Singapore trip report

Subject: Singapore trip report
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 12:00:29 -0400
Stopover in Singapore - birding report

On my way home from a 4-week work trip to China I had a 3-day birding
stopover in Singapore from 14-18th August 1998.  Using advice from
birding-aus and other sources I spent a day each at the Sungei Buloh and
Bukit Timah Nature Parks (and another day recovering from China!).  A
brief report on each follows:

Sungei Buloh

This reserve is on the northern coast of Singapore and consists of remnant
mangroves and reclaimed prawn ponds.  The whole area is well laid out with
tracks and numerous hides.  The visitors centre is quite good and entry is
S$1.00 only and I would urge most birders to make an additional donation
as the whole place is really well managed.  I picked up about thirty
species here in about 6 hours.  Several others remain unidentified. 
Highlights were:

Magpie-Robin - I had an audubon squeaker with me and I've never seen a
bird respond like these did.  They must have been nesting because the male
bird flew directly at my face, screaming like a maniac and only veered
away at the last second.  Otherwise very engaging birds, like large, plump
Hooded Robins.  Almost wiped out by cagebird collectors in Singapore they
are now recovering and I saw them in a few other places. 

Common Redshank - A lifer for me and some excellent close views of small
flocks from the hides.

Little Ringed Plover - Another lifer.  Three together.

Common Iora - A beautiful little yellow robin-like bird with a double
white wingbar.

Bukit Timah

The highest point on Singapore and one of the few remaining rainforest
areas.  An excellent visitor centre and the place to buy fieldguides. 
Unfortunately I arrived far to late in the morning and few birds were
active.  Highlights:

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo - 3 individuals seen.

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha - 1 seen.  This is a large cuckoo and it sort of
crawls through the canopy eating huge caterpillars.

Crimson Sunbird - a tiny jewel

Squirrels - common and distracting

Other places visited were the Botanical Gardens and a small reserve near
Chinatown called Pearl's Hill City Park.

Full bird list:  (Sibley and Monroe)

Barred Button-quail                     Turnix suscitator
White-throated Kingfisher               Halcyon smyrnensis
Collared Kingfisher                     Todirhamphus chloris
Blue-throated Bee-eater         Merops viridis
Asian Koel                              Eudynamys scolopacea
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha                Phaenicophaeus sumatranus
House Swift                             Apus nipalensis
Oriental Turtledove                     Streptopelia orientalis
Zebra Dove                              Geopelia striata
White-breasted Waterhen         Amaurornis phoenicurus
Whimbrel                                Numenius phaeopus
Common Redshank                 Tringa totanus
Common Greenshank                       Tringa nebularia
Common Sandpiper                        Tringa hypoleucos
Little Ringed Plover                    Charadrius dubius
Brahminy Kite                           Haliastur indus
Little Egret                            Egretta garzetta
Grey Heron                              Ardea cinerea
Great Egret                             Casmerodius albus
Cattle Egret                            Bubulcus ibis
Striated Heron                          Butorides striatus
House Crow                              Corvus splendens  (introduced)
Large-billed Crow                       Corvus macrorhynchos
Black-naped Oriole                      Oriolus chinensis
Pied Triller                            Lalage nigra
Pied Fantail                            Rhipidura javanica
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo            Dicrurus paradiseus
Common Iora                             Aegithina tiphia
Oriental Magpie-Robin                   Copsychus saularis
Asian Glossy Starling                   Aplonis panayensis
White-vented Myna                       Acridotheres grandis  (introduced)
Barn Swallow                            Hirundo rustica
Pacific Swallow                 Hirundo tahitica
Yellow-vented Bulbul                    Pycnonotus goiavier
Olive-winged Bulbul                     Pycnonotus plumosus
Ashy Tailorbird                         Orthotomus ruficeps
Olive-backed Sunbird                    Nectarinia jugularis
Crimson Sunbird                 Aethopyga siparaja
Eurasian Tree Sparrow                      Passer montanus
Scaly-breasted Munia                    Lonchura punctulata                   

(40 species, 25 lifers)



Stephen Clark
Agriculture Victoria, Pastoral & Veterinary Institute
Private Bag 105  HAMILTON  3300  Australia
Phone 0355 730 977   Fax 0355 711 523


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