Japanese Sparrowhawk, Pasir Ris Park, 20 September 2021, by Philip Chua
A total of 8 JapaneseSparrowhawksAccipiter gularis were recorded in September, with the first arrival on 20 September; one individual was not aged, while the other seven were all adults. At Henderson Waves, there were 30 unidentified sparrowhawks on 24 September.
A total of 34 observations were made for the Oriental Honey BuzzardPernis ptilorhyncus during the July to September period : 10 in July, 7 in August and 17 in September. As with the previous year, where photographs were available, the honey buzzards could be aged as sub-adults (2nd calendar year), right up to end September, these being over-summering birds. Moult of the primaries (feathers) progressed from 4-5 new primaries in July, to 5-6 new primaries in August, to 6-7 new primaries in September, consistent with last year’s observation. Although one individual had 7 new primaries on 14 August, it was probably not exceptional.
An adult torquatusOriental Honey Buzzard was photographed at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park on 23 July, while a juvenile with uniform plumage was photographed at Thomson Nature Park on 7 September.
Two Peregrine FalconsFalco peregrinus of the ernesti subspecies were recorded – one adult photographed at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve flying towards Johor on 21 July, and another adult photographed at Marina East on 29 July. The ernesti at Fort Canning on 29 July might have been the same individual as the Marina East falcon.
The Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus, a regular during this time of the year, was recorded at Pulau Ubin (29 July), Yishun Dam (21 August) and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (5 September).
Changeable Hawk-Eagle with a Changeable Lizard held by its beak and another in its right talons, Neo Tiew Harvest Lane, 11 August 2021, by Sim Chip Chye
For the resident raptors, the great rarity was the lone Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius, discovered by Art Toh and Tang Choon Siang on 9 July at Jalan Mashhor, and which made brief appearances on the next two days before disappearing. The rare Crested Serpent EagleSpilornis cheela was only recorded twice – an adult photographed at Pulau Ubin on 7 August, and another adult photographed at Kent Ridge Park on 6 September.
There were nesting-related records for a number of species of diurnal raptors. At Seletar, a pair of Black-winged KitesElanus caeruleus was nest-building and mated in mid-August; while a pair of Brahminy KitesHaliastur Indus mated on 31 August and were adding sticks to their nest on 24 September.
At Little Guilin, a pair of Grey-headed Fish EaglesHaliaeetus ichthyaetusmated in late August. Their fledgling of a few months is probably about to become independent. At Pasir Ris Park, a pair of Crested GoshawksAccipiter trivirgatus comprising an adult male and a rather young (sub-adult) female mated on 19, 21, 24 and 28 July, as well as 9 August; while a different pair of adults mated on 25 September. For the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leocogaster, a juvenile was still at the vicinity of the nest on a tall tree at Singapore General Hospital on 5 August.
Throughout these 3 months, a dark morph Changeable Hawk-EagleNisaetus cirrhatus had been frequenting Pasir Ris Park, catching a feral Junglefowl hen on 1 August. Another individual at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane caught two Changeable Lizards on 11 August.
Brown Hawk-Owl, with yellow left iris and orange right iris, Mandai Track 7, 15 August 2021, by Vincent Yip
For nocturnal raptors, a fledgling Sunda Scops OwlOtus lempiji was photographed at Mandai Track 7 on 16 July. At Pasir Ris Park, the two juvenile Spotted Wood OwlsStrix seloputo which left the nest in April were still with their parents on 21 August. At Hindhede Nature Park, the family of four Brown Hawk-OwlsNinox scutulata (found in June) were recorded again on 4 July and 2 August.
On 7 August, HP Tan photographed an interesting looking fish owl that appeared to be the Brown x Buffy Fish Owl hybrid offspring of the mixed Brown Fish Owl and Buffy Fish Owl pair recorded in February 2021.
This appears to be the hybrid Brown Fish Owl x Buffy Fish Owl offspring, Hindhede Nature Park, 7 August 2021, by HP Tan
At Yishun, a pair of Buffy Fish OwlsKetupa ketupu mated on 1 September. Unfortunately, on 16 September, one of the owls was found in the monsoon drain, appeared to be weak and would probably have floated away with the shallow water had it not been rescued.
At Mandai Track 7, an interesting Brown Hawk-Owl had yellow iris on the left eye and orange iris on the right eye. At Jalan Asas, an adult Barred Eagle OwlBubo sumatranus was recorded on 19 July and 23 July.
Many thanks to everyone for their records, and to Philip Chua, Sim Chip Chye, Vincent Yip and HP Tan for the use of their photos.
The Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius was previously classified as a resident breeder as there had been specimens collected from Singapore as well as records since the 1920s and up to the 1990s (Lim 2009) but is likely to have become extirpated thereafter. It was re-categorized by the Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee, or NSSBGRC, as a non-breeding visitor as there have been no confirmed breeding record and no confirmed sightings for thirty years (Lim 2021). The Black-thighed Falconet was put into Category B, a category for wild birds, resident, visitor or vagrant, that have not been recorded for thirty years. In 2021 alone, however, there were three separate records of Black-thighed Falconet and as a result, it was re-instated in Category A by NSSBGRC.
Global Range, Habitat Requirements, Altitudinal Range, Breeding Habits and Conservation Status of Black-thighed Falconet
The Black-thighed Falconet is a monotypic species first described by Drapiez in 1824. It is one of five falconets in the world, all of which occur in southern China, South and Southeast Asia. Its natural range spans the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java. Its habitat is primary and secondary forests (including on limestone), edges of forests, rubber plantations, fruit orchards, cultivated land, parkland and wooded gardens up to 1,700 m (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2000, Lim et al 2020, Wells 1999). The Black-thighed Falconet occurs as a common resident in most parts of its range and it is not known to undertake any movements (Robson 2000). In north Borneo, this species is replaced by the endemic White-fronted Falconet M. latifrons (Myers 2009).
In the Thai-Malay Peninsula, it breeds from November to July (Khoo 2021, Wells 1999). Nests are usually in tree cavities abandoned by woodpeckers and larger barbets, mostly in dead trees. In a site monitored in Perak, Malaysia, birds used a cavity in a limestone outcrop and nested successfully (Khoo 2021). Clutch size is three to six. The young remain with their parents for at least two months after fledging (Khoo 2021, Wells 1999). It breeds from December to June in Borneo (Myers 2009). There is also evidence of communal feeding by birds other than parents, possibly by older siblings, and birds have also been seen to use old nest cavities as communal roost sites (Khoo 2021).
The Black-thighed Falconet is treated as “least concern” by IUCN (BirdLife International 2016).
Identification and Ecology of Black-thighed Falconet
The Black-thighed Falconet is one of the smallest raptors in the world at 15-17 cm in length from bill tip to tail tip. It is the same size as the White-fronted Falconet but smaller than Collared and Pied Falconets and has the distinction of being the smallest bird of prey of the world! In comparison, the Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala measures 15-17 cm, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus moluccensis, 13 cm and Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier measures 19-21 cm. Females are slightly larger than males and an adult weighs about 43 g (Wells 1999). In terms of its jizz, the Black-thighed Falconet has a big-headed, stout-bodied appearance with a medium-sized tail.
The small size of the falconet makes it hard to confuse with other birds although distance may make identification challenging as this species usually hawks from tall trees. It is mostly black on the head, eyestripe, ear patch, upperparts, bill, leg and tail, with mostly white on forehead, eyebrow and underparts, and orange-rufous on throat and lower breast to vent. Juveniles show pinkish horn bill and cere, rusty eyebrow and ear stripe, pale fine edges to upperparts and less rufous on lower underparts.
Its flight is rapid and direct, with fast wingbeats and sharp pointed wings, often accompanied by short periods of gliding.
Its voice is a shrill squeal kweer-week (Wells 1999).
Black-thighed Falconets hunt socially or alone, making sorties from a dead tree. Its diet is mainly arthropods, typically termites, butterflies and moths, dragonflies, carpenter bees, beetles, mantids, grasshoppers and cicadas, birds such as House Swift Apus nipalensis, sunbirds and munias, mammals such as bats and rats, and geckos (Khoo 2021, Wells 1999). Prey is usually snatched on the wing, occasionally from the ground, to be consumed from a perch, and there is evidence that falconets choose flowering trees with an abundance of nectar feeders to hunt (Wells 1999).
Birds indulge in head bobbing and tail wagging in close proximity and allo-preening has been observed (Wells 1999).
Historical Status of the Black-thighed Falconet in Singapore
The earliest reference to the occurrence of the Black-thighed Falconet in Singapore can be found in Bucknill & Chasen (1927) who stated that it “sometimes visit Singapore”. Gibson-Hill (1950) mentioned that it was “resident in small numbers” while RAFOS (1966-1969) and Tweedy (1970) mentioned the existence of several records in the 1960s.
There were no records until almost two decades when I found the first of four sight records within a period of seven years, all from a dead durian tree in my wooded garden in Jalan Ulu Sembawang in the north of Singapore. All records were of singles and included a juvenile seen on the following dates – 11 October 1979, 2 October 1983, 1 December 1983 and 12 April 1986 (Lim 1992). These records indicate the presence of a small and possibly breeding resident population in the area or that of non-breeding visitors from nearby Johor state, Malaysia. There were no further records from this site which was resettled and developed as part of the new Sembawang Estate in the early 1990s. Our most recent record was an adult seen on a dead tree, near the current Ranger’s Station, in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on 7 October 1990 (Lim 2009).
In addition to these records, there were also four unconfirmed records between 1992 and 2005 from Sime Road, Loyang and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There are also nine specimens collected from MacRitchie Reservoir, Jurong and Singapore in the Lee Kong Chian Nature History Museum collection.
Due to the fact that there have been no records for thirty years and also no confirmation of breeding, the Black-thighed Falconet’s status was reviewed by NSSBGRC in early 2020 as no longer fitting that of a wild bird for Category A, which is the category for all wild birds recorded within the last thirty years. It was re-categorised as belong to Category B, which is the category for all wild birds recorded within Singapore but not within the last thirty years (Lim 2021).
As fate would have it, soon after the release of the new checklist, news came of our first sighting of Black-thighed Falconet since 1990. This came from a juvenile that was seen and photographed by Lee Lay Na at a HDB block in Yishun Street 71 on 12 February 2021 (Tan, G.C. & Lim, G. 2021). The report of a juvenile is interesting as it indicates local or regional breeding.
There were two additional records, both also backed by photographs. One was a bird photographed using the top of a tree at Goldhill Avenue on 20 May 2021 by Art Toh (Tan, G.C. 2021) while the second was another adult from Jalan Mashhor on 9 July 2021, reported by Art Toh and Tan Choon Siang, and still present on 12 July 2021, reported by Vincent Lao (Lim, G. et al 2021).
These three sightings from 2021 have the effect of reinstating the Black-thighed Falconet into the Singapore List once again. At the moment, it is probably best considered a rare non-breeding visitor due to the short-term nature of their occurrences in 2021. Hopefully, one day, we will find them nesting in Singapore again.
Birders and bird photographers are much more active than two decades ago. There are people at various locations in Singapore every day and most of them carry some sort of photographic equipment with them. This number of people watching birds daily is bound to yield rewards in the form of documenting the occurrence of rarities as well as species that are either new to Singapore or those thought to have been extirpated. Recent records of Javan Plover and Green Broadbill attest to this increased opportunity of detecting something really sensational!
Would-be falconet seekers are encouraged to focus on sites in the central and north of Singapore, where all confirmed sightings have been made since 1979. Bukit Brown would be another place to pay attention to given the recent record (and nearby, in Goldhill). Searches on Pulau Ubin may also yield results due to the island’s proximity to Malaysia as well as the island’s reputation for attracting Malaysian visitors. Prime habitats to look for this elusive raptor are the edges of forests and woodland as well as areas where there are tall trees or snags.
It is hoped that birders and bird photographers will continue to help us make new discoveries or re-discoveries in the case of the Black-thighed Falconet, the smallest bird of prey in the world.
I would like to thank Yong Ding Li for helpful suggestions with the drafting of this article, Jimmy Chew, Khoo Siew Yoong and Art Toh for the use of their photographs.
BirdLife International. (2016). Microhierax fringillarius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 10 September 2021.
Bucknill, J.A.S & Chasen, F.N. (1927). The birds of Singapore Island. Government Printing Office, Singapore.
Ferguson-Lees & Christie, D.A. (2001). Raptors of the World. Christopher Helm, London.
Gibson-Hill, C.A. (1950). A checklist of the birds of Singapore Island. Bull. Raffles Mus. No. 21: 132-183.
Chinese Sparrowhawk, Sentosa, at an unusually late date – 26 June 2021, by Jared Tan
Six migrant raptor species were recorded during this period compared with four in most other years. A Chinese SparrowhawkAccipiter soloensis photographed by Jared Tan at Sentosa on 25th June came as a huge surprise, as it should have been at its breeding grounds now, and this individual is unseasonally late. The three other records for this species were on 1st April at Telok Blangah Hill Park, 2nd April at Henderson Waves (3 birds), and 9th April at Dairy Farm Nature Park.
The only record for the Black BazaAviceda leuphotes was a flock of 25 at Henderson Waves on 2nd April, recorded by Zac C. In some years, this species is not recorded from April onwards for spring migration.
The twelve Oriental Honey BuzzardPernis ptilorhyncus on 2nd April – eight at Henderson Waves and four at Pinnacle@Duxton – might have been the last migrants to head north for the breeding grounds. There were another 13 records in April, 12 in May and 9 in June, and where photos were available, were all immatures, which would be over-summering here.
Fifty four Japanese SparrowhawksAccipiter gularis were recorded between 1st to 19th April, a high number compared with only five last April. Three Peregrine FalconsFalco peregrinus were recorded, one adult at Bangkit Road on 18th April, one at Chek Jawa on 25th April, and a juvenile at Sembawang from 18th April to 3rd May. Small numbers of Western OspreyPandion haliaetus were also recorded between April to June.
Black-thighed Falconet, practicing its habit of perching at the top of a bare branch, Goldhill Avenue, 30 May 2021, by Art Toh
The biggest surprise came in the form of a tiny Black-thighed FalconetMicrohierax fringillariusphotographed by Art Toh at Goldhill Avenue on 30th May, doing what the species like to do – perching on the top of a bare branch. Unfortunately, it did not stay long. Apart from the juvenile at Yishun in February this year, the last confirmed record for this species was more than 30 years ago, amazing.
The next great find was the first breeding record of the Crested Serpent EagleSpilornis cheela, for which a fresh juvenile was photographed by Tan YinLing on 25th May at Goldhill Avenue. For the next two weeks it appeared on and off alone, and it was only on 8th June that lucky Koh Lian Heng managed to see an adult catching a skink and then passing it to the juvenile before flying off, leaving the juvenile to feed by itself, showing that it had recently fledged and was still dependent on its parents. On 10th June, Zacc HD had the good fortune of seeing the adult serpent eagle holding a snake, and the juvenile flew to the same perch, no doubt to feed on the prey. Other records of the serpent eagle came from Pulau Ubin, on 7th and 10th April, and a sub-adult at Upper Peirce Reservoir on 1st June.
Crested Serpent Eagle, the recently fledged juvenile looking well fed, Goldhill Avenue, 22 June 2021 by Tan Gim Cheong
There were breeding records for five other resident raptors. Three nestlings of the Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus were noted by Lee Chin Pong on 3rd April at Dover Road. On 24th May, three Changeable Hawk-Eagles Nisaetuscirrhatus, an adult and two fresh juveniles, all pale morphs, were photographed at Tampines Avenue 12, where a pair has had a nest for a number of years. On 1st June, a fresh juvenile Grey-headed Fish Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus that was apparently still dependent on its parents for food was photographed by Ash Foo at Little Guilin.The Crested Goshawks Accipiter trivirgatus at Sin Ming raised a second brood and two chicks were noted on 5th April, however one died on 15th April and the remaining chick was seen perching a few metres outside the nest on 23rd April. Another Crested Goshawk nest was discovered at Toa Payoh on 5th May, with an adult on the nest.
There were five nesting records for the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster. The pair at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve bred again this season and two chicks were out of the nest on 30 May. The pair at Fort Canning also bred again, re-using their old nest which held two chicks on 7th June. At Loyang Avenue, an active nest was reported on 25th April, and two fully grown chicks were recorded on 29th May. At Yishun Avenue 1, a nest with two chicks was seen on 26th April, and at West Coast Park, a chick was reported to have made its maiden flight on 23rd June.
Brown Hawk Owl, 2 recently fledged young with an adult (partially hidden on the right), Hindhede Nature Park, 30 June 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong
There were breeding records for five species of nocturnal raptors. A fledgling Barred Eagle-Owl Bubo sumatranus was photographed at Rifle Range Link on 4th April, while two adults, presumably its parents, were seen the day prior at the same locality.
On 19th April, a family of Spotted Wood Owls Strix seloputo with two chicks was spotted at Pasir Ris Park, and one of the chicks was already out of its nest, which was fittingly a bird’s nest fern. The other chick was also out of the nest on 27th April. At Benjamin Shears bridge, a fully grown Eastern Barn Owl Tyto javanicachick was spotted on 27th April, with its parent.
In May, a fledgling Sunda Scops Owl Otus lempiji was photographed at the Botanic Gardens, and the adults were seen bringing food to the young owl. On 26th June, a family of Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata with two fledglings was discovered at Hindhede Nature Park.
On 10th June, the mixed Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensisandBuffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupupair was spotted at Hindhede Quarry, together with their hybrid offspring. This family was first discovered in February 2021.
Many thanks to everyone for posting / sending in / sharing their records, and to Jared Tan & Art Toh for the use of their photos.
After publication of the previous article on the Crested Serpent Eagles at Goldhill, we received many reports from bird watchers and photographers of notable and important sightings of these eagles. We thank you for these records.
We now know that the serpent eagles may have paired up almost two years back in March 2019, thanks to Art Toh’s photo of two adults perched on the same tree.
We may have our final jigsaw piece yesterday (8 June 2021). These are the dramatic photos from Koh Lian Heng showing the adult handing to the juvenile a skink it had captured earlier this afternoon. This is also the first time that both the adult and juvenile were seen together.
The adult capturing the skink at the open field.
According to Lian Heng, the adult flew to a nearby Albizia tree after capturing the skink with both of them calling out. The juvenile could not locate where the adult was despite all the calling. The adult then flew higher up to another branch.
The juvenile flying to meet up with the adult after calling out to each other.
Seeing the adult fly, the juvenile flew in to join the adult. It was then that the adult passed over the skink to the juvenile, and then flew off leaving the juvenile to eat the skink alone.
The adult passing over the skink to the juvenile.
The juvenile with the skink in its talons and was about to tear it with its beak.
Last month on May 28th , MeiLin Khoo related that the adult caught a small monitor lizard and did not eat it. Instead it flew deeper inside the forest with the lizard in the direction where the juvenile was last seen. While both eagles were out of sight, they we calling to each other the whole time.
Many thanks to Koh Lian Heng and MeiLin Khoo for this last pieces of evidence to determine the status of this family of Serpent Eagles.
Jerdon’s Baza, living up to its alternate name Lizard Hawk, feeding on a Changeable Lizard, Coney Island, 19 Mar 2021, by Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan
Summary for migrant species:
In March 2021, 210 raptors of eleven migrant species were recorded. A Black Kite fitted with a transmitter was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 1st, and Singapore Quarry on the 2nd. The only Eastern Marsh Harrier was recorded on a northeastern island on the 5th, and a Rufous-bellied Eagle at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the 6th.
Amazingly, seven Grey-faced Buzzards were reported, one at Kent Ridge Park on the 14th, three on the 15th, two on the 16th, and another at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the 16th, all seemingly on passage. Five Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded, one at Changi Business Park on the 8th and up to four at Coney Island from 17th to 19th.
Chinese Sparrowhawk, immature male, Coney Island, 18 Mar 2021, by Ash Foo
Five Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, singles at Ubin on the 6th, Kent Ridge Park on the 17th, Coney Island on the 17th (female) & 18th (male), and Lorong Halus on the 19th. There were also five Western Ospreys at various locations, including Upper Peirce Reservoir Park, and nine Peregrine Falcons. In addition, there were 31 Black Bazas, 43 Japanese Sparrowhawks,and102 Oriental Honey Buzzards.
A pair of Crested Serpent Eagles mating, the 1st mating record for Singapore, Goldhill Avenue, 7 Mar 2021, Julian Wong
Highlights for sedentary species:
At Goldhill Avenue on the 7th, Julian Wong recorded a video of a pair of Crested Serpent Eagles mating – probably the first record of this species mating in Singapore! Breeding-related activities were also noted for four other diurnal resident raptors. At Seletar, where a pair of Black-winged Kites nested, one adult was seen passing a rat to another adult on the 6th, on the 10th two chicks fledged, and on the 25th and 26th, a fledgling was observed taking prey from the adult in mid-air.
A fledgling Black-winged Kite (left) in the process of taking prey from its parent, in mid-air, Seletar, 26 Mar 2021, by Kelvin Leong
At Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 26th, an adult White-bellied Sea Eagle was sitting on its nest together with two chicks. At Turut Track on the 14th, two Brahminy Kite fledglings were observed. For the Crested Goshawk, the pair at West Coast Park was rebuilding their nest on the 1st and 3rd, and mated on the 4th. At Sin Ming, an adult was sitting on its nest on the 15th, and on the 31st, a chick covered in white down was seen, together with the adult female, in the nest.
White-bellied Sea Eagle, caught a young water monitor lizard, SBWR Eagle Point, 13 Mar 2021, by Lawrence Koh
For nocturnal raptors, a Brown Fish Owl was seen feeding its hybrid chick at Hindhede Nature Park on the 3rd, and a Buffy Fish Owl chick at Hampstead Wetlands fledged on the 14th. There were also two Barred Eagle Owls at Rifle Range Link.
In terms of prey items, a Crested Serpent Eagle at Goldhill Avenue caught two Paradise Tree Snakes at one go, on the 4th; and a juvenile water monitor lizard on the 17th. A White-bellied Sea Eagle at SBWR caught a juvenile water monitor lizard on the 13th.
A Crested Serpent Eagle, catching 2 Paradise Tree Snakes (which may have been mating) at a go, Goldhill Avenue, 4 Mar 2021, by SB Lim
All in, there were eight records of the Crested Serpent Eagle– at Goldhill Avenue, Ubin, Jalan Gemala 2, Kent Ridge Park and Old Holland Road; ten Grey-headed Fish Eagles; 11 Black-winged Kites; 14 Crested Goshawks; ten Changeable Hawk-Eagles; and two torquatusOriental Honey Buzzards.
Grey-headed Fish Eagle, swooping down on a fish, Ulu Pandan, 7 Mar 2021, by Teo Chee Yong
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Kelvin Ng Cheng Kwan, Julian Wong, Ash Foo, Kelvin Leong, Lawrence Koh, Teo Chee Yong and SB Lim for the use of their photos.
Brown Fish Owl, at Hindhede Nature Park, 17 Feb 2021, by Jackie Yeo
The highlight for February 2021 must have been the incredible sighting of the first Brown Fish Owl in Singapore, and the Black-thighed Falconet which had not been seen for decades, more on these later.
Summary for migrant species:
In February 2021, 139 raptors of eight migrant species were recorded. The only Rufous-bellied Eagle wintering in Singapore was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 1st, Woodlands on the 6th, and Hillview MRT vicinity on the 21st. Only two Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, the wintering female at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West on the 12th and 13th, and a male at Lorong Halus Wetlands on the 20th.
Five Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded, singles at Pulau Ubin, Changi Business Park, Pasir Ris Park, Tampines Eco Green, and Lorong Halus-Punggol Waterway area. There were also five Western Ospreys and they were recorded at Changi Business Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Jelutong Tower, and Hindhede Nature Park. Fourteen Peregrine Falcons were recorded, often perched on buildings. There were also 22 Japanese Sparrowhawks, 39 Black Bazas,and51 Oriental Honey Buzzards.
Highlights for sedentary species:
Jackie Yeo was at Hindhede Nature Park on 17 Feb 2021 when he photographed an unusual-looking large brown owl that proved to be a Brown Fish Owl, the first sighting of the species in Singapore. The nearest known population is at northern Peninsular Malaysia, some 500-600 kilometres away. More incredibly, the next day, Vincent Yip photographed the Brown Fish Owl perching next to an almost fully grown hybrid owlet that looked mostly like a young Buffy Fish Owl. Subsequently, the Brown Fish Owl was seen perched next to an adult Buffy Fish Owl, presumably its mate. The mystery deepens when Jan Tan checked her photos of an unusual-looking owl taken at nearby Singapore Quarry on 3 Aug 2019, one and a half years ago, and discovered that it was a Brown Fish Owl!
Brown Fish Owl, at Singapore Quarry, 3 Aug 2019, by Jan Tan
The other amazing occurrence was that of a juvenile Black-thighed Falconet that was found by Lee Lay Na, perched on the parapet of an HDB flat in Yishun Street 71, on 12 Feb 2021, as if to welcome the first day of the Lunar New Year. The last confirmed record for the falconet was more than 30 years ago.
Black-thighed Falconet, perched on HDB parapet at Yishun Street 71, 12 Feb 2021, by Lee Lay Na
Breeding-related activities were noted for three other species. At least one chick was observed in the nest of a pair of Black-winged Kites at Seletar on the 28th. Separate pairs of White-bellied Sea Eagles were observed on their respective nests at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 6th, and Fort Canning on the 20th. For the Buffy Fish Owl, a fledgling was observed with its parents at Yishun on the 4th & 9th, another owlet at Jurong Lake Gardens had fledged from its nest (a Bird’s Nest Fern) by the 6th, and yet another owlet was observed in its nest (another Bird’s Nest Fern) along Hampstead Gardens on the 6th and 8th.
One adult ernestiPeregrine Falcon was recorded in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens on the 25th. There were four records of the Crested Serpent Eagle– at SBWR, Chek Jawa, Goldhill Avenue, and Kent Ridge Park. Ten Grey-headed Fish Eagles, 12 Black-winged Kites, 17 Crested Goshawks, and eight Changeable Hawk-Eagles were also recorded. Finally, one Barred Eagle Owl was recorded at Rifle Range Link, while one Spotted Wood Owl was recorded at Goldhill Avenue, Satay by the Bay, and Pasir Ris Park.
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Jackie Yeo, Jan Tan, and Lee Lay Na for the use of their photos.
Western Osprey, at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin, 29 Jan 2021, by Tan Gim Cheong
Summary for migrant species:
The end of the month seemed to be a good time for scarce migrants. A Himalayan Vulture was photographed in flight at Marina East on the 30th, a Black Kite photographed at Changi Boardwalk on the 31st, and an Oriental Scops Owl photographed at the vicinity of Hindhede Nature Park on the 30th.
The wintering juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle was spotted at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 6th and 31st. Only one Chinese Sparrowhawk was recorded, at Telok Blangah Hill Park on the 3rd. Two Jerdon’s Baza were still around the Changi Business Park canal in January.
Oriental Honey Buzzard, adult male, 30 Jan 2021, Pelton Canal, by Saravanan Krishnamurthy.
Four Western Ospreys were around at the northern areas, thirteen Peregrine Falcons were recorded, often perched on buildings. Of the 61 migrant Oriental Honey Buzzards, one at Changi Business Park on the 17th & 18th appeared to be a juvenile ruficollis. Finally, there were 15 Japanese Sparrowhawks, and 37 Black Bazas.
Oriental Honey Buzzard, this appears to be a juvenile ruficollis, 17 Jan 2021, Changi Business Park canal, by Peter Wong.
Highlights for sedentary species:
Breeding-related activities were noted for four species. Two chicks of the Brahminy Kite were observed on a nest at West Coast Park on the 23rd. On the 30th, mating was observed for a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. At Pasir Ris Park on the 3rd, it appeared that the Crested Goshawks had built a new nest; in the middle of the month, there were two newly fledged juvenile goshawks at West Coast Park; and another two at Sin Ming Drive. And for the Buffy Fish Owl, the owlet at SBWR had fledged and was seen outside the nest on the 9th; at Jurong Lake Garden, another owlet was seen on its nest on the 20th, with an adult nearby; and at Yishun on the 23rd, another recently fledged juvenile.
White-bellied Sea Eagle, in flight with a half-eaten prey (possibly an eel), SBWR, 16 Jan 2021, by Teo Chee Yong.
There were six records of the Crested Serpent Eagle– at Jalan Anak Bukit, Goldhill Avenue, Pasir Ris Park, Admiralty Park, Botanic Gardens, and Pulau Ubin. One torquatusOriental Honey Buzzard was recorded – a male on the 8th at the Botanic Gardens. Ten Grey-headed Fish Eagles were recorded, all near water, eleven Black-winged Kites and twelve Changeable Hawk-Eagles were also recorded. Unfortunately, one dark morph Changeable Hawk-Eagle was found dead in the grounds of a condominium on the 27th, possibly a casualty of ‘window-strike’. Finally, one Barred Eagle Owl was recorded at Rifle Range Link on the 6th and two on the 27th, while two Spotted Wood Owls were seen at Pulau Ubin on the 22nd.
Crested Goshawk, juvenile, 22 Jan 2021, Sin Ming, by Wong Sangmen.
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Teo Chee Yong, Peter Wong, Saravanan Krishnamurthy, and Wong Sangmen for the use of their photos.
Peregrine Falcon, juvenile, feeding on a Rock Dove, Woodlands, 8 Dec 2020, by Esther Ong
Summary for migrant species:
Quite a few scarce migrants were recorded in December. A juvenile Eastern Marsh Harrier was flying at Neo Tiew Harvest Link on the 1st, and an adult male flying over the Botanic Gardens on the 7th. On the 10th, a Black Kite was photographed over Pulau Ubin. A Greater Spotted Eagle in flight at Changi Business Park on the 8th, and another at Lazarus Island on the 25th, flying towards Sentosa, harassed by the resident Brahminy Kites. On the 30th, a Common Buzzard was photographed at the field opposite Ghim Moh market. As for the nocturnal Oriental Scops Owl, one was at Botanic Gardens on the 6th, and another at Mandai Track 15 on the 30th.
Greater Spotted Eagle, Changi Business Park, 8 Dec 2020, by KW Seah
Oriental Scops Owl, Mandai Track 15, 30 Dec 2020, by Julie Edgley
The wintering juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was spotted at the Botanic Gardens on the 6th, and at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 30th. Only 3 Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, an adult female wintering at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, plus a male and a juvenile at Coney Island.
Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, caught a Blue-tailed Bee-eater, by Jasman Ashar
Of the 6 Western Ospreys, 3 were flying over Mandai Track 15 on the 3rd. Ten migrant Peregrine Falcons were recorded, two adults and eight juveniles, often on the rooftop or ledges of upper stories of tall buildings.
Western Osprey, at Seletar Island, 14 Dec 2020, by Lester Tan
There were 11 Jerdon’s Bazas, three at Pulau Ubin on the 10th, six at Coney Island on the 11th, one at Pasir Ris, and one at Changi Business Park. Finally, there were 25 Japanese Sparrowhawks, one of which caught a Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 54 Black Bazas and 79 migrant Oriental Honey Buzzards.
OHB, Neo Tiew Harvest Lane, Dec 2020, by Lo Wai Munn
Highlights for sedentary species:
Breeding-related activities were noted for several species. A Changeable Hawk-Eagle was standing on a nest in the vicinity of Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 6th. The Black-winged Kite pair at Seletar was building their nest on the 12th, 20th and 27th, and were harassed by crows. The pair of Brahminy Kites at West Coast Park was perched near their nest on the 25th. A White-bellied Sea Eagle at Jalan Asas was flying about with nesting materials on the 2nd.
Crested Goshawk, chasing away an Oriental Pied Hornbill near its nest, Pasir Ris Park, Dec 2020, by Soumen Mondal
The Crested Goshawk pair at Pasir Ris was nestbuilding on the 27th, and mated on the 30th, and had to chase away the neighbourhood Oriental Pied Hornbills when these came close to their nest. And for the Buffy Fish Owl, a pair mated on the 2nd and another pair at SBWR had a chick on nest on the 20th.
Grey-headed Fish Eagle, adult, harassing a Purple Heron in its territory, Ulu Pandan Park Connector, 13 Dec 2020, by Roland Chan
At Ulu Pandan park connector on the 13th, the resident Grey-headed Fish Eagle was seen attacking a Purple Heron that was fishing in the eagle’s territory. At SBWR Eagle Point on the 15th, two White-bellied Sea Eagles were tussling in the air over a fish, with one eagle upside down mid-air.
White-bellied Sea Eagles tussling over a fish (in left foot of bottom eagle), SBWR Eagle Point, 15 Dec 2020, by CK Theng.
The Crested Serpent Eagle was recorded at Goldhill Avenue, Pasir Ris and Ubin. The Changeable Hawk-Eagles reminded us of their presence by putting up a good show, allowing for good photos of the dark morph, pale morph and juvenile pale morph.
Changeable Hawk-Eagle, dark morph, Pasir Ris Park, 26 Dec 2020, by Chen Boon Chong
Changeable Hawk-Eagle, juv. pale morph, Pasir Ris Park, 26/12/2020, by Chen Boon Chong
Changeable Hawk-Eagle, adult pale morph, Dairy Farm NP, 31 Dec 2020, by Angie Cheong
An adult ernestiPeregrine Falcon was present at Jurong West on the 2nd and 4th. Five torquatusOriental Honey Buzzards were recorded – at the Botanic Gardens, a male on the 6th, and a female on the 7th; another male flew by Jelutong Tower on the 7th and Neo Tiew Harvest Lane on the 13th; yet a different male at Pasir Ris on the 22nd; and an immature at Springleaf on the 26th.
Oriental Honey Buzzard, adult female torquatus subspecies, Botanic Gardens, 7 Dec 2020, by Tan Eng Boo
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Esther Ong, CK Theng, Lester Tan, Tan Eng Boo, Lo Wai Munn, Jasman Ashar, KW Seah, Julie Edgley, Roland Chan, Soumen Mondal, Chen Boon Chong, and Angie Cheong for the use of their photos.
Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, adult, on 25 Nov 2020, at Jalan Asas, by Tan Gim Cheong
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.
Northern Boobook, 1 Nov 2020, Tuas Bay Lane, by Ken Ng
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.
Besra, juvenile, at Henderson Waves, 8 Nov 2020, by Adrian Silas Tay
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.
Jerdon’s Baza, Changi Business Park, 24 Nov 2020, by Wong Sangmen
Common Kestrel, Tuas View Crescent, 14 Nov 2020, by Martti Siponen
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.
Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, juvenile, Botanic Gardens, 1 Nov 2020, by Derrick Wong
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.
Pied Harrier, juvenile, Choa Chu Kang christian cemetery, 8 Nov 2020, by Choong YT
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.
Eastern Marsh Harrier, juvenile, showing the long unfeathered tarsus of harriers, Pasir Ris Park, 5 Nov 2020, by Tan Eng Boo
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.
Common Buzzard, juvenile, at Henderson Waves, 14 Nov 2020, by SeeToh Yew Wai
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.
Chinese Sparrowhawk, male, Coney Island, 14 Nov 2020, by Ngo Lih Yee
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.
Japanese Sparrowhawk, Telok Blangah Hill Park, 13 Nov 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong
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.
Black Baza, Pasir Ris Park, 14 Nov 2020, by Tan Chuan Yean
Oriental Honey Buzzard with falconry jesses on both tarsus, Henderson Waves, 20 Nov 2020, by Zacc HD
Highlights for sedentary species:
Grey-headed Fish Eagle, juvenile, at Hindhede Quarry, 6 Nov 2020, by Tan Chuan Yean
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.
Crested Serpent Eagle, Pulau Ubin, 26 Nov 2020, by Tay Kian Guan
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.
Brahminy Kite, one of two chicks on the nest at Seletar, 20 Nov 2020, by Michael Phua
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.
White-bellied Sea Eagle, Jalan Asas, 29 Nov 2020, by Philip Ng
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.
Buffy Fish Owls, mating, at Seletar, 27 Nov 2020, by Lee Hew-Son
Black-winged Kites, mating, Neo Tiew Harvest Lane, 30 Nov 2020, by Desmond Yap
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.
Abbreviations 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.
Greater Spotted Eagle, juvenile, at Telok Blangah Hill Park, 30 Oct 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong
Summary for migrant species:
October 2020 was exceptional with 15 migrant raptors species recorded. In contrast, 11 species were recorded in the month of October in the last two years. Thanks much to ardent raptor fans spending time at Henderson Waves and elsewhere. A total of 1768 migrant raptors were recorded, more than twice the number for October 2019, with another 10 unidentified raptors and 393 unidentified accipiters, many of which were probably migrants.
The most remarkable record for October 2020 was the Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteo at Henderson Waves on 23 Oct 2020, reported by Zacc HD, Oliver Tan, Ginny Cheang, Veronica Foo and many others. It was our second record and the only one photographed, a great rarity indeed.
Eurasian Hobby, juvenile, at Henderson Waves, 23 Oct 2020, by Zacc HD
Eurasian Hobby, juvenile, at Henderson Waves, 23 Oct 2020, by Zacc HD
A few other rarities were also recorded. These included two Greater Spotted EaglesClanga clanga: a distant juvenile photographed at St John’s Island on the 29th, and another closer juvenile at Telok Blangah Hill Park the next day (30th). Two Black KitesMilvus migrans(lineatus) were photographed, a juvenile at Pinnacle@Duxton on the 19th by Angie Cheong, and another juvenile at Taman Jurong on the 30th by Alok Mishra.
One sub-adult Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii was photographed at Bukit Timah summit on the 23rd by Martin Kennewell and again, two days later, on the 25th, at Dairy Farm Nature Park, by Krishna Gr. A juvenile Pied HarrierCircus melanoleucos was photographed at Neo Tiew Harvest Link on the 29th, by Choong YT and Alfred Chia’s relative.
Both the Common KestrelsFalco tinnunculus were recorded at Henderson waves, one on the 24th and the other on the 29th, in both instances by many observers. Four Eastern Marsh HarriersCircus spilonotus were recorded on passage: an immature male at Henderson Waves on the 17th, a juvenile at Henderson Waves on the 21st, a male at Kranji Marsh on the 25th, and another juvenile at Henderson Waves on the 31st.
Eastern Marsh Harrier, juvenile, at Henderson Waves, 21 Oct 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong
The four pale morph Common BuzzardsButeo buteo were recorded over a period of just three consecutive days: one on the 29th, one on the 30th and two on the 31st, all at Henderson Waves. The individual recorded at Skyville @Dawson on the 31st could also have passed over Henderson Waves. (Note: the various subspecies are ‘lumped’ as Buteo buteo in the NSS bird checklist).
Up to eight Western OspreysPandion haliatus were recorded, one each at Chek Jawa, Seletar Country Club and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and the rest at Henderson Waves and nearby Dawson. Eleven migrant Peregrine FalconsFalco peregrinus were reported – from Bukit Batok transimission towers, Tuas South, Henderson Waves, Dairy Farm, Sembawang Park, Lazarus Island, and adults on the roof top of apartment blocks at Bedok South, Jurong East and Taman Jurong.
Peregrine Falcon, adult, at Bedok South, 22 Oct 2020, by Derrick Wong
It was a good month for the uncommon Grey-faced Buzzards Butastur indicus with a record number of 31 birds – singles at Jelutong Tower on the 23rd, Henderson Waves on the 25th & 29th, Lazarus Island on the 29th, and Pasir Ris Park on the 30th; plus 22 at Henderson Waves on the 30th (the highest number in a single day for the species), and another four on the 31st at the same site.
Grey-faced Buzzard, adult, at Lazarus Island, 29 Oct 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong
The most numerous migrant raptors were the 716 Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus, including 103 birds at Henderson Waves on the 30th, 76 at Kusu Island on the 13th, and 70 at Tuas South on the 22nd.
They were followed by an exceptionally high 587 for the Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis, the highest single month count for the species. This included 104 birds at Kusu Island on the 13th, the highest single day count for the species. A mixed kettle of 29 sparrowhawks at Kusu Island included 25 Japanese Sparrowhawks, gaining height before crossing the sea towards the Riau Islands, Indonesia.
248 Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes were recorded, including 114 birds on the 30th and 122 birds on the 31st, both at Henderson Waves. Lastly, 144 Chinese Sparrowhawks Accipiter soloensis were recorded, another highest number in a month; of these, 36 were recorded at Henderson Waves on the 30th.
Oriental Honey Buzzard, torquatus male, note the male tail pattern and yellow eyes (red eyes for male orientalis), at Telok Blangah Hill Park, 21 Oct 2020, by Tan Gim Cheong
Highlights for sedentary species:
Four Oriental Honey Buzzards of the torquatus subspecies were recorded: a tweeddale morph at Henderson Waves on the 13th, and the same individual at Bedok South on the 23rd; a male at Pasir Ris Park on the 15th; another male at Telok Blangah Hill Park and Henderson Waves from the 21st to 25th; and a juvenile at Pasir Ris Park from the 21st to 24th. Two Peregrine Falcons of the resident ernesti subspecies were recorded: one at Ulu Pandan on the 4th and another in the Central Business District on the 16th.
The other resident raptors recorded included ten Black-winged Kites; ten Grey-headed Fish Eagles; 11 CrestedGoshawks, 11 Changeable Hawk-Eagles; and the common Brahminy Kite and White-bellied Sea Eagle. There was also a record of the infrequently encountered Eastern Barn Owl, a nocturnal bird of prey, at Pasir Ris Seashell Park on the 23rd.
Breeding-related activities were recorded for four resident species. An adult White-bellied Sea Eagle was seen on its nest on Pulau Ubin on the 6th. For the Brahminy Kite, an adult flew into its nest at Seletar on the 18th; one adult each, at West Coast Park on the 19th, and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 29th, was flying with a stick in its beak, probably for nestbuilding. A pair of Black-winged Kites at Seletar was observed to have mated on the 3rd, 7th, 10th and 13th; and another pair at Neo Tiew mated on the 11th.
As for the Crested Goshawks, an adult was flying with a stick at West Coast Park on the 19th & 22nd, and the pair mated on the 30th, but the nest was subsequently abandoned; at Pasir Ris Park, an adult was sitting on the nest on the 22nd, with its mate perched on an adjacent tree, this pair had to regularly defend their nest from the oriental pied hornbills that roam the park; and the pair at Bukit Chandu had two chicks in their nest on the 30th.
Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Zacc HD and Derrick Wong for the use of their photos.