Fishermen of the avian world: Singapore an important stopover for seabirds

Birdwatchers taking part in the Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group's pelagic seabird survey at the start of the bird migration season last September. The birds are set to make their way back north from around April. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI The common
The red-necked phalaropes look frail but are formidable, having flown thousands of kilometres from as far north as the Arctic to escape the winter chill. Last September's sighting during the Nature Society (Singapore) pelagic seabird survey was only the fourth time the species had been recorded in Singapore, said an NSS Bird Group member. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The Galapagos Islands’ blue-footed booby is among the more recognisable seabird species.
The Galapagos Islands’ blue-footed booby is among the more recognisable seabird species. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Birdwatchers taking part in the Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group's pelagic seabird survey at the start of the bird migration season last September. The birds are set to make their way back north from around April. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI The common
The common tern was one of multiple tern species spotted during the survey. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Birdwatchers taking part in the Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group's pelagic seabird survey at the start of the bird migration season last September. The birds are set to make their way back north from around April. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI The common
Birdwatchers taking part in the Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group's pelagic seabird survey at the start of the bird migration season last September. The birds are set to make their way back north from around April. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The juvenile red-necked phalarope.
The juvenile red-necked phalarope.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Surveys in waters near S'pore add to knowledge on these feathered indicators of oceanic health

We were so far away from Singapore's southern coast that land appeared a mere sliver of brown.

But after spending two haze-filled hours out at sea last September, the birdwatchers on the pelagic seabird survey organised by the Nature Society (Singapore), or NSS, were rewarded with an unexpected sight.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'Seabirds of a feather'. Print Edition | Subscribe