Tag Archives: Singapore Raptor Report

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 – December 2015

OHB, 261215, Bidadari, Nicholas Tan (one of 2 birds)Oriental Honey Buzzard, juvenile, Bidadari, 26 Dec 15, by Nicholas Tan. 

Summary for migrant species:

For the month of December, a total of 145 migrant raptors of 11 species were recorded. The most abundant was the Oriental Honey Buzzard with 89 birds, followed by the Black Baza with 36 birds and the Japanese Sparrowhawk with 7 birds – no surprises here, except for the one-eyed Japanese Sparrowhawk at Tuas photographed on the 7th – how does it catch prey without depth perception? There were 3 Ospreys at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, one of the usual sites for this common migrant.

Next up – the uncommon raptors. A Jerdon’s Baza was photographed at Tampines Eco Green on the 19th and the 21st. A juvenile pale morph Common Buzzard – an uncommon bird despite its name – was photographed at Tuas on the 8th. A juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawk was photographed between the 13th to 21st at Bidadari; the small raptor had brown leather ties (known as falconry jesses) around its tarsus – could it have escaped from its masters in North Asia and followed its instinct to migrate? The origins of this particular individual may remain a mystery. There were 3 records of the Peregrine Falcon, 1 at Mandai mudflats, 1 at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and 1 that returned to the 35th floor balcony of Vista Residences, the last bird was also recorded in the previous season.

Lastly, the rare raptors. A juvenile Black Kite was photographed on the 18th at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and an older individual photographed on the 29th at Punggol Barat. A juvenile Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle was photographed on the 22nd at Dairy Farm Nature Park. There was a sight report of a Greater Spotted Eagle, a lifer for the observer who was undergoing basic military training at Pasir Ris Camp, on the 31st.

Highlights for sedentary species:

By the end of December, the young Grey-headed Fish Eagle on the nest at Little Guilin had grown to be as big as its parents. Other records of this fish eagle came from Venus drive on the 2nd and Lorong Halus Wetland on the 31st. The Crested Goshawk was recorded from Pasir Ris on the 2nd, Sentosa on the 25th and Little Guilin on the 27th, all being adults, while an un-aged individual was recorded on the 16th at the Botanic Gardens. There were 3 torquatus Oriental Honey Buzzzards; a tweeddale morph was photographed at Pasir Ris Park on the 9th and 11th, a juvenile normal plumage type at Park East Condo on the 16th and an immature at Bidadari from the 20th to the 30th. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Changeable Hawk-Eagle and Black-winged Kite completed the roundup for the month. 

S/N Species No.   S/N Species No.
1 Osprey 3     Residents / Sedentary Species
2 Jerdon’s Baza 1   12 Black-winged Kite 5
3 Black Baza 36   13 Brahminy Kite 12
4 Oriental Honey Buzzard 89   14 White-bellied Sea Eagle 15
5 Black Kite 2   15 Grey-headed Fish Eagle 5
6 Chinese Sparrowhawk 1   16 Crested Goshawk 4
7 Japanese Sparrowhawk 7   17 Changeable Hawk-Eagle 7
8 Common Buzzard 1        
9 Greater Spotted Eagle 1     Unidentified  
10 Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle 1   18 Unidentified Raptors 1
11 Peregrine Falcon 3   19 Unidentified Accipiters 8
             
  Total for Migrants 145     Grand Total 202

For details and more photos, please see the full report Singapore Raptor Report Dec15