Sighting of Oriental Plover

on 5th March 2008


The Oriental Plover (Charadrius veredus) breeds from Mongolia to NE China (including a part of Russia). It migrates through Eastern China, Eastern South-East Asia, Wallacea and Micronesia to winter in Northern Australia, with a few reaching New Zealand. Its usual route bypasses Singapore. However, freak weather conditions or biological factors may cause the occasional Oriental Plover to make landfall on the east coast of Singapore.

One such plover was spotted at Changi Cove by David Bakewell and several fellow birders on a sunny morning on 17th February 2008. Apparently feeling ostracised amongst the flock of Pacific Golden Plovers (Pluvialis fulva) with which it arrived, it harassed the latter birds by chasing them around.

This is only the eighth record of the Oriental Plover in Singapore. The first two were actually old records from 1891 (2 birds) and 1898 (2 skins). The next record was from 1985/1986, one at Changi. This was followed by 2-4 birds at Tuas in 1993 (Richard Ollington). Then came the 5th & 6th records; single birds in 1998 and 1999 at Seletar Estuary/Dam. The 7th record was one bird at Changi in 2006.

This latest record is even more special – it is the first time the plover is seen in Singapore in breeding plumage. The characteristic dark breast band of the male bird in breeding condition can be clearly seen in the photograph by Lin Yangchen.

Lin Yangchen and Subaraj Rajathurai
March 2008

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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