We often think of Singapore as just a concrete jungle with shopping malls and housing estates. However, we also have flora and fauna, if you know where to look. There are nearly 150 species of resident birds in Singapore, and hosts many more species of migratory birds. Singapore is one of 22 countries including Russia, China and Australia that lie along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, an annual migration path for 50 million birds from more than 200 species that spans 10,000km.
Besides the usual pigeons, mynahs, sparrows and crows, there are many other types of birds that you can see in their natural environment in Singapore. Here are some of the places where you can find them (and the Jurong Bird Park is not one of them):
- Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Lorong Halus Wetland
I haven’t been to all these places above and there are many more places to watch birds. Below are some photos and the places where I took them.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Located in the northern part of Singapore, this is a wetland nature reserve and is an ASEAN Heritage Park.
Although known more for picnics and beach activities, this place is a good area to view birds of prey. They treat the sea as their hunting grounds and you can see them swooping in on fishes.
Ulu Pandan Park Connector
Located between major roads and housing estates, this area is not exactly rural, but a patch of forest and a large canal provides abundant food for many birds. This is a nice place for jogging or cycling. Unfortunately, the forest is gradually being cleared for HDB flats and this place is likely to lose its natural feel.
Stretching from Kent Ridge to Mt. Faber is a 10km long ridge of hills with lots of greenery. This is a popular hiking route and offers panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline and southern coast.
This is riverine park that is aiming to turn Punggol into a waterfront town. You can see many water birds that nest and hunt along the river.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
One of the oldest parks in Singapore, the garden was founded in 1859. This is a great place for big family picnics and lazy weekend activities. The Botanic Gardens is a favourite weekend haunt for families and is being nominated as a UNESCO Heritage Site..
Birds are naturally aware of our presence nearby and if we get too close they will fly away. Thus, it is necessary to have a good long lens to zoom in on the details. All the photos here were shot with my Canon 7D paired with a 100-400mm telephoto lens. I sometimes use a Kenko 1.4x tele-converter for extra reach but I find that the image quality with the tele-converter is not optimal.