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     Singapore


Marina River Botanic Garden

Marina Bay Gardens towards business district

Alexandra Canal Botanic Gardens

Depending ontime, scope, and type of visit to the country, there are varied potentials for seeing birds. A limited variety of species can be seen by sticking to the “downtown” localities, which is more or less the urban sprawl including the Marina Bay Gardens (and the Botanical Gardens which are also within the central area), and going a little further afield to the North of the island, where there are a couple of nature reserves/open habitats. We chose the former, treating this as a true stopover, and picking up birds as they were chanced upon, rather than specific birding outings. We were located a mile or so alongside the main river, which was traversed daily, and also made a visit to the Marina Bay & Botanic Gardens.

Despite the urban location of the river itself, a few birds could be seen regularly. Apart from the Javan Mynas and Tree Sparrows, both of which were ubiquitous throughout, there were one or two other species which could be chanced upon. Pacific Swallows were not uncommon and searching through the Mynas produced regular Common variants. Perhaps surprisingly, Black-naped Orioles were often heard, even around the busy main arteries, and could occasionally be picked out in the canopies. Sunbirds were similar, mostly seeming to be Olive-backed. It was well worth looking overhead for raptors. While Brahminy Kite was the most likely, a large individual resembling Changeable Hawk-eagle, and smaller ones of accipiter types, were also seen. Strangely, the only Pink-necked Green Pigeon during the outbound visit was a male alongside the upper reaches of the river.

The Marina Bay Gardens offered much more comfortable mixtures of manicured woodland and also some water based habitat. It was the latter which threw in a single Baillon’s Crake near to a pair of Red Junglefowl. Bee-eaters had been seen in the distance along the river in town, but in the gardens some perched to reveal themselves as Blue-tailed. The occasional Koels which been heard in town were then also to be seen in the gardens. In addition to the irregular showy Olive-backed Sunbirds here, one of the Flowerpeckers which had been heard proved to be Scarlet-backed (a male thankfully!). The only Oriental Magpie-Robin was a female feeding alongside one of the Javan Mynas. While expected, it was nice to pin down a couple of Collared Kingfishers, which once perched, stayed in the same spot for some time.

Another much more enjoyable habitat visited during the return visit was the Botanic Garden. This is not quite what I expected – in a good way. Rather than being a small area of conserved species, it stretches for 1-2 km from head to toe, and offers some much needed greenery in a busy and built up city. There are well laid paths throughout, and despite being popular, never seemed crowded. The obvious draw for the birds is the varied arboreal vegetation, and some good birds were seen, although not many new compared to the ones seen elsewhere. Best addition to the trip were a couple of stunning male Crimson Sunbirds, fearlessly visiting the planted heliconias near to the concert area. As mentioned the other species had been seen elsewhere, but good opportunities for better views of the regular Black-naped Orioles and Asian Glossy Starling. On the walk from here, a White-throated Kingfisher was disturbed from feeding next to the roadside in a suburban location.

Javan Myna House Crow Welcome Swallow

Javan Myna

House Crow Welcome Swallow
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Brahminy Kite Collared Kingfisher

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Brahminy Kite Collared Kingfisher
Common Hill Myna Asian Koel Olive-backed Sunbird

Common Hill Myna

Asian Koel Olive-backed Sunbird
White-breasted Waterhen Yellow-vented Bulbul Zebra Dove

White-breasted Waterhen

Yellow-vented Bulbul Zebra Dove
Asian Glossy Starling Black-naped Oriole Crimson Sunbird

Asian Glossy Starling

Black-naped Oriole Crimson Sunbird
Red Junglefowl Pink-necked Green Pigeon White-throated Kingfisher

Red Junglefowl

Pink-necked Green Pigeon White-throated Kingfisher

Home

Paintings gallery

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Contact

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Content

Introduction

Singapore

Taupo

Wellington

Kaikoura

Motueka

Fjordland

St Island Dunedin

Species list

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