Tag Archives: Crested Serpent Eagle

Singapore Raptor Report – December 2018

Common Buzzard, Art Toh

Common Buzzard, adult pale morph with lizard tail protuding from its bill, on 1 Dec 2018, at the junction of Holland Road and North Buona Vista Road, by Art Toh.

Summary for migrant species:

A rare Short-toed Snake Eagle surprised and delighted a small group of birders who managed to get crisp photographs of the raptor as it flew over Changi Business Park on 5th December, and disappeared – a one-day wonder as it usually is for this species in Singapore. On the other side of the island, at the junction of Holland Road and North Buona Vista Road on 1st December, an uncommon Common Buzzard feeding on a lizard gave Art Toh many photo opportunities. A rare Imperial Eagle was reportedly seen at Neo Tiew Harvest Lane on the 15th.

A rufous morph Oriental Scops Owl was found on 5th December at Dairy Farm Nature Park. Then, a grey morph Oriental Scops Owl showed up in the same vicinity on the 9th, the same date as the year before! Both morphs were present on 9th and 10th December. Thereafter only the rufous morph was reported to be around until the 15th. These two birds display amazing site fidelity, returning to the same spot for the 3rd season in a row!

Eight Jerdon’s Bazas were recorded: four wintering at Changi Business Park, three at Lorong Halus on the 25th and one at Pulau Ubin on the 30th. Five Chinese Sparrowhawks were recorded: singles at Pulau Ubin, Henderson Waves & Coney Island, and two at Lorong Halus. Five Peregrine Falcons were recorded: singles at Kranji Marshes, Coney Island, Changi Business Park, Seletar Aerospace and West Coast Drive. Three Western Ospreys were recorded: one at Simpang grasslands, one at Kranji Marshes, and another at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Finally, we come to the most abundant migrant raptors. 15 Japanese Sparrowhawks and 49 Black Bazas were recorded, including 27 bazas at Lorong Halus on the 29th. The Oriental Honey Buzzard is tops again with 85 birds, including 33 birds at Tuas on the 1st.

STSE, 051219, CBP, Feroz, crop

Short-toed Snake Eagle, in flight over Changi Business Park, on 5 Dec 2018, by Feroz N Fizah.

Highlights for sedentary species:

The notable sightings for resident raptors include that of the locally rare Crested Serpent Eagle which was recorded three times: an immature at Henderson Waves on the 8th, and two sightings at Pulau Ubin, on the 7th & 31st, probably of the same bird. Another was the nesting of the Crested Goshawks at West Coast, with 2 chicks that were reported to have fledged by the time of this report. And also, a Brahminy Kite at Neo Tiew Lane 2 flying with nesting materials on the 29th.

The torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzard was recorded at Jelutong Tower on the 20th (tweeddale morph), Springside Link on the 25th, and an immature at Pasir Ris starting from the 27th (and is still around). The other resident raptors recorded were the Black-winged Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagles and Changeable Hawk Eagle.

table

For more details, please see the pdf Singapore Raptor Report – December 2018

Compiled by Tan Gim Cheong

Many thanks to everyone who had reported their sightings in one way or another, and especially to Art Toh and Feroz N Fizah for the use of their photos.

 

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Birding Kent Ridge Park

Text and photos by Keita Sin 

The Southern Ridges of Singapore, stretching from Mount Faber to Kent Ridge Park, with places of historical interest and great hiking trails, is a great place to spend a weekend. The four parks making up the Ridges are also great for birdwatching. Kent Ridge Park, located at the western end is one of the most wooded parks there.

Raptor watch

Kent Ridge Park is one of the places where the annual Raptor Watch is held. A panoramic view of the sky can be appreciated from the top car park area, and Oriental Honey Buzzards and Sparrowhawks can usually be observed during the migration period. Other notable species such as the rare visiting Booted Eagle has been recorded here too. In 2000 and 2001 we had our first two records of the Blyth’s Hawk Eagle, a very rare non-breeding visitor from this park.

Other rare resident raptors, such as the Crested Goshawk and Crested Serpent Eagle, can also be seen here. The former had been recorded nesting at the park.

photo-1Crested Goshawk, January 2016. This top-down photo was taken from the canopy walk area.

photo-2Crested Serpent Eagle, April 2016.

Attractive Trees

The fig tree near the top car park (shown), as well as the rows of Tembusu trees at the area below it, is another area that attracts plenty of birds.

photo-3View from top car park. This is a great spot to look out for both raptors and birds feeding on the fruits, at the same time.

A relatively big population of Red-Whiskered Bulbuls can often be seen here.

photo-4Red-Whiskered Bulbul. An uncommon introduced resident. I often see them travelling together with Yellow-Vented Bulbuls.

The Violet Cuckoo and Banded Bay Cuckoo have been observed on this tree too.

photo-5Male Violet Cuckoo. Listen for their flight calls, this bird is often heard before seen.

photo-6Female Violet Cuckoo. More drab looking than the male, but so is the female Asian Emerald Cuckoo – don’t ignore them, you’ll never know.

photo-7Banded Bay Cuckoo. This individual was seen on the same day as the pair of violet cuckoos. Maybe they were having a conference.

When this fig tree fruits trees, occasional surprises such as the Thick-Billed Pigeon can occur too.

This coming season…

The migratory birds have once again started visiting (returning?) to Singapore. When in Kent Ridge Park, look for the fruiting trees, and do make an effort to scan the skies for raptors as well!

Further reading Angus Lamont’s bird records of Kent Ridge Park at http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/biblio/46/46rbz113-122.pdf

Reference: Craig Robson. A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East-Asia. Asia Books Co. Ltd.

Singapore Bird Report-August 2015

Terek Sandpiper Francis Yap 30.8.15

Terek Sandpiper at Seletar Dam photo Francis Yap.

The Autumn migration season has began. We started seeing the arrival of the shorebirds to Sungei Buloh and the mud flats at Mandai, song birds to Bidadari and the Central Forest.  On the first day of August, the Lesser Sand Plovers, Charadrius mongolus, and Common Sandpipers, Actitis hypoleucos, were seen by Zacc HD over at the shore of the Seletar Dam, while Adrian Gopal was the first to report the arrival of the Common Redshanks Tringa totanus, and Common Greenshanks, Tringa nebularia, to SBWR. Lim Kim Seng picked up a lone Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, on 7th, a Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis, and a Terek Sandpiper, Tringa cinerea, both at SBWR on 12th. He also reported a Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, over at Neo Tiew Lane 2 on 12th while a Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea, was seen at SBWR by Robin Tan on 28th.

It was a little slower for the passerine migrants. See Toh Yew Wai photographed a needletail flying over Jelutong Tower on 9th. General consensus was a Brown-backed Needletail, Hirundapus giganteus, We had our first Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone paradisi, over a Venus Drive on 15th ( Jensen Seah) followed by another the next day over at Pulau Ubin by Yap Wee Jin.

Forest Wagtail Laurence Eu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Wagtail, Dendronanthus indicus, (above) photographed by Laurence Eu at the SBG’s Healing Gardens on 16th was 3 days ahead of the previous extreme date, a returning Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, to the lily pond at the Gardens by the Bay on 17th ( Koh Liang Heng), Arctic Warbler, Phylloscopus borealis, at our Central Forest on 22nd by Lim Kim Keang and an uncommon Eastern Crowned Warbler, Phylloscopus coronatus, at Bukit Timah on 25th by Francis Yap. The month ended with Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ficedula zanthopygia, at Tuas South (Low Choon How), and a Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus,  (Y.W. See Toh) both on 30th. All these records were first for the season.

We had several sightings of the Oriental Honey Buzzards, Pernis ptilorhyncus, during the first week from SBG and Central Forest to SBWR. Some appeared to be on migration flying in a South-easterly direction. Others were summering juveniles like Seng Alvin’s find at Pasir Ris Park on 25th. This was where Md. Nasir photographed a Tweedale morph Torquatus resident race Honey Buzzard. Other raptors reported this month was a returning Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus, to Ubin on the 1st (Y.W. See Toh), a pair of Crested Goshawks, Accipiter trivirgatus, feeding its young at Bishan Park on 14th and a Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, photographed by Gill Jones on 22nd at her garden at the wooded Tanglin area.

Brown-streaked FC Danny Lau

We continued to find non breeding visitors like Jambu Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus jambu, at Sentosa on 6th, and SBG on 23rd (Alan OwYong), a Cinereous Bulbul, Hemixos flavala, at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on 7th (Diana Jackson) and 23rd (Francis Yap) and the uncommon Brown-streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa williamsoni, at CCK Park ( Danny Lau’s photo on the left).

Cinereous Bulbul at Timah Summit

Cinereous Bulbul at Bukit Timah Summit. Photo by Francis Yap

 

Lai Ah-eng

A Great-billed Heron spotted by Lai Ah-Eng at the East Coast Park.

Some notable resident species to report include a Great-billed Heron, Ardea sumatrana, seen by Lai Ah Eng at the beach off East Coast Park, a new location for the largest bird in Singapore. A rare introduced Black-crested Bulbul at BTNR on 7th by Diana Jackson, a hard to see Asian Palmswift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, over Bidadari on 10th by Zacc HD, a strayed Blue-eared Kingfisher, Alcedo meninting, fishing at Pasir Ris mangroves on 21st, spotted by Seng Alvin, a Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta, and a vanishing House Swift Apus nipalensis, flying over Bishan Park on 25th by See Toh Yew Wai. The Glossy Swiftlet is new for Bishan. A juvenile White-rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus, at Bishan Park on 29th by Lim Kim Keang, a juvenile Asian Drongo Cuckoo, Surniculus lugubris, at Bidadari on 31st by Zacc HD  and a Black-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus atriceps, at the MacRitchie Forest on 31st by Lim Kim Seng.

Black-crested Bulbul feeding young 8.8.15 Lee Van Hein.

A Black-crested Bulbul feeding its young captured by Lee Van Hien.

The only nesting record was from James Tann of the Scaly-breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata, at Gardens by the Bay on 19th. Lee Van Hien had a Black-crested BulbulPycnonotus atriceps, feeding a young at the Bukit Timah Summit on the 8th.

BTNR Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, SBWR Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, CCNR Central Catchment Nature Reserve, CCK Park Chua Chu Kang Park.

Reference: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-east Asia, Craig Robson 2000. Edited by Francis Yap. The above records are taken from the various bird FB groups. pages, reports and forums.  Many thanks for your postings. Many thanks to Francis Yap, Lai Ah Eng, Lee Van Hien, Laurence Eu and Danny Lau for the use of the photographs.

Singapore Birding Report – September 2014

Eastern-crowned Warbler by Joesph Tan

Eastern-crowned Warbler by Joesph Tan Kok Beng.

The excitement on the last day of August went up a notch in September when the migrants were coming in thick and fast. The former Bidadari Cemetery came alive with the return of the big guns. They were lured back to their favourite stomping ground by the appearance of the Flycatchers, Shrikes and Wagtails. The Ferruginous Flycatcher landed on 21st, a new extreme date, followed by the Dark-sided Flycatcher on the 24th and the globally threatened Brown-chested Flycatcher on the 27th. All uncommon species and great ticks for the Big Yearers. Besides these, the photographers had their pick of Asian Paradise Flycatchers (5th), Yellow-rumped Flycatchers (6th), Tiger Shrikes (6th) and Forest Wagtail (13th). The bonuses were a Crow-billed Drongo on the 19th and Siberian Blue Robin on 21st. Both were first winter birds. The Drongo stayed for less than 2 days but the Robin was happy with the handouts and stayed a little longer.  Other migrants seen at Bidadari were a flock of 40 Daurian Starlings on the 13th, Asian Brown Flycatchers and the Eastern-crowned Warblers. Other migrant passerines like the Arctic Warbler was recorded at Nee Soon during the FMBC on the 14th, Brown Shrike at Tuas South on the 20th and again the Eastern-crown Warbler at Sungei Buloh on 22th

Great Knots at SD by Zacc HD

Great Knots at Seletar Dam by Zacc HD

As for the shorebirds, a total of eight Black-tailed Godwits were counted at Sungei Buloh on the 1st up from the five seen the day before. The star bid of the month were the four rare Great Knots found feeding off the Pang Sua Estuary on the 27th morning (Lau Jiasheng). Two were still there in the evening but gave the chasing Big Yearers the miss by moving over to Seletar Dam the next morning (Zacc HD). They were not seen again. Over at Mandai Mudflats, Rufous-necked Stints, Ruddy Turnstone and a lone Broad-billed Sandpiper were recorded during the Fall Migration Bird Census on 14th. The Ruddy Turnstone also turned up at Seletar Dam on 21st and at Chek Java on the 27th together with the Grey Plovers. The Greater Sand Plover that was feeding at Seletar Dam last month made a one day cameo on the 28th.

Greater Sand Plover at SD by Rey Aguila

Greater Sand Plover at Seletar Dam by Rey Aguila.

The Marsh Terns were returning to the Serangoon Reservoir this month. Both the White-winged and the Whiskered Terns were seen on the 9th while the Swift and Bridled Terns were seen flying off Punggol on the 13th. An unusual large number of Black-naped Terns (100+) were seen off Tanah Merah on the 21st. This could be the largest flock of this resident tern seen near the coast of Singapore.

The first migrant raptor was an Oriental Honey Buzzard seen over Bidadari on the 5th. Four Japanese Sparrowhawks were spotted flying through Tuas South on the 16th, the first for this Autumn. Subsequently the home owner at Blk 20 Dakota Cresent woke up to find a Japanese Sparrowhawk perched on his balcony on the 22nd. Another was reported flying over Japanese Gardens on 30th. This was where a Crested Serpent Eagle was photographed on 21st. There were reports of earlier sightings of this Eagle. Chaiyan later pointed out that this particular eagle was the burmanicus and not the malayensis race. It is larger, more rufous than black. Could most of our previous record of this eagle been this race and not the Malaysian resident?

Interesting reports of our resident species include a hard to find House Swift flying over Seletar Dam (27th) and a feeding Pacific Reef Egret there on the 15th. First record of a pair of Lesser Tree Ducks at the pond at Labrador Park and a tame Java Sparrow feeding with the Mynas at Old Airport Road Hawker Center, a recent release no doubt. Over at the Japanese Gardens, a Cinnamon Bittern was foraging at the lotus pond ( 2nd) and an uncommon non-breeding visiting  Malayan Hawk Cuckoo picked out on 24th.

Contributing Observers: Tan Boo Eng, See Toh Yew Wai, Francis Yap, Zacc HD, Lau Jaisheng, Lim Kim Keang, Lim Kim Seng, Rey Aguila, Frankie Lim, Low How Choon, David Li, Lawrence Cher, Toh Yuet Shin, Albert Low, Christina See, Lim Ser Chai, Goh Juan Hui, Geoff Lim and Alan OwYong.