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.
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.
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.
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.
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