“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.