Ruddy Turnstone and bird ringing

on 14th October 2007


On 5th September, KC Tsang reported: “I was at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) this late morning, not very productive as most of the dried ponds were empty of waders, maybe as a result of the tide being low and the birds had gone somewhere else to look for food. There were five Painted Storks, one Milky, one Large-tail Nightjar, usual tailorbirds, one Pied Fantail…

“No Common Kingfisher, no Asiatic Dowitcher…

“…found this one solitary Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) still in breeding plumage, right to the back of the SBWR complex, and by that time, the sun was right overhead, but never mind, the picture should be good for ID purposes (left).

“Now, according to David Bakewell from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this bird has been banded before in Singapore.

“So just wondering how many times has he been flying back to Singapore.

“And from where?”

According to David Li, Waterbird Conservation Officer with Wetlands International, he communicated with James Gan of SBWR and the latter confirmed that this bird was banded at the reserve in December 2006.

David further added: “With your finding, it seems that shorebirds tend to use the same wintering ground if habitat remains unchanged.”

Ashley Ng of the e-group Pigeon-Hole explained: “…the purpose of bird banding is to keep track of their migration path, both timings and routes for their behaviour study.

“…Green top and white bottom is the color for birds ringed in Singapore.”

According to the latest issue of SBWR’s publication, Wetlands (Vol. 14:1, April 2007), a Ruddy Turnstone was banded in 2001 and another in 23006. The earlier banded bird was not recovered but that banded in 2006 returned in September 2007, thanks to SK’s documentation. Obviously no information on where this particular bird came from is available.

For the records, SBWR has so far ringed 1,156 birds from 108 species since it started the exercise in 1990. In 2006 a total of 658 birds from 66 species were ringed.

Images by KC.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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