Category Archives: Singapore Raptor Report

9th SINGAPORE RAPTOR WATCH REPORT

Autumn 2016 Migration – 6 Nov 2016

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Peregrine Falcon at Tuas South Avenue 16, 6 Nov 2016, by Tan Gim Cheong

The 9th Singapore raptor watch was held on Sunday, 6 November 2016 and involved 72 participants – the largest number of participants thus far. It had been raining the past few days prior and we were lucky that it did not rain during the count, although we had overcast conditions almost the whole day. We counted 343 raptors representing 7 migrant species and 92 raptors of 6 resident species. A further 41 raptors could not be identified to species level. There were 8 raptor watch sites and the numbers counted at each site varied from a high of 164 to a low of 4.

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Apart from the addition of Hindhede Quarry, the other seven sites were the same ones as previous years, thanks to all the site leaders for their faithful support!

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Most of the migrant raptors were recorded between 9am to 1pm, with the numbers trailing off later in the afternoon. Oriental Honey Buzzards migrating across Tuas South from 10-11am and 12-1pm contributed to the two ‘mini-peaks’ in the graph below.

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The Oriental Honey Buzzards (OHB) was the most numerous migrant raptor counted, with 289 birds. Being the most widespread, the OHB was recorded at all the 8 sites. Highest numbers for the OHB were at Tuas South Avenue 16 (139 birds), Japanese Garden (43 birds) and Kent Ridge Park (39 birds).

Usually, the Black Bazas would constitute the second highest count, but not this year. The second spot was claimed by the 38 Japanese Sparrowhawks, which was recorded at six out of 8 sites, with 16 birds at the Japanese Gardens alone. Only ten Black Bazas were counted at two sites – 9 at Lorong Halus Wetlands and 1 at Puaka Hill on Pulau Ubin.

Two Booted Eagles – one at Japanese Gardens and the other at Changi Business Park – were exceptional for this scarce passage migrant. Only two Peregrine Falcons and one Common Kestrel were counted, and all three birds were recorded at Tuas South. The one and only Chinese Sparrowhawk was recorded at Lorong Halus Wetlands.

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For the resident species, the total count was 92 birds of 6 species, one more species than the year before – the addition being the Crested Goshawk. The count for the resident raptors comprised 43 Brahminy Kites, 29 White-bellied Sea Eagles, 11 Changeable Hawk Eagles, 4 Grey-headed Fish Eagles, 3 Black-winged Kites, and 2 Crested Goshawks. The decrease in the count for the Black-winged Kites was notable.

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The figure below provides a snapshot of the number of raptors according to the three categories – migrant, un-identified & resident raptors, at the 8 sites.

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Summary:    

Number of raptors
– 343 migrant raptors.
– 41 un-identified raptors.
– 92 resident raptors.

 Number of species
13 species counted, including:
– 7 migrant species.
– 6 resident species.

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

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Thanks to all the 72 wonderful birders, both leaders and participants, for spending their Sunday out in the open to count raptors. National Parks Board staff and NParks volunteers also participated.  The following fantastic people led or assisted in the raptor count:

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This report was compiled by TAN Gim Cheong

Please click on the link for a pdf version of the report 9th-singapore-raptor-watch-2016

Singapore Raptor Report – December 2016

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Eastern Imperial Eagle, juvenile, Pulau Ubin, 28 Dec 2016, by Robin Tan

Summary for migrant species:

An uncommon Grey-faced Buzzard (adult) photographed by Thio Hui Bing on the 1st on Pulau Ubin after rain was a good start for the month. The next day, on the 2nd, two rare raptors showed up: a grey morph Oriental Scops Owl photographed by Gavan Leong in the daytime, also on Pulau Ubin and a juvenile Black Kite photographed by Francis Yap at Jelutong Tower.

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Grey-faced Buzzard, Pulau Ubin, 1 Dec 2016, by Thio Hui Bing

Not to be outdone, a very rare Amur Falcon was photographed by Yip Peng Sun at Yishun Dam on the morning of the 16th – this being the second record for Singapore since the first occurrence on 21 Nov 2007.

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Amur Falcon, Yishun Dam, 16 Dec 2016, by Yip Peng Sun

The streak of rarities culminated with a juvenile Imperial Eagle, again on Pulau Ubin. The last record being on 18 Nov 2001, 15 years ago. First photographed on the 19th, the Imperial Eagle was relocated on the 27th at the same spot and appeared there everyday till the 31st, giving birders here a great opportunity to see this rarity. A juvenile Imperial Eagle photographed on the 24th at the eastern part of Singapore main island was most likely the same individual. As is the case with migrant eagles, this individual was occasionally mobbed by resident House Crows and Brahminy Kites.

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Eastern Imperial Eagle, juvenile, Pulau Ubin, 28 Dec 2016, by Frankie Cheong

A dark morph Booted Eagle was still wintering at Pulau Punggol Barat and the nearby areas, being recorded on the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 26th. Two Ospreys were recorded around the usual areas near the northern coast of Singapore. For the Accipiters, six Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded, but none for the Chinese Sparrowhawk. Five Peregrine Falcons (3 juveniles, 1 adult, 1 un-aged) were recorded around the island, quite a good number for this uncommon species.

A total of 36 Black Bazas were recorded on the northern areas from Sungei Buloh to Pasir Ris, the largest flock being 15-strong at Punggol Barat. For the Oriental Honey Buzzard, 45 were recorded, the largest flock comprised 11 birds at Sungei Buloh on the 3rd, probably on migration. On the 15th, there was a sight report of a juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, which cannot be verified due to the possibility of confusion with other similar-looking species.

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White-bellied Sea Eagle, immature, Pulau Ubin, 27 Dec 2016, by Tan Gim Cheong

Highlights for sedentary species:

By the 22nd, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle chick on the nest at Little Guilin had fledged – another successful nesting for the species at the same locality. Other records of this fish eagle came from Kranji Marshes (on 10th & 26th) and Pulau Ubin (on 15th & 29th).

The Crested Goshawk was recorded from the Botanic Gardens (adult on 3rd & 13th), West Coast Park (juvenile on 7th & 20th) and Sengkang Floating Wetlands (juvenile on 17th).  There were 2 torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzzards; the adult tweeddale morph recorded at Pasir Ris Park the previous month was still around on the 10th, 17th and 21st, while a juvenile tweeddale morph first recorded last month at Ang Mo Kio was photographed at the nearby Bishan Park on the 24th and 25th.

For the Changeable Hawk-Eagle, it was notable that nesting was observed at Mount Faber on the 20th. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, and Black-winged Kite completed the roundup for the month.

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Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Robin Tan, Yip Peng Sun, Thio Hui Bing and Frankie Cheong for the use of their photos.

For a pdf version with more details, please click singapore-raptor-report-dec16

 

 

Singapore Raptor Report – November 2016

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Jerdon’s Baza, at Jelutong Tower, 30 Nov 2016, by Francis Yap.

Summary for migrant species:

The highlight of the month was the very rare Eurasian Sparrowhawk over Henderson Waves on the 17th, photographed by Keita Sin. This is the second record of this species in Singapore.

November being the peak month for migrant raptors in Singapore, saw the arrival of the Jerdon’s Baza, Black Baza, Black Kite and Booted Eagle. The first Jerdon’s Baza was photographed at Punggol Barat on the 13th and the second at Jelutong Tower on the 30th. The first Black Baza was recorded on the 8th, a rather late date compared to previous years. The only Black Kite was photographed at Tuas South on the 27th; it was a juvenile, as with most records for this species. A dark morph Booted Eagle was first photographed at Punggol Barat on the 6th and recorded several times later in the month; it will probably winter there.

A juvenile Eastern Marsh Harrier was recorded on video making many low passes over Kranji Marshes on the 19th. At Tuas South, a Common Kestrel was recorded on the 8th and the 16th, likely the same individual. Three Peregrine Falcons were recorded and the one at Millenia Tower right outside an office window presented a fantastic photo-opportunity.

Seven Ospreys were recorded, around the northern coast and Pulau Ubin. For the other accipiters, 23 Japanese Sparrowhawks and five Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded. At Potong Pasir on the 7th, a juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk collided into a window pane, carrying food, luckily it recovered after 10 minutes and flew off. Lastly, the Oriental Honey Buzzard, our most common migrant raptor, was represented by 202 birds.

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Oriental Honey Buzzard, a young torquatus tweeddale morph, at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, 25 Nov 2016, by Ender Tey.

 

Highlights for sedentary species:

A smart-looking, young torquatus tweeddale morph Oriental Honey Buzzard was photographed at Ang Mo Kio on the 25th, while an adult was photographed at Pasir Ris Park on the 30th. The rare Crested Serpent Eagle was photographed at three localities this month, at Kent Ridge on the 10th, at Sembawang on the 14th and at Rifle Range Road on the 18th. The uncommon Crested Goshawk was photographed at the Botanic Gardens (adult male and female) and Pasir Ris Park (juvenile). A pair of Grey-headed Fish Eagles are nesting high up on a tall tree at Little Guilin and we hope for a successful nesting. There was a sight report of a Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle, on the 14th at dawn, which cannot be verified due to the possibility of confusion with other similar-looking species. Other resident raptors recorded were Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Changeable Hawk-Eagle.

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Eurasian Sparrowhawk, with 6 ‘fingers’ clearly visible, at Henderson Waves, 17 Nov 2016, by Keita Sin.

 

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Booted Eagle, at Punggol Barat, 13 Nov 2016, by Francis Yap.

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Peregrine Falcon, at Millenia Tower, 1 Nov 2016, by Zhang Licong.

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Crested Goshawk, at Botanic Gardens, feeding on a Peaceful Dove, 10 Nov 2016, by Laurence Eu.

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Francis Yap, Ender Tey, Keita Sin, Zhang Licong and Laurence Eu for the use of their photos.

Update (15 Feb 2017): Please note insertion of 9 OHB, 1 Jap Sparrowhawk, 2 Brahminy Kites, 2 WBSE, 1 CHE. These are highlighted in yellow in the updated pdf singapore-raptor-report-nov16-v2

 

Singapore Raptor Report – October 2016

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Common Buzzard, at Tuas South, 22 Oct 16, by Adrian Silas Tay.

Summary for migrant species:

October is the month when raptor migration starts to pickup and more than six hundred raptors of 9 migrant species were recorded. In terms of numbers, Oriental Honey Buzzards made up the bulk with 562 individuals, and the first influx of 246 birds was recorded on 16 Oct at Tuas South. There were 38 Japanese Sparrowhawks, mostly on passage, followed by 13 Chinese Sparrowhawks.

Observers spending time at Tuas were rewarded with a number of sought-after species. These included a Common Buzzard recorded on 22 Oct by Adrian Silas Tay and a few other birders; an immature male Eastern Marsh Harrier photographed on 22 Oct by Low Choon How; a dark morph Booted Eagle photographed on 23 Oct by See Toh Yew Wai; and a juvenile Pied Harrier photographed on 30 Oct by Low Choon How.

A Peregrine Falcon recorded at Lorong Halus on 29 Oct and an Osprey recorded at Kranji Marshes on 24 and 25 Oct completed the line up for the month. Surprisingly, there were no records of the Black Baza this October!

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Changeable Hawk-Eagle with prey (a Colugo), at Dairy Farm Nature Park, 1 Oct 16, by Siew Mun.

Highlights for sedentary species:

A rare image of a Changeable Hawk-Eagle with a Colugo in its talons was captured at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 1 Oct by Siew Mun. The rare Crested Serpent Eagle made a number of appearances at Kent Ridge this month, while a single record was reported at Sengkang Riverside Park. Kent Ridge and the nearby Telok Blangah Hill continued to be reliable areas to see the Crested Goshawk; additionally, there was a single record of an adult from Tagore/Lentor forest on 1 Oct. Also notable was an adult torquatus OHB photographed on 11 Oct by Marcel Finlay in the Central Forests.  The other resident raptors recorded included the Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Grey-headed Fish Eagle.

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
(1) Osprey 1 Residents / Sedentary Species
(2) Oriental Honey Buzzard 562 (10) Black-winged Kite 2
(3) Eastern Marsh Harrier 1 (11) Brahminy Kite 3
(4) Pied Harrier 1 (12) White-bellied Sea Eagle 6
(5) Chinese Sparrowhawk

13

(13) Grey-headed Fish Eagle 2
(6) Japanese Sparrowhawk 38 (14) Crested Serpent Eagle 2
(7) Booted Eagle 1 (15) Crested Goshawk 5
(8) Common Buzzard 1 (16) Changeable Hawk-Eagle 11
(9) Peregrine Falcon 1  
Unidentified
(17) Unidentified Accipiters 20
(18) Unidentified Raptors 117
Total for Migrants 619 Grand Total 787

Table 1

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Chinese Sparrowhawk, adult female, at Pasir Ris Park, 9 Oct 16, by Rey Aguila

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Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult female, at South Buona Vista Road, 31 Oct 16, by Francis Yap.

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Crested Goshawk, adult, at Kent Ridge Park, 20 Oct 16, by Francis Yap

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Adrian Silas Tay, Siew Mun, Rey Aguila and Francis Yap for the use of their photos.

For more details, please see the pdf version singapore-raptor-report-oct16

Singapore Raptor Report – Early Autumn Migration, July-September 2016

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Oriental Honey Buzzard (torquatus tweeddale morph) at Pasir Ris Park, 21 September 2016, by Tony Chua

The Osprey, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Japanese Sparrowhawk and Peregrine Falcon were recorded during early autumn migration. The number of records for the Oriental Honey Buzzard during this period has increased slightly to 21 (compared to 16 for the same period last year). Out of these, only 4 were of the resident torquatus form. The remainder 17 were orientalis and at least 7 were juveniles – 5 in July and 2 in August. These juveniles were continuing their moult, showing new primaries (up to P5) and missing some primaries (up to P6), whereas in the last 3 months from Apr-Jun, only new P1 & P2 (counting from inside) were seen. These juveniles would have spent the summer in this region.

The first Japanese Sparrowhawk arrived on 16 Sep, followed by one on 21 Sep and another on 28 Sep. 4 Ospreys were recorded, one at Hindhede Quarry on 19 July and another at Springleaf Nature Park on 1 Aug, the other two were at the usual areas near Sungei Buloh and Seletar Dam. A Peregrine Falcon was recorded at Singapore Quarry on 21 Sep, seemingly in an aerial ballet with a Brahminy Kite.

A striking torquatus Oriental Honey-buzzard (sedentary subspecies) tweeddale morph was photographed at Pasir Ris Park throughout the 3 months and an ernesti Peregrine Falcon (sedentary subspecies) was photographed at Pulau Punggol Barat on 31 Aug.

For the resident raptors, highlights included the locally rare Crested Serpent Eagle on 23 Sep at Bukit Kalang Service Reservoir. A juvenile Crested Goshawk was found dead near a window at the Botanic Gardens in early September. The unfortunate bird may have collided with the window and it is probably one of the 4 juveniles that fledged in the gardens in June. Another rescued juvenile was released at the Warren Golf Course. The Grey-headed Fish Eagles at Bukit Batok Town Park (Little Guilin) were spending time on and around the nest at end September and may be starting to breed again. An intriguing Changeable Hawk-eagle showing a rare mix of dark and pale morph features was photographed at Choa Chu Kang Park on 16 July.

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An unusual looking Changeable Hawk-eagle showing a mix of dark and pale morph characteristics, at Choa Chu Kang Park, 16 July 2016, by Lau Jia Sheng

Many thanks to everyone for sending in / sharing their records; and to  Tony Chua and Lau Jia Sheng for the use of their photos.

For the full report in pdf with more photos, please click here singapore-raptor-report-early-autumn-migration-jul-sep-2016-v2

 

 

Singapore Raptor Report – Late Spring Migration, April-June 2016

WBSE, 210616, Sentosa, James Tann

A rare photo of an adult and a young White-bellied Sea Eagle “cartwheeling” over Sentosa, 21 Jun 16, by James Tann.

Summary:

On 21st June, James Tann captured a rare series of photos of two talon-locked White-bellied Sea Eagles ‘cartwheeling’ through the air over Sentosa. Some books described this as ‘talon-grappling’ and ‘tumbling’. Interestingly, an adult and a young eagle was involved in this instance whereas this behaviour is usually attributed to mated pairs but only mature adults have been known to form breeding pairs.

Now, for the migrants. Five migrant raptor species were recorded in the April to June period. Four of them – the Osprey, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Japanese Sparrowhawk and Peregrine Falcon were also recorded during last year’s late spring migration. The notable addition this year was the Rufous-bellied Eagle: a juvenile was photographed at Lorong Sesuai on 23 April enjoying a meal.

Of the 14 orientalis  Oriental Honey Buzzards recorded, 11 were juveniles (there were 10 in the same period last year), one was an adult female while the remaining two were not aged. Most of the juveniles were moulting their flight feathers (most were showing new P1 & P2, counting from the inside). It is worth mentioning again that juveniles are known to ‘over-summer’ in the tropics.

Only one Japanese Sparrowhawk, an adult female, was recorded on 2nd April. Two Ospreys were recorded at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Apr and May, but none in June; elsewhere, there was a record at Singapore Quarry in Apr and another record at Seletar Dam in May.

Two Peregrine Falcons were recorded in April – one at Pulau Ubin on 8th and another at Chinatown on 21st. An ernesti Peregrine Falcon returned to its usual haunt at the rooftop of buildings at Church Street on 26 May and a juvenile, likely also ernesti, flew over Punggol Barat on 15 June.

Back to the resident raptors. The usually encountered resident raptors were all present. Notable records included the locally rare Crested Serpent Eagle which was recorded thrice in April (Kent Ridge Park, Ubin & Bidadari), twice in May (Sungei Tengah & Malcolm Road), and once in June (Chancery Lane).

Also, April to June was a good quarter for the Crested Goshawks – in April, two juveniles were photographed at the leafy compounds of the Singapore Zoo and an adult male was seen collecting twigs at the Southern Ridges where two nest structures were seen; in May, the species was recorded at the Botanic Gardens and Bishan; and in June, a total of four juveniles from two different nests were recorded at the Botanic Gardens.

Many thanks to everyone for sending in / sharing their records; and to  James Tann for the use of his photo.

For the full report in pdf, please click Singapore Raptor Report, Late Spring Migration, Apr-Jun 2016

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

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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.