Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Singapore Botanical Gardens

It's certainly been a while since my last post, but not much has been happening on the birding front. On 27th of January this year, my wife and I went off on a non-birding cruise to Thailand and Vietnam from Singapore,with a 3 day city stay prior to the cruise. We decided to visit the Botanical Gardens on our first day in Singapore as we had been told it was a lovely site for a pleasant walk, with a few birds to be seen into the bargain! We were't disappointed - the gardens are stunning with lots to see and enjoy. During our stroll around, we saw the following birds.....
( a poor image of a) Yellow-vented Bulbul

Javan Myna

Common Myna (looking a bit worse for wear!)

Some other birds of note were Asian Glossy Starling, Black-naped Oriel and great 'flight' views of a Blue-tailed Bee-eater.
Whilst walking down towards Symphony Lake - a large lake in the gardens - we got talking to a local birder who informed me that there was a Band-bellied Crake on the other side of the lake. He also told us that it was only the second time this bird had been recorded in Singapore, and that the species is on the near-threatened list, through loss of habitat. It is seen in several South-East Asian countries. Can't believe I found myself on a 'twitch' thousands of miles from home. We had to stop en route to watch this big beastie below......

Monitor Lizard Swimming

Monitor Lizard sunbathing on the footpath after his swim.

Whilst waiting for the Crake to show itself, I managed to get a few images of  the male and female Olive-backed Sunbird

Male Olive-backed Sunbird feeding on birds of paradise flowers

 Male Olive-backed Sunbird

Female Olive-backed Sunbird

Female Olive-backed Sunbird

There were also lots of Feral Pigeons and Spotted Dove, along with a few Jungle Fowl (which have most likely been introduced, as were the Mute Swans swimming on the lake)

Spotted Dove

Jungle Fowl

 Below are a few images I managed to take of this quite elusive Band-bellied Crake

On our walk back towards the exit, we also had nice views of Collared Kingfisher which were sitting in trees and calling to each other.

Collared Kingfisher

Collared Kingfisher

The last bird we saw whilst in the Botanical Gardens was a very confiding White-breasted Waterhen. I wish all birds (feathered variety!!) were this easy!
White-breasted Waterhen

The next day we caught the Hopper to sight-see, but got off for a few hours at The Gardens in the Bay and noted Yellow Bittern, Arctic Warbler, Chinese Pond Heron and Oriental Magpie-robin. Where normally, you see lots of House Sparrow, in Singapore it seemed that they were not so common, whereas Tree Sparrow were very abundant. Also noted here was Zebra Dove and House Crow.
After spending the three days in Singapore, we joined the ship for a very enjoyable cruise, and from then on, we never really birded anywhere else but as we were leaving the port of Laam Chabang (Bangkok) I did tick a flock of Black-naped Terns. Whilst cruising Thailand and Vietnam in the South China Sea, I did expect to see one or two cetaceans, but on our three sea-days, we never saw any birds or animals - and it wasn't for the want of trying! Quite bizarre, really!
As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed  reading about our trip around The Botanical Gardens of Singapore!


  1. Good stuff Colin. Parks and gardens are usually good when you visit new places.

  2. Certainly are Carl always worth a walk around.