Francis Yap alerted us to a photograph an unfamiliar bird taken along Singapore’s Punggol grassland on 24th March 2011 that he suspected to be another exotic finch/munia species. Taken by a Flickr member called Blueangle1, the original photo was posted HERE
Haniman Boniran sent the following account: “My 1st instinct was its a Cut-throat Finch (Amadina fasciata). However, it lacks the red marking on the throat (if its a male). But even if it’s a female, I have yet to see a specimen so boldly covered with barrings on the wings. This is one of the most commonly traded finches from Africa. They originate from Senegal and Gambia east to Somalia and south to eastern South Africa. The female Cut-throat Finch doesn’t have the red patch on the throat that extends all the way to the cheek area just behind the eye. Juvenile cut-throats are very much like females. But I’m guessing, this a female Cut-throat Finch of a different subspecies A. f. meridionalis. They tend to have a darker barring compared to the nominate race, A. fasciata. Considering that quite a number of them are imported from South Africa, where A. f. meridionalis occurs, this could be a specimen of a female of that subspecies. I’m still uncertain of its exact race or even species. For all we know, it could be a hybrid of cut-throat and something else, maybe. Let’s put to on the table and see what others have to say.”
“If it’s Cut-throat Finch, then this certainly isn’t the first sighting, as I’m aware that there was a few at Changi Cove photographed last year,” responded Francis.
Francis Yap, Haniman Boniran & Blueangle1