On the afternoon of 16th January 2016, Andrew Tay was at the Singapore Botanical Gardens’ Botany Centre when he saw this large accipiter perching on a branch of the huge Penaga Laut (Calophyllum inophyllum) tree.
As Andrew and friends were watching the raptor, the latter was in turn calmly watching them. After about 15 minutes of confrontation, the raptor suddenly swooped down and flew straight towards the group. Flying just over their heads, it disappeared between the buildings towards Serasi.
“Gorgeous thing,” enthused Andrew. “These are the only two reasonable shots I managed (above, below). After all, I only had basis snap camera and a piece of choc cake in my other hand. What can it be?”
“Great sighting” wrote Ng Bee Choo. “Morten and I studied [the images] and thought that Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis) can be a candidate but it is most likely a Besra (Accipiter virgatus). We’ll check with Rishad
Nairobi Naoroji. He is the raptor expert for this region.”
Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai thought the accipiter could be a male Besra, “considering the range in and around the eye is spectacular, as is the rufous streaking on the throat and chest.”
Tan Gim Cheong on the other hand thought it could be a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus ).
The debate ended the next day when Bee Choo informed that Rishad confirmed the accipiter to be an adult Besra after all.