Mangrove Whistler Spotted at Tampines Eco Green

posted in: Miscellaneous | 2

“The Mangrove Whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) is a rare resident that has not been seen on mainland Singapore for a very long time. The only known location where this bird can be found regularly is the off shore island of Pulau Hantu.

“Surprised to encounter this bird at Tampines Eco Green, which seemed to be the Mangrove Whistler. Sharing these images here for verification as well as to make known about its presence on mainland Singapore. Hopeful that I am not wrong with its id.

“First spotted this bird while it was flying across a path from one wooded patch to another. It landed on a perch that had many small branches surrounding it. It did not stayed still for long as it moved from branch to branch. Photography was challenging as it was mostly under shade and blocked. I am lucky to get some decent record shots of this rare bird. It stayed within view for less than a minute before disappearing deep into the wooded area. Unable to follow it into the swampy area.”

Kwong Wai Chong
28th July 2015

2 Responses

  1. Subaraj Rajathurai

    Hi Wai Chong,

    Certainly appears to be a Mangrove Whistler. It is probably a stray from Malaysia where the species is still found in various coastal mangrove areas. Like the Mangrove Pitta and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, this mangrove species must come across from time to time, as a post-breeding dispersant or a displacement due to development. It is probably overlooked due to its dull colours. Yeo Suay Hwee photographed one in Upper Seletar some years ago.

    It is true that this species may now be extinct as a resident on the main island of Singapore, and possibly Pulau Ubin, where it also used to be a regular resident. It is still fairly common on Pulau Tekong, where it has adapted to woodlands throughout the island. In the southern islands, a pair survives on Pulau Hanu and it is also found on Pulau Sudong and Pulau Semakau, with a single record from Lazarus.

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