Tag Archives: Indian Pond Heron

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 – January 2020

by Geoff Lim, Alan Owyong (compilation), & Tan Gim Cheong (ed.)

The turn of the new year yielded several amazing sightings, such as twelve Himalayan Vultures gathering at the Central Business District, a rare Slaty-legged Crake feeding regularly over several days at Punggol, Black-headed Gulls at Yishun Dam, a splendid male von Schrenck’s Bittern at SBWR, an appearance by a very rare Green Sandpiper at Lim Chu Kang, and the first sighting of a White-cheeked Starling in Singapore!

Himalayan Vultures

HV, 090120, CBD, Zacc HD

Himalayan Vulture over Peck Seah Street on 9 January 2020, photo by Zacc HD.

Following the report of two Himalayan Vultures, Gyps himalayensis, at Hindhede on 28 December 2019, a flock of vultures were reported on 8 and 9 January 2020 over the Central Business District by the news and birders like T. Ramesh. On the morning of 9 January 2020, Lee Chuin Ming reported 12 vultures at the CBD area, and on the afternoon of the same day, Raghav Narayanswamy had a sighting of ten vultures at Cashew Road. On 11 January 2020, a flock of nine birds were photographed at West Coast Park (Tan Chuan Yean).

HV, 110120, WCP, Tan Chuan Yean

A Himalayan Vulture being mobbed by a Brahminy Kite on 11 January 2020 over West Coast Park, photo by Tan Chuan Yean.

Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) and Fringe Parks

Jambu,120120, DFNP, Gan Lee Hsia

Juvenile Jambu Fruit Dove spotted on 12 January 2020 at DFNP, photo by Gan Lee Hsia.

The CCNR core yielded one Brown-backed Needletail, Hirundapus giganteus, two Black-headed Bulbuls, Pycnonotus atriceps, and five Cinereous Bulbuls, Hemixos cinereus, on 4 January 2020 by Adrian Silas Tay at Jelutong Tower, as well as a single female Green-backed Flycatcher, Ficedula elisae, seen between Dillenia Hut and the stream. Several days later, two Eyebrowed Thrush, Turdus obscurus, and one Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, was spotted on 7 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell. Other notable migrants included a Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone affinis, on 17 January 2020 by Richard Davies, an Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone incei, on 18 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell, and a Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, Phylloscopus borealoides, on 24 January 2020 by YT Choong. Resident species spotted included a Chestnut-winged Babbler, Stachyris erythroptera, on 26 January 2020 by Marcel Finlay, a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus sumatranus, on 28 January 2020 by Oliver Tan, who also spotted three Red-crowned Barbets, Megalaima rafflesii, on the same day.

Two Black-crested Bulbul, Pycnonotus flaviventris, were reported on 16 January 2020 by Keita Sin who surmounted the steep incline that snaked its way up Bukit Timah Hill, while three Cream-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus simplex, were spotted on 19 Jan 2020 along Rifle Range Link by Fadzrun A. .

Hindhede Park, which buffers the old growth Bukit Timah forest core, yielded a Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Lophotriorchis kienerii, and one Asian House Martin, Delichon dasypus, on 15 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell, who also saw an Asian House Martin again on 18 January 2020. The park also hosted a Hooded Pitta, Pitta sordida, which was reported on 26 January 2020 by Francis Yap, followed by two Red-legged Crakes, Rallina fasciata, on the same day by Geoff Lim, who noted that the crakes flushed the pitta from the undergrowth. On 28 January 2020, a Malayan Night Heron, Gorsachius melanolophus, in full adult regalia was spotted and reported by Leslie Loh, while a Violet Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus, was seen on 28 January 2020 by Lim Kim Chuah.

OHT, 100120, DFNP, Danny Khoo

Orange-headed Thrush at DFNP on 10 January 2020; photo taken by Danny Khoo.

Dairy Farm Nature Park, another excellent buffer park abutting the Bukit Timah forest core in the west, continued to yield exciting species, which included a Siberian Thrush, Geokichla sibirica, on 1 January 2020 by John Ascher, an Orange-headed Thrush, Geokichla citrina, on 10 January 2020 by Danny Khoo, a juvenile Jambu Fruit Dove, Ptilinopus jambu, 11 January 2020 by Gan Lee Hsia, a female Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone atrocaudata, on 12 January 2020 by Jackie Yeo, a Grey Nightjar, Caprimulgus jotaka, on 21 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell, and a Blue-winged Leafbird, Chloropsis cochinchinensis, on 26 January 2020 by Karyne Wee.

Further afield at the Singapore Quarry, a Barred Eagle-Owl, Bubo sumatranus, and a Pacific Swift, Apus pacificus, were spotted on 23 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell.

Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG)

The garden grounds received three White-rumped Munia, Lonchura striata, spotted on 16 Janaury 2020 by Dillen Ng, as well as two Asian Palm Swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, seen on 24 January 2020 by Mike Hooper, as was a Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, on 30 January 2020 by Samuel Ng.

Central Singapore

At Ang Mo Kio, a single Chinese Sparrowhawk, Accipiter soloensis, was reported on 25 January 2020 by Norhafiani A Majid, while a Chinese Hwamei, Garrulax canorus, a recent escapee, and a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ficedula zanthopygia, were spotted at Toa Payoh Town Park on 30 January 2020 by Richard Davis.

Northern Singapore

The northern region yielded a rare Slaty-Legged Crake, Rallina eurizonoides, which was reported on 6 January 2020 at the HDB carpark at Block 305D, Punggol Road by Oliver Tan and Kwok Tuck Loong, and remained until 12 January 2020. On 8 January 2020, George Presanis and Geoff Lim noticed that the bird was actively foraging in a planter at the basement carpark from about 10:15pm to 11:10pm. At one stage, the crake managed to find an earthworm in the soil and tugged at it until the worm came free from the soil. (Note: the Slaty-legged Crake was first photographed at nearby Block 299 Punggol Central by Stephen Cheok, who posted his pic for ID on 30 December 2019).

Slaty-legged Crake, 100120, Punggol 305D, TGC

Slaty-legged Crake at Punggol on 11 January 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong

Between 5 and 14 January 2020, there were up to two Black-headed Gulls, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, at Yishun Dam, first spotted by Ng Wei Khim, followed by many other birders.

BH Gull, 110120, Seletar, Zacc HD

Black-headed Gull over Seletar Dam on 10 January 2020, photo by Zacc HD.

Other sightings included one White-shouldered Starling, Sturnia sinensis, at Seletar Aerospace Drive on 15 January 2020 by Wang Wee Woan, one Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator, on 16 January 2020, at Picadilly by Martin Kennewell, and a potential national first White-cheeked Starling, Spodiopsar cineraceus, spotted on 16 January 2020 at Seletar Aerospace Drive by Martin Kennewell. The White-cheeked Starling was last seen on 24 January 2020 (Norhafiani A. Majid).

WCS, 240120, Seletar Aerospace, Norhafiani A Majid

A White-cheeked Starling at Seletar on 24 January 2020, photo by Norhafiani A Majid

A Mangrove Pitta, Pitta megarhyncha, was discovered at Woodlands Park on 24 January 2020 by  Loh Wei, Norhafiani A Majid and others, a first for the location. On 25 January 2020, Geoff Lim found it unresponsive and unmoving despite having passers-by barely 2 metres away. At one point in time, a White-breasted Waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus, rushed at the pitta, forcing it to hop about 10 metres from where it was first found. There, it remained quiet and closed its eyes for long periods of time. It was subsequently rescued by NParks, with assistance from Clarinda Yap, Vincent Lao and Kwok Tuck Loong, who stayed around to ensure that the rescuers could locate it. The bird subsequently died, possibly from swelling and possible internal bleeding.

MP, 250120, Woodlands, Geoff Lim

Mangrove Pitta found at Woodlands Park on 25 January 2020, photo by Geoff Lim

Eastern Singapore

Visitors to Pulau Ubin reported spotting one Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea, on 11 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell, a Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, on 19 January 2020, by Vicki Stokes, two White-rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus, along with 45 Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola, one Lesser Sand Plover, Charadrius mongolus, three Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica, two Red-necked Stint, Calidris ruficollis, and 23 Greater Crested Tern, Thalasseus bergii, reported on 23 January 2020 by Oliver Tan, as well as one Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo, Clamator coromandus, spotted on 27 January 2020, by Hannu Kemola.

Other birds spotted in the east included the report of one Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus, on 7 January 2020 at Pasir Ris Park by Oliver Tan, three Jerdons Baza, Aviceda jerdoni, on 11 January 2020 at Coney Island by Ng Wei Khim, a Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon, Treron fulvicollis, on 27 January 2020 at the broadwalk in Pasir Ris Park by Serin, two Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus, on 29 January 2020 at Changi Business Park by Oliver Tan, and an Indian Cuckoo, Cuculus micropterus, on 31 January 2020 by Peter Bijlmakers.

Southern Singapore

Nest building by White-Rumped Munia, Lonchura striata, on New Year’s Day was reported at Telok Blangah Heights by Vincent Chiang, while a Grey-faced Buzzard, Butastur indicus, was spotted on 3 January 2020 on St John Island by Dillen Ng. On 8 January 2020, about 150 Oriental Pratincole, Glareola maldivarum, were spotted overflying Ayer Rajah by Lillian Sng, while a Brown-backed Needletail, Hirundapus giganteus, was seen on 9 January 2020 from atop Pinnacle@ Duxton by Oliver Tan.

A female Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus, the second record for the season, was reported on 14 and 15 January 2020 at Tanjong Rhu by Manju Gang, while two Asian Fairy-bluebird, Irena puella, were reported on 11 January 2020 at Hort Park by Millie Cher. Previously restricted to the central forests, the Asian Fairy Bluebird may be using park connectors or other patches of greenery to slowly disperse from the central forests.

Daurian Redstart, 140120, Tg Rhu condo, Manju Gang

Female Daurian Redstart spotted on 14 January 2020 at Tanjong Rhu by Manju Gang

Western Singapore

The marshes and fields around Kranji Marsh proved to be a fruitful venue for birding. The turn of the new year and the ensuing days saw reports of a Baillons Crake, Porzana pusilla, on 1 January 2020, a King Quail, Excalfactoria chinensis, and a White-browed Crake, Porzana cinerea, on 4 January 2020, and two Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, on 12 January 2020 at Kranji Marsh by Martin Kennewell. This was followed by the sighting of two Asian Pied Starling, Gracupica contra, a Cat E-Introduced species, on 19 January 2020 by Martin Kennewell, and a Watercock, Gallicrex cinerea, on 26 Janaury 2020 by Peng Ah Huay.

RT Pipit, 150120, NTHL, Luke Milo Teo

A Red-throated Pipit spotted at Neo Tiew on 15 January 2020 by Luke Teo.

The fields encompassed by Neo Tiew Harvest Lane yielded a Red-Throated Pipit, Anthus cervinus, which was seen on 7 January 2020 by CL Lau, while a Lanceolated Warbler, Locustella lanceolata, was spotted on 11 January 2020 by Raghav Narayanswamy, who also spotted an Eastern Marsh Harrier, Circus spilonotus, several days later on 19 January 2020. On 20 January 2020, a Savanna Nightjar, Caprimulgus affinis, was seen by Peter Bijlmakers, while two Oriental Pratincole, Glareola maldivarum, were spotted on 22 January 2020 by Choong YT, while a Stejnegers Stonechat, Saxicola stejnegeri, was seen on 28 January 2020 by Lu Kiat.

A distance away, birders at Lim Chu Kang Lane 3 spotted various species, including a Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago, and a Swinhoes Snipe, Gallinago megala, on 18 January 2020 by Dillen Ng, while a very rare Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, was photographed on 18 January 2020 by Fadzrun Adnan, and recorded again on 19 & 20 January 2020 by other birders; upon checking his photos, Art Toh realised that he had unknowingly photographed the Green Sandpiper on 11 January 2020. Visitors seeking out the Green Sandpiper also saw a Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis, on 22 January 2020, and a Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator, on 23 January 2020, both spotted by Luke Teo.

Green Sandpiper, 110120, LCK3, Art Toh

Green Sandpiper at Lim Chua Kang Avenue 3 on 11 January 2020 by Art Toh.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) yielded a Von Schrenck’s Bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus, on 11 January 2020 (Adrian Silas Tay), which stayed through the Chinese New Year holidays and was last reported on 30 January 2020 (John Spiler). The reserve also held a Black-capped Kingfisher, Halcyon pileata, on 14 Jan 2020 by Richard Lim, five Lesser Adjutants, Leptoptilos javanicus, on 22 January 2020 (Hannu Klemola), a Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Treron curvirostra, and a White-headed Munia, Lonchura maja, on 25 January 2020 (Fadzrun A), another Lesser Adjutant on 26 January 2020 (Geri Lim), and a Blue-winged Pitta, Pitta moluccensis, on 27 January 2020 (Mike Hooper). Shorebirds reported included one Terek Sandpiper, Xenus cinereus, spotted on 14 Jan 2020 (Martin Kennewell), thirty Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, on 27 January 2020 (Mike Hooper) and one Common Greenshank, Tringa nebularia, on 28 January 2020 by YK Han.

Schrenck's Bittern, 250120, SBWR, Geoff Lim

Von Schrenck’s Bittern at SBWR on 25 January 2020 by Geoff Lim.

Other notable sightings in the west included a Watercock, Gallicrex cinerea, on 22 January 2020 by Kaikee Leong at Jurong Lake Gardens, a male Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus, at U-Town, Kent Ridge on 29 January 2020 by Lynette Chia, two White-shouldered Starling, Sturnia sinensis, by Oliver Tan, a Dark-sided Flycatcher, Muscicapa sibirica, by Choong YT, both on 30 January 2020 at Jurong Lake Gardens.

CCNR: Central Catchment Nature Reserve
SBWR: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

This report is compiled and by written by Geoff Lim and edited by Tan Gim Cheong. We are grateful for the birders and photographers whose postings in various Facebook birding pages, bird forums, and 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 Art Toh, Danny Khoo, Zacc HD, Gan Lee Hsia, Tan Chuan Yean, Manju Gang, Luke Teo, T. Ramesh, Norhafiani A. Majid and Geoff Lim for allowing us to use their photographs.

Singapore Bird Report – April 2018

April continues to see the exodus of migratory species as well as breeding records.  Key species were a rarely encountered Malayan Night Heron, a juvenile, at Singapore Botanic Gardens, and an Indian Pond Heron seen at Bidadari. 

MNH, 230418, Feroz Fizah

The juvenile Malayan Night Heron photographed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens by Feroz Fizah on 23 April 2018.

A trickle of migratory birds continue to be reported. Eight Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis were spotted flying north by Francis Yap over Jelutong Tower on 1 April 2018. An Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii was seen at Bidadari by TT Koh on 4 April 2018, while Art Toh spotted a Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata at West Coast Park on 5 April 2018. Between 6 and 7 April 2018, a Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor was spotted at Pasir Ris Park by Harry Geno-Oehlers, Geri Lim and Art Toh.

IPH, 040418, TT Koh

An Indian Pond Heron photographed at Bidadari by T T Koh on 4 April 2018.

April’s first weekend also yielded a singing Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae by Yong Ding Li, Kozi Ichiyama and Geoff Lim, which was rather remarkable, given that the normal place to hear this flycatcher’s song would be “the montane broadleaved forest ecosystems of the Taihang-Wuling Mountains in Shanxi-Hebei-Beijing”; as well as two Dark-sided Flycatchers Muscicapa sibirica chasing each other in the canopy of an emergent tree. The birds were seen inside the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) on 7 April 2018. In addition, seven Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres and a globally endangered Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris were spotted by Lim Kim Keang on Pulau Seduku off Pulau Ubin during an NSS/NParks Comprehensive Ubin Bird Survey on 8 April 2018, while Vincent Lao spotted an Eastern-crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus within the CCNR and Pary Sivaraman spotted a female Von Schrenck’s Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus in the north-western part of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR).

GBFC, 070418, Kozi

The Green-backed Flycatcher in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve by Kozi Ichiyama on 7 April 2018.

Breeding activity was reported across several locations during the first week of April.  Lim Kim Chuah spotted a juvenile House Sparrow Passer domesticus on Jurong Island on 1 April 2018, a possible sign of successful breeding. A Malaysian Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica was reported by Alan Owyong to be feeding two chicks, assessed to be a few days old, at Jurong Eco-Garden (JEG) on 2 April 2018, while on 4 April 2018, Yong Ding Li saw a White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis nesting around the vicinity of the Bukit Batok MRT Station. Two days later on 6 April 2018, Luke Milo Teo spotted a juvenile Greater Green Leafbird Chloropsis sonnerati while surveying Dairy Farm Nature Park (DFNP). Notable residents seen include a Rufous-tailed Tailorbird Orthotomus sericeus at Bukit Batok Nature Park (BBNP) by Vincent Lao; a Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting at Lorong Halus by Serin Subaraj; and a pair of Spotted Wood Owl Strix seluputo at Goldhill Avenue by Phua Joo Yong on 1 April 2018. Also, Gahyathree Arasu spotted a Lesser Adjutant at SBWR on the same day; this was further substantiated by Lee Van Hien, who saw three birds there on 3 April 2018. Ong Ruici heard a Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus passing over the National Biodiversity Centre on 5 April 2018; the call was verified by Albert Low.

GGLB, 120418, Luke Milo Teo

A juvenile Greater Green Leafbird Dairy Farm Nature Park by Luke Milo Teo on 12 April 2018.

Apart from the Turnstones and Knot encountered during the NSS/NParks Comprehensive Ubin Bird Survey on 8 April 2018, a Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana was seen by Roger Boey at its nest, which contained one chick,  at Balai Quarry. This nesting was first spotted by Francis Yap on 11 March. During the same survey, participants also recorded a Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus, Mangrove Pitta Pitta megarhyncha, Violet Cuckoo Chrysococccyx xanthorhynchus and Asian Palmswift Cypsiurus balasiensis. The same Sunday also yielded a Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinnus at Kranji Marshes, seen by Kelvin Leong.

The second week of April yielded fewer reports of migratory birds. On 9 April 2018, Hima Venkateswaran found a roosting site at Bedok Ria for about 40-plus Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis. Reports, by Tay Kian Guan, of a juvenile Black Kite Milvus migrans mingling with up to 24 Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus at the Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery on 12 April 2018, feeding on scraps thrown by a contractor, filtered across local social media circles. On 15 April 2018, See Toh Wai Yew reported seeing a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula xanthopygia at Goldhill Avenue, while Pier Chua spotted a Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus at the Evolution Garden located inside SBG. Resident species reported included, a nesting Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata on 9 April 2018 by Doreen Ang at BBNP, and a Tanimbar Corella Cacatua goffiniana excavating a nest hole in a dead tree at Goldhill Avenue. Veronica Foo, along with Siew Mun, spotted Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus feeding on starfruit inside Venus Loop on 11 April 2018.

BK, 160418, Tan Eng Boo

The Black Kite at Lim Chu Kang, photographed by Tan Eng Boo on 16 April 2018.

Fewer migratory species were reported during the third week. A Pacific Swift Apus pacificus was spotted by Tay Kian Guan on 18 April 2018 at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR), while the Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus was spotted again on 18 April 2018 by Lee Chin Pong  and attracted many birders and photographers until the last sighting on 23 April 2018. Fadzrun Adnan also sighted a Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis brunneatus at Pulau Hantu during a pelagic trip on 21 April 2018, while an adult Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus was reported by several birders and photographers at Bishan Park on 22 April 2018. On the same weekend, Alfred Chia reported hearing three Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis on Pulau Ubin.

Tiger Shrike, Angela Yeo

A male Tiger Shrike was spotted at Bishan Park; photo taken by Angela Yeo on 21 April 2018.

Resident species reported during this week include a Changeable Hawk Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus  nest with one chick at Kranji Marshes, by Clarinda Yap on 16 April 2018; a Grey-headed Fish-eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus at Seletar Camp by Timothy Chua and Asian Palmswift Cypsiurus balasiensis at SBG by Richard Zhang on 18 April 2018, as well as House Swift Apus nipalensis, Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris, and Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostra  by Tay Kian Guan at BTNR on the same day. On 20 April 2018, a possible sighting of the rare White-bellied Woodpecker Dryopus javensis was reported to NSS; Ana Maria Conzalez told a NSS volunteer seeking to verify her report that she saw the woodpecker from her balcony inside the grounds of Tanglin Park. On 21 April 2018, Alvin Seng spotted an adult Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea with two young birds at Pasir Ris Park, while Siew Mun reported seeing a Sunda Scops Owl Otus lempiji at BTNR. A white morph Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra was spotted by Lim Kim Keang at West Coast Park on 22 April 2018, while Alfred Chia reported seeing a Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii on Pulau Ubin.

YC Cockatoo, Alvin Seng

Yellow-crested Cockatoos spotted by Alvin Seng at Pasir Ris Park on 24 April 2018.

The final week of April yielded reports of a possible Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii in transitional plumage by Terence Tan in Bishan Park on 23 April, while Bidadari yielded a Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica and a Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus flying over the former hotspot on the same day, by Feroz Fizah and Martin Kennewell, respectively. An Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii subsequently appeared at Bidadari on 26 April, and reported by See Toh Wai Yew and Pary Sivaraman, among others. On 29 April, Fadzrun Adnan spotted a Pallas’ Grasshopper Warbler Locustella certhiola at Kranji Marshes.

IPH, Pary

As the migratory species made their way back to their breeding grounds, resident species were observed and reported by local birders and photographers. Alan Owyong reported seeing a few Long-tailed Parakeets Psittacula longicauda feeding with two Blue-rumped Parrots Psittinus cyanurus on starfruit in Venus Loop on 23 April 2018. On the same day, Oliver Tan saw a Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca at Bidadari; an Abbott’s Babbler Malacocincla abbotti was seen and photographed on 24 April 2018 at SBWR by Stuart Campbell while James Lambert saw a Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis cerulinus at Nanyang Technological University on 25 April 2018.

Abbotts Bab, Stuart

An Abbott’s Babbler spotted by Stuart Campbell at SBWR on 24 April 2018.

The weekend yielded several finds, including a dead adult Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo at Bartley on 28 April 2018 by Gina Koh; a White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata at Lorong Halus by Meilin Khoo, a possible escapee or released bird, also on 28 April 2018, and a Little Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus on Coney Island on 29 April 2018 by Tan Kok Hui.  Observers who spent time at DFNP over the weekend were rewarded. Khong Yew reported seeing Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu on 28 April 2018, which was further substantiated by Lim Kim Keang who saw three birds on 29 April 2018. Lim Kim Chuah spotted a Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii on 29 April 2018, while Alan OwYong spotted four Plume-toed Swiftlets Collocalia affinis with Pary Sivaraman, and a male and female Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis.

BTNR: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
CCNR: Central Catchment Nature Reserve
DFNP: Dairy Farm Nature Park
JEG: Jurong Eco-Garden
SBG: Singapore Botanic Gardens
SBWR: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
TEG: Tampines Eco-Garden

This report is compiled by Geoff Lim and Alan OwYong, 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 Feroz Fizah, TT Koh, Kozi Ichiyama, Luke Milo Teo, Tan Eng Boo, Angela Yeo, Alvin Seng, Pary Sivaraman, Stuart Campbell, and Arasu Sivaraman for the use of their photos. 

The Return of the Indian Pond Heron to Bidadari?

The return of the Indian Pond Heron to Bidadari?

We have our 4th record of this vagrant and maybe now a rare winter visitor to Bidadari early this April when TT Koh showed me his photo of a summer Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii, he shot on the 4th. He was not sure of its id and did not send out the alert. It was a post by Phua Joo Yang on 25th in Singapore Birders that got us down to look for it at Bidadari the next day.


TT Koh’s shot of the Indian Pond Heron at Bidadari on 4 April 2018

Coincidently, Terence Tan posted a non-breeding lighter plumage of another Pond Heron from Bishan Park on 23rd, which Martin Kennewell and Dave Bakewell commented that it was a good candidate for an Indian. Unfortunately this particular Pond Heron could not be found since.

Terence Tan

Terence Tan’s photo of an “unriped” Pond Heron at Bishan Park on 23 April 2018.

The question now is whether this is the same Indian Pond Heron that visited Bidadari in the past two years. On 11 April 2015 Joseph Tan shot one at Bidadari. He did not expect it to be an Indian and did not post it. Good thing that Er Bong Siong did six days later on Bird Sightings. Its admin Francis Yap was quick to realised what he was looking at and alerted its members. All of us got our lifers when we rushed down to tick it in the next two days.

Indian Pond Heron

Taken on 26 April 2018 when it was flying from tree to tree.

This record was enough to move the first record of a summer Indian Pond Heron seen on 20 March 1994 at Senoko by Lim Kim Seng and Lim Kim Chuah from Category D to A. This now constitutes the first national record for this Pond Heron. Cat D are for species which are wild but the possibility of an escapee or released bird cannot be satisfactorily excluded. Myanmar is the nearest range for this Pond Heron and the first record for this Pond Heron for Malaysia was on 12 April 1999 at Penaga district, Penang (SuaraEng 1999). So the exercise of prudence to leave it in Cat D in 1994 was the right call.

To establish its status further, another Indian Pond Heron was sighted at Bidadari again by See Swee Leng on 9 March 2016 and Keita Sin on 6 April 2016. This one wintered there until 19 April 2016. But it may be have flown to Farmway 3 as Lim Kim Keang reported one there on 8 May 2016, making this it latest departure date.

Indian Pond Heron

Shot from the roadside on our way back to the carpark as it flew down to the slope inside the parlour to feed.

From the arrival dates of this Pond Heron to Bidadari, the probability of it being the same bird is high. We can only be sure if we are able to tag this heron which will not be an easy task. In the meantime, let’s enjoy its presence here and try to give it room to forage and feed before it makes it way back. With our long telephoto lenses, there is no need to go close to take that spectacular shot.

Reference: Lim Kim Seng. The Avifauna of Singapore. 2009 Nature Society (Singapore). Thanks to TT Koh, Terence Tan and Alan OwYong for the use of their photos. 


Singapore Bird Report-April 2016

April is the tail end of the Spring migration for most of our winter visitors. Many still make a stop over at Bidadari, on their way back. Just shows how important the place is for these migrants. Unfortunately parts of Bidadari have been boarded up for tree cutting and road works. Will we see them again next year? The other location where most migrants made their pit stops is at Tuas South, a site we have not previously checked.

Frigatebird James Tann


One of the rare photos of a Frigatebird taken within Singapore. Photo: James Tann.

The surprised find for the month was a juvenile Frigatebird photographed flying over the Johor Straits by Birder Dawn, James Tann, Roger Boey and CP Lee on 26th during a boat trip to look for the Brown Booby (last seen on 16th). The juvenile Christmas and Lesser Frigatebirds are hard to separate but the votes so far are for the Christmas, Fregata andrewsi.

Indian Pond Heron LTK

The Indian Pond Heron returning to Bidadari this year for the many of us. Photo: Lee Tiah Khee.

There is a high probability that the Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii, found by Keita Sin at Bidadari on 6th could be the same bird that visited Bidadari last year. This time it stayed until 19th giving those who missed it last year an easy tick. Migrants reported from Bidadari this month included a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Clamator coromandus, on 1st (Lim Kim Keang), a breeding male Yellow-rumped FlycatcherFecedula zanthopygia, on 2nd (Lawrence Cher), Crow-billed Drongo, Dicrurus annectans, on 15th (Chuin Ming Lee) and a Large Hawk Cuckoo, Hierococcyx spaverioides, on 16th (Christopher Lee). Other notable sightings were a non-breeding visitor Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, on 8th (Lim Khee Ming) and two wandering Red-wattled Lapwings, Vanellus indicus,  on 11th (Zacc HD).

Northern Boobook Koh Liang Heng

A probable migrating Northern Boobook found by Koh Lian Heng at Tuas South on 21st April. 

Over at Tuas South, it was flycatchers galore. Koh Lian Heng had the rare Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone atrocauda, on 1st, our second record for the year and a Mugimaki Flycatcher, Ficedula mugimaki, on 7th. Lim Kim Keang recorded three Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, two globally threatened Brown-chested Jungle Flycatchers, Cyornis brunneata on the 2nd. On the same day, he also found a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, an Indian Cuckoo, Cuculus micropterus and a Hooded Pitta, Pitta Sordida there on the 9th. An adult Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus, was reported on 3rd by Robin Tan and another at Bidadari by Keita Sin on 21st. Interestingly the adult Tigers do not stop over during the Autumn migration. Koh Lian Heng was rewarded for the time he spent at Tuas with a Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, on 18th, Eye-browed Thrush, Turdus obscurus, on 19th and a Hawk Owl with non heart-shaped belly markings on 21st, a possible candidate for the Northern Boobook, Ninox japonica.

Barn Swallow Lena Chow

Barn Swallow sub species mandschurica new for Singapore. Photo: Lena Chow.

On the 3rd Lena Chow photographed a Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, with a light rufous underparts at Punggol Barat. It was identified by Lim Kim Seng as a mandschurica sub species, new for Singapore but recorded in NW Thailand. A day earlier a Hooded Pitta was spotted at Central Catchment Forest by Manawa Ranasinghe and photographed by Khong Yew (Photo below).


You can just make out one of the pin feather of this snipe at Chinese Gardens. Photo: Koh Lian Heng.

Koh Lian Heng managed to photograph the pin feather of the Chinese Gardens snipe on 7th, giving us a confirmed Pintail Snipe, Gallinago stenura, while Dean Tan flushed a Large Hawk Cuckoo at SBWR on 10th. A single Oriental Pratincole, Glareola maldivarum, was reported at Punggol Barat by Tan Julin on 10th, a returning Ashy Drongo, Dicrurus leucophaeus, to Mount Faber by Joyce Chia on the evening of the 11th, another Indian Cuckoo at DFNP on 26th by Art Toh and a vocal Blue-winged Pitta, Pitta moluccensis, at Kranji Marshes photographed by Adrian Silas Tay and James Tann on 30th. Another Blue-winged Pitta have been wintering at the Singapore Botanic Gardens for a large part of April and is still there on 3rd May ( Richard White).

Hooded Pitta Khong Yew

Hooded Pitta making a stop over at the Central Catchment Forest. Photo: Khong Yew.

Two non-breeding visitors that were seen this month were a Crested Serpent Eagle at Kent Ridge Park on 1st (Keita Sin) and a Jambu Fruit Dove, Ptilinopus jambu,  over at Jelutong Tower on 23rd (Nicholas Tan).

As for our uncommon residents, the sightings were quite diverse. A Pacific Reef Egret, Egretta sacra, was photographed at SBWR by Andrew Chow on 1st, Red-crowned Barbet, Megalaima rafflesii, at DFNP on 10th and 11th (Lim Kim Keang and Alan OwYong), another Lesser AdjutantLeptoptilos javanicus, a former resident was photographed by Francis Yap over at Poyan on 16th, Green Imperial Pigeon, Ducula aenea, at Loyang on 16th (Lim Kim Keang), a Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting, was reported by Phay SC at Lower Peirce Boardwalk on 18th, two Great-billed Herons, Ardea sumatrana, at the fish farms at Johor Straits photographed by James Tann on 26th and a Cinnamon Bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus, two Lesser Whistling Ducks, Dendrocygna javanica,at the Seletar Pond by Zacc HD and a male Violet Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus, feeding on a fig tree at Kent Ridge Park by Keita Sin on 30th.

7 April 2016 Halus

Lawrence Cher’s classic photo of a Common Iora feeding a newly fledged Banded Bay Cuckoo.7 April 2016 Lorong Halus

Lesser Coucal Terence Tan

Lesser Coucals nest in thick grasses close to the ground. A great open shot of parent and chick by Terence Tan from Bidadari on 20th April  2016

Several successful fledglings were reported this month. A male Common Iora, Aegithina tiphia,  was photographed feeding a Banded Bay Cuckoo, Cocomantis sonnerati, at Lorong Halus on 7th (Lawrence Cher), Malayan Pied Fantail, Rhipidura javanica at PRP on 30th (Seng Alvin), Lesser Coucal, Centropus bengalensis, at Bidadari on 20th (Terence Tan),  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus paradiseus, at One-North on 17th and Buffy Fish Owl, Ketupu ketupu, at SBWR on 25th (both by Alan OwYong).

Red-necked Stinit Laurence Eu

Red-necked Stint a first for Marina Barrage. Photo: Laurence Eu.

Laurence Eu photographed a Red-necked Stint, Calidris ruficollis, at the Marina Barrage breakwaters on the 14th, a first for the site. He was back again on 25th and got this photo of a Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoieucos, with a single black band on its leg. David Li checked with his Flyway Group and found that it was banded in Jogjakarta way back in 2008, our first evidence of a shorebird from the south making a stop over on way back north. A great find!

Common Sandpiper Laurence Eu

Common Sandpiper banded in Jogjakarta in 2008. Photo: Laurence Eu.


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 James Tann, Lee Tiah Khee, Koh Lian Heng, Lena Chow, Khong Yew, Lawrence Cher, Terence Tan and Laurence Eu for the use of their photos.

SBWR – Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, PRP – Pasir Ris Park, DFNP– Dairy Farm Nature Park.





Seven New Species added to the 2013 Checklist.

The following seven new species were accepted into Category A by the Records Committee in 2015. They were added to the 2013 Checklist (385) making the total of 392 species for the 2015 Checklist. Many thanks to all who sent in their records for review.

Indian Pond Heron at Bida

Indian Pond Heron at Bidadari

  1. Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii: Joseph Tan shot this heron at Bidadari on the 11th April 2015 and did not think too much of this heron. Six days later, Er Bong Siong shot and posted it on his facebook and identified it as a Javan Pond Heron. Francis saw the post and immediately alerted everyone that an Indian Pond Heron was at Bidadari. He and others went the next day and found it at the open grass patch. This confirms an earlier record of another summer bird seen at Senoko on 20 Mar 1994 by Lim Kim Chuah and Lim Kim Seng which now constitutes the first record for Singapore. This record had been listed in Category D for wild species where possibility of escape or release cannot be excluded. (Link1)

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Jv. by Martii Simponen

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Jv. by Martii Simponen taken at Tuas.

2. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus: an immature seen and photographed at Tuas on 14 Nov 2010 by Martti Siponen. He did not know that it was an Eurasian Sparrowhawk at the time until some friends of his saw it in his collection a few years later. We had several reports of this accipiter but the evidence presented was not sufficient for confirmation. An unconfirmed report of a female at MacRitchie Reservoir on 23 Jan 2001 had been listed  in Category F for species regarded as doubtful due to possible of mis-identification.


Oriental Darter taken at Bukit Combak

3. Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster: One seen at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 26 June 2006 by Graham Langley. There were also two subsequent records that were accepted, from Bukit Gombak, in August 2014 from Jean-Marc Chavatte, Lee Tiah Khee and Alan Owyong, and Pulau Ubin in July 2015 from Francis Yap. These are the second and third records for Singapore.

Northern Boobook LCH

Northern Boobook at Tuas South. Photo by Low Choon How.

4. Northern Boobook Ninox japonica: a specimen in the LKC Museum mislabeled as Ninox scutulata and collected in Singapore in Nov 2000 is the first record for Singapore (Sadanandan et al 2015). There were five subsequent records in Oct 2013, Mar 2014, Nov 2014 and Nov 2015 (2 records) that are accepted as the 2nd to 6th records for Singapore. Alan Owyong, David Li and Low Choon How were the observers but it was Alison Wilson’s 23 March 2014 dead specimen’s DNA confirmation that put this difficult species on the Singapore List.


Narcisus Flycatcher, female, taken at Bidadari. Photo by Hio John.

5. Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina: a female reported at Bidadari Cemetery on 2 Dec 2015 by Robin Tan, Alan Ng, Hio John and See Toh Yiew Wai.(Link5)

Scarlet Breasted Flowerpecker by Jimmy Tan

Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker taken in Panti. Photo by Jimmy Tan

6. Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus thoracicus: 1 seen on Pulau Ubin by Yong Yik Shih, Ng Chay Tuan and Elizabeth Rothwell.


Richard’s Pipit taken outside Singapore by Michelle and Peter Wong.

7. Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi : One seen at Khatib on 19 Oct 2015 by Angus Lamont.

Reference: Lim Kim Seng. The Avifauna of Singapore 2009. Craig Robson. A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia. Asia Books Ltd 2000. Text copied from Lim Kim Seng’s Records Committee Report 2015.  Many thanks to Martii Siponen, Low Choon How, Hoi John, Jimmy Tan and Michelle and Peter Wong for the use of their photos.


Singapore Bird Report – April 2015

Indian Pond Heron photographed on 11 April by Joseph Tan at Bidadari Cemetery. Potentially a new addition to the Singapore Check List.

Indian Pond Heron photographed on 11 April by Joseph Tan at Bidadari Cemetery. Potentially a new addition to the Singapore Checklist.

We may have a potential new addition to Singapore Check List when Joseph Tan B.K. photographed an Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii at Bidadari on 11th if it is accepted by the Records Committee. He did not process it until he saw a post of the Indian Pond Heron a week later. Er Bong Siong shot the same Pond Heron on the 17th and posted it as a Javan Pond Heron. Francis Yap saw the photo and noticed the dark brown mantle and scapulars, diagnostic features of an Indian Pond Heron. Unfortunately the Indian Pond Heron took off the next day much to the disappointment of many birders. Our first record was a summer bird on 20th March 1994 at Senoko but was placed under Category D for wild birds where possibility of escapee or release cannot be ruled out. Before this record the most southern range for this Pond Heron was in Ipoh, Perak. Another potential addition to our Checklist was the third sighting of the Pied Cuckoo, Clamator jacobinus at Lorong Halus on 4th by Anthony Nik after Mark Oei’s at Halus Bridge and Lim Kim Chuah’s record at the Grebe pond last month.


Asian Paradise Flycatcher Male making a one day stop over at Bidadari cemetery on 29th April. Alan OwYong.

We had been getting several rain storms in the late evenings and nights during the latter part of the month. As a result many of the migrants returning back north were forced to make a quick stop over here. We were pleasantly surprised that the migrants chose Bidadari Cemetery as their rest stop just as they did in the Autumn.  The list included the Hooded Pitta, Pitta sordida on 9th ( Frankie Lim), Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, a breeding Tiger Shrike, Lanius trigrinus,  and a male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ficedula zanthopygia,  all on the 18th reported by Tan Kok Hui, a Dark-sided Flycatcher, Muscicapa sibirica,  on 25th by Zacc HD and the star of Bidadari, a white morphed male Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradisi, on 29th (Paul Lee and Vincent Ng). Those who turned up that afternoon went away happy after getting this much sought after flycatcher on their sensors.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher at Tuas South by Chan Boon Hong

Asian Paradise Flycatcher at Tuas South by Chan Boon Hong

Returning migrants were also reported elsewhere. An incei Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradisi male was picked up at Tuas South on 9th by Chan Boon Hong on his way to work. Hooded Pitta, Pitta sordid, on 18th by Kweechang Ling, Crow-billed Drongo, Dicrurus annectans, and Black Bittern, Ixobrychus flavicollis, on 12th at the Gardens by the Bay, ( Kelvin Yong and  David Awcock respectively), Green-backed Flycatcher, Ficedula elisae on 24th at Rifle Range Link by Lim Kim Seng, Black-capped Kingfisher on 24th at P. Ubin by Scarlet Lee, another Dark-sided Flycatcher, Muscicapa sibirica, on 25th at Sime Forest by See Toh Yew Wai and a Grey Nightjar, Caprimulgus jotaka, on 28th at Tampines Eco Green by Ang Teck Leng. The Green-backed Flycatcher sighting may be our new extreme date, the last being 9th April.

Non-breeding visitors reported were a Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, at P.Ubin on 4th by Amanda Tay  and a male and female Jambu Fruit Dove, Ptilinopus jambu, at the MacRitchie Boardwalk on 22nd by Laurence Eu.

April is the month when most of our resident species were busy bringing up new broods. We have several nesting records all over the island. Lucy Davis put out a nesting box in her garden at Wilton Close a few years back and now a pair of Oriental Magpie Robin, Copsychus saularis, finally decided to use it on the 5th. Lee Van Hein reported a pair of Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Dicrurus paradiseus, nesting high up in the Albizia at Hindhede Nature Park.  He also photographed Oriental White-Eyes,  Zosterops palpebrosus,  nesting at Jurong Eco Gardens on 15th. A pair of Common Flamebacks Dinopium javanense, were digging a nest hole at Pasir Ris Park on 18th (Lim Kim Keang) and Blue-throated Bee-eaters, Merops viridis, nesting at Jalan Kayu on 18th by Heather Gwach.

Sunda Scops Owl at Hindhede Nature Park by Frankie Lim

Sunda Scops Owl at Hindhede Nature Park by Frankie Lim

Interesting and notable resident species sightings include a Sunda Scops Owl, Otus lempiji, ( left ) at Hindhede NP during the day on 2nd by Frankie Lim, two grey morphed Pacific Reef Heron, Egretta sacra, at Sungei Buloh New Extension feeding during low tide on 3rd by Alan OwYong.


Black-crested Bulbul at Bukit Timah summit. Phototgraphed by Raghav.

Black-crested Bulbul at Bukit Timah summit. Photo by Raghav.

An introduced Black-Crested Bulbul, Pycnonotus melanicterus, at Bukit Timah NR on 4th by Raghav and Subha, Abbott’s Babbler, Malacocincia abbotti, at West Coast Park on 16th by Francis Yap, a lone House Swift, Apus nipalensis,  hawking for insects over at Labrador NP on 20th by Alan OwYong, Brown Hawk Owls, Ninox scutulata, off Mandai Road (L. Neo) and West Coast Park by Lim Kim Keang, five active and calling Mangrove Pittas, Pitta megarhyncha, and an Asian Drongo Cuckoo, Suniculus lugubris, at Pulau Ubin on 24th by David Tan, a rare Lesser Green Leafbird, Chloropsis cyanopogon, MacRitchie Forest on 26th by Lim Kim Seng and a Ruddy Kingfisher, Halcyon coromanda, at Pasir Ris Park on 28th by Lim Kim Chuah.  Good record for the Abbott’s Babbler returning to this part of the island. Both the Asian Drongo Cuckoo and Ruddy Kingfisher are also winter visitor and passage migrant respectively to our island. The House Swift is highlighted as their population have crashed in recent years.

Those who went out on the 2nd NSS Bird Group Pelagic Survey to the Straits of Singapore on 26th were rewarded with a rare sighting of a juvenile Lesser Frigatebird, Fregata ariel, and an adult Parasitic Jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus. Other seabirds seen were Swinhoe’s Storm Petrels, Oceanodroma monorhis, and Lesser Crested, Thalasseus bengalensis, and Swift Terns, Thalasseus bergii.

Juvenile Lesser Frigatebird at Singapore Strait

Juvenile Lesser Frigatebird at Singapore Strait

An adult Parasitic Jaeger at Singapore Strait flying away at a distance.

An adult Parasitic Jaeger at Singapore Strait flying away at a distance.

Reference: The Avifauna of Singappore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia. Craig Robson. Asia Books Co. Ltd 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. Thanks to Joseph Tan, Francis Yap, Frankie Lim, Chan Boon Hong, Raghav and Alan OwYong for the use of your photos.