Category Archives: Raptor Report

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2016

Peregrine, 280316, SBWR, Francis Yap

Peregrine Falcon, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, 28 Mar 16, by Francis Yap.

Summary for migrant species:

In March, 41 raptors of 8 migrant species were recorded. The Oriental Honey Buzzard, with 15 birds, reclaimed the top spot from the Black Baza which was represented by 10 birds. Six Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded but there were no records of the Chinese Sparrowhawk. Four Ospreys were recorded; apart from the usual locations along the northern shores and the Central Catchment, one individual was recorded at Marina Bay.

Three Peregrine Falcons were recorded; none of the resident race. The male Common Kestrel wintering at Punggol Barat was still around on the 10th. A rare Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, a juvenile, was photographed at Springleaf on the 31st.

Once again, a Northern Boobook, seemingly on its way back north, was photographed at Tuas South on the 8th, resting in a small stand of low trees surrounded by grassland and factories, not the kind of habitat for the resident Brown Hawk Owl!

Addendum to February 2016 Singapore Raptor Report:

The Northern Boobook previously reported (seen and photographed) at Pasir Ris Park on 31 Jan, 1 Feb and 2 Feb was also seen and heard on 7 Feb and 9 Feb in the pre-dawn hours by Adrian Silas Tay, Daniel Ong and Jasman. They managed to record the call which was distinct from the “who-up” of the resident Brown Hawk Owl.

CHE, posted 090316, Howard Yap

Changeable Hawk Eagle pale morph by Howard Yap.

Highlights for sedentary species:

First, notes on four uncommon resident raptors. The Crested Goshawk at Kent Ridge Park was recorded on the 18th & 25th, and was probably the same individual. Apart from the nesting area at Little Guilin, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle seemed to be more regular at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Botanic Gardens recently. The nesting of the Changeable Hawk-Eagle at Mount Faber progressed well and the eaglet appeared fully grown by end March. There were only two records of the Black-winged Kite, hanging on in the remaining open areas. The common White-bellied Sea Eagle and Brahminy Kite completed the roundup for the month.

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
1 Osprey 4     Residents / Sedentary Species
2 Black Baza 10   9 Black-winged Kite 2
3 Oriental Honey Buzzard 15   10 Brahminy Kite 12
4 Japanese Sparrowhawk 6   11 White-bellied Sea Eagle 12
5 Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle 1   12 Grey-headed Fish Eagle 6
6 Common Kestrel 1   13 Crested Goshawk 1
7 Peregrine Falcon 3   14 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 6
8 Northern Boobook 1        
          Unidentified  
        15 Unidentified Raptors 1
        16 Unidentified Accipiters 1
             
  Total for Migrants 41     Grand Total 82

For a pdf copy with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report Mar16

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Francis Yap and Howard Yap for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – February 2016

Common Kestrel, posted 230216, PB, Alfred Ng on BICA

Common Kestrel, adult male, Pulau Punggol Barat, 23 Feb 16, by Alfred Ng.

Summary for migrant species:

The Black Baza again claimed the top spot with 54 birds; the largest gathering was a flock of 21 birds at the Lorong Halus area. The Oriental Honey Buzzard was well represented by 30 birds, some of which had perched in urban areas such as the top of apartments. Five Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded; at this time of the year, most of them showed signs of moult (which could make their wings look more pointed) and may be confused with the Chinese Sparrowhawk.

Four Peregrine Falcons were recorded; among these, the 3 photographed were adults of the migrant race. Three Ospreys were recorded; 2 on the northern shores and 1 in the Central Catchment area. Two Jerdon’s Bazas continued to winter at Tampines Eco Green; providing opportunities for birders to see this uncommon migrant. The juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawk with the falconry jesses on both tarsus was photographed again at Bidadari on the 18th.

The uncommon Common Kestrel, a male, wintering at Punggol Barat was photographed on the 7th and the 23rd. An adult dark morph Common Buzzard was photographed at Changi on the evening of the 24th. There was a sighting report of a juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle at Labrador Park on the 16th; it may be useful to note that confusion with juvenile Changeable Hawk Eagle cannot be ruled out without photos. Lastly, a nocturnal raptor, the Northern Boobook (first discovered at Pasir Ris Park mangroves on 31st Jan) was photographed on the 1st and 2nd of Feb, after which it was not located again.

CHE, 030216, Halus with prey, Francis Yap

Changeable Hawk Eagle, dark morph, Lorong Halus, 3 Feb 16, by Francis Yap.

Highlights for sedentary species:

The rare Crested Serpent Eagle was recorded on camera at Neo Tiew area on the 24th and another at Malcolm Park on the 28th. There were 4 records for the Crested Goshawk, most notably one was sitting on a nest at the Botanic Gardens on the 14th. The torquatus tweeddale morph Oriental Honey Buzzzard was photographed in the Pasir Ris area again and a typical plumaged torquatus was also photographed in the same area. The young Grey-headed Fish Eagle at Little Guilin that had fledged in January was still in the vicinity. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Changeable Hawk-Eagle and Black-winged Kite completed the roundup for the month.

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
1 Osprey 3     Residents / Sedentary Species
2 Jerdon’s Baza 2   12 Black-winged Kite 3
3 Black Baza 54   13 Brahminy Kite 18
4 Oriental Honey Buzzard 30   14 White-bellied Sea Eagle 13
5 Chinese Sparrowhawk 1   15 Grey-headed Fish Eagle 7
6 Japanese Sparrowhawk 5   16 Crested Serpent Eagle 2
7 Common Buzzard 1   17 Crested Goshawk 4
8 Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle 1   18 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 10
9 Common Kestrel 1        
10 Peregrine Falcon 4     Unidentified  
11 Northern Boobook 1   19 Unidentified Raptors 2
        20 Unidentified Accipiters 1
             
  Total for Migrants 103     Grand Total 163

For a pdf copy with more details/photos, please click Singapore Raptor Report Feb16

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Alfred Ng, Francis Yap, Lee Tiah Khee and Alvin Seng for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – January 2016

Japanese Sparrowhawk, subadult male, from Bidadari 14 Jan 16, Con Foley, same bird

Japanese Sparrowhawk, immature male, showing a mix of old (brown) and new (grey) feathers, Bidadari, 14 Jan 16, by Con Foley.

Summary for migrant species:

The highlight for January must be the single juvenile Himalayan Vulture that turned up at Toa Payoh on the 5th, greatly emanciated and unable to stand firm. It was rescued and given medical treatment at the Jurong Bird Park. A total of 96 migrant raptors of 13 species were recorded. The Black Baza claimed the top spot with 41 birds, relegating the Oriental Honey Buzzard to the second place with 32 birds.

There were 6 Japanese Sparrowhawks including an immature showing an interesting mix of brown and grey feathers.  3 Jerdon’s Bazas were wintering in the Tampines-Lorong Halus area and 3 Ospreys frequented the northern shores. 3 Peregrine Falcons and 2 Chinese Sparrowhawks were also reported.

Now for the single birds. An adult dark morph Common Buzzard was photographed at Tuas on the 8th. A juvenile Booted Eagle was photographed on the 25th at Punggol Barat. The juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was still present at the Bukit Timah area, photographed on the 10th and the 24th. A male Common Kestrel was wintering at Pulau Punggol Barat, making appearances in the late afternoon/sunset period, on the 5th and 25th.  Lastly, a nocturnal raptor, the Northern Boobook was photographed at Pasir Ris Park mangroves on the 31st.

ohb, 100116 pm, Lim Kim Seng

Oriental Honey Buzzard, torquatus tweeddale morph, Pasir Ris Park, 10 Jan 16, by Lim Kim Seng.

Highlights for sedentary species:

January was a good month for the rare Crested Serpent Eagle as 3 birds were recorded – one at SBWR, one at Pasir Ris Park and one at Kent Ridge Park. There were 2 records of juvenile Crested Goshawks, one at NTU and the other at Sentosa, indications of successful breeding. Last month’s Crested Goshawk records were all adults. The torquatus tweeddale morph Oriental Honey Buzzzard was photographed a few times and the other torquatus OHB at Bidadari was still present. The young Grey-headed Fish Eagle at Little Guilin had left the nest but was still in the vicinity. It will probably still depend on its parents for food for a while more. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Changeable Hawk-Eagle and Black-winged Kite completed the roundup for the month.

Table 1

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
1 Osprey 3     Residents / Sedentary Species
2 Jerdon’s Baza 3   14 Black-winged Kite 2
3 Black Baza 41   15 Brahminy Kite 10
4 Oriental Honey Buzzard 32   16 White-bellied Sea Eagle 12
5 Himalayan Vulture 1   17 Grey-headed Fish Eagle 10
6 Chinese Sparrowhawk 2   18 Crested Serpent Eagle 3
7 Japanese Sparrowhawk 6   19 Crested Goshawk 5
8 Common Buzzard 1   20 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 8
9 Booted Eagle 1        
10 Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle 1     Unidentified  
11 Common Kestrel 1   21 Unidentified Raptors 3
12 Peregrine Falcon 3   22 Unidentified Accipiters 2
13 Northern Boobook 1        
  Total for Migrants 96     Grand Total 151

For a pdf copy with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report Jan16.

 

 

 

8th Singapore Raptor Watch Report

compiled by TAN Gim Cheong

CSC_1502,-OHB,-TSA18

Oriental Honey Buzzard at Tuas South Avenue 8, 15 Nov 15, by Tan Gim Cheong.

 

The 8th Singapore raptor watch was held on Sunday, 15 November 2015 and involved 61 participants – the largest number of participants thus far. The weather forecast was for rain throughout the island. By noon, showers had passed through most of the island, leaving the rest of the day overcast – not the best weather conditions to observe raptor movements! We counted 320 raptors representing 6 migrants species and had 143 sightings of 5 resident species; a further 70 raptors could not be identified. There were 10 raptor watch sites and the numbers counted at each site varied from a low of 9 to a high of 124.

SITE Tuas South Ave 16 Tuas South Ave 12 Tuas South Ave 8 Japan-ese Garden Kent Ridge Park Telok Blan-gah Hill Park Halus Wet-lands Ubin Puaka Hill Ubin Pekan Quarry Changi Busi-ness Park Grand Total
TOTAL 33 14 124 47 78 69 26 99 34 9 533
Figure 1 : Total count/sightings by Site

Of the 10 sites, all the eight sites from last year were maintained, a big thanks to all raptorphiles, especially the site leaders. Two sites were added – Tuas South Avenue 12 and Tuas South Avenue 8 – to supplement Tuas South Avenue 16 in order to cover as much ‘sky’ as possible in the west, knowing that the raptors migrate across a broad front at Tuas.

 

Figure 2

Figure 2 : 2015 Raptor Watch Sites. (source of basemap – maps.google.com.sg)

Raptor activity was ‘slow’ the whole day, the weather conditions a dampener no doubt. The small increase in the late morning was mainly due to a flock of Black Bazas at Telok Blangah Hill Park, while the jump in the afternoon was mainly due to the movement of 108 Oriental Honey Buzzards migrating across Tuas South Avenue 8.

Figure 3

Figure 3 : Raptor numbers by 1-hour time periods (migrant raptors only)

 

The six migrant species recorded included, in descending order, 181 Oriental Honey Buzzards, 96 Black Bazas, 31 Japanese Sparrowhawks, 9 Chinese Sparrowhawks, 2 Peregrine Falcons and 1 Common Kestrel. The 34 unidentified Accipiters were most likely migrants as well. The 36 unidentified raptors on the other hand, could be migrants or residents. The migrant raptor of the day would be the Common Kestrel – formerly considered a rare migrant, recently upgraded to ‘uncommon’ – photographed at Tuas South Avenue 12.

The main bulk of the Oriental Honey Buzzards (OHB) were recorded at Tuas South Avenue 8, which had 114 birds. Nearby Tuas South Avenue 12 only had 9 OHB while Tuas South Avenue 16 had 4 OHB. Japanese Garden had 23 OHB and Kent Ridge Park 13 OHB. Small numbers were recorded at another 3 sites, whereas none were recorded at Pekan Quarry (Pulau Ubin) and Changi Business Park.

As for the Black Bazas, 39 were at Telok Blangah Hill Park, 34 at Puaka Hill (Pulau Ubin), 18 at Kent Ridge Park and 5 at Pekan Quarry. The Japanese Sparrowhawk was recorded in single digits at eight sites, but none at Tuas South Avenue 16 and Pekan Quarry. The uncommon Chinese Sparrowhawk was recorded from three sites only – Puaka Hill (5 birds), Kent Ridge Park (3 birds) and Telok Blangah Hill Park (1 bird). The Peregrine Falcon, another uncommon migrant, was only recorded from Tuas South Avenue 12 and Japanese Garden.

S/N Species (Migrants) Count
1 Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus 181
2 Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes 96
3 Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis 31
4 Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis 9
5 Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 2
6 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1
Total Migrant Raptors 320
   
1 Unid. Raptor 36
2 Unid. Accipiter 34
Total Unidentified Raptors   70
Figure 4 : Migrant and Unidentified Raptors Counted

For the resident species, the counts should be considered as ‘sightings’ rather than as individual birds as the same birds may visit the same site more than once. This is especially so for the more common resident raptors and less so for the rest. There were 68 sightings of the Brahminy Kite, 46 sightings of the White-bellied Sea Eagle, 15 sightings of the Black-winged Kite, 11 sightings of the Changeable Hawk Eagle and 3 sightings of the Grey-headed Fish Eagle. Similar to the year before, the Grey-headed Fish Eagles were only seen at Pekan Quarry (Pulau Ubin).

S/N Species (Residents) Sightings
1 Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus 68
2 White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster 46
3 Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus 11
4 Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus 15
5 Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus 3
Total Sightings of Resident Raptors 143
Figure 5 : Resident Raptors Counted
Figure 6

Figure 6 : Raptor Sub-totals by Category (migrant /unidentified /resident) by Site

Summary

Number of raptors
– 320 migrant raptors counted.
– 70 unidentified raptors.
– 143 sightings of resident raptors.

Number of species
11 species counted, including:
– 6 migrant species.
– 5 resident species.

A complete breakdown of the species counted at each site is shown in the table below:

Figure 7

Figure 7 : Raptor numbers by Site and break down of Species

Thanks to all the 61 wonderful people, both leaders and participants, for spending their Sunday sitting out the rain and bearing with the gloomy weather to count the raptors that were willing to show themselves. National Parks Board staff and NParks volunteers also participated.  The following fantastic people led or assisted in the raptor count:

Figure 8

For a pdf version of the report, please click 8th Singapore Raptor Watch – 2015.

Singapore Raptor Report – December 2015

OHB, 261215, Bidadari, Nicholas Tan (one of 2 birds)Oriental Honey Buzzard, juvenile, Bidadari, 26 Dec 15, by Nicholas Tan. 

Summary for migrant species:

For the month of December, a total of 145 migrant raptors of 11 species were recorded. The most abundant was the Oriental Honey Buzzard with 89 birds, followed by the Black Baza with 36 birds and the Japanese Sparrowhawk with 7 birds – no surprises here, except for the one-eyed Japanese Sparrowhawk at Tuas photographed on the 7th – how does it catch prey without depth perception? There were 3 Ospreys at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, one of the usual sites for this common migrant.

Next up – the uncommon raptors. A Jerdon’s Baza was photographed at Tampines Eco Green on the 19th and the 21st. A juvenile pale morph Common Buzzard – an uncommon bird despite its name – was photographed at Tuas on the 8th. A juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawk was photographed between the 13th to 21st at Bidadari; the small raptor had brown leather ties (known as falconry jesses) around its tarsus – could it have escaped from its masters in North Asia and followed its instinct to migrate? The origins of this particular individual may remain a mystery. There were 3 records of the Peregrine Falcon, 1 at Mandai mudflats, 1 at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and 1 that returned to the 35th floor balcony of Vista Residences, the last bird was also recorded in the previous season.

Lastly, the rare raptors. A juvenile Black Kite was photographed on the 18th at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and an older individual photographed on the 29th at Punggol Barat. A juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was photographed on the 22nd at Dairy Farm Nature Park. There was a sight report of a Greater Spotted Eagle, a lifer for the observer who was undergoing basic military training at Pasir Ris Camp, on the 31st.

Highlights for sedentary species:

By the end of December, the young Grey-headed Fish Eagle on the nest at Little Guilin had grown to be as big as its parents. Other records of this fish eagle came from Venus drive on the 2nd and Lorong Halus Wetland on the 31st. The Crested Goshawk was recorded from Pasir Ris on the 2nd, Sentosa on the 25th and Little Guilin on the 27th, all being adults, while an un-aged individual was recorded on the 16th at the Botanic Gardens. There were 3 torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzzards; a tweeddale morph was photographed at Pasir Ris Park on the 9th and 11th, a juvenile normal plumage type at Park East Condo on the 16th and an immature at Bidadari from the 20th to the 30th. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Changeable Hawk-Eagle and Black-winged Kite completed the roundup for the month. 

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
1 Osprey 3     Residents / Sedentary Species
2 Jerdon’s Baza 1   12 Black-winged Kite 5
3 Black Baza 36   13 Brahminy Kite 12
4 Oriental Honey Buzzard 89   14 White-bellied Sea Eagle 15
5 Black Kite 2   15 Grey-headed Fish Eagle 5
6 Chinese Sparrowhawk 1   16 Crested Goshawk 4
7 Japanese Sparrowhawk 7   17 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 7
8 Common Buzzard 1        
9 Greater Spotted Eagle 1     Unidentified  
10 Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle 1   18 Unidentified Raptors 1
11 Peregrine Falcon 3   19 Unidentified Accipiters 8
             
  Total for Migrants 145     Grand Total 202

For details and more photos, please see the full report Singapore Raptor Report Dec15

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Torquatus Crested/Oriental Honey Buzzard. File Photo: Alan OwYong. We recorded two of these Torquatus race OHBs in March.

We are coming towards the tail end of the Spring Migration when most of the raptors are making their way back north. The attached Singapore Raptor Report Mar15 is compiled by Tan Gim Cheong.  We had a total of 52 raptors from 7 species recorded passing through our island. Have a good read and thanks for your records.

Singapore Raptor Report-February 2015

Black Baza

Black Baza was one of the species that passed through in February.

We are well into the Spring migration in February as most of the migratory raptors make their way back north. As expected not many raptors were recorded as Singapore is not in their main path back. Still nine species including surprised visitor were recorded thanks to the many reports sent in. Gim Cheong has been diligently compiling these reports for the past years. To find out which raptor species was seen click on this Singapore Raptor Report Feb15