Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bukit Timah Railway station

Paid a visit to Bukit Timah Railway Station as part of my continuing effort to document this sites before they are handed over to Singapore and the train route discontinued. This station is still currently in use and it is here that the train driver receives a token (railway signal) that gives the train right of way on that track especially in the case where the rail is of a single track.

Railway Token

The sign tells it all

View of cast iron railway bridge over Bukit Timah

Bukit Timah Railway Station

The signs tell you how to get there
Previous post
Singapore-Malaysia KTM Tanjong Pagar Land Swap

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Rare Bird Book sets Auction record

A rare copy of John James Audubon's 'Birds of America' was sold for 7.3 million UK pound in a printed book auction by Sotheby's London.

I am not sure which copy or volume was the one that was sold for that amount, but it makes you think, its great to know someone out there really appreciates bird books out there !

Read: Bird Book sets auction record 
Read: One of his book made available online (Birds of America. Vol III , 1841)

Monday, December 06, 2010

A visit to Lorong Halus landfill

Spent the morning birdwatching in Lorong Halus. Lorong Halus was a former rubbish landfill and sometime back in 2007, earmarked by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to be turned into Singapore's first constructed wetland park in their ABC Water Masterplan. A visit there on Sunday,showed that plans are underway in turning that plan into reality.

Getting there
Accessible via Tampines Expressway (from direction of Punggol) exit or via Pasir Ris direction via Pasir Ris Industrial Drive 1. Once you are at Lorong Halus, there is a trail that runs beside a stream. Follow that and look out for birds as well as butterflies along this trail. There is a bridge you can cross near the end of the trail to get to the other side if you planning to take a look at the pond.

View Lorong Halus in a larger map

The walk itself is unsheltered most of the way is still very much a dirt trail that gets pretty muddy after heavy downpour and extremely hot during mid-afternoon. Trust me, i experienced both conditions along this trail ! lol. Where posible, come prepared with something to protect you from the sorching afternoon eat and the hungry mozzies too !!

Below are some of the photos taken along the trail.
Lorong Halus Trail

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Flock of Asian Glossy Starlings

Pair of Dollarbird

Coppersmith Barbet
What is amazing is left to its own device, this area can still be host to beautiful birdlife. What is unfortunate is that the pond itself seemed to be polluted with brackish material seeped out either from the underground contents of the former landfill or from somewhere else. Didn't see any birdlife at the pond at all.

Birds spotted
  1. Red-whiskered Bulbuls
  2. Dollarbird
  3. Black Baza (spotted 2 in flight)
  4. Black shouldered Kite (solitary-perched)
  5. Crested Serpant Eagle (1 in flight)
  6. Brahminy Kite
  7. Pied Triller
  8. White-throated Fan Tail
  9. Coppersmith Barbets (spotted 2, 1-getting it's nest ready/the other perched nearby)
  10. Blue-tailed bee eater
  11. Cinnamon Bittern
  12. Stork-billed Kingfisher
  13. White throated Kingfisher
  14. Common Kingfisher
  15. Grey Heron
  16. Little Heron
  17. Marsh Sandpiper
  18. Olive back Sunbird (male)
  19. Scally Munia
  20. Baya Weaver
  21. Lesser Coucal
  22. White breasted waterhen
  23. Common iora
  24. Asian Glossy Starlings

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Recommended: A Passion for Birds

This book has been reviewed by many people,so i will not duplicate them. Rather, this book by Ms. Ong Kiem Sian offers insights to her love and joy - photographing birds. If you are not a avid bird photographer or do not have the means to do so, this is a fantastic book to add to your collection or just spent sometime reading through it. 

Having done just that, what really comes across is her patience, drive and the joy she gets in achieving the "defining shots". However, the pictures in her book did not happen overnight, but a cumulative effort than span over 16 long years.

I enjoyed not only the close-up shots but also of behavioural shots caught on photo.  An example of this are the shots of a small common Iora feeding a larger juvenile Banded Bay Cuckoo and the very same page, a shot of a Black-and-yellow-Broadbill feeding a juvenile Indian Cuckoo. You often read of the nest parastic nature of Cuckoos, but it is lovely to see photographic evidence of that happening as well.  She has also documented videos of such occurance.
Sadly, she passed away on in June 2009. According to Morten Strange, the co-author of the book, she was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, but continued to laboured on, to do what she does best - leaving behind a legacy for us to remember and most importantly enjoy. 

You can borrow this from the library or buy them from major bookstores (e.g. Kino)