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.
|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|
|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