December is usually the peak migratory period for the sightings of the Hooded Pittas (Pitta sordida) around Singapore. And for the past weeks, photographers have been showcasing their many images on e-forums and webpages. And of course a few birdwatchers were “visible” when they commented on these images. At such times it is an advantage to have a camera with you when in the field, as otherwise how else can an excited observer waxes lyrical and shares his/her joy after encountering this beautiful bird?
Lim Poh Bee was extremely thrilled to have sighted the pitta. But to actually see the bird picking a land mollusc and to have an image as evidence… “I’m sure there’s been thousands of shots taken of the Hooded Pitta during the current frenzy. Well, this is just my humble contribution of the Hooded Pitta having its fine dining breakfast of escargot!”
Wells (2007) reports: “No direct information on foraging, but contents of two stomachs recorded as including ants and small, shelled molluscs.” This reference came from “Data from the collections of the Zoological Museum, Tring, UK.”
What this means is that no local or regional birdwatchers or even ornithologists have so far reported the Hooded Pitta taking a snail. And Poh Bee’s image is the only one I have seen of a pitta with a snail among the many images shown during the last few weeks. This is obviously a new food record!