The Grey-tailed Tattler (Heteroscelus brevipes), an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant, was photographed at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in October 2009 with what looks like a crab in its bill.
“It was a fine weather and I decided to head down to Sungei Buloh to look for two rare winter visitors – the Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) and the tattler. It’s either one but not possible to be both as both have never been sighted together.
”So I decided to take a risk and go in the direction of the Tattler last sighted by me a week ago in hide 2E to 2D. I guess luck was with me this time. I found the tattler feeding frenzily on the mudflat for tiny crabs and scrimps. It only lasted for less than an hour before it decided to keep a distance away, probably sensing my presence, and soon nowhere to be found. Other photographers then came but saw no bird. What a day to hunt for this elusive rare winter visitor and passage migrant in Sungei Buloh.”
27th October 2009
Note: Grey-tailed Tattler breeds in NE Siberia and winters in S China, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Borneo, Java, Bali and to the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. The birds migrate mainly along the coast, sometimes a little inland along wetlands. The main route passes through east of Singapore, through the Philippines. Most first year birds remain south during the northern summer.