Lim Chu Kang

If you’ve already explored Kranji Marshes and been inside the core conservation area but still can’t get enough of those birds, try wandering around the lanes outside and you’ll be surprised what you can find.

The expansive grasslands and network of canals along the Lim Chu Kang lanes, Neo Tiew Harvest Lane and Turut Track are a haven for birds, both resident and migratory. It is therefore not unusual to see birders with big guns hanging around these areas as well, especially during the bird migratory months from September to March.

The resident birds that live in this rural corner of Singapore include the Red-collared Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)

…the Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)

…the Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

…the Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

…the Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

…and the Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus). We were delighted one day to observe a female Coppersmith Barbet emerge from her nest hole…

…just in time for feeding.

This may look like a barbet chick being fed by a parent, but it is actually a courtship and mating behaviour between two consenting adults. Apparently, the male Coppersmith Barbet comes bearing gifts of berries, to entice the female while he has his way with her.

After the deed is done, he may reward her with a berry or two.

Colonies of Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus) are a common sight in the area. The lush and undisturbed vegetation is a conducive wonderland for them to build their nests and raise their young.

The Golden-backed Weavers (Ploceus jacksoni) also seem to thrive in the area, and they co-exist in harmony with their Baya Weaver cousins.

The rural landscape of the Neo Tiew countryside is one of the few good places to spot the Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus), as the vast open grasslands is its favourite hunting ground.

Migratory birds that can be found here during the winter migratory months include the Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

…the Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

…the Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

…the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

…the Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

…and the Black-browed Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps).

Wherever we can find a random pool of water, there we will find the waders and waterbirds, such as the Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

…the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

…the Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta)

…the Intermediate Egrets (Ardea intermedia)

…and the Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans).

And wherever we can find a longkang or a canal, there we are bound to spot some kingfishers out to catch fish, such as the Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda)

…and the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis).

Have fun wandering around and see how many birds you can spot in the Neo Tiew grasslands and Lim Chu Kang canals!