Tag Archives: singaporebotanicgardens

Our Weekend “Getaway”: Day 3 of 3 (Singapore Botanic Gardens)

We managed to start the day pretty early. But to our surprised, the day was pretty slow until we saw the Buffy Fish Owl. Our first reaction, “OMG”.

Buffy Fish Owl
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 558mm

There’s not one but two of these perched on the tree. I managed to get the other owl when it was stretching itself.

Buffy Fish Owl
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 459mm

After a short break, we continued walking around the area and decided to enter the forest trail (i forgot what’s the name of the trail). We bumped into a fellow photographer from Japan. We were talking about the different birds that we looking for. He told us that he was looking for a Pitta but it went further into the forest. We bid farewell and wanted to continue with our walk when suddenly a bird flew right past us. We turned and look at it and realized it was the Greater Racket-trailed Drongo! Another “OMG” moment for us.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 230mm

My partner has been dreaming of looking at this species with his own eyes for a few years now, ever since he was still in school. When we started bird watching and photography together last year, he was talking about it and I was surprised and couldn’t believe that a bird can look this unique. We did come across it once when we were at MacRitchie but it just flew past us and didn’t stop. So you can imagine our excitement when this gorgeous bird stopped and posed for us. 😀

Once we are done getting our shots, we walked further down and exited the area.

We decided to walk for a bit more before we make our way to Pasir Ris Park in the afternoon. While walking, we saw a group of fellow photographers wandering around the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. We followed them and to our surprise, another rare species!

Von Schrenck’s Bittern
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 600mm

We made our move to Pasir Ris Park right after but to our disappointment, there’s nothing much there. It could be the weather because it was quite cloudy and rained for a bit. Nevertheless, we did manage to spot a Dollarbird (didn’t get a shot, sadly), an Oriental Piped Hornbill and a Grey Heron.

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!

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.

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:

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.
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.
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.

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


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

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.