Singapore Raptor Report – January 2017

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Oriental Scops Owl, rufous morph, roosting, Dairy Farm Nature Park, 10 Jan 2017, by Tan Gim Cheong

Summary for migrant species:

The highlight for January was the two Oriental Scops Owls at Dairy Farm Nature Park first seen on the 10th. Amazingly, both the grey and rufous morph of this rare migrant were present, roosting on the same tree next to the Wallace Education Centre!

All in, a total of 106 migrant raptors of 8 species were recorded. The Black Baza claimed the top spot with 43 birds, relegating the Oriental Honey Buzzard to the second place with 40 birds. There were 11 Japanese Sparrowhawks, including a juvenile feeding on a Zebra Dove at Pasir Ris Park on the 2nd.

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Oriental Scops Owl, grey morph, which was more alert and often opened its eyes, Dairy Farm Nature Park, 10 Jan 2017, by Tan Gim Cheong

Two Jerdon’s Bazas were first photographed at Chek Jawa on the 14th, and 2 birds photographed at Pasir Ris Park on the 18th were most likely the same individuals. The juvenile Eastern Imperial Eagle was still at Pulau Sekudu on the 1st and 2nd. Unfortunately, there was an oil spill on the 3rd which affected the area and the eagle was not seen again until the 8th when it appeared briefly in the afternoon and was photographed. After that it was not seen again.

There were 4 Peregrine Falcons, including a juvenile in pursuit of a Grey Plover in level flight at Pulau Ubin. The young Peregrine failed to catch the agile Grey Plover. Of the 3 Ospreys, 1 was at Pulau Ubin and 2 at Kranji Marshes. The absence of the Chinese Sparrowhawk was notable.

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Crested Goshawk, male (left), female (right), Bedok North, 23 Jan 2017, by Tan Gim Cheong.

Highlights for sedentary species:

January was a good month for the rare Crested Serpent Eagle as 4 birds were recorded – one at Pulau Ubin, one at the Kent Ridge area and two at Sembawang. Amazingly, 12 Crested Goshawks were recorded, probably the highest number ever in a month! Two adults and 2 juveniles at West Coast Park, a chick on a nest near the top of a raintree at the Botanic Gardens and a pair with 2 young chicks on a nest among the thick foliage of a tree in the car park of an HDB estate in Bedok North bode well for the population of this uncommon resident.

A single adult male torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzzard was photographed at Jelutong Tower on the 6th, and a single Black-winged Kite was recorded at Pulau Punggol on the 14th. On the 26th, 8 White-bellied Sea Eagles comprising 3 adults and 5 immatures were present at the same time at Chek Jawa, with a number of them harassing a Great-billed Heron which had caught a catfish. The Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Brahminy Kite and Changeable Hawk-Eagle completed the roundup for the month.

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For the pdf version, please click singapore-raptor-report-jan-2017

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2 thoughts on “Singapore Raptor Report – January 2017

  1. Lee Li Er

    Crested Goshawks at Bedok North Ave 4:- Father goshawk was killed on 12 Feb. The younger chick is being held at Jurong Bird Park Avian Hospital since the week of 20th Feb. Attempts to follow up with messages to Wildlife Reserves S’pore FB page have failed, the only information revealed is the chick is under the care of vet Dr Neo Peici. As of today 2 March mother goshawk is still hunting and feeding older chick at Blk 102/105 Bedok North Ave 4. Can Nature Society of S’pore’s Bird Group please try to get through to Dr Neo to release younger chick to re-unite with its mother and sibling. Attempts by concerned birders, HDB residents and nature lovers to secure the release have failed.

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    1. TAN Gim Cheong Post author

      Hi Li Er,
      thanks for the update on the fate of the male goshawk, and the status of the mother and remaining chick. Great to know that many birders, residents and nature lovers are concerned about the welfare of the birds. Apparently, the young goshawk is undergoing a Rehabilitation & Release Program at Jurong Bird Park, once it is strong enough it should be released. As it’s been almost 2 weeks since the chick was separated from its mother, there is no guarantee that the mother goshawk will accept the chick back. If she accepts it, it will be a happy ending, but if she does not accept the chick, it will starve, or worse, she may attack it. While it is not ideal for the chick not to be raised by its mother, given the current situation, it may be best to wait for the chick to be released when it is fully independent.

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