Author Archives: TAN Gim Cheong

SINGAPORE BIRD REPORT, JANUARY – JUNE 2022

Written by Geoff Lim. Edited by Tan Gim Cheong,
with inputs from Alan Owyong, Lim Kim Chuah and Dr Yong Ding Li.

Mangrove Blue FC, 170322, PRP, Danny Khoo 2

Mangrove Blue Flycatcher at Pasir Ris Park, 17 March 2022, by Danny Khoo.

1) A selection of the highlights of January – June 2022:

– Asian Emerald Cuckoo at Jurong Lake Gardens in January 2022 (fourth record).
– Violet Cuckoos at Dairy Farm Nature Park in May 2022.
– Black-winged Stilt at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in April 2022.
– Pied Stilts with chicks on a northeastern island in June 2022 (third record).
– Red Knot at Chek Jawa in April 2022.
– Red-necked Phalarope at Tampines Eco Green in April 2022.
– Christmas Frigatebird at Marina East in January 2022.
– Glossy Ibis at Lorong Halus in May 2022.
– Cinereous Vulture at Neo Tiew Crescent in January 2022 (first record, present from 2021).
– Himalayan Vultures at Lorong Sesuai in January 2022.
– Black-thighed Falconet at Lorong Halus in June 2022.
– Black-and-red Broadbill at Chek Jawa and SBWR in May 2022 (fifth record).
– Large Woodshrike at Chek Jawa in April 2022 (second modern record).
– Black-winged Flycatcher-shrikes at Chek Jawa in April and May 2022.
– Brown Shrike at Holland Green in June 2022 (first June record).
– Black-and-white Bulbuls at Chek Jawa in May 2022 (second modern record).
– Dusky Warbler at Marina East in January 2022 and Changi Business Park in March 2022 (fourth and fith record respectively).
– Mangrove Blue Flycatcher at Pasir Ris Park in March 2022.
– Black Redstart at Pasir Panjang in January and February 2022 (first record, present from 2021).
– Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker at Chek Jawa in May 2022 (third record).
– Lesser Green Leafbird at Chek Jawa in April and May 2022.

2) A new feature is a graph of the observation dates and numbers for select species. PGP, dates

3) Another new feature of the bird report is maps showing the locations of the sightings in the January to June 2022 period.

map - OPH

Map showing sighting locations of Oriental Pied Hornbill between Jan and Jun 2022

4) Plus breeding records of many residents.

For the full details in our 80+ page report, please click Singapore Bird Report, January-June 2022

Thanks to all birders for their records, especially to Danny Khoo for the use of his photo on this page, and to Herman Phua, Lee Chin Pong, Lim Joseph, Danny Khoo and Kaeden Sim for the use of their photos in the full report.

Singapore Raptor Report, Late Spring Migration, April-June 2022

OHB, 060622, DFNP, Siew Mun, crop

Oriental Honey Buzzards, immature (left) and a surprise adult male (right), DFNP, 6 June 2022, by Siew Mun

Summary:

Eight migrant raptor species were recorded during this period, compared with four in most other years. An adult male Oriental Honey Buzzard (OHB) Pernis ptilorhyncus on 6 June was a surprise, as the over-summering OHBs are usually second year immature birds. There were 22 records of OHB in April, 17 in May and 13 in June.

The only record for the Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes was a flock of 14 at Bukit Panjang on 2nd April. In some years, there are no records of this species after the month of March. There was also just one record of the Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis – at Jurong Lake Gardens on 8th April.

Fourteen Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis were recorded between 2nd to 16th April, mostly singly. Five Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were recorded, four between 2nd to 12th April, and one on 1st May. Small numbers of Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus were also recorded between April to June.

An immature Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii was recorded on 19th and 30th April, and 17th May at Upper Bukit Timah – Dairy Farm area. Lastly, a Northern Boobook Ninox japonica was measured, ringed and released by NParks at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 13 April.

Northern Boobook, 130422, SBWR, Benjamin Lee, measured and ringed, crop

Northern Boobook, SBWR, 13 April 2022, by Benjamin Lee

Sedentary Raptors

There were breeding records for two resident raptors. The Crested Goshawks Accipiter trivirgatus at Bukit Panjang Park were attending to two fledglings in April, and the pair at Pasir Ris Park was attending to one fledgling in May. At Kent Ridge Park in June, a pair was photographed as they mated. Prey items for the species noted during this period included junglefowl chick, rat and bat.

There were four nesting records for the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster between May to June. A nest at Admiralty Park held two chicks. The pair at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve bred again this season, producing two chicks. Unfortunately one chick became entangled with fishing line and hook, and died despite rescue efforts. In June, two chicks had already fledged from a nest at Ang Mo Kio, whereas the two chicks at Fort Canning have yet to fledge. Additionally, an adult was perched near a nest at Tanah Merah Coast Road (though it was not clear if the nest was active).

PF ernesti, 26 June 2022, SBWR, Teo Chee Yong

Peregrine Falcon, ernesti juvenile, showing rufous underparts which is not described in most books, SBWR, 26 June 2022, by Teo Chee Yong

A Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus of the resident ernesti race was recorded at SBWR on 26th June. The rufous underparts of the juvenile ernesti remains undescribed in most books. At Ulu Pandan, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus picked up a rat and a squirrel from the canal on 24th April.

The Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela was recorded at the Botanic Gardens, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Goldhill Avenue, Kent Ridge Park and Pulau Ubin. There were also records of the Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus and Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus.

Brown FO, 260522, Hindhede, Norhafiani A Majid

Brown Fish Owl, showing the fine horizontal markings on the underparts, Hindhede Nature Park, 26 May 2022, by Norhafiani A. Majid

Nocturnal Raptors

On 26th May, a few lucky birders spotted our one and only Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensisat Hindhede Nature Park during daylight hours. At NTU, a Barred Eagle-Owl Bubo sumatranus was seen during daylight hours on 12th and 23rd April.

Addendum

Additionally, there was a successful nesting of the Changeable Hawk-Eagle during this period at Dover East. The pair comprised a female pale morph and a male dark morph. Interestingly, the dark morph had pale morph type plumage on his left chest! The nest was discovered on 25th March and the pale morph eaglet fledged around 15th April, but was still dependent on the adults until early June.

For a pdf version with more photos and details, please click Singapore Raptor Report, Late Spring Migration, Apr-Jun 2022, with addendum 

Compiled by TAN Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone for posting / sending in / sharing their records, and to Siew Mun, Benjamin Lee, Teo Chee Yong, Norhafiani A. Majid and Chen Boon Chong for the use of their photos.

ID guide to female Sunbirds of Singapore

Male sunbirds are distinctive enough, but the females are mostly olive-green and less straightforward to identify. The female Ruby-cheeked Sunbird is the most straightforward with its orange throat.

With more time in the field, the female Olive-backed Sunbird with yellow supercilium, and female Brown-throated Sunbird with broken yellow eye-ring become familiar. Given good views, the grey-head of the female Copper-throated Sunbird becomes apparent, but she is sometimes mistaken for the Little Spiderhunter.

The female Crimson Sunbird and Van Hasselt’s Sunbird are more non-descript and require attention to their structure – especially tail length.

Note: Plain Sunbird is no longer in the NSS bird checklist as it is believed to have gone extinct.

Below is a simplified identification guide to the female sunbirds of Singapore.

all-Sunbirds,-females---V,-700x3003

The (avian) Magic of Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin

Chek Jawa is best known for its intertidal biodiversity, and indeed, a rare shorebird, the Red Knot made an appearance on 2 April 2022, for just a day, to refuel on the mudflats before continuing on its way to the summer breeding grounds to the north.

Red Knot, 060921, Yishun Dam, Vincent Yip

Red Knot, one of these birds made a pit stop at Check Jawa, (photo at Yishun Dam by Vincent Yip)

The next day, birders at Chek Jawa found not the knot, but a Large Woodshrike, the second modern record for Singapore. The woodshrike only showed for a short period from 3-6 April, and 8 April 2022, at the coastal forest where Chek Jawa would slowly reveal its avian secrets.

LWS, 030422, LKC

Large Woodshrike, 3 April 2022, Chek Jawa, photo by Lim Kim Chuah

Thus, the coastal boardwalk became the focal point for birders, and the only shelter in the middle provided much welcome respite from the tropical sun. On 4 April 2022, two Black-winged Flycatcher-shrikes were spotted. They are rare, but after more than a month of observations, they turned out to be the most ‘regular’ of the rarities at Chek Jawa. The last reported sighting was on 17 May 2022.

BWFS, 080522, CBC

Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike, 8 May 2022, Chek Jawa, photo by Chen Boon Chong

A male Ruby-cheeked Sunbird was also spotted on 4 April 2022, initially by only one photographer who goes by the mantra of ‘shoot everything first and check later’. The tiny bird is not easy to spot among the foliage, but was also seen on other dates including 19 & 23 April 2022.

RCSB, SBWR, 280522, CBC

A male Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (photo at SBWR by Chen Boon Chong)

On 15 April 2022, a leafbird was spotted on the tallest tree that could be seen from the boardwalk shelter, and was determined to be a male Lesser Green Leafbird the next day. This is a rarity on the main island, and the first record for Pulau Ubin. The lonesome leafbird was reported till 17 May 2022.

DSC_0164,-Lesser-Green-Leafbird,-1208x900

A male Lesser Green Leafbird, one of these visited Chek Jawa (photo at Panti by Tan Gim Cheong)

Birders that continued to make their way to Chek Jawa were rewarded with another surprise: a female Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker, the third record for Singapore. The tiny bird only showed briefly each time, at the top of the tallest tree, on 23, 25, 28 April, and 1, 5, 6 May 2022.

SBreastedFP, 250422, TGC, crop

Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker, female, 25 April 2022, Chek Jawa, photo by Tan Gim Cheong

When April gave way to May, Chek Jawa sprang another surprise in the form of two Black-and-white Bulbuls, only the second modern record for Singapore. The bulbul showed briefly each time on 2, 3, 4 & 6 May 2022.

BnW Bulbul, 040522, TGC

Black-and-white Bulbul, 4 May 2022, Chek Jawa, photo by Tan Gim Cheong

Finally, on 5 May 2022, a Black-and-red Broadbill joined the string of rarities at Chek Jawa. This being the 5th record for Singapore. The broadbill showed well for a day but only provided brief views the next 2 days.

BnR BB, 050522, Angie

Black-and-red Broadbill, 5 May 2022, Chek Jawa, photo by Angie Cheong.

Thanks to Vincent Yip, Lim Kim Chuah, Chen Boon Chong and Angie Cheong for permission to use their photos.

A short history of the Black-and-red Broadbill in Singapore

TGC_0582,-Black-and-red-Broadbill,-600x800

Black-and-red Broadbill, Chek Jawa, 5 May 2022, by Tan Gim Cheong

The Black-and-red Broadbill, Cymbirhynchus macrohynchos, a former resident bird, was considered “not common” in Singapore (main island), but “quite numerous on Pulau Ubin” in the early days (Bucknill and Chasen, 1927).

By the 1980s, its fortune had changed and was considered extinct. Then in August 2004, one individual was discovered at the fittingly named Discovery Trail on Pulau Ubin, where it was seen and photographed (Lim, 2004). It was considered non-breeding visitor, probably from southern Johor.

After a dry spell of 13 years, another Black-and-red Broadbill was found dead, sadly, on Pulau Ubin in August 2017. Finally, in March 2019, a Black-and-red Broadbill was caught and ringed during a bird-ringing session at SBWR, the first modern day record for Singapore’s main island. Four months later, in July 2019, another Black-and-red Broadbill was recorded during a survey on Pulau Ubin.

That brings us to the present occurrence on Pulau Ubin, on 5 May 2022, where one individual was spotted along the coastal forest at Chek Jawa, bringing much joy to many birders who grabbed the chance to see this very rare beauty of a bird.

Below is the list of the ‘modern day’ records of the Black-and-red Broadbill, notably 4 out of 5 are on Pulau Ubin:

1) 7 & 22 August 2004, Pulau Ubin Discovery Trail (9 April 2005 also)
2) 24 August 2017, Outward Bound School, Pulau Ubin (found dead)
3) 20 March 2019, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
4) 7 July 2019, Pulau Ubin
5) 5 May 2022, Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin        

References:

Bucknill, J. A. S. & Chasen, F. N. (1927). Birds of Singapore Island. Government Printing Office, Singapore.

Lim, K. S. (2004). Black-and-red Broadbill Rediscovered. Singapore Avifauna, vol 18:3, pp 38-39.

Brahminy Kite nesting @ East Coast Park, 8 December 2021 – 11 March 2022

by SB Lim (including all photos)

Brahminy, 101221, SB Lim

8 Dec 21 – Discovery of Brahminy Kites building nest.

10 Dec 21 – Nest building exercise continued.

20 Dec 21 – Rare sighting of the pair of Brahminy Kites mating on the tree top.

Brahminy mating, 201221

11 Feb 22 – Both kites were sitting on the nest.

Brahminy, 110222, on nest

17/19 Feb 22 – Sighting of a chick, and feeding by adult kite. Chick could have hatched during the first week of Chinese New Year (did not visit during that period). The chick’s feathers were all white.

Brahminy Kite Chick, 170222,

Brahminy Chick, 170222

28 Feb 22 – Chick growing up well, brown in appearance now. Expecting the chick to fledge in another couple of weeks.

Brahminy Chick, 280222, ECP

8 Mar 22 – chick on nest, exercising its wings

Brahminy chick, 080322, SB Lim, preparing for 1st flight

11 Mar 22 – chick fledged

Brahminy Fledged, 110322, SB Lim

Observations by SB Lim, East Coast Park, Singapore.

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2022

N-Boobook,-270322,-SBTB,-Lam-SG,-same,-brighten

Northern Boobook, at Gardens by the Bay, 27 Mar 2022, by Lam SG

Summary for migrant species:

In March 2022, 146 raptors of eleven migrant species were recorded. A shy Northern Boobook Ninox japonica was photographed at Gardens by the Bay on the 27th, while an Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia was photographed at Thomson Nature Park on the 4th and 5th.

Wintering migrant raptors that were still around included the juvenile Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus at Telok Blangah Hill Park on the 11th; two Rufous-bellied Eagles Lophotriorchis kienerii – a sub-adult and a juvenile at the Dairy Farm Nature Park / Singapore Quarry area; the female Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis at Ang Mo Kio on the 5th (another four Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, probably passing through); three Jerdon’s Bazas Aviceda jerdoni were still at Coney Island on the 12th (while another four – two at Sentosa on the 9th, and 2 at Ubin on the 30th were recorded).

There were also four Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus, seven Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus, 17 Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis, 33 Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes,and68 Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhynchus.

GHFE, 060322, Ulu Pandan, Julian Wong

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Ulu Pandan, 2 Mar 2022, by Julian Wong.

Highlights for sedentary species:

Breeding-related activities were observed for four resident raptor species. The two chicks of the Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus nest at Turut Track had fledged and were seen grabbing prey from their parent’s talons in mid-air on the 26th. The chick of the Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus nest at East Coast Park had also fledged by the 11th. A chick of the Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus fledged at the Dairy Farm area on the 9th. And there were two nests of the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster – one at Lorong Halus had 1 chick, while the one at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve had 2 chicks.

March was a good month for the Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela, with records from Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 5th (adult), Kent Ridge Park on the 15th (adult), Pasir Ris Park on the 16th, Telok Blangah on the 17th, Goldhill Avenue on the 20th, Changi Business Park on the 24th (immature), Botanic Gardens on the 25th (adult), and Choa Chu Kang park on the 28th. The other diurnal resident raptors recorded were the Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus, and Grey-headed Fish Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus, both reported from various localities.

At Hampstead Wetlands on the 12th, an adult Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupu was on the ground ‘sunning’ its feathers, and it was apparently a daily routine. In the leafy compounds at the zoo, two Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo were spotted in late March.

BFO, posted 310322, sunning, Wong Sangmen

Buffy Fish Owl ‘sunning’ its feathers on the ground, Hampstead Wetlands, 31 Mar 2022, by Wong Sangmen.

Table 1

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – March 2022

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Lam SG, Julian Wong, and Wong Sangmen for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – February 2022

BB, 060222, Nanyang Crescent, Chen Boon Chong

Black Baza, at Nanyang Crescent, 6 Feb 2022, by Chen Boon Chong

Summary for migrant species:

In February 2022, 156 raptors of eleven migrant species were recorded. The highlight is the report of a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus at Yishun Dam on the first weekend of the month. The juvenile Black Kite Milvus migrans at Neo Tiew area was still around until the 20th, and the juvenile Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus wintering at Telok Blangah Hill Park was still around on the 25th.

Two Rufous-bellied Eagles Lophotriorchis kienerii were recorded – the sub-adult from last month was recorded on the 2nd & 3rd at the Jalan Asas area, while a newly arrived juvenile was recorded at the same area throughout the month. Only three Chinese Sparrowhawks Accipiter soloensis were recorded – the wintering female at Ang Mo Kio, one at Lower Peirce on the 2nd, and another at Sentosa on the 21st. Of the four Jerdon’s Bazas Aviceda jerdoni, two were at Pulau Ubin on the 2nd, and another two at Coney Island on the 3rd.

There were also six Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus, mostly along the northern coast, and ten Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis. Rounding up the migrant raptors were 12 Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus. 20 Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes, and 94 Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhynchus.

Osprey, 020222, Kranji Rd, Angie Cheong

Western Osprey, Kranji Road, 2 Feb 2022, by Angie Cheong.

Highlights for sedentary species:

Breeding-related activities were observed for five resident raptor species. At West Coast Park on the 4th, a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles Haliaeetus leucogaster were nest-building. At NTU on the 6th, the Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus was carrying nesting material. At Turut Track on the 18th, a nest of the Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus contained two chicks. At East Coast Park, a nest of the Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus held one chick in white down on the 17th, and the chick appeared juvenile-like on the 28th.

For the Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus, there were three separate breeding-related activities. At West Coast Park on the 7th, an adult was tearing up prey to feed its chick on a nest, and on the next day, the chick was perched outside the nest; at Pasir Ris Park, the pair whose two chicks fledged in January, mated again on the 11th (after the male offered the female a junglefowl chick) and 21st; while at Bukit Panjang Park on the 23rd, an adult brought prey to a fledgling, with another fledgling perched at the nest.

RBE, 050222, Jln Asas, Chen Boon Chong

Rufous-bellied Eagle juvenile, Jalan Asas, 5 Feb 2022, by Chen Boon Chong

Six Crested Serpent Eagles Spilornis cheela were recorded, two at Pulau Ubin on the 3rd, including an immature that had moulted a few primaries into adult type feathers; two adults at Holland Plains on the 9th; one at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 11th; and one at Goldhill Avenue on the 20th.

An adult ernesti Peregrine Falcon was photographed at Shenton Way on the 22nd, and there were several records of the Grey-headed Fish Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus, including a juvenile at Potong Pasir. Additionally, a Brahminy Kite was photographed hunting a bat successfully at Rower’s Bay in daylight hours.

For the nocturnal raptors, two Sunda Scops Owl Otus lempiji fledglings were seen with one parent owl at Bukit Batok Nature Park on the 15th; another year and another chick of the Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupu fledged from their nest at Hampstead Wetlands on the 26th; the same goes for the Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo pair at Pasir Ris Park with two chicks fledging on the 17th. In addition, the Spotted Wood Owl was recorded at a few places where records are scarce – Bukit Batok Nature Park on the 15th, Berlayer Creek on the 19th, and St John’s Island on the 27th.

Table 1

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – February 2022

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Chen Boon Chong and Angie Cheong for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – January 2022

Kestrel, 120122, MED, Trevor Teo 1

Common Kestrel, Marina East Drive, 12 Jan 2022, by Trevor Teo

Summary for migrant species:

A number of rare raptors were recorded in January 2022. A Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus showed up at Marina East on 11 Jan 2022 and was present on-and-off through the rest of the month. Another two were detected at Seletar Aerospace Crescent on 15 Jan 2022. The lone Black Kite Milvus migrans at Neo Tiew area was observed between 22 to 30 Jan 2022 (having been there since 12 Dec 2021). On 28 Jan 2022, a Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii was photographed at Dairy Farm Nature Park.

On 12 Jan 2022, two Himalayan Vultures Gyps himalayensis were found heading towards Pasir Ris from Punggol, and one was detected on 13 Dec 2022 at Pasir Ris Park. Five days later, on 18 Jan 2022, a flock of 7-8 were seen near Bayshore Park Condo, and two were recorded at Satay by the Bay. On the morning of 19 Jan 2022, seven of these huge vultures were found roosting on tall trees at Lorong Sesuai. They flew off towards noon time and were not recorded on subsequent days. (there were five of these in December 2021). The lone, weak Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus taken in for veterinary care in December 2021 was released successfully on 10 Jan 2022.

GFB, 310122, TBHP, Julie Edgley, crop

Grey-faced Buzzard, Telok Blangah Hill Park, 31 Jan 2022, by Julie Edgley

Three uncommon species of raptors were recorded in January 2022. These included the juvenile Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus wintering at Telok Blangah Hill Park; four Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni at Coney Island (15 Jan 2022) and one at Tampines Eco Green (3 – 27 Jan 2022); single Chinese Sparrowhawks Accipiter soloensis at Skyville at Dawson on 9 Jan 2022, NTU on 10 Jan 2022, the site faithful adult female at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West on 15 Jan 2022, and another at Lorong Halus Wetlands on 15 and 30 Jan 2022.

Black Kite, 300122, Bollywood veggies, Chen Boon Chong

Black Kite, Neo Tiew Road, 30 Jan 2022, by Chen Boon Chong

Seventeen Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis, 45 Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes and 67 migrant Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus were recorded at various locations. Three Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus, and nine migrant Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were also recorded.

Highlights for sedentary species:

Breeding-related activities were noted for four resident species. A pair of Black-winged Kites Elanus caeruleus, was nesting at Turut Track. For the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, the pair comprising an adult female and an immature male was in a mating position at Pasir Ris Park on 3 Jan 2022 (they were in a similar position on 25 Dec 2021). At Pasir Ris Park, the two chicks of the  Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus fledged on 4 Jan 2022, and the pair at Pepys Road nested again. One juvenile Grey-headed Fish Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus fledged from its nest at Little Guilin in mid January and the nesting started in October 2021, with the chick first seen in early December 2021.

The rare Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela was recorded at Kranji Marsh only, on 23 and 30 Jan 2022. An adult ernesti Peregrine Falcon was photographed at the ‘supertrees’ at Gardens by the Bay on 9 Jan 2022. A male torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzard was recorded at Sentosa on 30 Jan 2022. The other diurnal resident raptors recorded included the Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus, and Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus.

Barn Owl, 180122, Blk 833, Tampines St 83, Angie Cheong

Eastern Barn Owl, Tampines Street 83, 18 Jan 2022, by Angie Cheong

For the nocturnal raptors, an Eastern Barn Owl Tyto javanica was recorded at Tampines Street 83 on 18 Jan 2022; the Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo pair at Pasir Ris were nesting again and two chicks were noted on 29 Jan 2022; and for the Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupu a family with one recently fledged juvenile was observed at Jurong Lake Gardens south promenade on 5 Jan 2022, while another juvenile was recorded at NTU on 25 Jan 2022.

Table 1

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Trevor Teo, Chen Boon Chong, and Angie Cheong for the use of their photos.

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – January 2022 v2

Asian Pied Starling – first successful breeding record

TGC_9113_02,-Pied-Myna-juv,-composite,-1080v

A juvenile Asian Pied Starling begging to be fed as its parent approached with food, Sungei Tengah Road, 18 Feb 2022, by Tan Gim Cheong

On 18 Feb 2022, an adult Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra was seen feeding on the flowers of a few African Tulip trees along Sungei Tengah Road. Closer observation revealed 2 juveniles hiding in the lower levels of the trees. Occasionally, the juveniles could be heard begging for food, partially lowering and vibrating their wings as they begged. From time to time, the adults would fly towards the juveniles to feed them. Apart from a mole cricket, the adults also brought a caterpillar and other small unidentified invertebrate prey.

This is the first known successful breeding of the Asian Pied Starling, which is listed as a rare escapee (Lim, 2009). The first record was of three birds at Choa Chu Kang on 7 November 1987, followed by one at Sarimbun Scout Camp on 19 March 1989, and Kranji Reservoir on 30 December 1989. All to the west.

After almost 20 years, another was spotted at Changi reclaimed land on 29 November 2008, the only time it was spotted in the east. Then on 5 November 2010, one individual was photographed at Neo Tiew Lane 2, and a different bird photographed at NSRCC (Kranji), back in the west.

On 29 Jan 2012 and 3 Feb 2012, three birds were photographed at NSRCC (Kranji) where a nest was built but subsequently abandoned. Fast forward to 2020, two birds were photographed at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane – Turut Track – Kranji Marsh area in January and February. In May and June of 2020, up to two birds were recorded at Jurong Lake Gardens.

In March 2021, one bird was detected at Jurong Lake Gardens. Then in November & December 2021, two birds were recorded at Sungei Tengah Road / Peng Siang River area. Subsequently, there were no reports of the species until this present sighting of two adults feeding two juveniles on 18 February 2022.

Reference: Lim, K. S. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).