Summary for migrant species:
It’s another amazing November, and the arrival of four species boosted the number of migrant raptors to 18 species. The 1st of the month start well with a Northern Boobook photographed at Tuas Bay Lane by Ken Ng, and the first Jerdon’s Baza of the season photographed at Jurong Lake Gardens by Dennis Lim.
The one and only Booted Eagle, a dark morph, was photographed by Zacc HD and others at Henderson Waves on the 10th. The first Besra for the season was photographed at Henderson Waves on the 8th, followed by another two the next day – one at Henderson Waves and another at Mandai Track 15.
Only two Black Kites were recorded, one photographed by Richard White at Bukit Timah hilltop on the 1st, and another photographed by Ang HouBoon at Pasir Ris Park on the 3rd. There were also only two records of the Common Kestrel, one at Henderson Waves photographed by Ash Foo and others on the 9th, and another at Tuas South photographed by Martti Siponen on the 14th.
Unlike the previous two species which were one-day birds, the two Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagles were detected on many days. The adult was first recorded at Bukit Timah hill top on the 20th, and at Jalan Asas on the 25th, when the juvenile flew in to join it at its perch. However, the adult did not seem to appreciate the company and took off shortly. The juvenile was first recorded at the Botanic Gardens on the 1st, but subsequently stayed at the Jalan Asas – Bukit Timah area between the 6th to the 29th.
Next, we have three species with three records each. The Grey-faced Buzzard was recorded at Henderson Waves on the 1st, an adult at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the 16th and another adult at Jelutong Tower on the 18th. The Pied Harriers were all juveniles, one each at Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery and Henderson Waves on the 8th, and one at Jelutong Tower on the 20th.
A juvenile Eastern Marsh Harrier was recorded at Pasir Ris Park on the 5th, a female at Jurong Eco Garden on the 8th, and an interesting looking juvenile at Pasir Ris Park on the 9th, for which most of the field marks seen in the photos point to Eastern Marsh Harrier, with a small possibility of it being an Eastern x Western hybrid, but definitely not a Western.
Five Greater Spotted Eagles were recorded, one at Henderson Waves on the 1st, a juvenile at Venus Loop on the 9th, two juveniles at the southern ridges on the 10th, and another juvenile at Jelutong Tower on the 13th. For the Common Buzzard, there were also five records, three at Dawson – Henderson Waves area on the 8th, one at the southern ridges on the 14th, and another at Henderson Waves on the 15th.
Seven Western Ospreys were recorded, from the northern coast including Pulau Ubin, to Hindhede to Henderson Waves. Of the twelve Peregrine Falcons recorded, a few were at Henderson Waves, and a juvenile of the calidus subspecies at Kranji Marsh on the 30th. Eighteen Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded, including five at Coney Island on the 21st, a few at Henderson Waves, up to three at Changi Business Park canal from the 14th onwards, and two on Pulau Ubin.
Seventy two Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, many of them over Henderson Waves, while an adult female, possibly the same individual, returned again to Ang Mo Kio on the 15th. Two hundred and fifty three Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded, many of them at the southern ridges, with 34 birds over Kent Ridge Park on the 14th.
We had 485 Black Bazas this month, with 113 birds over Henderson Waves on the 1st. We recorded 1213 Oriental Honey Buzzards, with a day high of 240 birds over Henderson Waves on the 9th, and 210 birds passing Skyville @ Dawson on the 11th. Interestingly, one adult male over Henderson Waves on the 20th had falconry jesses on both tarsus.
Highlights for sedentary species:
There were six Crested Serpent Eagles, one at Mount Faber on the 5th, one at Jurong West on the 11th, one at the Botanic Gardens – Goldhill Avenue area, one on Pulau Ubin, and two at Lim Chu Kang Lane 3 on the 21st. For the torquatus subspecies of the Oriental Honey Buzzard, there were three individuals, a juvenile at Pasir Ris on the 5th, 14th, 16th, and 30th; an adult male at Pasir Ris on the 8th and 11th; and another adult male at the Botanic Gardens on the 14th, 16th and 19th.
Breeding-related activities were observed for four resident species. An adult Brahminy Kite was feeding two chicks on its nest at Seletar on the 3rd, and by the 28th, the chicks were on and around the nest, ready to fledge. There were two fledgling Crested Goshawks on and around the nest at Pasir Panjang on the 8th.
Two adult White-bellied Sea Eagles at Potong Pasir mated on the 18th, and the pair at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve were adding sticks to their nest on the 28th and 30th, another one at Jalan Asas was seen flying with a branch on the 29th.
At Hampstead Wetlands, the regular Grey-headed Fish Eagle pair was observed mating on the 20th, and the Buffy fish Owls mated on the 26th and 27th. A pair of Black-winged Kites at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane mated on the 28th and 30th. Mating was also observed for the pair of Crested Goshawks at Pasir Ris Park.
On the 11th, two Crested Goshawks at West Coast Park were on the ground, talons locked. They eventually separated and flew off separately. For the Changeable Hawk-Eagle, a mixture of pale morphs, dark morphs and juveniles were recorded.
BTNR – Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
DFNP – Dairy Farm Nature Park
KM – Kranji Marsh
KRP – Kent Ridge Park
NTHL – Neo Tiew Harvest Lane
PRP – Pasir Ris Park
SBWR – Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Ken Ng, Wong Sangmen, Tan Chuan Yean, Zacc HD, Tan Eng Boo, Choong YT, Ngo Lih Yee, Adrian Silas Tay, See Toh Yew Wai, Derrick Wong, Desmond Yap, Michael Phua, Philip Ng, Tay Kian Guan, and Lee Hew-Son for the use of their photos.
For a pdf version with more details please click Singapore Raptor Report – Nov 2020