Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Pulau Ubin
04 Nov 2021

General details
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Record ID 10009
Date 04 Nov 2021
Location Pulau Ubin
Count 1 individual
Subspecies singalensis
Age not possible to age
Sex female
Date added 04 Nov 2021

Record accepted.

Committee's view
Vote results For: 6
Wild: 6
Verdict Accepted / Wild (Verifiable)

References (see all)
References eBird

I was happily waiting for a couple of Sultans (dragonflies, not tits) to land when Richard called to say there was a bird flock (he says 'wave', I prefer flock) - we were there birdwatching, so I went to watch the birds. Scanning the tree canopy there were several Olive-winged Bulbul, a couple of Arctic Warbler, and single Asian Brown and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers. Additionally, there were a few Brown-throated Sunbirds. I scanned around the nearby canopy and saw movement. Viewing through 10 x 42 binoculars, at a range of around 100m I spied another sunbird.... it showed a clear orange throat extending on to the breast and was obviously a female Ruby-cheeked Sunbird. I immediately alerted Richard and gave good enough directions to allow him to clap eyes on it within seconds. He agreed on the identification, also noting the small beak. At the same time I turned to my 'scope, already at the ready a couple of metres away - I found the bird at 25x and confirmed the already known identification. After watching it for a few seconds, I moved aside and Richard also viewed through the 'scope. Whilst Richard 'scoped it, I walked closer and aimed my Sony RX7 Version II at the tiny movement above - and managed identifiable pictures. Summary of the identification, small sunbird with yellowish underparts and an extensive orange throat - we're always on the lookout for this species and am familiar with this prominent feature, so I knew immediately what it was, despite the distance. We also noted the short decurved beak. Otherwise, it was smaller than the Brown-throated in the same vicinity. Not much to say in respect to the upper parts - we were viewing from below...
foraging in canopy, changed perched a few times, disappeared......
Viewing conditions
very clear day, bright and sunny
Observer's experience
First seen in 1993. Seen several times (20+?) since. Found Singapore's first in 2005, also a female - with friends and the late Subaraj.
Observer's experience w/similar species
Extensive experience of all mainland Southeast Asia sunbirds - pretty sure I've seen them all.