Back at Bida; Birds, Bugs and Bits

Bidadari was one of the highlights of our last visit and with development of the site now in it’s early stages, it was a no-brainer that we had to visit as soon as we could. We have kept in touch with both the development and the feathered action via the social media sites and have been heartened to read that Bidadari remains the favourite stop-off point for migrant birds in Singapore.

We arrived late-morning and quickly caught up with an experienced local birder we were lucky to befriend last year, Frankie Lim. He, along with a crowd of other Bida birders, were gathered around a break in some greenery. “Nightjar…” came the advice from Frankie. Another Nightjar!? You go years without seeing one and get two in two days!

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Frankie gave us a quick run down on the recent and expected arrivals at Bidadari and ushered us into a spot where they had regular sightings of the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher. It took less than a minute of waiting when Mrs Sausage saw this small and fairly non-descript bird appear.

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From there we explored the site ourselves. First up was this Tiger Shrike, another migrant visitor to Singapore.

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We then had a few local birds join us in the shape of this Lineated Barbet and Common Iora. The Iora in particular was a tricky capture, a tiny bird, constantly in motion.

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We then joined some of the Bida ‘Cafe’ birders patiently waiting for a possible sighting of a female Siberian Blue Robin. They were not too hopeful though, only this Common Sun Skink was spending any time on the log that the robin favoured.

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As we made our way around our eyes were also on the lookout for some of the non-feathered wildlife too. After last year’s close encounter with an Equatorial Spitting Cobra we were all too aware that this location is more than just a birding site. This Red Dragonfly was the first non-avian life that crossed our path. We were quite taken with the vivid colour of this insect, and with the gossamer lower wing edges.

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It was followed soon after by this Finlayson’s Squirrel (also known as the Variable Squirrel).

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This Yellow-vented Bulbul (a very common sighting across the island) then broke cover and presented itself to our camera lens for a moment, wrapping itself around this tree in a most agile, yet awkward way.

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Poser of the day was this Changeable Lizard though. He’s looking great and clearly knows it.

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I mean, look at that face…

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We were on our way out after a very humid three hours when this Tiger Shrike caught our eye. She was sitting quite still, looking as if in a contemplative way at the diggers, tarpaulin sheets and temporary fencing around her.

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All being well, this won’t be our last Bidadari visit. We hope the same can be said of the Tiger Shrike and other passage birds that return each year to this special place.

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