Checklist Revision for February 2023

Prepared by the Singapore Bird Records Committee

The latest update of our checklist, version 2023-1, has been published. It can be accessed at our Downloads page.


Since our last checklist update in August 2022, the Records Committee has considered and voted on over 180 records of rare and scarce birds in Singapore. We would like to thank all the observers who submitted their records, and these votes are published on our Recent Decisions page with our Live Checklist tracking additions and deletions to the checklist on a live basis.

Our “Rarities List” was renamed, as the term Review List more effectively encompasses the full list of species that we track records for; several species on our Review List might not fit the description of ‘rare’. For more information on the workings of the Records Committee, please refer to our simplified operating guidelines which have been published on our About page.

Over 500 historical records have also been compiled by our team and added since August, and nearly all species on our Review List now have records compiled in our database. 

This article includes the updates to our checklist since our last revision. Our checklist is based on the International Ornithological Committee (IOC) taxonomy, the latest version being IOC 13.1 – released this month. The checklist also contains national conservation statuses from the newly-released Red Data Book 3.

This edition of the checklist is version 2023-1, and can be downloaded at our Downloads page. Note that this downloadable checklist is a “snapshot” of the checklist as of February 2023, and may differ from our live checklists available on this site and our Records Committee site. For example, you may have noticed the below additions to the checklist already appearing on our live checklists by late last year – when they were finalised by our Records Committee – even though they are only reflected in our downloadable checklist in this official update.

There are now 428 species in the Singapore Bird Checklist with the changes in this revision.

Added to checklist

Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus [Record 10358]: One bird at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in early Nov 2022 placed this species in Category A. Our recent article discusses the committee’s rationale for unanimously accepting this record as a wild bird.

Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui [Record 10347]: A single record at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 30th October.

Removed from checklist

Buff-vented Bulbul Iole crypta is removed from the checklist as the last accepted record was in Oct 1992, exceeding the 30-year cutoff for native birds to be included in Category A. Subsequent records after 1992 have not been accepted.

Other minor changes

Barred Eagle Owl moves from Bubo to Ketupa, so its scientific name goes from Bubo sumatranus to Ketupa sumatrana.

A Student’s Big Year

By Kaeden Sim

Twitching and dipping, words I have never heard before. Now, during my Big Year (a personal challenge to see as many species of birds as possible in one calendar year), I would never be more familiar with those two words.

I remember seeing Jen Wei’s Facebook post summarising his epic 2021 Big Year, and being mesmerised by the sheer number of mega rarities all compiled in one photo and to think that they were all seen in a span of one year by one person! It was especially awe-inspiring to personally witness Jen Wei twitching the Yellow-vented Flowerpecker at Bukit Timah summit.

With major exams and other school commitments set to gradually build up over the next few years, I decided that Secondary 1 was a relatively free year to take on the monumental, time-consuming mission of a big year. Nonetheless, the life of a student is still crammed with school related activities, leaving me with much limited time for recreation. Birding only on weekends and holidays practically shortened my ‘big year’ to less than half a year. Every hour spent off the field was truly nerve-wracking – whenever I checked my phone after school, I would be distraught to see reports of rarities, praying that the bird would stay a week for me to twitch. That being said, even if it was challenging, that was what made it so fun.

In the course of the year, among all the lucky finds and successful twitches, two birding encounters made a particularly special impression on me.

It was 18th September and based on trends from data on eBird and SBP, Forest Wagtails would have started passing through Singapore en route to their wintering grounds. However, none were reported recently from the famous wagtail roost at Yishun. An encounter with this elusive bird on Rifle Range Link would otherwise necessitate an ankle-breaking hike at the crack of dawn. Taking a gamble of luck, I decided to head down to Yishun. The wagtails would usually fly in to roost at 6:15, leaving me with 45 minutes to search for the Forest Wagtail before nightfall. I climbed every block, checking each palm tree meticulously. Half an hour passed, and my determination was fading as I routinely scanned through hundreds of commoner Grey Wagtails. At that moment, just as my patience was wearing thin, I noticed a bird that was significantly different. An olive-green and white wagtail with a contrasting triangular black bib on its breast – a Forest Wagtail! Words cannot describe the satisfaction of finding the needle in a haystack, something special hidden within the common birds.

As the year drew to an end, it was naturally becoming increasingly hard to obtain new year birds. Since June, I had been trying sporadically to find the supposed resident pair of Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeons on the west end of Pulau Ubin. Pulau Ubin was one of the most rewarding sites for my year list, with many dispersants and visitors appearing on this small but significant island between Malaysia and main island of Singapore, but yet one of the least accessible and out of the way. Birding at Ubin was always an arduous and tiring task, not to mention the need to pay for a bumboat ride to and from the island, and a taxi to take us to opposite ends of the vast nature sanctuary that it is. With dreadful stories of many failed twitches of these nomadic, unpredictable pigeons, I decided not to give up on this beautiful bird yet, and returned to Ubin one last time in November before I went overseas. Thus, I arranged to bird with my friend Joshua and his brother for an entire day, in the hopes of giving my year list a final push. When we arrived at Changi Ferry Terminal, it was deserted save for two idle fishermen. Our sought-after pigeons were previously sighted in the early hours of the morning and time was of the essence. Out of desperation, my mother decided to pay an extra fee so we could fill the boat and leave early. As the boat set sail, we were off to a good start, having spotted an unexpected Lesser Crested Tern from the boat, trailing a flock of Greater Crested Terns along the coastline at the break of dawn. Stepping foot onto the sleepy island, rain clouds gathered ominously, and we reached Ubin Living Lab just before rain started to pelt down, forcing us to take shelter. We solemnly counted the passing swifts and swallows as we awaited the cessation of the rain. Little did we know, us being grounded by the passing thunderstorm would become a blessing in disguise. Out of the blue, Joshua spotted two Treron pigeons zooming past the shelter. Even before raising my binoculars, I could immediately see the distinct chestnut head and maroon wings of a male Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon. I was melting on the floor in sheer joy. Later on in the day, we would go on to see a Broad-billed Sandpiper at Chek Jawa, my landmark 300th Singapore lifer, but yet, this pigeon, number 299, stood out to me as special, by far the most memorable experience throughout my entire big year, and it was because of my mother’s support and my friend’s help.

After this, my year list started to plateau, partly due to my travels and the shortage of rarities appearing in December. On 28th December, I found the adult male Blue Rock Thrush at the urban rooftops of The Pinnacle@Duxton – my 284th year bird and the final one of my Big Year. Including ‘plastic birds’, my year count was 300, meaning I managed to see 82.2% of all the species seen over the course of 2022.

As a student, over the course of the year, I learnt how to balance my studies with my hobby effectively. I also realised how connected the birding community is in Singapore, whenever a “star bird” is discovered, the news is always generously shared allowing all to enjoy the presence of it. I have learned so much from the community and have improved my skills significantly, not only in the field, but out of the field, with regards to identifying birds.

Another main difficulty I faced during my Big Year was deciding where to go to maximise my chances of ticking a year bird. Tools that proved to be extremely useful for my Big Year was eBird’s target species function and Singapore Birds Project’s data. eBird allows a simple and easy view of all the year birds I had yet to tick and shows the spots where they have been spotted before, by month. eBird was also very useful in being able to compile my year list and be able to track my progress easily without needing to painstakingly keep my list manually. (eBird is a community science initiative, meaning that this function only works because of the many diligent eBird users submitting their checklists and sightings so I encourage more birders to start using eBird!) Singapore Birds Project’s Singapore Bird Database and Migrant Bar Charts are phenomenal, providing up-to-date information on rarities, allowing better predictions on when and where to go to find certain target species.

I would like to thank all my birding friends especially Jamie, Qian Xun, Pluem, Samuel, Gideon and Joshua for being great company. Secondly, I want to thank Francis, Oliver, Vincent Ng, Keita, Jen Wei, Jared, Raghav and many others for the guidance in the field and amazing finds throughout the year.  Lastly I also would like to thank CN and Benjamin Lee for the advice and tips and congratulate them on their impressive Big Year counts!

However, without the support of my parents, my Big Year count would have been a far cry from what it turned out to be. As the year progressed, my appreciation for my parents grew deeper and deeper. At a moment’s notice, my parents were always ready to rush me down whenever a rarity was spotted. Accompanying me on my birding endeavours, they drove me across the entire Singapore no matter how near or how far. Whenever I was disheartened from an unsuccessful twitch or when I was bursting with pride after a great find, my parents were always there supporting me. My Big Year would not be possible without them and I am forever grateful to be able to have such a thrilling and enriching Big Year with memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.

 

 

 

Monthly Roundup: Dec 2022

A rather quiet December, but the first widely-twitched Red-billed Starling kept us busy this month.

Highlights

  • An electrifying record of Bat Hawk – just the third confirmed sighting in Singapore – was unfortunately not refound after the initial report
  • Singapore’s 5th record of Red-billed Starling

All records for Dec 2022 (Show all records)

King Quail Synoicus chinensis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Seletar End / Piccadilly

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 26 Nov 2022

eBird

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka (species writeup) Show 6 records

Upper Seletar Reservoir Park (USRP) inc. Mandai Road Track 7 / Nee Soon Swamp Forest

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Changi Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Old Upper Thomson Road

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Dempsey Hill

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus (species writeup) Show 5 records

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 11 Nov 2022

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 13 Nov 2022

eBird

100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore, SG (1.419, 103.716)

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 19 Nov 2022

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus (species writeup) Show 4 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 01 Jun 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 06 Aug 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 04 Sep 2022

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 25 Nov 2022

eBird

Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx fugax (species writeup) Show 1 record

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 20 Nov 2022

eBird

Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor (species writeup) Show 2 records

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 20 Nov 2022

eBird

Coney Island (Serangoon Island)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu (species writeup) Show 2 records

Auto selected 1.34819, 103.77675

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 25 Nov 2022

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Marina East Drive

Highest count: 5 individuals

First recorded 17 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Lim Chu Kang Lane 3

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Lorong Halus Wetland (Reeds Area)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Slaty-legged Crake Rallina eurizonoides (species writeup) Show 1 record

Rochor River

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 18 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

White-browed Crake Poliolimnas cinereus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Turut Track

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 24 Jul 2022

eBird

Watercock Gallicrex cinerea (species writeup) Show 3 records

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

26 Jln Membina

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong Island

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 02 Jun 2022

eBird

White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 4 individuals

Earlier record on 30 Sep 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 16 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 08 Nov 2022

eBird

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 11 individuals

Earlier record on 08 Nov 2022

eBird

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 7 individuals

Earlier record on 08 Nov 2022

eBird

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 5 individuals

Earlier record on 08 Nov 2022

eBird

Sanderling Calidris alba (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 08 Nov 2022

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 23 Nov 2022

eBird

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum (species writeup) Show 2 records

Seletar End / Piccadilly

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Changi Beach Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 18 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 8 individuals

Earlier record on 03 Jun 2022

eBird

Straits of Johor – Raffles Marina to Mandai Mudflats

Highest count: 15 individuals

eBird

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster (species writeup) Show 4 records

Hindhede Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 19 Nov 2022

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

pasir ris farmway 1

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sembawang Road (Simpang Kiri vicinity)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 25 Nov 2022

eBird

Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni (species writeup) Show 5 records

Punggol Promenade Nature Walk

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 04 Nov 2022

eBird

Changi Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 24 Nov 2022

eBird

Southern Ridges

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Coney Island

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela (species writeup) Show 2 records

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 12 Nov 2022

eBird

Neo Tiew Harvest Lane

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Neo Tiew Rd

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 03 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Bat Hawk at Neo Tiew Rd on 03 Dec 2022. Photo credit: Hou Boon

Barred Eagle-Owl Bubo sumatranus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Near Singapore Quarry

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata (species writeup) Show 1 record

Lim Chu Kang Lane 3

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 12 Nov 2022

eBird

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting (species writeup) Show 2 records

Hindhede Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 02 Jun 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 05 Jun 2022

eBird

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca (species writeup) Show 2 records

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 14 Nov 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Marina East Drive

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 12 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus (species writeup) Show 5 records

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 02 Jun 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 07 Jun 2022

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 16 Jul 2022

eBird

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 15 Aug 2022

eBird

Upper Seletar Reservoir Park (USRP) inc. Mandai Road Track 7 / Nee Soon Swamp Forest

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 27 Nov 2022

eBird

Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerea (species writeup) Show 1 record

Berlayer creek

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata (species writeup) Show 1 record

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 25 Oct 2022

eBird

Sand Martin Riparia riparia (species writeup) Show 1 record

Neo Tiew Road

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 03 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

SBP (subrecords)

eBird
(not a complete list)

Sand Martin at Neo Tiew on 25 Dec 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Sentosa Island

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Neo Tiew Harvest Lane

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides (species writeup) Show 1 record

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 28 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata (species writeup) Show 1 record

Lorong Halus Wetland (inc. Serangoon Reservoir and former ‘Serangoon’)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Rower’s Bay Park / Seletar Club Road

Highest count: 5 individuals

eBird

Rosy Starling Pastor roseus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Laguna National Golf and Country Club

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica (species writeup) Show 2 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 10 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus (species writeup) Show 4 records

Bukit Timah Summit

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 20 Nov 2022

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 5 individuals

Earlier record on 21 Nov 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 6 individuals

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica (species writeup) Show 3 records

St John’s Island

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea (species writeup) Show 2 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae (species writeup) Show 2 records

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 20 Nov 2022

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 27 Nov 2022

eBird

Green-backed Flycatcher at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 28 Dec 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki (species writeup) Show 7 records

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 20 Nov 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 23 Nov 2022

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 27 Nov 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 28 Nov 2022

eBird

Singapore Quarry at Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (species writeup) Show 1 record

Strathmore Avenue

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 28 Dec 2022

RC decision: Accepted

SBP (subrecords)

eBird

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus (species writeup) Show 1 record

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Rarity records still under review

Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia (species writeup) Show 1 record

People’s Park Centre

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 08 Dec 2022

Record under review

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Dec 2022

Record under review

eBird

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pasir Ris Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 10 Dec 2022

Record under review

eBird

Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dempsey Hill

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 26 Dec 2022

Record under review

SBP (subrecords)

eBird
(not a complete list)

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tanjong Pagar

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 29 Dec 2022

Record under review

eBird

Blue Rock Thrush at Tanjong Pagar on 29 Dec 2022. Photo credit: Herman Phua

Monthly Roundup: Nov 2022

Always among the busiest months of the migratory season, November this year didn’t disappoint, with records of several rare species through the month.

Highlights

Please note that several of these records remain under review by the Singapore Bird Records Committee:

  • Singapore’s first wild Black-headed Ibis, at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve – the Records Committee’s rationale is summarized in our recent article
  • Not one, not two, but three sightings of Short-toed Snake Eagle within the month
  • Continuing sightings of harriers across the island, including an adult male Pied Harrier at Tuas – the first one since 2017
  • Singapore’s sixth record of Daurian Redstart, at the same canal where Singapore’s first Black Redstart appeared last year
  • Singapore’s third record of Common Swift at the now-famous redstart canal
  • Eastern Imperial Eagle at Mount Faber, the eighth record for Singapore
  • Three needletail species – White-throated Needletail, Silver-backed Needletail, Brown-backed Needletail – all recorded along the Southern Ridges

All records for Nov 2022 (Show all records)

King Quail Synoicus chinensis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Seletar End/Piccadilly

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka (species writeup) Show 2 records

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 12 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 5 individuals

First recorded 13 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Silver-backed Needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis (species writeup) Show 3 records

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Mount Faber

Highest count: 3 individuals

First recorded 14 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 4 individuals

First recorded 13 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Silver-backed Needletail at Henderson Waves on 13 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Sin Yong Chee Keita

Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mt Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 17 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Common Swift Apus apus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pasir Panjang Canal

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 10 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus (species writeup) Show 8 records

Hampstead Wetlands Park (formerly Baker St. pond)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Earlier record on 02 May 2022

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 12 May 2022

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides (species writeup) Show 2 records

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Changi Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx fugax (species writeup) Show 2 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor (species writeup) Show 5 records

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

CBP Canal

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 23 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Marina East Drive

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 16 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

White-browed Crake Poliolimnas cinereus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Neo Tiew Crescent — Private Fish Farm Pond

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 24 Jul 2022

eBird

Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator (species writeup) Show 1 record

1 Japanese Garden Road, Singapore, SG (1.335, 103.728)

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 01 May 2022

eBird

White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 12 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 6 individuals

eBird

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 60 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Sanderling Calidris alba (species writeup) Show 2 records

Marina East

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 07 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Chek Jawa

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 10 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis (species writeup) Show 2 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum (species writeup) Show 4 records

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 6 individuals

eBird

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Changi Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Chek Jawa

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 09 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis (species writeup) Show 2 records

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 35 individuals

eBird

Aleutian Tern Onychoprion aleuticus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Straits (including SG/Indo/M’sian waters)

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Straits (including SG/Indo/M’sian waters)

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (species writeup) Show 1 record

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Marina East/Gardens by the Bay

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 35 individuals

eBird

Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Neo Tiew Harvest Lane

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 01 May 2022

eBird

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Quarry at Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 01 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tampines Eco Green

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong Lake Gardens (Neeram Stream)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela (species writeup) Show 6 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Westridge walk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Keppel Harbour

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Sungei Tengeh

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 07 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Gardens by the Bay

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 11 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Telok Blangah

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 02 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Short-toed Snake Eagle at Telok Blangah on 02 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Lee Chien Nien

Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii (species writeup) Show 1 record

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga (species writeup) Show 5 records

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Mountbatten

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Telok Blangah

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

SBP (subrecords)

eBird

Booted Eagle at Telok Blangah on 04 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Lee Chien Nien

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 08 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Eastern Imperial Eagle at Mount Faber on 08 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Besra Accipiter virgatus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Henderson waves

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 06 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 16 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mapletree Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 10 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos (species writeup) Show 8 records

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 31 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Lim Chu Kang Road

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 01 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Neo Tiew Harvest Lane

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 06 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 09 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 17 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Neo Tiew Harvest Lane

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 02 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Pied Harrier at Tuas South on 02 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

130 Tuas South Avenue 3, Singapore, SG (1,288, 103,628)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Northern Boobook Ninox japonica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Punggol Way

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 11 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia (species writeup) Show 5 records

Tampines Street 91

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Pasir Ris Grove

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 21 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Woodlands

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 21 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Woodlands Street 81

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 26 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Toa Payoh

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 02 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Oriental Scops Owl at Toa Payoh on 02 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Gerald

Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata (species writeup) Show 2 records

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Lim Chu Kang Lane 3

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca (species writeup) Show 4 records

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pasir Ris Park–Carpark D Area

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Lazarus Island

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 18 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

130 Tuas South Avenue 3, Singapore, SG (1,288, 103,628)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus (species writeup) Show 4 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Earlier record on 02 May 2022

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 12 May 2022

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 19 May 2022

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida (species writeup) Show 2 records

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 02 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Tengah Road

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 06 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Indian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi (species writeup) Show 1 record

Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 11 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Indian Paradise Flycatcher at Botanic Gardens on 11 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Chris Kenyon

Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone affinis (species writeup) Show 6 records

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Tuas South Ave 16

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ang Mo Kio Garden West

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata (species writeup) Show 5 records

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

eBird

Singapore Chinese Cultural Center (SCCC) / Straits Boulevard

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher at Singapore Botanic Gardens on 17 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Raghav Narayanswamy

Sand Martin Riparia riparia (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mount Faber Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 19 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 7 individuals

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Hindhede Nature Park

Highest count: 6 individuals

eBird

Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa williamsoni (species writeup) Show 2 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Nanyang Technological University including National Institute of Education

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea (species writeup) Show 5 records

Small patch woods at Marina View

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Changi Business Park canal

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis brunneatus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Zappey’s Flycatcher Cyanoptila cumatilis (species writeup) Show 3 records

Tampines Eco Green

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 22 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Singapore Botanical Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 21 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Zappey's Flycatcher at Singapore Botanical Gardens on 21 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Lee Chien Nien

Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae (species writeup) Show 3 records

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki (species writeup) Show 6 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Tampines Eco Green

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong lake gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 01 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pasir Panjang

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 02 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Daurian Redstart at Pasir Panjang on 2 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Lee Chien Nien

Amur Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dover Area

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 21 Nov 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird
(not a complete list)

Amur Stonechat at Dover Area on 21 Nov 2022. Photo credit: Lee Chien Nien

White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata (species writeup) Show 1 record

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 4 individuals

Earlier record on 11 Jun 2022

eBird

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus (species writeup) Show 2 records

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Rarity records still under review

Shikra Accipiter badius (species writeup) Show 1 record

Telok Blangah

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Nov 2022

Record under review

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 11 Nov 2022

Record under review

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 06 Nov 2022

Record under review

eBird

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 07 Nov 2022

Record under review

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus hirundinaceus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 26 Nov 2022

Record under review

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides (species writeup) Show 2 records

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 28 Nov 2022

Record under review

SBP (subrecords)

eBird

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 30 Nov 2022

Record under review

Monthly Roundup: Oct 2022

An action packed October saw several mega-rarities, including a potential national first record! 

Highlights

Please note that several of these records remain under review by the Singapore Bird Records Committee:

  • Singapore’s first Brown-breasted Flycatcher at Dairy Farm Nature Park, sadly only seen for one morning
  • Singapore’s fifth record of Chinese Blue Flycatcher, also at Dairy Farm Nature Park
  • At Berlayer Creek, Singapore’s third record of Taiga Flycatcher
  • Singapore’s third record of Shikra at Mount Faber
  • Tenth record of Oriental Plover in Singapore, at Tuas South
  • Several records of Pied Harrier across the island

All records for Oct 2022 (Show all records)

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka (species writeup) Show 1 record

Changi Business Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Bukit Timah

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 16 Apr 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 12 May 2022

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

eBird

Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong Lake Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 07 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu (species writeup) Show 1 record

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (species writeup) Show 2 records

Marina East Drive

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 16 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 20 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator (species writeup) Show 1 record

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 02 Apr 2022

eBird

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 13 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus (species writeup) Show 2 records

59A Tuas South Avenue 1, Singapore, SG (1.318, 103.627)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Oriental Plover Charadrius veredus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 07 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata (species writeup) Show 1 record

P. Tekong

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 15 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Eurasian Curlew at P. Tekong on 15 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Frankie Cheong

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 27 Sep 2022

eBird

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 09 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 13 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 14 Sep 2022

eBird

Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum (species writeup) Show 4 records

Marine East Drive

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 80 individuals

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird

Aleutian Tern Onychoprion aleuticus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 9 individuals

eBird

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Common Tern Sterna hirundo (species writeup) Show 1 record

Marina Barrage

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 05 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (species writeup) Show 4 records

Satay by the Bay

Highest count: 5 individuals

Earlier record on 21 Sep 2022

eBird

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 6 individuals

Earlier record on 24 Sep 2022

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 14 individuals

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird

White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (species writeup) Show 5 records

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 25 individuals

Earlier record on 21 Sep 2022

eBird

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 25 Sep 2022

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Satay by the Bay

Highest count: 6 individuals

eBird

Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 03 Apr 2022

eBird

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster (species writeup) Show 2 records

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela (species writeup) Show 3 records

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 09 Sep 2022

eBird

Kent Ridge Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Quarry at Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga (species writeup) Show 4 records

Nanyang Technological University including National Institute of Education

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Lorong Halus Wetland (inc. Serangoon Reservoir and former ‘Serangoon’)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SkyVille@Dawson

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus (species writeup) Show 7 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Hort Park

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

The Pinnacle Duxton

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SkyVille@Dawson

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Punggol

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Eastern Marsh Harrier at Tuas South on 27 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus (species writeup) Show 5 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SkyVille@Dawson

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

384 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore, SG (1.418, 103.713)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Nanyang Technological University including National Institute of Education

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda (species writeup) Show 2 records

Chinatown

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird
(not a complete list)

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ruddy Kingfisher at Berlayer Creek Boardwalk on 26 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Vincent Ng

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting (species writeup) Show 6 records

Hindhede Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 11 Apr 2022

eBird

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 15 Apr 2022

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 20 Apr 2022

eBird

Singapore Zoo

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 01 May 2022

eBird

Venus loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 05 Jun 2022

eBird

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca (species writeup) Show 3 records

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Hampstead Wetlands Park (formerly Baker St. pond)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus (species writeup) Show 4 records

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 06 Apr 2022

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 6 individuals

Earlier record on 06 Apr 2022

eBird

Hindhede Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 17 Apr 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 17 Apr 2022

eBird

Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerea (species writeup) Show 1 record

Berlayer Creek

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 08 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectens (species writeup) Show 13 records

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 24 Sep 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Tuas South Ave 8

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Eastwood Estate

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Satay by the Bay

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Berlayer Creek

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Thomson Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

CBP Canal

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin–Jln Wat Siam

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone affinis (species writeup) Show 8 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 21 Aug 2022

eBird

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 04 Sep 2022

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 20 Sep 2022

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 28 Sep 2022

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Changi Business Park canal

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata (species writeup) Show 4 records

Labrador Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos (species writeup) Show 1 record

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus (species writeup) Show 6 records

Central Boulevard

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Bukit Timah SUMMIT top

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SkyVille@Dawson

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Berlayer creek

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis (species writeup) Show 3 records

Block 233 Simei

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 28 Sep 2022

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds)

Highest count: 8 individuals

eBird

White-shouldered Starling at Tuas South on 17 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Jared Tan

Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 15 Oct 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica (species writeup) Show 4 records

Bukit Batok Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Telok Blangah Hill Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa williamsoni (species writeup) Show 3 records

Jurong Lake Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Nanyang Technological University including National Institute of Education

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea (species writeup) Show 2 records

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis brunneatus (species writeup) Show 10 records

Jurong Lake Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Nanyang Technological University including National Institute of Education

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore, SG (1.276, 103.85)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Berlayer Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae (species writeup) Show 1 record

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus (species writeup) Show 3 records

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Yishun Street 11, Block 153

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Rarity records still under review

Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon Treron fulvicollis (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 30 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus (species writeup) Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 30 Oct 2022

Record under review

Common Tern Sterna hirundo (species writeup) Show 1 record

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 16 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii Show 3 records

Henderson Waves

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 22 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Rufous-bellied Eagle at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 25 Oct 2022. Photo credit: RICHARD WHITE

Nanyang Technological University

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 27 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus Show 1 record

Nanyang Technological University

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 27 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Shikra Accipiter badius (species writeup) Show 1 record

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 27 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos (species writeup) Show 6 records

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 13 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 17 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Pied Harrier at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 17 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Central Catchment Area

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 28 Oct 2022

Record under review

Mount Faber

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 28 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Mount Faber Carpark B

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 29 Oct 2022

Record under review

SBP (subrecords)

eBird

Tuas South

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 31 Oct 2022

Record under review

Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia Show 4 records

Sims Avenue

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Oct 2022

Record under review

Portchester Ave

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 28 Oct 2022

Record under review

Airport Blvd

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 29 Oct 2022

Record under review

Nanyang Technological University

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 31 Oct 2022

Record under review

Siberian Thrush Geokichla sibirica (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 31 Oct 2022

Record under review

Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 30 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Brown-breasted Flycatcher at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 30 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Norvin Ng

Chinese Blue Flycatcher Cyornis glaucicomans (species writeup) Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 29 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

Chinese Blue Flycatcher at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 29 Oct 2022. Photo credit: Jared Tan

Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla (species writeup) Show 1 record

Berlayer Creek Boardwalk

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 24 Oct 2022

Record under review

eBird

How our migrant bar charts work

In a recent post, we covered the why of our migrant bar charts – what motivated us to design a new way to present migration data? In this post, we will try to explain how our methodology works, and look at some examples of the algorithm in action.

Heatmap of Yellow-rumped Flycatcher observations from Jul-Dec 2021. How do we combine so many sightings across the island into a single estimate of the number of individuals seen?

Recently, a large volume of work in the field of ecology has been concentrated on generating robust avian population estimates, with a variety of different methods. One feature common to a number of the techniques has been a focus on applying citizen science data, especially from the eBird platform, as in Hansen et al. (2022). 

Over the last few months we have designed a straightforward technique to model migration patterns and trends in Singapore. Rather than making population-wide range and abundance estimates which require more sophisticated methods, like in eBird Status and Trends (Fink et al., 2021), we instead focus only on analyzing occurrences within Singapore, which are fine-grained and relatively well-represented in citizen science datasets such as eBird. 

The effect of confounding variables such as uneven effort distribution is relatively low due to Singapore’s small size and high observation density, so our approach only incorporates recorded observations and makes no attempts to estimate unknown quantities using extrapolation. 

We consolidate observation data using spatial and time-based constraints. Important terminology that we use to describe the process are defined:

  • Sighting: one eBird observation of a species, extracted from the eBird dataset; the important information which is used is: species name, number of individuals, date, and location.
  • Record: one or more eBird observations of a species where the observations in question all relate to the same individual(s) – one record may comprise sightings of different numbers of individuals
  • Individual: a single bird of one species, may be seen multiple times or just once, and alone or together with other individuals

What this all means is that we need a method to map sightings to individuals. For instance, consider the following sightings of Yellow-rumped Flycatchers in late Sep 2021.

Location Count Date
Tuas Bay Street 1 25-Sept-21
Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 1 25-Sept-21
Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 2 26-Sept-21
Changi Business Park 1 26-Sept-21
Singapore Botanic Gardens 3 26-Sept-21
Dairy Farm Nature Park 2 26-Sept-21
Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds) 4 26-Sept-21
Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 1 30-Sept-21
Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 30-Sept-21
Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds) 2 30-Sept-21

Simply choosing the high count of 4 is not a good idea, since there are clearly more than 4 unique birds in the table here. At the same time, adding them up won’t work because the 26 Sep sighting and the 30 Sep sighting at Tuas could possibly involve the same birds. 

So our approach is summarized as follows:

  1. For each species, we deliberate and determine a reasonable “date threshold” which determines the maximum date difference between two sightings for them to be grouped together as one record. For raptors, the threshold is normally a shorter period because most sightings are of birds just passing through. Winter visitors will have longer thresholds.
  2. For any species, our algorithm will “lump” sightings across multiple dates into a single record if the gap between them is less than or equal to the decided threshold and the sightings are less than 2km apart.
  3. We repeat this process for every sighting until they are all categorized. Each record will have one or more sightings. 
  4. To estimate the number of individuals observed during the timeframe, we take the highest count of individuals sighted in each record and add them all together. 

The below example is a color-coded example showing how each sighting is grouped according to location and date. The total number of individuals outputted by the algorithm, for the period 25 Sep to 30 Sep, would be 12, which is the sum of 1, 2, 3, 2, and 4 (highest count for each respective record, listed in bold in the table below).

# Location Count Date
1 Tuas Bay Street 1 25-Sept-21
2 Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 1 25-Sept-21
2 Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 2 26-Sept-21
2 Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden) 1 30-Sept-21
3 Changi Business Park 1 26-Sept-21
4 Singapore Botanic Gardens 3 26-Sept-21
4 Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 30-Sept-21
5 Dairy Farm Nature Park 2 26-Sept-21
6 Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds) 4 26-Sept-21
6 Tuas South (Tuas South Avenue 16 and surrounds) 2 30-Sept-21

After dividing the year into week-long chunks and taking the average over ten years, the result is quite smooth and matches our prior understanding quite well. In the case of Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, we can see the two clear peaks in fall and spring.

Migrant bar chart for Yellow-rumped Flycatcher. An interactive version is available here.

How our approach compares with other publicly-available statistics

The other main source of bar charts is on eBird. Because eBird is built for users around the world, it cannot take advantage of the unique features of data in Singapore: namely the high density of observations here compared to other places. We wrote about how our method differs from statistics available on eBird in our earlier post, which has a full explanation.

Limitations

This method of course only yields estimates, as some – not many – sightings which are from the same location are listed at different eBird hotspots which are more than 2km apart. Also, sometimes birds may hang around longer or shorter than the threshold decided for the species. The other problems that come from working with citizen science data are also reflected, like in the case of misidentification, incorrect location data, incorrect date information, and so on. Generally, the impact of these issues is not large and tends to cancel out, but are still problems to be aware of. 

The data is also not intended to be a population estimate but rather an estimate of the observed number of individuals. The difference is that we do not infer records where data is not available, which would allow for a complete population estimate. 

The algorithm is also optimized for Singapore’s uniquely high number of active observers, coupled with the tightly-packed hotspots here. In larger countries, the distance between observations would make it difficult to apply our approach. 

Further possible improvements and applications of the model

In future, we hope to further improve the model by considering low counts which may be the result of undersampling rather than actual low abundance. Particularly for pelagic species, higher perceived abundance may be due to a lower number of pelagic trips during certain times of the year.

We may also attempt to extend the model to display spatial abundance in addition to temporal abundance, to highlight the best areas for different species.

Conclusion

We wrote this post to highlight the key features of the algorithm which serves as the foundation for our newly-released migrant bar charts. Besides these charts, it also forms a basis for our internal analyses and discussions, which eventually lead to work such as our Records Committee’s rarities list.

We’ll continue to document any further updates to our methodology in a timely manner, and as always, constructive criticism is very valuable and will help us improve going forward. Please feel free to contact us!

References

Hansen, B. D., Rogers, D. I., Watkins, D., Weller, D. R., Clemens, R. S., Newman, M., Woehler, E. J., Mundkur, T., & Fuller, R. A. (2022). Generating population estimates for migratory shorebird species in the world’s largest flyway. Ibis, 164(3), 735–749. https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.13042 

​​Fink, D., T. Auer, A. Johnston, M. Strimas-Mackey, O. Robinson, S. Ligocki, W. Hochachka, L. Jaromczyk, C. Wood, I. Davies, M. Iliff, L. Seitz. 2021. eBird Status and Trends, Data Version: 2020; Released: 2021. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. https://doi.org/10.2173/ebirdst.2020

Monthly Roundup: Sep 2022

This September brought seabirds, some scarce shorebirds, and of course, the ever-faithful B5 Terek Sandpiper.

Highlights

  • First Blue Rock Thrush of the season, at its usual haunt – Pinnacle@Duxton
  • On pelagic trips, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel, Common Tern, and Aleutian Tern
  • Two sightings of Gull-billed Tern
  • Sanderling at Chek Jawa

All records for Sep 2022 (Show all records)

Violet Cuckoo Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus Show 3 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 16 Apr 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 12 May 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jambu Fruit Dove Ptilinopus jambu Show 1 record

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

White-browed Crake Poliolimnas cinereus Show 1 record

Neo Tiew Crescent — Private Fish Farm Pond

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 24 Jul 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator Show 2 records

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 14 Mar 2022

eBird

Lorong Halus Wetland (inc. Serangoon Reservoir and former ‘Serangoon’)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus Show 1 record

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii Show 2 records

Yishun Dam

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 04 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland

Highest count: 01 individual

First recorded 11 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 13 individuals

eBird

Sanderling Calidris alba Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 27 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus Show 3 records

Seletar Dam (Yishun Dam)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 8 individuals

eBird

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 31 Aug 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Terek Sandpiper at Sungei Buloh on 10 Sep 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 5 individuals

Earlier record on 28 Aug 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica Show 2 records

Sea between Changi and Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 07 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

Marina Barrage

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 25 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Gull-billed Tern at Marina Barrage on 25 Sep 2022. Photo credit: Fadzrun Adnan

Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis Show 1 record

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Aleutian Tern Onychoprion aleuticus Show 2 records

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 13 individuals

eBird

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus Show 1 record

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana Show 4 records

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 03 Apr 2022

eBird

Lorong Halus Wetland (inc. Serangoon Reservoir and former ‘Serangoon’)

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 01 Jun 2022

eBird

Gardens by the Bay

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 31 Aug 2022

eBird

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 8 individuals

eBird

Common Tern Sterna hirundo Show 1 record

Singapore Straits

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 24 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

eBird

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida Show 7 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Neo Tiew Lane 1

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Pulau Ubin: Chek Jawa Wetlands

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 3 individuals

eBird

Singapore Sports Hub

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Singapore Straits (including SG/Indo/M’sian waters)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus Show 2 records

Marina East (Gardens by the Bay: Bay East / Marina Barrage)

Highest count: 12 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 5 individuals

eBird

Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel Hydrobates monorhis Show 1 record

Singapore Strait

Highest count: 22 individuals

eBird

Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus Show 1 record

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 8 individuals

Earlier record on 13 Mar 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela Show 2 records

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda Show 1 record

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting Show 6 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 05 Mar 2022

eBird

Kranji Marsh

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 05 Mar 2022

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 3 individuals

Earlier record on 15 Apr 2022

eBird

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 20 Apr 2022

eBird

Lim Chu Kang

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 07 May 2022

eBird

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 05 Jun 2022

eBird

Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus Show 3 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 04 Mar 2022

eBird

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 5 individuals

Earlier record on 06 Mar 2022

eBird
(not a complete list)

Windsor Nature Park including Venus Drive and Venus Loop

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 17 Apr 2022

eBird

Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerea Show 1 record

Changi Bay Point

Highest count: 1 individual

Earlier record on 11 Aug 2022

eBird

Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectens Show 1 record

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone affinis Show 5 records

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Highest count: 2 individuals

Earlier record on 21 Aug 2022

eBird

Rifle Range Link

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Venus loop 1.35874, 103.82349

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Jurong Lake Gardens (inc. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden)

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

SBG–Healing Garden

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos Show 1 record

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis (species only included as it is relatively scarce in this month) Show 1 record

Lim Chu Kang

Highest count: 1 individual

Previous early date was on 05 Sep 2009

eBird

White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis Show 1 record

Simei

Highest count: 2 individuals

eBird

Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica Show 2 records

Dairy Farm Nature Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Previous early date was on 10 Sep 1987

eBird

Lower Peirce Reservoir Park

Highest count: 1 individual

Previous early date was on 10 Sep 1987

eBird

Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa williamsoni Show 2 records

Pulau Ubin

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea Show 1 record

CCNR–Jelutong Tower

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius Show 1 record

Pinnacle@Duxton

Highest count: 2 individuals

First recorded 10 Sep 2022

RC decision: Accepted

SBP (subrecords)

eBird

Blue Rock Thrush at Pinnacle@Duxton on 10 Sep 2022. Photo credit: Chen Boon Chong

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus Show 2 records

Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

eBird

Yishun Street 11, Block 153

Highest count: 4 individuals

eBird
(not a complete list)

Rarity records still under review

Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii Show 1 record

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 23 Sep 2022

Record under review

Rufous-bellied Eagle at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 23 Sep 2022. Photo credit: Francis Yap

Indian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi Show 1 record

Kranji Marshes near Raptor tower

Highest count: 1 individual

First recorded 23 Sep 2022

Record under review

Why we designed our migrant bar charts

I’m sure many of us have used eBird bar charts in the past, and they’ve certainly helped me in deciding where to go birding or what to look for. So why did we make our own migrant bar charts here at SBP?

In this article, we’ll explore some of the drawbacks we noticed with eBird bar charts, and how our migrant bar charts stack up against eBird’s. We’ve also got a future article lined up in which we go more in-depth into the inner workings of the algorithm, so do stay tuned if you’re into that sort of thing! (Update: this post is now posted on our blog)

Because eBird is built for users around the world, it cannot take advantage of the unique features of data in Singapore: namely the high density of observations here compared to other places. 

eBird mainly uses two alternative methods to try to quantify abundance/frequency for its bar charts.

Method 1

This method uses the percent of checklists in which a species appears. This does not really tell us anything, because birders go to different places during different times of the year. Let’s say a certain wader is more common in November than in September. But because many people are at Henderson Waves instead of Sungei Buloh in November, the percent of checklists which contain that wader would obviously be much lower than in September. That would not reflect the species’s true status. Another problem with this method is that a checklist with 100 individuals of a certain species counts the same as a checklist with just 1 individual. And to make matters worse, an “incomplete” checklist – one where the observer says that not all birds that were seen are listed on the checklist – is not counted at all.

A heatmap of eBird checklists in Sep for the years 2011-2021.
A heatmap of eBird checklists in Nov for the years 2011-2021.

The difference between September and November is stark, despite just the two-month difference. It highlights the shift in observer coverage from shorebird areas in Sep (mainly Sungei Buloh) towards other habitats in Nov.

Method 2

The second indicator used by eBird is the highest count of a bird for a week in history. This also poses major problems. Consider the example of the Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis. The highest count was on 13 Oct 2020, with 104 birds, and from the eBird chart, you would imagine Japanese Sparrowhawk is most common in the first half of October. But the highest count for a certain week is not the best way to gauge abundance. To take an extreme example, if we simply take the highest count, 1000 birds split into groups of 100 each would appear like a lower level of an abundance than 104 birds seen once. And indeed, this seems to be the problem with Japanese Sparrowhawks, which are far more common in end-Oct despite the high count telling us otherwise.

eBird line chart for Japanese Sparrowhawk. Note the peak in early Oct, and lower numbers in the rest of Oct and Nov.

Our approach

SBP bar chart for Japanese Sparrowhawk. An interactive version is available here.

From the above chart taken from our bar charts, you can see the peak for Japanese Sparrowhawk lies closer to the end of Oct, with rising numbers through October and falling numbers in November.

We’ve used eBird bar charts in the past too. We noticed these issues, and set out to design a more robust algorithm which uses all available data rather than only considering high counts or frequencies. The algorithm uses eBird’s dataset of observations too, but processes the sightings differently.

These new bar charts are the product of years of hard work from the Singapore birding community. Your observations have formed the basis for the raw data that we now have access to in eBird. Now, with your help, we have found a way of presenting information that is easily understood and has proper scientific grounding.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about how our algorithm consolidates many thousands of individual eBird data points to estimate the abundance of each species over time – we’re always making an effort to ensure our approaches are firmly rooted in science, and striving to be transparent about it too. (Update: this second post is now posted on our blog as well)

Finding past rarity records by date

Trying to figure out your next birding destination but don’t know what to go looking for or what to expect? We’ve got you covered!

The latest addition to the growing functionality on the Singapore Bird Database is date-based search (in addition to the existing species-based search on our page).

How does it work?

Simply use the “search by date” option on the Singapore Bird Database search page, or on the “On this day” page. You can filter both by date and by year. We’ll give you all the records in our database which fall during the time period.

You’ll find, for instance, that the first days of October are a pretty busy time!

What else is new?

An “On this week” page is also live, to complement the existing “On this day” page. It’ll display all the records from history in the week from today (for today, 30 Sep, it’ll show everything from 30 Sep to 6 Oct).

We hope you’ll enjoy these new features. You can tell us if there’s anything else you want to see, or if something is wrong.

(Cover photo: Chinese Blue Flycatcher at Jurong Lake Gardens on 11 Oct 2020, photo credit: Francis Yap)

Migrant bar charts – Sep 23 update

We have added 26 species to our new migrant bar charts in the last two weeks, which can be accessed HERE. They will continue to be released in batches over the coming months. To learn more about these, you can read our summary blog post.

Some of the species added in this update: