David Tan alerted everyone on the appearance of a female Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) on 27th December 2008.
G Sreedharan was also there and sent in this report: “When I arrived at SBWR late saturday afternoon, most people had left. The Northern Shoveler had moved to the pool left of the main hide and was moving around and possible feeding in the open between some egrets, except that it was quite a distance away.
“After about 20 minutes, it flew off in the direction of Hide 1C. The few of us who were there decided to move in that direction as well. To our surprise and delight, we found the Shoveler feeding around Screen 1.1 (swimming around in ever increasing circles and further away from us).
“Although the light was generally harsh, we managed to get a number of pictures. After it’s third circular “tour”, we lost sight of it and never managed to see it again despite all our efforts in looking for it.
“I’d like to share one of mine taken (around 4.10pm from Screen 1.1) as the bird was swimming around, looking for food (above).”
This duck is a rare winter visitor to Singapore, first recorded in November 1959. The second record was 24 years later, after which there were isolated sightings. What is significant with the current sighting is that it is accompanied by images – otherwise it would be “unconfirmed” until a “reliable” birdwatcher sees it himself. Considering that most recent sightings come not from birdwatchers but from bird photographers, images provide indisputable evidence.
Image by G Sreedharan.