Tag Archives: Spotted Wood Owl nesting

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 – 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 Bird Report-June 2016

Blue-eared Kingfisher Mark Nelson Valino

The forest Blue-eared Kingfisher fishing at the canal at Kranji Marshes. Photo: Mark Nelson Valino.

There were less excitement this month compared to last June. Then we had the first record of a White-tailed Tropicbird at Tuas, an Oriental Darter at Ubin and the wintering Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoos at Punggol Barat to keep us busy. This June, we had to be contented with the King Quails, Excalfactoria chinensis, at Punggol Barat, Blue-eared Kingfishers, Alcedo meninting, at Kranji Marshes and Red-crowned Barbets, Megalaima rafflesii at Seletar to keep our shutters clicking. On the plus side we had many interesting nesting records including a first from all over the island.

Red Crowned Barbet Wendy Lin

Wendy Lin and friends Peter Okimi, Chai Lee Fung and Edwin Choy were at Seletar Revervoir Park on 30th May looking for the Chestnut-winged Babblers when they chanced upon the Red-crowned Barbets feeding on the fruits of the Green Coffee Tree. Photo: Wendy Lin showing the barbet squeezing the pulp out of the fruit.

The most surprising record came from Cashew area on 20th when a member of the public reported a baby owl at the foot of a rain tree on her way to work. NParks staff rescued the owlet and subsequently put it back into its Bird-nest Fern nest much to the relief of a pair of Spotted Wood Owl, Strix seloputo, parents. This is a rare nesting record for this uncommon owl and confirmed that they also use Bird-nest Ferns to nest just like the Buffy Fish Owls.

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Danny Khoo

A perfect shot of the Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker leaving the nest. Photo: Danny Khoo.

There were several important nesting records from Ubin. A pair of Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis was found nesting in an old termite nest on 4th. The nest was attached to a bamboo (Lim Kim Chuah). This could be the first confirmed nesting of this kingfisher in Singapore. A failed nesting of the Mangrove Pittas, Pitta megarhyncha, there, probably due to predation; and the nesting of the most common bird in Ubin the Olive-winged Bulbul, Pycnonotus plumosus, (12th Lim Kim Keang). Elsewhere another failed nesting of the Pied Triller, Lalage nigra, at Punggol Point on 15th (Seng Alvin); two Crested Goshawks, Accipiter trivirgatus, fledged at Singapore Botanic Gardens on 18th (Laurence Eu); Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Dendrocopus moluccensis, at Taman Jurong; Pacific Swallows, Hirundo tahitica, at Stagmont Park on 21st (Timothy Chua) and the Blue-throated Bee-eaters, Merops viridis, at Punggol end.

OHB at SBTB Andrew Tan

Second calendar year Oriental Honey Buzzard spending the summer in the region. Taken at Satay by the Bay by Andrew Tan.

Winter visitors recorded for the month include a Greater Crested Tern, Thalasseus bergii, photographed off Pulau Pawai by Francis Yap and his friends during a mini pelagic trip to Raffles Lighthouse on 25th. This is a new extreme date (previous late date: 18 June 1990). Another winter visitor still present was the Blue-winged Pitta, Pitta moluccensis. At least three were heard calling at the edge of the Western Catchment on the 19th (Alfred Chia). Will they spend the summer and even breed here? Time will tell. Egrets are known to over summer in our wetlands. All three species were recorded this month. Intermediate at Lorong Halus (Lim Kim Keang), Little and Great at SBWR (Lim Kim Seng) all on the 12th.

Great crested tern FYap

Greater Crested Tern photographed off Pulau Pawai on 25th June set a new late date for this visiting tern. Photo: Francis Yap.

We know that the second calendar year Oriental Honey Buzzards, Pernis ptilorhynchus, stay over during summer and do not migrate back north. Two were photographed, on 11th over SBTB by Andrew Tan and the other at Ubin by Lim Kim Chuah on 12th. Both were juveniles. A dead Black Bittern, Dupetor flavicollis at Aljunied Avenue on 10th was picked up by David Tan.

Peregrine Falcon LTK

Resident ernesti race Peregrine Falcon flying over Punggol Barat captured by Lee Tiah Khee.

Other notable sightings were three Black-naped Terns, Sterna sumatrana, flying across Keppel Harbour on 8th (Richard White) and three more near the southern island of Pulau Senang on 25th (Francis Yap). These resident terns were more common in the northern straits where they have been nesting at a rocky out crop since 1949.. Francis also recorded ten Pied Imperial Pigeons, Ducula bicolor, flying pass Pulau Sudong on the same day. These are the wild pigeons that spend most of their time around the southern islands. A Buffy Fish Owl, Ketupa ketupa, was photographed at Hindhede Quarry by Raghav Narayanswany on 19th confirming the further spreading of this uncommon owl. A second in two months of a resident ernesti race Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus  was photographed by Lee Tiah Khee on 15th over Punggol Barat. The locally rare Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, was photographed by Jan Roberts on the 4th at Chancery Lane.

Buffy-fish Owl at Hindhede Quarry. Photo Raghav.

Buffy Fish Owl at Hindhede Quarry. Photo: Raghav Narayanswany

Seng Alvin reported three to four Plaintive Cuckoos, Cocomantis merulinus, at Pasir Ris Park on 3rd. Could be that foster parents like the Malaysian Pied Fantails are plentiful there? The on-off Black Hornbill, Anthracoceros malayanus was seen flying around the Pekan Quarry at Ubin on the 4th (Lim Kim Chuah). It is still listed under Category E for suspected escapees and released birds.  The introduced Javan Munias, Lonchura leucogastroides were back at SBWR on 7th (How Sung Lee).

Over at the Hindhede Park, mother and son team, Subha and Raghav Narayanswany sent in records of Black-crested, Pycnonotus flaviventris, and Asian Red-eyed Bulbuls, Pycnonotus brunneus, Blue-winged Leafbird, Chloropsis cochinchinensis and a pair of Jambu Fruit Doves, Ptilinopus jambu feeding on a fruit tree. Due to the closure of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Hindhede Nature Park was also hardly visited. This may account for the increased bird activity there.

Reference:

Lim Kim Seng. The Avifauna of Singapore. 2009 Nature Society (Singapore). 

Yong Ding Li, Lim Kim Chuah and Lee Tiah Khee. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. 2013. John Beaufoy Publishing Limited. 

Craig Robson. A field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia. 2000.

This report is compiled by Alan OwYong and edited by Tan Gim Cheong from selected postings in various facebook birding pages, bird forums and individual reports. Some were not verified. We wish to thank all the  contributors for their records. Many thanks to Mark Nelson Valino, Wendy Lin, Danny Khoo, Andrew Tan, Lee Tiah Khee and Raghav for the use of their photos.