Saturday, October 02, 2010

Birding in Bukit Brown Cemetery

Yes, you heard me, cemetery.

Bukit Brown (also known as Kopi Sua or Coffee Hill) cemetery is one of the few rare cemetery's left in Singapore still not encroached by the ever growing development happening in Singapore.  No longer in use since the 1970's, the Chinese graves and the surrounding area are left untouched and nature continues to thrive here and support bird life.

It's sleeping residents, are disturbed only by joggers, horse riders (there is an equestrian club nearby), 4D punters (no kidding) and finally nature lovers. During the 7th month or Hungry Ghost Festivals, filial family members pay repects to their ancestors resting here. This can sometimes be seen with certain graves and their surrounding well maintained and tombs refurbished or tombstone characters re-inked while other graves remain overgrown by creepers and characters disappearing, weathered by the sands of time.

However time is running out for this quiet enclave. Development is already at its doorsteps with a mass-rapid transport station (part of the circle line) been built. How long more before that happens? Only time will tell. In the mean time, i will try to come here as often as i can.

History of Bukit Brown
From National Library's Infopedia

Getting there
It is located off Lornie Road at the junction of Sime Road in the diection of Kheam Hock Rd

View Bukit Brown Cemetery in a larger map

Most of the trails are tarred and goes in a circle (so can't get lost -lah ). There are also many other dirt trails and for the more adventurous- this trails do sometime reap you rewards of spotting the more shyer birds. (lol)

Chestnut bellied Malkoha

Actually 3 of them !

a pair Chestnut bellied Malkoha

The 3 Chestnut bellied Malkoha was a lucky find after i spot 1 of them and followed it after it flew off to a second tree along a dirt trail. The investigation was rewarded with the shots you now see as well as the fact that there are 3 of them !

Then it got me thinking as well-  they must known we were observing them for quite sometime, but still they did not take flight. The answer came minutes rained !!! So, in the end it was us that took flight ! lol.

White-throated Laughing Thrush
Orange-breasted Pigeon

Brown Shrike (juvenile)

Forgive me for taking bad shots, but i do wish i could have taken better shots of the Shrike. This migratory visitor are so cute. The one we saw had a head and eyes that seem so much bigger than their body.

Birds spotted
  1. 3 Chestnut-bellied Malkoha,
  2. 2 juvenile Brown Shrikes
  3. 1 Oriental Honey Buzzard (adult morph)
  4. 2 Common Flameback Woodpeckers (female)
  5. White-throated Laughing Thrush(s)
  6. Pink-necked pigeons
  7. Orange-breasted pigeons.
  8. Collared kingfisher
  9. White throated Kingfisher
  10. Crimson Sunbirds
  11. Lesser racket tailed Drongo
  12. Purple Starlings

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