Friday, August 23, 2013

Upper Seletar Park - Red Bird of Paradise and Barn Swallow

Have not been to this place for a long time - and wonder what has changed!
Like most part of Singapore, few things remain status quo - we are always on constant change.
And surprisingly, and thankfully - nothing change!

Was hoping for insects, and thus I carried my macro lens, and ended up shooting "birds", both the flowery and feather kinds!

Peacock Flower (Red Bird of Paradise) 
Caesalpinia pulcherrima 
Originate from America, this plant has many names PoincianaPeacock FlowerRed Bird of ParadiseMexican Bird of ParadiseDwarf PoincianaPride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin, but locally it is better known as the Peacock Flower.

I have seen this plant with its beautiful flowers many times, and thought that it came in these colours.
Not too sure whether, it is natural.  Regardless they are all beautiful.

The usual colour combination - yellow with red petals
But also saw this white and pinkish specimen!

And this totally yellowish orange

And totally Red, which is also seen in the first picture
Torenia fournieri among the Grass
While walking about, I noticed these beautiful flowers among the grass.
From the flower pattern, it displayed the typical "orchid" look, and the peculiar "wishbone" that can be seen in the enlarged picture (bottom flower). Thus sometimes it is also called the Wishbone Flower.
Mostly this plant grows upright, but for this case, it was creeping together with the grass!

Very small flower, compare them to the blade of grass.

Close up of the flowers, look very much like orchid!
Barn Swallow 
(Hirundo rustica)
For the longest moment, I thought I was seeing the Pacific Swallow (, they were flying very swiftly, and occasional there will be the orangy colour breast, until I saw the fork tail, that I am quite sure these are the Barn Swallow!
Very common species, and sometimes consider as pest because of the droppings that cause so much mess.
But then, these are insect feeders, and especially love mosquitoes.
With more of these, perhaps there will be less fogging!

It was flying very low, and both the Pacific Swallow and Barn Swallow are insects catcher, that is they chase after they meal.  In this shot, the longer tail can be seen, that differentiate it from the Pacific Swallow.
Purposely make this picture very large, for you can see that its beaks are open, and for good reason, a speck to the left, and you can see that it is aiming for that prey.  Not only this bird is a good flyer, it has superb eyesight!  (that speck is not dust on the camera sensor, or it will turn up in all the pictures!)

Beautiful and Agile

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