“At Changi Business Park late this afternoon, one of my habitual weekend dog walking haunts, I saw a flock of at least 100, perhaps double that, Daurian Starlings (Purple-backed Starlings) (Sturnus sturninus). At first they were flitting from tree to tree near the large lake, chirruping away to each other, and it took me a while to work out what they were – despite their relative commonness, I have never actually positively ID’ed one before.
“About ten minutes later I came across them again, and something flushed them from the trees they were in. They instantly coalesced into a formation and soared and swooped and whirled, the late afternoon sun catching their pale underparts.
“A beautiful sight, and one I have not seen in Singapore before. It reminded me of my childhood in England where I would see vast cloud-like flocks of Common Starlings (S. vulgaris, though I didn’t have any idea then, other than just ‘starlings’). It made my day!”
11th October 2009
Note: The Purple-backed Starling is a common winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore, flocking in large numbers in many parts of the main island. Such sights can be seen around September-October and again in March. An earlier post can be seen HERE.
A very large flock of purple-backed starlings was seen at Lorong Halus about 6pm on 10 Oct. I counted more than 600 birds in one of the photos taken. As the photo covers only about 2/3 of the flock, I estimated that there were at least 900 birds! It was quite spectacular seeing them in flight and changing direction in unity.
Any photos to share?
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Bird Ecology Study Group » Flocking display by Purple-backed Starling
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