Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ubin Romp

Taken these pictures on the 12th May 2007 on Pulau Ubin with fellow nature lovers.

Unfortunately, I did not take down the names of some of the fauna and flora, can somebody help me to identify them.

All pictures are taken with my trusty Nikon D70S and a Tamron 180 mm F3.5 Macro lens. Extremely versatile for an outing to Pulau Ubin where I do not have to change lens.

Picture 1 - Snakeweed Stachytarpheta indica

Picture 2 - Common asystatasia Asystasis intrusa. For a moment, one can mistake this flower for an orchid.

Picture 3 - Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
Picture 4 - Possibly the Green Crested Lizard (Calotes cristatella). A native lizard being 'phased out' by changeable lizard (Picture 3)
Picture 5 - Flowers of the Climbing Noni (Morinda umbellata) at Kekek Quarry (Supposed to be rare)
Picture 6 - Climbing Noni (Morinda umbellata) at Kekek Quarry Picture 7 - Unknown Red Trumpet like Flower - A creeper, remember growing them when I was young.
Picture 8 - Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)

Picture 9 - Flowers of the Milkweed (Hoya sp) 10 - Champaca (Michelia alba)
Picture 11 - Fruit of the Sea Poison Tree (Barringtonia asiatica) Picture 12 - This looks like a noni! It is called Nam Nam
This plant sold in Pasar Malam. Ant House Plant (Dischidia sp). We cut the pod around the seam, and whitish sap flowed out, and there were ants with their larvae inside the pod. A special relationship between this plant and the ants.

Picture 14 - Crow Corvus splendens - I saw this bird flying across and only upon downloading that I realised it has something in its beak. Food for its chicks - doting parent.

Picture 15 - Grey Heron Ardea cinerea - This bird was perching quite a distance away, have to rely on my Nikon S10 with its 10X optical zoom to capture, and even that I have to crop this picture.

Picture 16 - Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris

I was ahead of the pack, when I looked back - the gang was below this tree and quietly trying to see through the foliage for this beauty. Manage to take a couple of shots before this bird vanished in the foliage.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Khatib Bongsu Again

Lured by the serendipity of this place, I was back again. This time I brought another nature lover to come and enjoy Khatib Bongsu before it becomes out of bound to ordinary citizen.
The tall lallang beckons us to its hidden treasure trove.
What did we chanced upon but a bird busied building a home, not of concrete but of grass. Without blueprint and any tools but with its beak, it crafted a home. Safe from storm and feasome wind, little wings will one day soar.

Still in progress this weaver bird toiled, how will its nest be.

Well from the neighbour we can see, a beauty it will soon be.

A landing with an opening, now if I with civil engineering degree, calculator and supercomputer, I wonder if I can come up with such design. A few anchoring strong strands on the right branch, followed by soft tender strands of tall grass, not forgetting the mummy and the birdlings that are to come. With such design - I always wonder - who then is the master architect?

Well this is but one design, how about this with opening from below! Who told them this must be so!

Well it goes this way, both types of nests are the same. The male weaver bird build the helmet nest (those without the long tube) and displays to the female. The female inspects the nest, if she likes it, she will mate with him and the male will finish building the nest (with the long tube) before she lays her eggs in the chamber. If she doesn't like the nest, she breaks the point where the nest is attached to the nest and the process tedious process of building starts again. When she lays her eggs, the male will go build any helmet nest to attract another female. He does not take care of the eggs and chicks.

Such is their life, the man builds the house but the female the home, sadly we see this reflected in our human home!

This time the tide was low, wading birds were busied hunting in the mud flat.

Little Heron (Butorides striatus)

Grey Heron (Ardea cinera)

Other denizens of mangrove were just as busy.

Giant Mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri)

Mangrove Skink

Female streaked weaver bird, a rare introduced species

and finally in this treasure trove, mystery still abound like this unknown bird hiding in the mangrove roots. (Bird identified as Ashy Tailorbird)

A big thank you to Wang Luan Keng from RMBR for ID the birds and the documentary of the nest building of the Weaver Bird.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May Day 2007 at Khatib Bongsu

Wishing to start early but plan was derailed by rain. Finally make my way with trepidation that the place may have been closed - thankfully it was still opened.
Indeed this place is rich in the fauna and the birds.

Alas, I was armed with point and shoot cameras and not my trusty DSLR and can only do so much with the gorgeous view and specimens that abound.

Looking at the entrance of Khatib Bongsu.

Welcoming me this early morning was this beautiful dragonfly. Either it was sunning itself and getting warm or it was just simply photogenic!

Dragonflies abound in this place as there were pond and stream around this area. Two other dragonflies - beautiful Red under the sun.

In such a place, I have learnt not only to look in front but also up, for up flying were birds busying with their feedings.

Missed a great number of shots of herons and unknown birds of prey circling up above. (The next time I will have to bring my trusty DSLR). Some of the birds (hopefully the IDs are correct) perching on tress and lallang.

Looks like a young Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Adult Asian Glossy Staring (Aplonis panayensis) notice the red eyes which can be mistaken for the Fairy Bluebird

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)

Scaly Breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Until this land is being taken over, life goes on.