RFI Singapore

To: 'Jenny Stiles' <>
Subject: RFI Singapore
From: Tom Wilson <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:53:48 +0000
Hi Jenny
I visit Singapore a fair bit for work, and I have managed to get my self out 
and about during my trips.  I have never used a guide, so can’t help you out 
there.  Nonetheless, I would try one of the following, all of which are 
accessible by MRT/bus and some of which you can do some birding while enjoying 
gardens or other nice bits of Singapore.  I am not sure whether your son needs 
wheelchair access, but all the sites below have broad asphalt-type paths 
(mostly, but not always, level though if hill climbing is an issue):
  a.. Gardens by the Bay (now that they have been in place for 5 or so years, 
they are attracting a good range of birds including Bitterns, Herons, Crakes, 
migrant kingfishers – there’s a very good lotus pond near Satay-by-the Bay); 
  b.. Marina Barrage (inc some unusual waders on rocky wall on the SE side of 
the barrage last January – Malaysian and Kentish Plover) = both walkable from 
Marina Sands hotel and Bayfront station, although the barrage area is a bit 
further and is not flat as it’s giant cobbles once one passes the main barrage. 
  c.. Kranji Wetlands and Sungei Buloh wetlands (there’s a bus from Kranji 
station but you’d need to check if it runs on weekdays) 
  d.. the Botanic Gardens (eponymous station – there are Buffy Fish Owls in the 
rainforest section – they nested in 2015 and 2016 I think) .  The rainforest 
section has stair and path access – the fish-owls in 2015 and 16 were just up 
the staircase on the left in a tall tree.  Visits in May this year produced 
Laced and Sunda Pygmy Woodeckers. 
  e.. Pasir Ris Park, near Changi airport – I have seen Spotted Wood Owls here 
(check in the tall trees between the bicycle hire shed and the coast) and also 
Flamebacks, Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers, Stork-billed and other kingfishers, 
Mangrove Pitta and there are a pair of Buffy Fish Owls that roost and fish at 
the weir (including the famous one-eyed male).  
  f.. the old Bidadari Cemetry (accessed from Woodleigh or Bartley stations) – 
this used to be a great site that was a real migrant magnet but is now being 
developed so I am not sure what condition it is in or how easy access is – I 
still see sporadic reports of migrants coming from there though
I have recently been reading a bit about, but have not yet managed to visit, 
Dairy Farm Nature Park.  This has produced some good birds in recent months, 
including Banded Woodpeckers and Asian Fairy Bluebird.

Although it might be construed as cheating, the zoo and Jurong Bird Park both 
attract wild birds (although I haven’t been to either since since 1993 when I 
was a less serious birder...but I remember there being lots of wild birds there 
- they’re not dim – free food and water, flowering ornamentals, small fish in 
the ponds for kingfishers and herons).

The central catchment reservoir/Macritchie reserve and some others might 
require a taxi and would involve a bit of walking and the paths might not be so 
good with stairs.  I’m not as experienced with those as I don’t usually get 
enough time to do a full day out.  

This site ( talks about Pasir 
Ris and the Botanic Gardens.  The Nature Society of Singapore ( 
and Singapore Nat’l Parks 
( have 
site suggestions too.

I joined the Singapore Birders page on Facebook (if you’re into that sort of 
thing) to help me find sites and they’re often quite good at responding to 
questions too – they do use lots of shortened names for sites, but it’s not 
that hard to work out.  On a weekend in any birdy site, look for people with 
huge camera lenses as they are pretty good at finding birds (some of the 
photographers are good birders, others like birds because they are challenging 

I can’t help with accommodation options as I always stay in the CBD at a hotel 
just across the road from the office

Hope that helps – good luck!

From: Mike Wood 
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 3:12 PM
To: 'Jenny Stiles' ;  
Subject: RFI Singapore

Hello Jenny

Last October we visited Singapore and used a local guide by the name of Wan 
Ling. She showed us around Sungei Buloh Wetland and we were thoroughly 
satisfied with her service. It was a very enjoyable half-day visit.

Here is her email address: 

And here is her phone number: +65 96522865

Just let me know if you would like a little more detailed information.

Hope you enjoy your trip.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
Jenny Stiles
Sent: Thursday, 13 July 2017 7:09 PM
Subject: RFI Singapore

Hi Birders,
We are intending to travel to Singapore for birding [& a bit of touristing!]. 
We being myself, my husband and an adult son with disabilities. This somewhat 
restricts us; really early starts and very long days are a bit tricky, as well 
as very long walks, but we have managed destinations such as Lord Howe, Cocos & 
Christmas Islands [although we did have a car for all of those]. 
So, we are intending to go in October, as we are keen to see migratory birds as 
well as the resident ones. From what I have read, some of the Kingfishers don’t 
arrive till October & the waders should be there by then. Is this a good time 
to go to Singapore? Nothing is booked yet though, so I am open to alternative 

Is a week long enough to get around to all the birding sites and play tourist a 

Looking on ebird and various websites I can see that there are a surprising 
number of places to go birding in Singapore. Standouts seem to be Singapore 
Botanic Gardens, Pulau Ubin, Pasir Ris Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve & 
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The birds I want to see the most are any of the 
owls [but most especially the Spotted Wood Owl or the Buffy Fish Owl but any 
would bring me joy], any of the Kingfishers, Crimson Sunbird, a Barbet, any 
Woodpecker & Oriental Pied Hornbill; too many more to list. I have very rarely 
birded outside of Australia so am easy to please . What I would like to know is 
where within those sites to find my most wanted. I know that the Spotted Wood 
Owls are seen at Pasir Ris & Oriental Pied Hornbill at Pulau Ubin but I have no 
idea where at those sites. Any advise would be very welcome. Because of the 
extra difficulties of travelling with my son, places that are easy to get to 
and get around would suit us best.

It has been suggested that hiring a guide to take us around in a car one day 
would be a help, especially in getting to some of the more scattered sites that 
only a local would know. If anyone can suggest a guide that would be wonderful. 
I have zero experience in using a guide.

Finally, I would love some suggestions for accommodation. I am the only early 
riser & prefer to stay at places with gardens, good parks and birding potential 
so I can get up early and go off by myself without disturbing anyone else. We 
would probably prefer not to stay in the city, so long as there is public 
transport to get there.

Sorry for the long email.

>From Jenny Stiles, Sydney


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