Category Archives: Singapore Raptor Report

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2020

GFB, 080320, KM, MArtti Siponen, crop

Grey-faced Buzzard, at Kranji Marshes, on 8 March 2019, by Martti Siponen

Summary for migrant species:

In March 2020, 131 migrant raptors of ten species were recorded. There were 52 Oriental Honey Buzzards, including 7 at Pasir Ris on the 7th. The 27 Japanese Sparrowhawks included some, apparently on migration, over the Kent Ridge Park – seven on the 27th and nine on the 30th. There were also 19 Black Bazas, including 11 at Kent Ridge Park on the 27th.

The single immature Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle wintering here was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 22nd, and at Ulu Pandan Park Connector on the 24th. At Bedok, Ramesh T. managed to spot the Common Buzzard after a few visits, following the uncommon raptor’s appearance late last month.

JB, 160320, CBP, Herman Phua

Jerdon’s Baza, at Changi Business Park, on 16 March 2020, by Herman Phua

Four Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded, one each at Halus-Coney Island area, Tampines Eco Green, Changi Business Park and Pulau Ubin. Of the five Grey-faced Buzzards reported, one at Sentosa was found injured and taken in for care, one was flying over Pasir Ris on the 4th, two at Kranji Marshes on the 8th, and another at Chek Jawa on the 13th.

Seven Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, including five on migration over Kent Ridge Park (3 on the 27th, and 2 on the 30th). Nine Peregrine Falcons and six Western Ospreys rounded up the migrant raptors for March 2020. At Kent Ridge Park on the 27th, eight Accipiters, not identified to species level, were likely on northward migration.

BWK, 250320, Turut, James Gan

Black-winged Kite, with its striking red eyes well ‘captured’, at Kranji Marshes, on 25 Mar 2020, by James Gan

Highlights for sedentary species:

Breeding-related activities were reported for four resident raptor species. A fledgling dark morph Changeable Hawk-Eagle was photographed at the Botanic Gardens on the 2nd. An adult White-bellied Sea Eagle was sitting on its nest at Coney Island on the 21st. A fledgling Grey-headed Fish Eagle was recorded on its nest at Springleaf on the 4th, with an adult closeby; and there was activity at the nest on the 20th.

For the Crested Goshawks, four nests were reported: one at Pasir Ris where an adult was on the nest guarding against a party of Oriental Pied Hornbills, on the 3rd; one at Thomson where an adult brought a Javan Myna for the fledgling, on the 7th; one at Pasir Panjang with two chicks, on the 7th; and on the 29th, another at Sentosa with a fledgling, and it was noted that ‘a few days prior’, the adults were ‘dive-bombing’ a party of Oriental Pied Hornbills to keep them away from the nest.

The other sedentary raptors recorded included three Crested Serpent Eagles: one at Goldhill Avenue area throughout the month, one adult at Pulau Ubin on the 18th, and one at King Albert Park on the 22nd. There were also six Black-winged Kites and the common Brahminy Kites.

Table 1

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and also thanks  to Martti Siponen, Herman Phua, and James Gan for the use of their photos.

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – March 2020

 

Singapore Raptor Report – February 2020

Common Buzzard, 270220, Bedok, Danny Khoo

Common Buzzard, juvenile pale morph, at Bedok North Avenue 3, on 27 Feb 2020, by Danny Khoo

Summary for migrant species:

In February 2020, 126 raptors of 10 migrant species were recorded. A scarce Common Buzzard perched on top of a HDB apartment block at Bedok North Avenue 3 was photographed by Danny Khoo on the 27th. A single dark morph Booted Eagle was photographed in flight at Coney Island on the 23rd by Yip Jen Wei, who also photographed a Grey-faced Buzzard at Puaka Hill, Pulau Ubin on the 29th.

Three Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, one at Pasir Ris, one at Lorong Halus – Coney Island area, and one female wintering at Ang Mo Kio. Of the six Jerdon’s Bazas, five were recorded in the Lorong Halus – Coney Island area between the 7th to the 22nd, and one at Pulau Ubin on the 23rd. At our coastal areas, six Western Ospreys were recorded, including one at Lorong Halus on the 25th, mobbed by a Peregrine Falcon. As for the Peregrine Falcons, seven were recorded around the island, including one that mobbed an Oriental Honey Buzzard at Lorong Halus on the 25th.

Nine Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded, all singles, at various localities. Rounding off the migrant raptors were 45 Oriental Honey Buzzards and 47 Black Bazas, including a flock of 14 at Kranji Marshes on the 28th.

GHFE, 180220, Pandan River, Yeak Hwee Lee, cinnamon bittern 5

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, flying off with an adult male Cinnamon Bittern that it had caught in the river, at Pandan River, on 18 Feb 2020, by Yeak Hwee Lee

Highlights for sedentary species:

Breeding-related activities were observed for five resident species. On the 10th, a pair of Changeable Hawk-Eagles (1 pale morph & 1 dark morph) were observed on their nest at Little Guilin. On the 23rd, a Black-winged Kite at Kranji Marshes was flying with nesting materials. At Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 25th, a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles were photographed in the act of mating. On the 28th, an active nest of the Brahminy Kite was found at the Jurong Lake Gardens.

February might just be the peak breeding period for the Crested Goshawk, as breeding-related activities were observed at five different locations: on the 5th, a nest with one chick was recorded at West Coast Park; on the 10th, courtship feeding was observed between a pair which had built a nest at Pasir Ris Park; the goshawk at Ang Mo Kio on the 10th was apparently nesting for the second season; at Pasir Panjang, an active nest with two chicks was observed throughout the month; and at Thomson, a nest with two chicks was recorded during the month, although only one chick survived.

Crested Goshawk, 130220, PRP, Michael Kwee, prey monitor lizard 4

Crested Goshawk, with a young Water Monitor Lizard that it had caught, at Pasir Ris Park, on 13 Feb 2020, by Michael Kwee.

Nine Grey-headed Fish Eagles were recorded at various waterbodies, including an adult at Pandan River on the 18th, ‘captured’ on camera by a lucky few (Yeak Hwee Lee, et al) in the act of catching an adult male Cinnamon Bittern that was hunting in the river. This is the second time a Grey-headed Fish Eagle was observed preying on a Cinnamon Bittern – the previous occurrence was on 13 Sep 2018, also at Pandan River. While mostly a fish eater, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle is known to take birds up to the size of a junglefowl, and small mammals like squirrels.

GHFE,-180220,-Pandan-River,-Yeak-Hwee-Lee,-cinnamon-bittern,-animation,-660

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, in a sequence ‘caught’ on camera as it caught and flew off with a Cinnamon Bittern, at Pandan River, on 18 Feb 2020, by Yeak Hwee Lee.

A Crested Serpent Eagle was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 12th & 25th. And, one torquatus tweeddale morph Oriental Honey Buzzard was recorded at Singapore Quarry on the 20th.

Table 1

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and also thanks  to Danny Khoo, Yeak Hwee Lee, and Michael Kwee for the use of their photos.

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – February 2020

Singapore Raptor Report – January 2020

 

Himalayan Vulture, 090120, Pinnacle, Bp Chua, crop

Himalayan Vulture, near the Pinnacle@Duxton, 9 Jan 2020, by Bp Chua

Summary for migrant species:

The Himalayan Vultures stole the show in January. Amazingly, a total of 12 immature vultures showed up, besting the previous high of 9 immature birds in January 1992. On the 8th, one vulture was photographed at The Pinnacle@Duxton at 2:24pm, flying east, and another two were photographed at Cashew Road at 2:45pm. At 6:25pm, a flock of ten vultures, initially mistaken for Asian Openbills, were photographed at Bedok, flying towards Siglap. Shortly after 7pm, up to 11 vultures were captured on video flying at the Tanjong Pagar area around Amara Hotel and The Pinnacle@Duxton. One vulture even landed on the roads – Peck Seah Street & Maxwell Road, causing vehicles to slow down and avoid the bird. Members of the public expressed shock in seeing such a huge bird, which eventually flew off to safety.

The vultures must have roosted on the tall building in the Tanjong Pagar area as they were spotted on top of the buildings on the morning of the 9th. Twelve vultures were spotted and after 9am, they took flight, heading south towards Sentosa, but then turned back, probably dreading to fly over the open sea. By around 11am, eleven vultures were spotted flying over Fort Canning Park and by noon time, twelve vultures were spotted at Dairy Farm Nature Park – they were heading north.

There were no sightings of the vultures on the 10th. Then on the 11th, nine vultures were spotted at West Coast Park in the afternoon, flying west.

HV, 090120, DFNP, Siew Mun, around noon (managed 7 out of 10)

Himalayan Vultures at Dairy Farm Nature Park on 9 Jan 2020, by Siew Mun

A total of 137 raptors of 14 migrant species were recorded in January 2020. This is in great contrast to 7 migrants species recorded in January 2019! Only one Grey-faced Buzzard, a juvenile, was photographed at St John’s Island on the 3rd. Also, a single Eastern Marsh Harrier was recorded, a juvenile on the 19th at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane. The wintering immature Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was recorded at Dairy Farm Nature Park–Hindhede Nature Park area on the 15th, and at Bukit Timah Hill vicinity on the 17th.

Two Booted Eagles were reported – one at Pasir Ris Park on the 7th, and another at Pulau Ubin on the 9th. Also, two Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded – one at the Botanic Gardens on the 15th and the wintering female at Ang Mo Kio on the 25th.

Five Western Ospreys were recorded along the northern coast from Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) to Yishun Dam to Pulau Ubin. Six Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded – two at Changi Business Park, three at Coney Island, and one at Pasir Ris–Tampines Eco Green area. Ten Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded, mostly singles at various location in the western half of Singapore.

GFB, 030120, St John's Island, Dillen Ng

Grey-faced Buzzard, juvenile, at St John’s Island, on 3 Jan 2020, by Dillen Ng

Thirteen Peregrine Falcons were recorded, probably the highest monthly number for the species, comprising both adults and juveniles; they were recorded singly, with some individuals regularly perching near the top of apartment blocks at Jurong and Punggol. Twenty Black Bazas were recorded, mostly in the Lim Chu Kang area (including SBWR & Kranji Marshes) and Pasir Ris Park. 61 Oriental Honey Buzzards were recorded – apart form 12 recorded at Kranji Marshes on the 1st, the others were mostly singles from various localities.

A Buteo photographed at a distance at Tuas South on the 5th by Martin Kennewell and Zacc HD was initially thought to be a Common Buzzard Buteo buteo, but may potentially be a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus – stay tuned! Lastly, two Oriental Scops Owls, a nocturnal raptor, were photographed during the daytime at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on the 23rd.

Brahminy with Red-legged Crake, posted 140120, SBTB, Andrew Seah

Brahminy Kite, flying with a dead Red-legged Crake in its talons, at Satay by the Bay, on 14 Jan 2020, by Andrew Seah

Highlights for sedentary species: 

Three Crested Serpent Eagles were recorded, one at Malcolm Road on the 10th and probably the same bird at Stevens MRT on the 12th; one at Seletar on the 12th; and one at Pulau Ubin on the 19th and 22nd.

Up to nine Grey-headed Fish Eagles were recorded, localities included SBWR, Kranji Marshes, Little Guilin, Sungei Ulu Pandan, Botanic Gardens, Central Catchment forest, Springleaf Nature Park, Yishun Dam, Lorong Halus and Pulau Ubin.

Breeding-related activities were observed for four species. Mating was observed for the Black-winged Kite at Neo Tiew Harvest Link on the 4th and at Kranji Marshes on the 26th. For the Crested Goshawk, a nest with chicks was observed at West Coast Park on the 3rd, and at Pasir Ris Park, nest building was observed on the 30th, followed by mating on the 31st. Interestingly, the nest at West Coast Park was only about 20m away from the nest of a pair of Brahminy Kites.

CGH x2 fighting, posted 040120, near Aljunied MRT, BICA, KL Pow's hubby

Crested Goshawks, feet locked together, apparently refusing to let go, was separated by a passerby before flying off, male (left) is much smaller than female (right), Aljunied MRT vicinity, Jan 2020, by KL Pow’s husband

There were two nesting records for the Brahminy Kite, the nest at West Coast Park had two chicks, with one fledging on the 17th, and amazingly the adults were observed mating! By the 21st, the second chick had also fledged. The second nest was found at the Lim Chu Kang area on the 12th. On the 14th, an adult Brahminy Kite at Satay by the Bay was captured on camera flying with a dead Red-legged crake in its talons. For the White-bellied Sea Eagle, a pair was building a nest at SBWR on the 26th.

There was one ernesti Peregrine Falcon, an adult, on the 29th, in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens, eating a bird. No torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzzards were recorded in January. The other sedentary raptors recorded were five Changeable Hawk-Eagles, and one Barred Eagle Owl at the Singapore Quarry, its usual location, on the 23rd.

Table 1

For more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – January 2020

Compiled by Tan Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and also thanks  to Siew Mun, Bp Chua, Dillen Ng, and Andrew Seah for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – December 2019

PF, posted 121219, SBWR, Ang T H, japonensis and calidus,, levelled

A fortuitous photo of 2 Peregrine Falcons of different subspecies: Left – juvenile japonensis, Right – juvenile calidus (thinner moustachial stripe & paler), at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 12 Dec 2019, by Ang T. H.

Summary for migrant species:

Two Peregrine Falcons interacting with each other at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the 12th were captured on camera by Ang T. H., providing an excellent opportunity for plumage comparison between the two similar-looking subspecies. For the month, we had 11 migrant type (japonensis/calidus) Peregrine Falcons. Interestingly, two adult japonensis were perched within meters of each other at Jurong East, on the 11th.

PF, 111219, Jurong East, Johnny Chew, 2 birds, crop

Two adult Peregrine Falcons together, at Jurong East, on 11 Dec 2019, by Johnny Chew

Just a few days before the year came to a close, on the afternoon of the 28th, two huge Himalayan Vultures flew over Hindhede Quarry, surprising birders who were there looking for a waterbird, the vultures eventually settled on the cliff edge for the night. The next morning, birders were out in force to marvel at these two rare vagrants, which took flight at mid-morning and were mobbed by the resident White-bellied Sea Eagles. They were seen shortly after at Jelutong Tower, thermalling high up.

Himalayan Vulture, 281219, Hindhede, Lee Van Hien 2

Himalayan Vultures, at Hindhede Nature Park, on 28 Dec 2019, by Lee Van Hien

The single wintering immature Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was photographed twice at Dairy Farm Nature Park, on the 4th & 6th. The only Common Kestrel, a female/juvenile type, was recorded at Tuas South on the 22nd & 23rd. Only one Common Buzzard, an adult, was seen/photographed at Holland Village Car Park on the 25th & 26th.

An adult female Chinese Sparrowhawk, probably the same individual from previous years, and which returned on October 2019, was still wintering at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. Elsewhere, there were three other individuals, one each at Dairy Farm Nature Park (juvenile), Pasir Ris Park (adult female), and Changi Business Park.

Three Western Ospreys were recorded: two at Kranji Marshes, and another at Yishun Pond. Five Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded: three at the Pasir Ris – Lorong Halus – Coney Island area, and two at Changi Business Park.

BB, 021219, PRP CP C, Sim Chip Chye 2

Black Baza, at Pasir Ris Park on 2 Dec 2019, by Sim Chip Chye

Finally, we come to the most abundant migrant raptors. 15 Japanese Sparrowhawks and 33 Black Bazas were recorded, including 13 bazas at the Botanic Gardens on the 25th. The Oriental Honey Buzzard is tops again with 84 birds, including many juveniles and a small number of dark morphs.

CG, 221219, PRP, Chan Yoke Meng, with prey

Crested Goshawk, with prey (Yellow Bittern), at Pasir Ris Park, on 22 Dec 2019, by Chan Yoke Meng

Highlights for sedentary species:

The notable sightings for resident raptors include that of the locally rare Crested Serpent Eagle, which was recorded three times: one at Pulau Ubin on the 1st, one at Malcolm Road on the 3rd, and an adult at Dairy Farm Nature Park on the 16th.

CG, posted 311219, PRP CP B, Dennis Lim, discarding innards 3

Crested Goshawk, eating a rat, at Pasir Ris Park, on 31 Dec 2019, by Dennis Lim

Nesting-related records were reported for four species. There was a nest of a pair of Grey-headed Fish Eagles, with one chick, high up a tall tree at Little Guilin. Nest-building activity was observed for the Brahminy Kite at Lim Chu Kang area, and for the Crested Goshawk at Pasir Ris. At Bishan, the chick of a pair of Spotted Wood Owls had already fledged.

CG, 281219, Southern Ridges, Tay Kian Guan 2, edit

Crested Goshawk, with prey (Javan Myna), at the Southern Ridges, on 28 Dec 2019, by Tay Kian Guan

At Dairy Farm Nature Park, a juvenile ernesti Peregrine Falcon was photographed in flight on the 8th. The other resident raptors recorded were the Black-winged Kite, Changeable Hawk Eagle, and the common White-bellied Sea Eagle.

Table 1

For more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – December 2019

Compiled by Tan Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Ang T H, Lee Van Hien, Chan Yoke Meng, Sim Chip Chye, Johnny Chew, Dennis Lim, and Tay Kian Guan for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – November 2019

Shikra, 211119, Jelutong, Alex Fok, crop

The first record of the Shikra, a juvenile on 21 Nov 2019, at Jelutong Tower, by Alex Fok. Note the long tail, uneven spotting of the underwing coverts, and belly heavily marked by thick streaks (the last is variable).

Summary for migrant species:

It’s another amazing November, with 21 migrant raptor species recorded, compared to last November’s already high count of 18 migrant raptor species. On the 21st, Alex Fok was at Jelutong Tower when he photographed an interesting looking accipiter that was to become the first Shikra for Singapore! Previously thought to be resident where it occurs, the Shikra is now known to be a short distance migrant, with thousands passing Chumphon, Thailand during autumn migration, though only a small number have been recorded in northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Another lucky birder was Pary Sivaraman, who was at Ulu Pandan park connector on the 6th when he photographed a distant raptor that turned out to be a rare Short-toed Snake Eagle. An immature Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle seemed to be wintering in Singapore, being photographed at Ulu Pandan on the 9th, seen at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the 14th and photographed again at Bukit Timah Hill vicinity on the 30th.

STSE, 061119, Sg Ulu Pandan PCN, Pary Sivaraman, crop

Short-toed Snake Eagle, 6 Nov 2019, Sungei Ulu Pandan park connector, by Pary Sivaraman

The third Besra for the season (this rare raptor is seldom recorded, and if we are lucky, we usually get one in a season) was photographed at Singapore Quarry on third November, what a coincidence, and by three lucky observers – Keita Sin, Dillen Ng and Fang Twangqi. This Besra was an adult female, interestingly the only previous record of the Besra at Singapore Quarry was also an adult female on 23 Jan 2010.

Besra, 031119, Sg Quarry, Keita Sin 2

Besra, adult female, at Singapore Quarry, 3 Nov 2019, by Keita Sin

It was an exceptional month for the Greater Spotted Eagle, with 5 records just on one day – third November – Zacc HD photographed a very rare pale morph at Neo Tiew Harvest Link; Bryan Lim photographed two in flight at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve at 9:27am; Goh Cheng Teng photographed another at Tuas at around 11am; and Francis Yap photographed one at Ulu Pandan at 5:24pm, amazing. The next day, 4 Nov 2019, Sue Shuttleworth photographed a juvenile at the Botanic Gardens, perched on a bare branch. On the 6th, Choong YT photographed two eagles at Kent Ridge Park; on the 9th, Zacc HD photographed another eagle at Henderson Waves; and on the 10th, two eagles were recorded/photographed by Oliver Tan, Woo Jia Wei and See Toh Yew Wai. All in, up to 10 Greater Spotted Eagles were recorded over a period of eight days.

GSE, 031119, Neo Tiew Harvest Link, 1733h, pale form, Zacc HD, crop

Greater Spotted Eagle, the rare pale (fulvescens) morph, at Neo Tiew Harvest Link, 3 Nov 2019, by Zacc HD

The beginning of November proved to be a good time for raptors at the southern ridges, with a Pied Harrier each, on the 2nd (female at Henderson Waves), 3rd (juvenile at Kent Ridge Park) and 4th (juvenile at Henderson Waves); followed by a juvenile Eastern Marsh Harrier on the 6th, and a juvenile Black Kite on the 7th, both at Henderson Waves. Elsewhere, single records included a Northern Boobook at Tuas on the 5th, an Oriental Scops Owl at Jurong on the 23rd, and a Common Kestrel at Tuas South on the 30th.

Six Common Buzzards were recorded, one at Kent Ridge Park on 7th morning, one each at Henderson waves on 7th afternoon, 9th, 10th, one at Changi Business Park on 10th & 12th, and another at West Coast Park on the 26th. At least half (3 birds) were pale morph juveniles. Eleven Grey-faced Buzzards were recorded, same as last November – two at Tuas (one each on the 2nd & 30th), nine at Henderson Waves (one on 2nd, 3rd & 10th, and six on the 7th).

CB, 121119, CBP, James Gan 2

Common Buzzard, juvenile pale morph, at Changi Business Park, 12 Nov 2019, by James Gan

CB, 261119, WCP, Keita Sin 2

Common Buzzard, juvenile pale morph, at West Coast Park, 26 Nov 2019, by Keita Sin

Five Booted Eagles were recorded, a dark morph at Henderson Waves on the 3rd, a pale & a dark morph at Bukit Timah summit on the 10th, one at Pulau Ubin on the 18th, and another dark morph at the Botanic Gardens on the 21st. Eight Western Ospreys were recorded, with half probably on migration across the southern ridges. Of the eleven Peregrine Falcons recorded, a juvenile photographed at Neo Tiew Road by Pary Sivaraman on the 29th was identified as a calidus subspecies by Dr. Chaiyan.

Fourteen Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded, most of them (11) were on passage migration at Henderson Waves between the 1st and 16th, including a flock of 4 birds captured by Adrian Silas Tay on the 9th, and one with a damaged wing on the 16th; one was at Satay by the Bay on the 8th, another at the Botanic Gardens on the 23rd & 24th; and one wintering at Changi Business Park from 18th to the end of the month.

JB, 091119, HW, AST, crop

Jerdon’s Baza captured in formation! Henderson Waves, 9 Nov 2019, by Adrian Silas Tay.

JB, 161119, HW, STYW

Jerdon’s Baza, Henderson Waves, 16 Nov 2019, by See Toh Yew Wai.

Thirty nine Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded, many of them over Henderson Waves, while an adult female, likely the same individual, returned again to winter at Ang Mo Kio. 194 Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded, many of them also at Henderson Waves, with 47 birds on the 23rd; an adult female at Kent Ridge Park on the 6th was missing an inner primary flight feather, giving it the appearance of ‘6 fingers’, and it made also an appearance at Henderson waves on the 19th.

JSH, 061119, KRP, Zacc HD, crop

Japanese Sparrowhawk, appearing to have 6 fingers instead of 5 fingers due to moult, at Kent Ridge Park, 6 Nov 2019, by Zacc HD

We had 803 Black Bazas this month, with 100 birds passing Sentosa on the 6th and 180 birds passing Henderson Waves on the 10th. Numbers for the Oriental Honey Buzzard stood at 1339, with a day high of 259 birds over Tuas on the 2nd, and 160 birds passing Hindhede Nature Park on the 19th, ahead of rain.

Highlights for sedentary species:

There were four Crested Serpent Eagles, one each at Jelutong Tower on the 10th, Pasir Ris Park on the 19th, Kranji Marsh on the 27th, and one at Pulau Ubin on the 18th & 24th. We also had a single record of a juvenile torquatus tweeddale morph of the Oriental Honey Buzzard at Ang Mo Kio on the 6th, and an ernesti Peregrine Falcon at Hindhede Nature Park on the 11th.

Nesting-related activities were observed for two resident species. Two adult White-bellied Sea Eagles were flying together on the 10th at Kent Ridge, and one eagle was carrying nesting materials; two adult Brahminy Kites at Pasir Ris Park on the 27th, carrying sticks/branches. The other resident raptors recorded included the Black-winged Kite, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Crested Goshawk and Changeable Hawk-Eagles.

Table 1

For more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – November 2019

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Alex Fok, Adrian Silas Tay, See Toh Yew Wai, Pary Sivaraman, Zacc HD, Keita Sin and James Gan for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – October 2019

OHB, 191019, HW, Zacc, crop

Oriental Honey Buzzard, juvenile, showing its long neck and slim bill, at Henderson Waves, 19 Oct 2019, by Zacc HD

Summary for migrant species:

October 2019 is as remarkable as last year, with 11 migrant species recorded (we usually record around 9 species in October). Henderson Waves continued to be a popular place to watch migrating raptors. A total of 712 migrant raptors were recorded, with another 48 unidentified accipiters, which are likely to be migrants too.

The most numerous were the 425 Oriental Honey Buzzards, followed by 135 Japanese Sparrowhawks, and 130 Chinese Sparrowhawks (quite a jump compared to last October’s 57). Notably no Black Baza was recorded.

Besra, 181019, Jelutong, Fryap 6, crop

Besra, juvenile, note the lightly marked underwing coverts and strong mesial stripe, at Jelutong Tower, 18 Oct 2019, by Francis Yap

A rare Besra was photographed by Francis Yap at Jelutong Tower on the 18th and amazingly, another at Henderson Waves on the 31st, photographed by both Deborah Friets and Looi Ang Soh Hoon, lucky birders indeed. Both the Besras were juveniles. Another rarity was the Common Kestrel, seen and photographed at Tuas South on the 5th.

Booted Eagles are now harder to see as they no longer seem to winter here, occurring only as passage migrants, but Keita Sin got lucky at Henderson Waves on the 30th, photographing one as it flew over. The uncommon Grey-faced Buzzard was only recorded on the 30th – two birds at Henderson Waves in the morning and one at Bukit Timah summit in the afternoon.

Common Kestrel, 051019, Tuas Sth St 13, Fryap, crop

Common Kestrel, at Tuas South, on 5 Oct 2019, by Francis Yap

The Eastern Marsh Harrier was recorded on passage at Kranji Dam on the 7th (a juvenile); at Kranji Marshes on the 14th (a female); and on the 28th, one juvenile was first photographed at Seletar at 9:01am and thereafter at Jelutong Tower at 9:28am.

The Common Buzzard was recorded at the Southern Ridges area only – a juvenile dark morph at Kent Ridge on the 11th, two adult pale morphs at Henderson Waves on the 12th, a juvenile pale morph at Henderson Waves on the 20th, and another juvenile pale morph at Kent Ridge on the 24th. (Note: the various subspecies are ‘lumped’ as Buteo buteo in the NSS bird checklist).

CB, 121019, HW, AST, crop

Common Buzzard, at Henderson Waves, on 12 Oct 2019, by Adrian Silas Tay

Four migrant Peregrine Falcons were recorded – one adult at Sembawang (21st & 25th), one at Dairy Farm Nature Park (26th), on at Lorong Halus (28th), and one at the Southern Ridges (20th, 21st & 27th). Two Western Ospreys were recorded, one at the Sungei Buloh and one at Henderson Waves.

Besra,-311019,-HW,-Deborah-Friets-edit

The 2nd Besra, a juvenile, note the lightly marked underwing coverts, mesial stripe and streaked body, at Henderson Waves, 31 Oct 2019, by Deborah Friets

Highlights for sedentary species:

There were two records for the locally scarce Crested Serpent Eagle, one at Henderson Waves on the 14th and another at Neo Tiew Harvest Link on the 18th; five records for the  Grey-headed Fish Eagle, one each at Pandan, Botanic Gardens, Coney Island and two at Henderson Waves; five records for the Crested Goshawk, one each at Satay by the Bay, Pasir Ris Park, Woodlands Street 81, and two at the Henderson Wave – Kent Ridge area. were observed mating at West Coast Park. Then on 23 Oct, 2 chicks of the were seen on a nest at Woodlands. These  are good signs for our resident raptors.

On 5th Oct, a Peregrine Falcon of the resident ernesti subspecies recorded at Henderson Waves; and on 30th Oct, a torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzard was photographed at Bukit Timah summit by Alan OwYong. The other resident raptors recorded included four Black-winged Kites at Tuas and two at Kranji Marshes; eleven Changeable Hawk-Eagles; and the common Brahminy Kite and White-bellied Sea Eagle. To streamline the report, only notable records, such as breeding-related or interesting behaviour, will be reported for the last two species.

Capture Table

For more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report – October 2019

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Zacc HD, Deborah Friets, Adrian Silas Tay and Francis Yap for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report Early Autumn Migration, July-September 2019

Osprey, 110719, SBWR, Sim Chip Chye

A Western Osprey with a big catch, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, 11 July 2019, by Sim Chip Chye

Summary:

The early migrants included all the five expected species, namely the Western Osprey, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk, and Peregrine Falcon, during the July to September period.

A total of 46 Oriental Honey Buzzards were recorded. There were at least seven immature orientalis in July, four in August, and three in September – these are individuals hatched last year, over-summering here this year and are expected to migrate to the north only next spring. At least two torquatus were recorded – one photographed at Springleaf on 20 July by Alex Fok, and a tweeddale morph photographed at Upper Seletar Reservoir on 10 September by Deborah Friets.

The first Japanese Sparrowhawk was recorded on 13 September at Jalan Bahar, and on 26 September, Adrian Silas Tay recorded 28 at The Pinnacles Duxton, including a flock of 12. Aother eight were recorded at Henderson Waves on 28 September. All in, 47 early arriving Japanese Sparrowhawks were recorded.

The first three Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded on 22 September at Tuas. They were followed by two on 27 September at Jelutong Tower, 3 on 28 September at Henderson Waves, and 8 on 29 September at Tuas.

Four Western Ospreys were recorded, with one at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) on 11 July having caught a big fish. The others were singles at the Botanic Gardens on 7 July, Seletar Dam on 14 September, and Marina Bay on 26 September.

Four Peregrine Falcons were recorded – an adult ernesti on 6 Jul at Telok Blangah; a juvenile of indeterminate race on 27 July at Pulau Ubin; a far individual at Marina Bay on 3 August, possibly an ernesti; and another at Kranji Marsh on 29 Sep.

PF Capture

A resident ernesti Peregrine Falcon, note the dark ‘helmet’ and rufous-buff wash on chest, Telok Blangah, 6 July 2019, by Ros Qian

For the resident raptors, seven diurnal species were recorded. Apart from the usual ones, there were records of the rare Crested Serpent Eagle at Pulau Ubin on 2 July & 8 September, and at Malcolm Road on 6 July & 6 September. Notably for nocturnal raptors, a recently fledged juvenile Spotted Wood Owl at Pasir Ris Park fell to the ground on 11 July, but managed to climb back up the tree to reunite with its parents.

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report, Early Autumn Migration, Jul-Sep 2019.

Many thanks to everyone for their records and to Sim Chip Chye and Ros Qian for the use of their photos.

 

Singapore Raptor Report – Late Spring Migration, April-June 2019

Peregrine, 170419, Toa Payoh, Ted Lee

Peregrine Falcon, an individual that was rescued, rehabilitated and released by JBP more than 10 years ago, at Toa Payoh, 17 April 2019, pic by Ted Lee.

Summary:

Only four migrant raptor species were recorded in the April to June period. They are the regulars during this period – the Western Osprey, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Japanese Sparrowhawk and Peregrine Falcon.

There were eleven records of the Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus in April, ten in May and eight in June. At least five records in April were orientalis juveniles, as were six in May and four in June – these birds are spending the summer here in the tropics.

Five Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis were recorded between 1-12 April. Singles at Ulu Pandan on 1st April, Mount Faber on 5th April, Pulau Ubin on 7th April, and Dairy Farm Nature Park on 8th April & 12th April. These are the last birds to leave for their breeding grounds to the north.

Seven Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were recorded, all in the month of April. Notably, the individual photographed at Toa Payoh on 17th April had, on its left tarsus (leg), a ring with ‘JBP’ engraved. This bird was rescued, rehabilitated and released by the Jurong Bird Park (JBP) more than ten years ago. Another individual recorded at Haig Road on 4th April was mobbing an Oriental Honey Buzzard.

Five Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus were recorded in the April-June period. Two at the Krani – Sungei Buloh area throughout, one at Gardens by the Bay on 3rd April, one at Jurong Lake on 27th April, and one at Pulau Ubin – Pasir Ris area on 22nd April and 8th May.

GHFE, 090619, Ulu Pandan PCN, Derrick Wong

Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Ulu Pandan Park Connector, 9 June 2019, by Derrick Wong

Sedentary Raptors

The Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus was reported to be nesting at Kranji Marsh area on 19th April, and the White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster was also nesting at Fort Canning, with a well grown chick on the nest observed between 13-29 June. Juveniles of the Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus at Bishan (April), Pasir Ris (April – 2 birds), and Ang Mo Kio (May), and a fresh juvenile Changeable Hawk-Eagle at Pasir Ris (April & May) suggest that breeding had occurred in the preceding months.

A nest, presumably that of the Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus, based on the size of the nest and the observer’s experience, was recorded at the Rail Corridor near Phoenix Heights on 27th June. Also, a pair (a male & a female) of adult Crested Goshawks was recorded at South Buona Vista Road on 13th June, as were two adult Grey-headed Fish Eagles Haliaeetus ichthyaetus, probably a pair, at Sungei Ulu Pandan, also on 13th June.

One Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela was present at Goldhill Avenue area in April and May, with the exception of 27th April when two birds were seen. In addition, one individual was recorded at Pulau Ubin (April & May), one at Toh Tuck Road (25th May), and one at Sentosa on 10th & 15th April. An adult Peregrine Falcon of the resident ernesti race was photographed at Jurong East on 2nd June, perched on a TV antenna consuming a bird.

Nocturnal Raptors

A family of Spotted Wood Owls Strix seloputo comprising two adults and a recently fledged chick was recorded at Cashew Road on 1st May, the nesting was first noted in March and the chick had fallen from the nest during the nesting period, but all was well after intervention by ACRES. On 9th June, a family of Buffy Fish Owls Ketupa ketupu, including a recently fledged juvenile, was photographed at Jurong Lake. As an indication of another successful nesting attempt, a juvenile Barred Eagle-Owl Bubo sumatranus was photographed at Bukit Timah on 28th June. Notably, a Barred Eagle-Owl was recorded at Bukit Brown, a new locality for the species, on 27th April.

For a pdf version with more details, please click Singapore Raptor Report, Late Spring Migration, Apr-Jun 2019, v1

Many thanks to everyone for posting / sending in / sharing their records, and to Ted Lee & Derrick Wong for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2019

1

Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult female, at West Coast Park, on 29 March 2019, by Norvin Ng

Summary for migrant species:

In March, 133 raptors of 9 migrant species were recorded. There were 60 Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus, including 13 at Yishun on the 17th, flying northwesterly. The 30 Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes included a kettle of 12 at Telok Blangah Hill Park on the 24th.

Seventeen Chinese Sparrowhawks Accipiter soloensis were recorded, including six at Sungei Buloh on the 23th, apparently on passage migration to the north. Three Jerdon’s Bazas Aviceda jerdoni were still wintering in Singapore on the 10th: two at Pasir Ris and one at Pulau Ubin.

One Common Buzzard Buteo buteo was observed at Kent Ridge Park on the 10th, possibly on passage and four Grey-faced Buzzards Butastur indicus, were also recorded over the Southern Ridges: three on the 8th at Kent Ridge Park and one on the 13th at Telok Blangah Hill Park. These were recorded by Keita Sin, who spent a number of days observing raptors at the Southern Ridges.

Five Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were recorded: singles at Satay by the Bay, Bukit Merah, Pulau Ubin, Kranji Marshes and Telok Blangah Hill Park. Ten Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis and three Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus rounded up the migrant raptors for March.

CGH, posted 300319, PRP, Lim Sheen Taw, FB SGB

Adult male Crested Goshawk eating a Changeable Lizard, Pasir Ris Park, March 2019, by Sheen Taw Lim.

Highlights for sedentary species:

There were two breeding records in March: two White-bellied Sea Eagles at a nest on Pulau Ubin on the 10th, and a nest with two Brahminy Kite chicks at Turut Track on the 12th.

Also, there were two Crested Serpent Eagles, one at Pulau Ubin on the 10th and another in the area around Malcolm Park on three different dates. The Grey-headed Fish Eagle was observed flying with an eel-like prey at Coney Island on the 13th and 19th. The other sedentary raptors recorded included nine Changeable Hawk-Eagles, four Crested Goshawks and three Black-winged Kites.

Table 1

For more details, please see the pdf Singapore Raptor Report – March 2019

Compiled by Tan Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and also thanks  to Norvin Ng and Sheen Taw Lim for the use of their photos.

Singapore Raptor Report – February 2019

 

Common Buzzard, 050219, Holland Dr, Zacc HD

Common Buzzard, adult pale morph, at Holland Drive, on 5 Feb 2019, by Zacc HD

Summary for migrant species:

In February, 90 raptors of 8 migrant species were recorded. After going ‘missing’ for two months, the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo ‘re-appeared’ at Holland Drive from 4th to 12th February. Three Jerdon’s Bazas Aviceda jerdoni continued to winter at Changi Business Park, one wintering at Coney Island, and another two were spotted at Pulau Ubin.

Only one Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis was recorded, at MacRitchie Reservoir Park on the 3rd. There were a total of six Japanese Sparrowhawks Accipiter gularis, including an adult male and a juvenile at the Lim Chu Kang area. Three migrant Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were recorded, one at Boon Lay Way on the 1st, one at Holland Drive on the 5th mobbing the Common Buzzard and one at Kranji Marshes on the 17th. Three Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus were recorded, including one at the Botanic Gardens, away from the usual northern coastal areas.

Twenty one Black Bazas Aviceda leuphotes were recorded in the month, including a group of seven at Lorong Halus on the 6th. Forty seven Oriental Honey Buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus, which included a group of eight at Coney Island on the 9th, rounded up the migrant raptors for the month.

BWK, 090219, LCK, Zhang Licong

Black-winged Kite, showing its striking red eye, at Lim Chu Kang, on 9 Feb 2019, by Zhang Licong.

Highlights for sedentary species:

There were two breeding-related records in February: a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles mating at West Coast Park on the 21st and a Changeable Hawk-Eagle calling on its nest at Kranji Marshes on the  16th. The only record of the Crested Serpent Eagle was at Pulau Ubin on the 23rd. Two ernesti Peregrine Falcons were recorded in the CBD area on the 2nd.

The other sedentary raptors recorded included four Grey-headed Fish Eagles, eight Crested Goshawks, five Black-winged Kites, and the common Brahminy Kites.

Table 1

For more details, please see the pdf Singapore Raptor Report – February 2019

Compiled by Tan Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and also thanks  to Zacc HD and Zhang Licong for the use of their photos.