Rare Green Broadbill in Pulau Ubin Singapore
The Green Broadbill, a plump and short-tailed bird with bright green plumage, is the smallest bird in the broadbill family in Southeast Asia, about 18 cm.
I first encountered this beautiful bird in Mulu National Park in Sarawak in 2006. To a non-trained eye, it is not easy to spot the bird amongst the foliage and tapestry of green leaves.
Over the last 15 years, I have seen the other broadbills several times;
- Dusky Broadbill
- Silver Breasted Broadbill
- Black-and-Red Broadbill
- Black-and-Yellow Broadbill
- Banded Broadbill
- Long-tailed Broadbill
However, I have not seen the Green Broadbill since 2006. The Green Broadbill was extirpated from Singapore since 1941. It was seen twice in Nov and December of 2014. When a photograph of male Green Broadbill was posted on social media on 27 June 2021 in Pulau Ubin, I was overjoyed, and I wanted to see it.
On 29 June, we made a trip to Pulau Ubin. We boarded a ferry from Changi Jetty to Pulau Ubin at 8:45 am. We were glad that we took a leisurely walk to the bird as part of 5000 steps morning exercise. We were happy that we walked as we would have missed the rainbow, the Grey Herons, Pied Hornbills, and Brahminy Kite.
Within minutes of setting up my camera, someone pointed to where the bird was. I had a problem locating the bird initially in the foliage until I saw where everyone was pointing their long telephoto lenses.
From 9:30 am to 10:30 am, the bird was at one location playing hide-and-seek with the photographers. It disappeared, then started to call from the other side of the forest across the road but not visible to our eyes. The bird kept moving up along the road uphill about 200 m from the original location. A few of us followed the call to trace the broadbill. For a few minutes, the broadbill was just a few meters away while it remained hidden. Suddenly, it zipped above us, crossed the road, and landed on an open branch starring at us.
We left the location on a chartered van by 12:30 pm to catch a ferry back to Changi Village. To complete our trip, we rewarded ourselves with the famous Green Chendol.