ubin
Laridae
17-May Black-naped Tern PRP
Columbidae
5-May Jambu Fruit Dove BTNR
Cuculidae
1-May Chestnut-winged Cuckoo SBWR
23-May Banded Bay Cuckoo DFNP
28-May Violet Cuckoo JEG
28-May Chestnut-winged Cuckoo SBWR
Strigidae
23-May Barred Eagle Owl BTNR
Caprimulgidae
25-May Savanna Nightjar TEG
31-May Savanna Nightjar Seletar End
Apodidae
1-May Asian Palmswift DFNP
Alcedinidae
10-May Blue-eared Kingfisher KM
Megalaimidae
8-May Coppersmith Barbet Chinese Gardens
17-May Red-crowned Barbet CCNR
Picidae
2-May Great Slaty Woodpecker BTNR
4-May Great Slaty Woodpecker BTNR
11-May Great Slaty Woodpecker CCNR
Psittaculidae
23-May Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Pek Kio Market
Pittidae
4-May Blue-winged Pitta Dempsey Hill
31-May Mangrove Pitta Seletar End
Tephrodornitidae
6-May Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike P. Ubin
Laniidae
1-May Tiger Shrike SBTB
Monarchidae
5-May Amur Paradise Flycatcher BTNR
Pycnonotidae
4-May Black-crested Bulbul BTNR
6-May Cinereous Bulbul P. Ubin
20-May Cream-vented Bulbul CCNR
Phylloscopidae
6-May Eastern Crowned Warbler BTNR
Timaliidae
12-May Chestnut-winged Babbler CCNR
Chloropseidae
4-May Greater Green Leafbird BTNR
18-May Lesser Green Leafbird DFNP
Ploceidae
21-May Baya Weaver Burgundy Drive
Motacillidae
17-May White Wagtail Aljunied Canal

 

 

 

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Singapore Bird Report-August 2015

Terek Sandpiper Francis Yap 30.8.15

Terek Sandpiper at Seletar Dam photo Francis Yap.

The Autumn migration season has began. We started seeing the arrival of the shorebirds to Sungei Buloh and the mud flats at Mandai, song birds to Bidadari and the Central Forest.  On the first day of August, the Lesser Sand Plovers, Charadrius mongolus, and Common Sandpipers, Actitis hypoleucos, were seen by Zacc HD over at the shore of the Seletar Dam, while Adrian Gopal was the first to report the arrival of the Common Redshanks Tringa totanus, and Common Greenshanks, Tringa nebularia, to SBWR. Lim Kim Seng picked up a lone Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, on 7th, a Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis, and a Terek Sandpiper, Tringa cinerea, both at SBWR on 12th. He also reported a Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, over at Neo Tiew Lane 2 on 12th while a Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea, was seen at SBWR by Robin Tan on 28th.

It was a little slower for the passerine migrants. See Toh Yew Wai photographed a needletail flying over Jelutong Tower on 9th. General consensus was a Brown-backed Needletail, Hirundapus giganteus, We had our first Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradisi, over a Venus Drive on 15th ( Jensen Seah) followed by another the next day over at Pulau Ubin by Yap Wee Jin.

Forest Wagtail Laurence Eu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, (above) photographed by Laurence Eu at the SBG’s Healing Gardens on 16th was 3 days ahead of the previous extreme date, a returning Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, to the lily pond at the Gardens by the Bay on 17th ( Koh Liang Heng), Arctic Warbler, Phylloscopus borealis, at our Central Forest on 22nd by Lim Kim Keang and an uncommon Eastern Crowned Warbler, Phylloscopus coronatus, at Bukit Timah on 25th by Francis Yap. The month ended with Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ficedula zanthopygia, at Tuas South (Low Choon How), and a Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus,  (Y.W. See Toh) both on 30th. All these records were first for the season.

We had several sightings of the Oriental Honey Buzzards, Pernis ptilorhyncus, during the first week from SBG and Central Forest to SBWR. Some appeared to be on migration flying in a South-easterly direction. Others were summering juveniles like Seng Alvin’s find at Pasir Ris Park on 25th. This was where Md. Nasir photographed a Tweedale morph Torquatus resident race Honey Buzzard. Other raptors reported this month was a returning Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus, to Ubin on the 1st (Y.W. See Toh), a pair of Crested Goshawks, Accipiter trivirgatus, feeding its young at Bishan Park on 14th and a Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, photographed by Gill Jones on 22nd at her garden at the wooded Tanglin area.

Brown-streaked FC Danny Lau

We continued to find non breeding visitors like Jambu Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus jambu, at Sentosa on 6th, and SBG on 23rd (Alan OwYong), a Cinereous Bulbul, Hemixos flavala, at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 7th (Diana Jackson) and 23rd (Francis Yap) and the uncommon Brown-streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa williamsoni, at CCK Park ( Danny Lau’s photo on the left).

Cinereous Bulbul at Timah Summit

Cinereous Bulbul at Bukit Timah Summit. Photo by Francis Yap

 

Lai Ah-eng

A Great-billed Heron spotted by Lai Ah-Eng at the East Coast Park.

Some notable resident species to report include a Great-billed Heron, Ardea sumatrana, seen by Lai Ah Eng at the beach off East Coast Park, a new location for the largest bird in Singapore. A rare introduced Black-crested Bulbul at BTNR on 7th by Diana Jackson, a hard to see Asian Palmswift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, over Bidadari on 10th by Zacc HD, a strayed Blue-eared Kingfisher, Alcedo meninting, fishing at Pasir Ris mangroves on 21st, spotted by Seng Alvin, a Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta, and a vanishing House Swift Apus nipalensis, flying over Bishan Park on 25th by See Toh Yew Wai. The Glossy Swiftlet is new for Bishan. A juvenile White-rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus, at Bishan Park on 29th by Lim Kim Keang, a juvenile Asian Drongo Cuckoo, Surniculus lugubris, at Bidadari on 31st by Zacc HD  and a Black-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus atriceps, at the MacRitchie Forest on 31st by Lim Kim Seng.

Black-crested Bulbul feeding young 8.8.15 Lee Van Hein.

A Black-crested Bulbul feeding its young captured by Lee Van Hien.

The only nesting record was from James Tann of the Scaly-breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata, at Gardens by the Bay on 19th. Lee Van Hien had a Black-crested BulbulPycnonotus atriceps, feeding a young at the Bukit Timah Summit on the 8th.

BTNR Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, SBWR Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, CCNR Central Catchment Nature Reserve, CCK Park Chua Chu Kang Park.

Reference: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-east Asia, Craig Robson 2000. Edited by Francis Yap. The above records are taken from the various bird FB groups. pages, reports and forums.  Many thanks for your postings. Many thanks to Francis Yap, Lai Ah Eng, Lee Van Hien, Laurence Eu and Danny Lau for the use of the photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – June 2015

Rescued White-tailed Tropicbird from Tuas (Photograph courtesy of ACRES)

Rescued White-tailed Tropicbird from Tuas.  (Photograph courtesy of ACRES)

We all were expecting another quiet month when Yong Ding Li dropped a bombshell on 22nd. He reported that ACRES had retrieved a White-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon Lepturus, from Pioneer Sector at Tuas. This will our very first record of an identified tropicbird in Singapore. From the yellowish wash in the plumage this is the Fulvus form. The Record’s Committee will be deliberating on its status and decide on its inclusion into the Checklist. There were two unidentified records of tropicbirds previously. One bird seen flying off Seletar on 11 December 1963 off (MBR 1964) and another in 1986 by Tan Gim Cheong off Serangoon Estuary. The nearest breeding colony is at the Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Islands.

Black-winged Flycatchershrike Wolfgang

The other big find for the month was a Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus hirundinaceus, photographed by a visiting German birdwatcher Wolfgang Kraemer, at Chek Java, P. Ubin on the 28th. This is our second record following Francis Yap’s sighting at the Jelutong Towers on 23 August 2013. This species was previously listed in Category F: Doubtful species because of mis-identification, but have since ungraded to Category A and added in the 2013 Checklist. Efforts to find this flycatchershrike two days later was not rewarded.

Oriental Darter Cherry Goh

The Oriental Darter captured by Cherry Goh at the Pekan Quarry on 2nd Ubin Day.

The migrants reported this month include a Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis at SBWR on 1st (Andy Dinesh). During Ubin Day an Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, made a surprised appearance at the Pekan Quarry. It was first seen there by John Ascher sometime in April (per con Andy Dinesh). This Darter was first reported at Ketam Quarry co-incidentally during the first Ubin Day on 30th October 2014. It is not in our current checklist but these sightings will strengthen its inclusion. There were two sightings of the Oriental Honey Buzzards, Pernis ptilorthyncus, one a juvenile at the Botanic Gardens on 18th by Tan Eng Boo and the other a second year bird over at Dempsey Hill on 20th by Sampath Ah. Both are summering and will only return north next spring.

Blue-eared KF Wolfgang

A rare find for Pulau Ubin of a Blue-eared KingFisher by Wolfgang Kraemer.

Non-breeding visitors reported were a Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx fugax, at the Kranji Park on 13th by Sampath Ah and the Cinereous Bulbul Hermixos flavala,at Chek Java on 28th by Wolfgang Kraemer. Wolfgang also photographed our forest Blue-eared Kingfisher, Alcedo meninting, there showing how this once Central Catchment species have spread. Choo Chong Teck showed us a photo of a Chrysococcyx cuckoo taken at the Tampines Mountain Bike Trail on 27th. It turned out to be another Horsfield Bronze Cuckoos Chrysococcyx basalis, at a new location. The Austral cuckoos at Punggol Barat were still wintering there as of the 28th based on reports from See Toh Wai Yew.

Grey-headed Fish-eagle David Awcock 2

Fishing Grey-headed Fish-eagle caught by David Awcock at the Swan Lake.

The resident Grey-headed Fish-eagles, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, were keeping the photographers busy with their daily fishing antics at the Singapore Botanic Garden’s Swan Lake. They were first videoed by Jeremiah Loei on 10th. A pair of Buffy Fish Owls Ketupa ketupu, were roosting at the Rain Forest section of the gardens (Zacc HD 13th). They were first spotted at the Gardens by Richard White last month on 8th May. We think that they may have been flushed out from the Tyersall side due to the construction of the new extension to the gardens.

The once rare Crested Goshawks Accipiter trivirgatus, are now being seen more often. Seng Alvin photographed a second year bird in flight over at Pasir Ris Park on 10th with another photographed at Ang Mo Kio Park by Audrey Ngo on 7th. Jia Wei Woo was delighted to have captured a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus flying over at the Swan Lake on 27th. It was the resident ernesti race.

Other notable records were an Asian Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris, photographed at the Dillenia Hut by Vincent Lao on 28th. This should to be our resident subspecies barussarum. A pair of Plaintive Cuckoos, Cacomantis merulinus were photographed at Punggol Barat on 23rd by Liz How. We usually get to see single bird of this species. From the sightings this month, it is evident that we cannot slack off for any periods if we are to keep track of the rarities.

Reference: Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng. 2009. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-east Asia. Craig Robson Asia Books Ltd.2000. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Simpson and Day, Edited by Francis Yap and Yong Ding Li. The above records are taken from the various bird FB groups. pages, reports and forums.  Many thanks for your postings. Many thanks to ACRES, Wolfgang Kraemer, David Awcock and Cherry Goh for the use of the photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – May 2015

HBC Albert Tan 24 April 15 Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo Eric Tan.

Albert Tan’s 24th                                       Eric Tan’s 25th. Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo

May is the usual slow and quiet month as most of the migrants have left and the residents were in their post breeding period.  But all these were shattered with an influx of the long awaited and rare Austral migrant, the Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx basalis.

Apparently it was photographed at Punggol Barat on the 10th by Vincent Lao, but was dismissed as the Little Bronze Cuckoo. Albert Tan and Eric Wang posted their exciting finds on 24th and 25th after reading a timely post by Francis Yap of Lim Kim Seng’s old Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo article.

Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo at Punggol Barat

Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo at Punggol Barat

The race was on to find them before they are gone. To everyone’s surprise, there were a bunch of them flying around at the Mimosa open waste land at Punggol Barat. This is Francis Yap’s excited text on 30th: “Got the horsy, Punggol Barat now”, “Lost track of it, near pond”, “Cannot find. Very hot now”, “Found again”, “3 birds now, near pond”, “ 4-5 birds”, “ Lost count liao after 10 birds”. Con Foley was calling this a “Cuckoo Convention”. It was just incredible. In June 2005 we had one adult and one juvenile that stayed for a week at Marina South. The past eight records, all were single birds. This is our chance to study their “wintering” behaviour.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher by Vincent Ng

Asian Paradise Flycatcher by Vincent Ng

The month started well with the sighting of a male white morphed Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradise, at Bidadari on the 2nd ( new extreme date?).  Many of us were grateful for the instant alert from Vincent Ng as it was gone the next day, clearly on passage back. Two Von Schrenck’s Bitterns, Ixobrychus eurhythmus, were photographed at Pasir Ris Park on 5th by Billy Goh and 8th at SBWR on 8th by Alan OwYong. They are known to stay late till June. Another late migrant was an adult Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus, picked up at Bidadari on 9th by Lim Kim Seng. A total of 49 Swinhoe’s Storm Petrels, Oceanodroma monorhis, on passage were counted during a private Pelagic trip to the Straits of Singapore on 10th ( Francis Yap). This was the largest flock recorded for the year, a low count compared to previous year.

Eric Wang managed to photograph all three Jambu Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus jambu, adult male, female and a juvenile feeding on the same tree at Bidadari on the same date. These are the uncommon non breeding visitors attracted by fruiting figs. Another uncommon non breeding visitor was an Cinererous Bulbul, Hemixos cinereus, recorded at Belukar trail on the 20th, another new extreme date.

Interesting resident records include a Lesser Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna javanica at the Japanese Gardens, reported by Laurence Eu , Buffy Fish OwlsKetupa ketupu, one at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 8th ( Richard White) and another at Bidadari on 15th (Er Bong Siong). All are new for the location.

Two eggs belonging to the Large-tailed Nighjars, Caprimuigus macrurus, were found by Lucy Davies on 10th at Wessex, while the chick of the Changeable Hawk Eagle at Mount Faber fledged on the 12th, much to the delight of the  many of its fans ( Johnson Chua). The young eaglet that was rescued and looked after by the vets in Sentosa turned out to be a Crested Goshawk, Accipiter trivigatus This is the first record of this rare resident raptor breeding there. It will be tagged before released back into the wild. Seng Alvin painstaking monitoring of the pair of Malaysian Pied Fantails, Rhipidura javanica, paid off.  He documented the fledgling of two chicks on the 25th. Happy days.

Nesting Malaysian Pied Fantails about to fledge. Photo: Seng Alvin

Nesting Malaysian Pied Fantails about to fledge. Photo: Seng Alvin

20150422_112114 IMG-20150521-WA0003

Crested Goshawk chick rescued at Sentosa in April. Same chick a month later. Ready for tagging before release. Photos; Daniel Seah of SDC.

One crash record came from John Arifin who found a concussed female Jambu Fruit Dove, Ptilinopus jambu, at Winsland House off Orchard Road on 27th. He informed us that the dove managed to fly off on its own after a short recovery.

Reference: Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng. 2009. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-east Asia. Craig Robson Asia Books Ltd.2000. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Simpson and Day, Edited by Francis Yap. The above records are taken from the various bird FB groups. pages, reports and forums.  Many thanks for your postings. Many thanks to Francis Yap, Vincent Ng, Seng Alvin, Daniel Seah, Albert Tan and Eric Wang for the use of the photographs.

The False Curry Leaf Tree, a bird magnet.

 

 False Curry Leaf Plant ( Clausena excavata) by Angie Ng. 

Bird watchers know that a fruiting fig or a flowering tree in our parks and forests are magnets for frugivores birds like bulbuls and pigeons. Many will trek up to the summit of Bukit Timah Hill when the big ficus tree fruits to tick some of the rarer resident forest species. But now another tree the False Curry Leaf is attracting the bird watchers and photographers and some of the hard to find species at the Dairy Farm Nature Park.

The False Curry Leaf Tree (Clausena excavata)  is a small slender tree that looks like the Curry Leaf plant. Native from India to Indochina down to Malaysia, its leaf has a slight curry smell when crushed. Small green berries formed at a terminal cluster from tiny white flowers. They turn pink when ripe and has a taste of grapes. This seems to attract many of the forest species that find this berry irresistible, They in turn will help to disperse the seeds.

Some of the birds seen feeding on this plant at Dairy Farm Nature Park after alert from Doreen Ang on the Jambu Fruit Dove. Other species that were also seen feeding on the berries  were Asian Glossy Starlings, Red-crowned Barbet, Black-naped Oriole and Red-eyed Bulbuls.

Eye-browed Thrush by Lee Van Hien

Eye-browed Thrush by Lee Van Hien. An uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor first seen at Bidadari on 27th November.

 

Cinereous Bulbul by See Toh

Cinereous Bulbul by See Toh Yew Wai. A uncommon non-breeding visitor and wanderer from Peninsular Malaysia. This season we are seeing a broad dispersal across the island.

Jambu Fruit Dove at Wallace Center

Jambu Fruit Dove Juvenile by Alan OwYong. Uncommon non-breeding visitor and resident that is globally neared threatened.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Streaked Bulbul by Alan OwYong. Non-breeding visitor most probably from the hill forests of Malaysia partly due to its nomadic behavior.

Asian Fairy Bluebird by See Toh

Asian Fairy Bluebird by See Toh Yew Wai. Common forest resident. Mid canopy feeder mostly seen at fruiting trees. Sharp one or two notes witt calls.

Straw-headed Bulbul by Lee Van Hien

Straw-headed Bulbul by Lee Van Hien. We are lucky that this globally vulnerable and nationally threatened species is doing well in our parks and forest when they are poached to extinction in their range.

Reference; A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. 2013.Yong Ding Li, Lim Kim Chuah and Lee Tiah Khee.

A Stream of Ashy Bulbuls at Chek Java.

Ashy Bulbul 11 Ashy Bulbul

Part of the 200+ flock at Chek Java by Lim Kim Keang and Dr. Wellington Tan.

On a visit to Check Jawa on 4 Nov 2014 with Dr Wellington Tan at about 11.48 hrs we heard the typical meowing calls of Ashy Bulbuls coming from the trees on the right side of the boardwalk junction.  At first we were not able have any definite look at the birds as they were so fast and the foliage was dense.  After a while we were able to confirm and took some record shots. There were at least 15 of them actively moving about in the fig tree.

As the Mangrove Boardwalk was closed for upgrading we headed for the coast. At about 12.05 pm we heard the loud meowing calls of Ashy Bulbuls but were unable to locate them. Just before we reached the hill with the staircase leading to the hill-top we were surprised to witness a closed flock of noisy Ashy Bulbuls streaming towards the sea from the tall tree by the coast at the base of the hill. We thought we were seeing an unusually large flock (later estimated from photographic record shots to be 180 birds) flying off for Johor.

Ashy Bulbul 8 Ashy bulbul 10

Close up of the Chek Java Flock by Lim Kim Keang and Dr. Wellington Tan.

We were even more surprised when the noisy flock came streaming back to the tall tree! For the next half-hour we observed this unusual shuttle flights of flocks of Ashy Bulbuls with variable number of birds streaming towards the sea and returning at various intervals. There was also movement of birds from the tall tree to the tree on the hill top. When the birds settled in the trees they practically disappeared amongst the thick foliage. At the tall tree where foliage was sparser some Ashy Bulbuls could be seen perched for extended periods of time but most of the time we could just make out their shapes as they actively moved about.

There were no flying insects about and no fruits so they were obviously not foraging. These unusual flights do not seem to have any purpose from the human viewpoint.  Such a spectacle also give rise to many unanswered questions.  Is this an irruption? or post-breeding dispersal? Where did these birds come from? Where are they heading? Is this a yearly occurrence? Where do they feed and roost? Why were they making the shuttle flights?

This unusual event even attracted some visitors who happened to pass by and some were seen whipping out their smart phones to record the event!

We moved on to the CJ  jetty and had a broader view of the site. The shuttle flights continued. One flock flew twice the distance of the buoy (close to site) from shore before returning and meeting a flock just flying out to sea before the buoy. Most flights covered shorter distances. The flights probably continued but we were out of observation range when we left at 1pm.

At about 1.10 pm at the meeting point for visitors outside the gate a loose noisy  flock of about 50 were flying just above the tree tops in the direction of the information kiosk.

Ashy or Cinereous Bulbul (Hemixos flavala cinereus) is a non-breeding visitor occurring in Singapore annually in small numbers (KS Lim, The Avifauna of  Singapore, 2009). Records are from September to January and in April  from forests and secondary growth.  It has been mostly observed in Bukit Timah, Central Forests and offshore islands like Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, St John’s Island and Pulau Semakau. The largest numbers on record were 15 birds on St John’s Island on 17 Dec 1989 and Bukit Timah on 24 Nov 2002. A large flock was also seen at Chek Jawa and Joseph de Hoyo some years ago.

In souhtern Malaya Peninsula  such as Panti Forest Ashy Bulbuls have been encountered in small numbers only.

The accumulated numbers seen this year constituted the largest on record.  On 17 Oct Vincent Ng saw one bird at Bidadari. On 18 Oct Lim Kim Chuah reported seeing at least 3 birds in the vicinity of MOE Adventure Center (Changi Coast Walk) and NSRCC. On the same date the author took some record shots of 2 distant perched birds at the Japanese Gardens. 20 Ashy Bulbus were seen on 26 Oct at Lazarus Island by Daniel Wee. On 4 Nov 200 were recorded at Chek Jawa (Pulau Ubin)  (see above article). 15 birds were seen on 5 Nov at Kent Ridge Park by Francis Yap and 3 were seen at same site on 11 Nov by Alan OwYong, Con Foley and the author. 50+ at Kent Ridge by Horst Flotow and Ee Ling during the Raptor Watch 9th, 3 at Gardens by the Bay by Laurence Eu on 12th, 4 at Canterbury Road by Alan OwYong and Francis Yap on 14th, 8 at Tuas South Ave 16 by the author on15th, sightings at MacRitchie Resevoir, Rifle Range Link and SBWR were reported by Lim Kim Seng on 17th and 5 at Bukit Batok and Rifle Range Link by Lim Kim Chuah on 22nd. No doubt we will be getting more records in the coming days. 

Report by Lim Kim Keang.

 

Singapore Bird Report – October 2014

 

Chestnut-cheeked Starling Zacc HD

(Chestnut-cheeked Starling at Bidadari by Zacc HD)

The diversity and number of migrants seen during October proved again that this is the peak migration month. The soon to be developed former Muslim Cemetery at Bidadari as expected provides the most migrant sightings with the Japanese Gardens and Tuas South coming in close.

Ashy Bulbul Daniel Wee

(Cinereous Bulbul at Lazarus Island by Daniel Wee)

The star migrant was the single vagrant Chestnut-cheeked Starling (Sturnus philippensis) photographed at Bidadari on 11th feeding together with the Daurian Starlings. Unfortunately it did not stay long enough for further documentation. This is potentially our second record, the last on 8th December 1987 in Loyang.

An Asian House Martin (Delichon dasypus), a very rare passage migrant was seen flying over the CCNR from Jelutong Tower on 3 consecutive days from the 16th. Last record was over MacRitchie Reservoir on 23 October 2005. The more common Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) were seen hawking over the Serangoon Reservoir on the 30th.

Asian House Martin

(Asian House Martin at Jelutong Tower by Francis Yap)

A Sakhalin Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus borealoides) spotted at Sime Forest was awarded the “Bird of Day” prize during the Annual Bird Race. This species was previously listed as the Pale-legged Warbler in the Checklist. Identification of this rare warbler is best by its song that they normally sing in Springtime. A lone Cinereous or Ashy Bulbul (Hemixos flavala) was photographed at Bidadari on 17th with reports from East Coast MOE Adventure Center on the same day and another sighting at the Japanese Gardens the next day. A report from Lazarus Island on 26th of 20 birds beats the previous record of 15 birds at St John’s island on 1989. This is an uncommon non-breeding visitor that prefers island locations and coastal forests. Another rare non-breeding visitor the Brown Streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa williamsoni) was photographed at the Japanese Gardens on 5th suggesting a winter visitor status. A more common non-breeding visitor the Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx fugax) flew over to SBWR on 3rd and another seen at Lorong Halus on 13th.

Oriental Cuckoo Francis Yap

(Oriental Cuckoo at Bidadari by Francis Yap)

A male Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) was photographed at the Japanese Gardens on 2nd, first for the season, followed by another male at Bidadari on 19th.

Migrant flycatchers were well represented by two Ferruginous (Muscicapa ferruginea) at Bida on 6th and 25th, Dark-sided ( Muscicapa sibirica) at MacRitchie Reservoir on 7th and Brown-chested Jungle (Rhinomyias brunneata) crashing in an office on Jurong Island on 15th.

Ferruginous Flycatcher

(Ferruginous Flycatcher at Bidadari by Francis Yap)

Bidadari, our own cuckoo land hosted four species this month: Indian Cuckoos (Cuculus micropterus), both an adult and juvenile, a lone Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (Clamator coromandus) on 20th, a juvenile Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) on 24th, firsts for the season and an Asian Drongo Cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) on 28th. A Crow-billed Drongo (Dicrurus annectans) at Tampines Eco Gardens on 28th, a Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) at Jurong Central Gardens, a female Siberian Blue Robin (Luscinia cyane) at Japanese Gardens on 13th and a juvenile leucopsis White Wagtail (Motacilla albawere the other notables.

The members of the Bird Group conducted two Pelagic surveys during the month. Highlights were a rare Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus) on the 19th, an uncommon Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica) and first winter Common Tern ( S. hirundo) on 5th. The Aleutian (S. aleutica), Bridled Terns (S. anaethetus) and Swinhoe’s Storm Petrels (Oceanodroma monorhis) were seen in good numbers on both trips.

Parasitic Jaeger

(Parasitic Jaeger at Singapore Strait by Francis Yap)

The Raptor Group is in the midst of a 47 days Raptor Count at Tuas South and I will leave the October Raptor Report to Gim Cheong. But watchers at Tuas were pleasantly surprised to find other interesting migrants flying over Tuas. Red-rumped Swallows (Hirundo daurica) were first recorded coming in on the 5th and were seen throughout the month. Ten were seen over at Serangoon Reservoir on  the 9th. A large flock of over 60 Fork-tailed or Pacific Swifts (Apus pacificus) were recorded migrating over Tuas on the 31st. This was preceded by the first sighting of this Swift at Simei on 23rd. Oriental Pratincoles (Glareola maldivarum) were seen on 11th and 25th thermaling. We believed some of them were roosting at some grasslands at Tuas.

Pacific Swift

(Pacific Swifts in large numbers over Tuas South by Francis Yap)

With the migration season at its peak so are the crashes into our high rise buildings. This is David Tan’s busiest month rushing around to collect the dead specimens for his sequencing research. It seems that both the Black-backed Kingfishers (Ceyx erithacus) and Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccenis were the most affected. A total of 5 kingfishers and 4 pittas were picked up for the month all over Singapore. Even a Fork-tailed Swift was not spared. It crashed into a house at Woodlands on 17th. The surprise was a Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) found dazed at Serangoon Gardens Way on the 31st. The staff at Acres managed to revive and release it later. This is a new extreme date for this pitta as they are normally seen in late November. A Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) was found dead at Jurong West on 13th another early arrival that did not make it.

On the home front, the Large-tailed Nightjars (Caprimulgas macrurus) were raising their young at Japanese Gardens, Green Imperial Pigeons (Ducula aenea) have spread to Pasir Ris Park (13th), a Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porohyrio) somehow found itself in a monsoon drain at Tampines Eco Park. It was rescued and set free by staff from Acres. A splendid male Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) found a caterpillar patch at the Jurong Eco Gardens but did not stay for long after 28th. The pair of Greater Painted Snipes (Rostraula benghalensis) reappeared at the marsh ponds at Jurong Central Gardens on the 15th but went into hiding after a few days much to the disappointment of its many admiring photographers.

Ref: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. Bird Crashes records mostly from David Tan supplemented by Felix Wong, Albert Low and Azmi Mohamad.  All other records were taken from postings in the various facebook, bird forums and individual facebook pages from Francis Yap, Seng Alvin, Zacc HD, Tan Chee Keon, Rey Aguila, See Toh Yew Wai, Lim Ser Chai, Lim Kim Seng, Khun Eu Meng, Lim Kim Keang, Johnson Chua, Lawrence Cher, Vincent Ng, Lau Jiasheng, Daniel Wee, Lee Van Hien and Alan OwYong. Many thanks to one and all.