bird sighting

More

Bird watchers rush down to Botanic Gardens to catch glimpse of rarely sighted great slaty woodpecker

  • April 26, 2023

Chin Hui Shan
bird-watchers”The Straits Times
March 14, 2023

A rarely sighted woodpecker made an appearance on Sunday and led to a frenzy of bird watchers around the Botanic Gardens.

It was so rare that a couple left their wedding solemnisation nearby to take pictures of it right after their wedding speeches.

With a bald head and grey clock of feather and size of up to 51cm, the great slaty woodpecker is listed as “vulnerable” globally on the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While it was not the first time Mr Hong Yijun has seen this bird species, the great slaty woodpecker perched itself so close to his wedding venue on Sunday that he could not resist taking photos of it. Both he and his wife are avid bird watchers and bird photographers.

This is the fourth time the bird, known to be the largest woodpecker in the world, was spotted in Singapore.

The last time it was spotted was in 2018 near the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Before that, it was spotted in 1899 and 1904, according to the Singapore Birds Project, which documents wild birds here.

“I had seen this bird in Thailand and Malaysia but seeing it in our homeland was something special,” said the 28-year-old process engineer. “The fact that it graced us with its presence on our wedding day was extremely special to us.”

His wife, Ms Zoey Chua, said that they had booked the Villa, an event venue in the Botanic Gardens, because of its beauty as well as its said ability to attract interesting bird species.

Together, the newly-weds had seen birds like Himalayan griffon vultures and orange-headed thrushes at the Botanic Gardens.

Said the 26-year-old chemist: “The appearance of this rare bird on a special day

Read the rest