Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Admiralty Park & Sungei Cina

As part of the Heron Watch (population count) team, we were assigned Admiralty Park and Sungei Cina to perform the count on 31st Aug 2013.
As we were unfamiliar with that area, I decided to do a pre-watch survey "Heron Survey".

Heron and Egret - none.
Plenty of Javan Mynah; Yellow Vented Bulbul, Swallow, Olive Throated Sunbird, and occasional Black Nape Oriole

But some things held interest in me

Putat Sungei (Barringtonia racemosa)
A critical endangered plant in Singapore, and so glad that there are many of these plants in this park.
Hailed for its medicinal value by local people, for treating the symptom of chicken pox (relieving of itch), to sore throat, as this plant produce a toxin called saponin, which is concentrated in the seeds.

Saw these beautiful flowers on the ground.
Then these undeveloped flowers.

Closed Up of the yet to be budded flowers.

Hanging so pretty on the stalk.

And the fruits

These Nests

With just their beaks, the weaver birds can construct such beautiful nests.
Alas, I waited for hours, no birds were seen, and there seem to be no activities in the nests.

Nipa Palm - Attap Palm
(Nypa fruticans)
The palms were fruiting, and came upon this one with flowers and fruits.
The flowers remind me of the Anthurium!

Waterway - Polluted Sungei Cina
Maybe that is why there are no water fowls!

Seemingly idyllic, but flowing in this water way are trash!  Somehow this river is treated as a convenient disposal system!

Oil slick from upstream

When we attended the Heron Survey briefing, we were told that many places in Singapore have lost the heronry (breeding heron site), because of
  1. fogging (in the attempt to rid the mosquitoes, we also ended up ridding the good bugs and birds); remember the "good old day" of DDT, effective but cause much damage to the environment.
  2. encroachment and disturbance
  3. pollution to the waterway where they feed
and not too exactly sure what is keeping the herons, egrets and bitterns away!
Perhaps it is the disturbance as construction is going on to widen the track; smell of tar is very strong; or there is nothing in the river to feed these water fowls, as the water is also polluted.

Going to do another survey - and this time hopefully can see herons.


Ron Yeo said...

Hey Tiong Chin, the tree is Barringtonia racemosa, sometimes also called the Powder-puff tree. It's a back mangrove and freshwater swamp tree. Admiralty Park is one of the few places (the only one I can remember actually) in Singapore that they occur naturally.

Mountain & Sea said...

Thanks Ron for the ID.
It is a pity that this species is only found in one location. Hopefully, it will thrive and spread.