A census for birds? Why Singapore is counting its winged visitors

NParks staff carry out a bird survey at the Mandai mudflats on July 12, 2021.
ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
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SINGAPORE - There were worms everywhere in the mud, burrowing and wiggling underfoot as we trudged after the National Parks Board (NParks) staff across the Mandai mudflat at low tide.

We had joined the NParks' Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve team on a bird census back in July (2021). It was before the official start of the migratory bird season, which usually starts this month (September), but we still managed to spot a couple of migrants then: Juvenile whimbrels, brown-speckled balls of feathers that flew here from the Arctic.

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