Dr. Chan Kai Soon from Ipoh first reported seeing one male and two female Siberian Thrushes, Zoothera sibirica, at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 16 November. This thrush is a rare passage migrant to Singapore with fewer than 20 records and not many photographs. When the news filtered out, the action swung from Bidadari to Dairy Farm.
A female and a male were photographed on the fig tree next to the Wallace Education Center on the 17th. It was fruiting but most of the figs were gone. It was the same tree that we had close views of the Eye-browed Thrush last year. It quickly became the hot spot for both photographers and birders this week. As luck would have it, a first winter male Blue and White Flycatcher was also seen flitting in and out from the forest edge. It stayed for a few days long enough for Tan Ju Lin to break her jinx. It was a lifer for many who turned up. Everyone had a big smile on their faces on their way out.
The bonus were a Mugimaki Flycatcher and a female Eye-browed Thrush, making brief appearances. While waiting for the target birds, the beautiful Asian Fairy Bluebirds kept everyone busy. It was a challenge to get bright images of this forest resident, especially the females, but we all loved the challenge.
Collectively, the list of birds that visited this fig was impressive. Apart from the species mentioned above, we had the Laced Woodpecker, Pink-necked and Thick-billed Pigeons, Asian Brown,Brown-chested and Dark-sided Flycatchers, Asian Gl0ssy Starling, Hill Myna, Yellow-vented, Cream-vented, Red-eyed, Olive-winged and Streaked Bulbul, Common Tailorbird and Crimson Sunbird. Please add in any other species not listed. Surprisingly the Red-crowned Barbet and the Flowerpeckers were no show.
On the way in I spotted this green snail on the road. It turned out to be our endemic Singapore Green Tree Snail, a rare snail that is confined to the Central Catchment Forest. My first endemic species here.