Tag Archives: naturephotography

Our trip: Pasir Ris Park

2 days of bird watching and it’s not enough. Ever since we started this passion of ours, we have been researching for places to go, reading on the different species found in different areas and even Instagram hopping from one profile to another, in hoping to find a good spot to encounter new species.

After an intense discussion while on the way home from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, we decided to venture out to the Eastern side of Singapore and explore the area.

As usual, we woke up at 5 am in the morning and made our way down to the East. Grabbed a quick bite at McDonald’s’ and we made our way down to the entrance of Pasir Ris Park. The last time we were here, we focused on macro photography because we were given the opportunity to use a 100mm macro lens.

While making our way in, we could hear the sound of the birds filling up the surrounding. The first thing we saw while walking in were a few professional photographers were ready at their chosen spot around the pond, waiting for the right time to snap a photo. After we found a spot, we did the same. The first bird that flew in sight was the Asian Pied Fantail. Sadly, I wasn’t able to capture it fast enough. My partner managed to get it though. He was elated when he reviewed the photo. Damn, it was stunning.

Waited for a while more and we managed to get this:

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The Pacific Swallow is a fast flyer and feeds on insects, especially flies, while airborne. – Wikipedia

Yes! It is the Pacific Swallow. I was so excited when I saw it was on the bench just beside us. I tried to zoom in as much as I can, and since I don’t have a stable hand, that explains why the image is not as sharp as i imagined it to be. I regained fast though when I saw a Spotted Dove perched itself on a branch right in front of us.

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The Spotted Dove is common around human habitation and can easily be seen in parks, gardens and agricultural areas. – birdsinbackyards.net

I was fast enough to capture quite a number of this bird. As I was busy snapping it, my partner went over the other side and try to capture an image of a monitor lizard. While snapping the reptile, a tiny bird just flew into his frame and he quickly moved his lens towards that bird. He was smiling from ear to ear when he saw it. Want to know what species of bird that he encountered?

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Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in Singapore

It’s call is too distinct that we know at that moment that it was the Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker. Got a few good shots and I’m pretty satisfied with the final piece. After a short rest (boy, the morning sun was really strong and we were perspiring), we walked further into the park. And guess what, another species of Woodpecker sound out its presence. We looked around and we saw the Common Flameback. This one that we saw is the male.

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A few hours later, the female Common Flameback decided to make its presence known to us.

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Other species that we encountered include: Olive-backed Sunbird, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pied Thriller, Zebra Dove, Black-napped Oriole, Borwn-throated Sunbird and the Magpie Robin.

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Pied Thriller
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Black-napped  Oriole
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Brown-throated Sunbird
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Olive-backed Sunbird.
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Stork-billed Kingfisher
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Zebra Dove.
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Yellow-vented Bulbul

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Blue-throated Bee-Eater
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Striated Heron
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Grey Heron.

As usual, I’m sure there are more species to be found but we did try to search it hard enough. We know of an owl perched somewhere in the park but we couldn’t seem to locate it. Maybe better luck next time!

 

Want to know where we will be heading this weekend? Stay tuned to hear from our trip!

 

 

Our Trip: Singapore Botanic Gardens

After 7 hours of going around Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves, we decided to revisit the location, but this time, at 7 am. As the saying goes “the early bird catches the worm”, we wanted to be there as early as we can so that we will be able to get more sighting of birds when they are looking for their morning meal.

However, we were quite disappointed because we were not able to get any shot (probably because our eyes are not sharp enough due to lack of sleep). We tried out luck again at the Little Heron Deck and guess who greeted us? It’s the Plantain Squirrel!

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This noisy little creature is known for adapting in forested and urban areas. It has an olive-brown body and tail, reddish brown underbelly and black and white stripes along its body.

We were hoping to spot Herons perched on the tree branches right in front of us but I guess we were not in luck. Came across more Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Mynas. We made a few rounds around the reserves and saw the same Saltwater crocodile, Zebra Doves and Golden Orb Spiders.

We also encountered a White -breasted Waterhen waddling around the pond.

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The White-breasted Waterhen are commonly found in the Southeast Asia region and near freshwater. They are also a Crepuscular creature, meaning there are mostly active during twilight.

After spending 3 hours in Sungei Buloh, we decided to rest and try out our luck over at the Singapore Botanic Gardens using a 150-600mm lens.

Upon reaching the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is located at 1 Cluny Road, we were greeted by an Oriental Pied Hornbill. Sadly, we were not prepared. I am pretty sure that the next time we make our visit again, we will be greeted by it again and I’ll make sure that I will get a snap of it.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of the three gardens to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This 158-year-old tropical garden covers an area of 74 hectares and houses the largest orchid collection of 1,200 species and 2,000 hybrids. Want to go to a park that closes late at night? Here is the place to go! The garden is open at 5 am and closes at midnight. Fact: It is the only garden that opens at the mentioned timings every day!

After setting up our camera, the first species we came across was the Red Junglefowl. I was amazed at how shiny its feather were. Just as I was about to snap a picture of the male, the female Junglefowl appeared. In my opinion, it is not as flattering as the male, but it has its own unique features. Take a look at them:

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The female’s plumage is typical of this family of birds in being cryptic and adapted for camouflage. She alone looks after the eggs and chick. She also has no fleshy wattles and a very small comb on the head. – Wikipedia.
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The Red Junglefowl was first domesticated at least five thousand years ago. Their species has been found across Southeast Asia and on several Hawaiian Islands.
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Look at how its feather shimmer.

After spending about half an hour getting used to the lens, we made our move towards the Swan Lake. That is where this we came across this graceful Black Swan.

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The Black Swan is known to be an ornamental bird in the 1800s, but have escaped and formed stable population. – Wikipedia.

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And lastly, the last capture of the day was… the Magpie Robin! Cute isn’t it?

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Used to be in abundance in Singpaore, the Magpie Robin’s population was swept out when the Myna came over and terrorized the city. Singapore managed to find the last few of its kind over in Pulau Ubin. With proper breeding and conservation, its population stabilizes and was released back in the wild.

There are more species to be found in the Singapore Botanic Gardens but due to time constraint and the huge number of visitors on that day, we only managed to come across those few listed above.