Light to Night Festival 2018

Heard about this from a friend via Facebook. That show how pervasive is Facebook rather than main stream media. Went down to take a look and try out the new Sparks remote shutter release. Didn’t manage to get the IR part to work and silly me didn’t turn on the Bluetooth so couldn’t control it from the phone either. In the end, used it to good old fashion way via the cable. Still quite happy with the outcome considering that it was cloudy with a slight drizzle.

As far as I can see, only 3 buildings in the Civic district were lighted up with moving lights and design. There were other light installations but I didn’t have time to explore those as I spent too much time at the Marina Bay trying to get a good shot of the carnival and which I failed miserably.

These photos are of the Asian Civilisation Museum.

Next to it, the Victoria Concert Hall. Got lazy to move back a bit and didn’t take a fuller picture of it.

Last but not least the former Supreme Court and now the Singapore National Gallery. The most impressive of all.

Unfortunately the same problem with the longish part of it. Too lazy to move further back and the building got cut off not to say kinda distorted. The rapid moving light display didn’t help too.

 

Jurong Bird Park

Been some time since I been back to Jurong Bird Park. Equipped with a new camera and a new lens, went to the Walk In Aviary and the Wings of Asia Exhibit to try out the gears and get in some practice.

Caribbean Flamingo

Black Crown Night Heron

Some sort of Black Pelican?

The more common Pelican

Blue Eyed Cockatoo

Golden Concure

Black headed Caique

Yellow shouldered Amazon

Masked Lapwing

Bearded Barbet

Golden Weaver

Spoonbill

Bali Mynah

Lineated Barbet

Even though I don’t really like seeing the birds in the caged enclosures, I still enjoy going there to look at the birds that are able to fly more freely. After all, where else can I, with my poor eyesight, get to see so many diverse species in one place!

Wildlife in our Heartland – Choa Chu Kang

One of the symbol of Christmas is the White Dove. We don’t have a white dove here in Singapore but recently a flock of Pied Imperial Pigeon have chosen to make a small corner of Singapore their home for the holiday season.

It seems that every evening a large flock of this Pied Imperial Pigeon will fly to a particular tree in Choa Chu Kang housing estate to roost for the night. While there on Saturday evening, I counted at least more than 20 of them flying in from the Tengah area. Perhaps they have been displaced by the redevelopment there?

Anyway it is good that wildlife has been able to adapt and survive in built up Singapore. Hopefully other than birds and otters, we will be able to see more native animals like the mousedeer and Sambar Deer thriving and being common sights all over Singapore.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kranji Marshes Revisited

Since the last visit in May this year with volunteer guides from Nature Society Singapore, I have not been back to Kranji Marshes so I was looking forward to this second guided walk. Again, my hope was just to have a glimpse of the Purple Moorhen, and maybe a closer look at the Black Cap Kingfisher and the Lapwings.

Immediately after we alight from the bus at Turut Track, we saw 2 dollar birds up on the power line of the BBC Transmission Station. But what got all of us excited was not the dollar birds but this Black Winged Kite! 

Black winged Kite

Unfortunately, it was so high up on the wire and it was mostly facing away from us that I can get a really decent shot. But for a lifer and a record shot, I think this photo is great. What a great start to the walk!

We saw a Purple Heron subsequently. But it was silhouette against the light so to date I still don’t have a proper photo of the Purple Heron.

Purple Heron

Further in, we saw a Blue Tailed Bee-Eater on a solitary branch right out in the open. How lucky!

Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater

It flew off when a Spotted Dove landed on the same branch.

Spotted Dove

The next bird we spotted was actually not within the marshland itself but in the open field next to it. We were separated by a chain-wired fence but some eager eye spotted a yellow bird on the ground. Turn out to be a Grey Wagtail although initially I thought it was a Yellow Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail

Just a few feet away from the Wagtail was 2 birds which got the guide very exciting. Wood Sandpiper which apparently is quite uncommon. Unfortunately they were too far away and on too low ground for a clear shot

Wood Sandpiper

We saw a few raptors including a Oriental Honey Buzzard and a Brahminy Kite flying around. That was probably why there were many photographers on the watch tower. I managed a shot of the Brahminy Kite

Brahminy Kite

We saw and heard many other birds including the Black Cap Kingfisher which was on a railing. But it was so far away that it is a wonder the guides can spot it. There were also the usual sunbird, pink neck green pigeon and crow.The guide also saw the Lapwing but try as I could, I couldn’t spot them.

Compared to the last trip, there were less species spotted but it was still a rather fruitful morning spent wandering through the only remaining marshland on mainland Singapore.

 

 

Recent Birding

Over the course of the past few weeks after coming back from Nepal, have done some birdings at various places and pleasantly happy to get some not so common birds. Not as many as some of the other birders who went all round Singapore chasing sightings but I was contended to just go to the usual places.

At Sungei Buloh, didn’t managed to get many but was lucky to have a White Bellied Sea Eagle and a Brown Shrike. Closer to home, at the Sungei Tampines, saw this Little Heron drying itself:

And further down the road at the Pasir Ris Town Park, was this White Bellied Sea Eagle perched on a low branch!

Further up at the Wooden Bridge across Sungei Tampines, joined the crowd of photographers shooting at this Stork Billed kingfisher.

And further into the Mangrove Swamp, M managed to spot a Laced Woodpecker.

And at the pond next to the vegetables farm, there was a not so common Common Kingfisher!

And the last for the month of November was this little Yellow Bittern standing patiently in the open

Never Stop Exploring – Bulim Forest

The Bulim/Tengah forest will soon be gone – converted into another block and block of flats and condominium. So before it is gone forever, I went down with some friends to have one last look and also first look at the place.

First thing that strike me when I entered the place was its sheer size. From the main road, it looks just like any small patch of forest but once in, we were like Oh Wow! Just take a look at these photos:

As I understand, these place used to be a kampung before the villagers were resettled in the Chua Chu Kang and Bukit Batok areas and the SAF took over the place for the army training. Hence, the nice wide paths that criss cross the entire area.

There is supposed to be a small stream but we didn’t manage to locate it. Instead what we saw was this little longkang which I understood was a lifeline for the people there during the second world war.

This stream and all the mini waterways there eventually leads to this new longkang.

While we were there, we observed many birds including a large flock of Long tailed Parakeets and many other smaller forest birds. We also spotted Brahminy Kite and White Bellied Sea Eagle flying overhead.

A rather beautiful place to admire Mother Nature and admire its beauty. Sadly scene like these will disappear soon as the crazy Gahmen continues on its relentless quest to concrete the whole of Singapore.