the biter bit or boo hiss

To: <>
Subject: the biter bit or boo hiss
From: <>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 12:02:51 +1100

G’day all,


Reading todays and previous messages about mynas and (lack of) swifts prompts me to respond about recent (Jan – Feb) experiences slightly further afield – Singapore and Malaysia to be exact. The biter bit concerns the Common Myna, eveyone’s pet hate locally, which in Singapore and southern Malaysia is native but very rapidly being swamped by its relative the introduced Javan Myna. If you land in Singapore and drive from the airport to the city this is virtually the only species you will see with the possible exception of the introduced House Crow. I can remember my first trip to Singapore in 1975 when the Common Myna was still common.


As for swifts, the Fork-tailed Swift was quite common at a place called Fraser’s Hill, about 1.5 hours drive NE of Kuala Lumpur. It was very pleasant lying in bed very early in the morning watching White-bellied Swiftlets, House Swifts and Pacific Swallows flying past our bungalow balcony. The occasional Barn Swallow and Red-rumped Swallows added to the enjoyment as did all the other “exotic” species in the area. Like everyone else locally I have also noticed the virtual absence of swifts in Canberra this summer. I suppose we really haven’t had that many thunderstorms for them to associate with. I know from doing work along the south coast in the past that at this time of year the needletails were undertaking spectacular aerial manoeuvers, probably associated with pairing up prior to heading home to breed. I haven’t been down that way for several years so don’t know if it still happens.





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