Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ubin and Straw-headed Bulbul

Pulau Ubin beckons and here i go again ! My wife and I have been there twice this year. In both instances,we heared the wonderful call of the straw-headed bulbul but failed to spot it. In fact, the last time i actually spotted one was early last year. My wife has not spotted one in Ubin as yet. Today, changed all that. I saw it twice (at different spots) and my wife once.

That made us very happy ! Unfortunately, i was not able to capture any shots of it this time around. But, with nature, one has to be patient and try again and again and again....You get my point.

The walk was a pleasent one with few cyclist, probably because school season is back in order and/or people are busy with Chinese New Year shopping.

Atlas Moth

Swallows perched on a tv antena

Before even the walk started, i spotted an Atlas moth perched on a Sea Almond Tree right in front of the Information Kiosk in front of the jetty. (By the way, if you are looking for a map on Ubin, you need to walk past the "Kampung" center towards the HSBC Center- which used to be the Community Center of the residents of Ubin. They shifted there for some reason)
Horsfield's Baron

Common Flameback Woodpecker (Male)

Common Flameback Woodpecker (female)
Oriental Pied Hornbill

Spotted in Ubin Island
  1. Straw-headed Bulbul (2 no's)
  2. Pied Fantail
  3. Olive-backed Sunbird (male and female)
  4. Common Flameback (3 no's- 2 male 1 female)
  5. Scarlet-backed flowerpecker (2 no's- male)
  6. Zebra dove
  7. Grey Heron
  8. Intermediate Egret
  9. Oriental Pied Hornbill
  10. Brahminy Kite
  11. White-bellied sea eagle

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birding with the experts in Bukit Brown

With the start of a New Year and bird identification skills a bit rusty, it's time one sharpen one's skill. The best and easiest way......bird with a group of experts ! Hence i went on an exercusion organised by the Nature Society. The person in charge of today's trip- Wing Chong.

It was a good turn out as well. Around 30 like-minded people were present. At the rally point in front of the cemetery entrance was a Changeable Hawk and another tree, a blue crowned hanging parrot ! A fantastic start indeed.

A great start to the year. Belated New Year 2011 to all birders.

Nature Society members present for the birding trip

Dark-side Flycatcher

Lots of Pink-necked Pigeon

Birds spotted
  1. Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot
  2. Laced Woodpecker
  3. Banded Woodpecker
  4. Common Flameback Woodpecker
  5. Changeable Hawk Eagle
  6. Scarlet-backed flower pecker
  7. Asian Brown Flycatcher
  8. Dark side Flycatcher
  9. Pink-necked Pigeon(s)
  10. Greater-racquet tailed Drongo
Previous Post: Birdwatching in Bukit Brown Cemetery (October)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Old Jurong Railway track

Happy New Year 2011 and what better to start the New Year by going for a nature walk!

We decided to cover part of the Old Jurong railway track that covers the area along Sungai Ulu Pandan. The history of this track began when KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu)  for economic reasons in 1965 developed this track (that branched off from Bukit Timah railway station towards Jurong via Teban Gardens)  has a means for commodities transportation to industrial Jurong.

Getting there
This is a short and focus route that covers some of the flora and fauna along the disused track that has a mostly clear/exposed trail. We covered only the area from Faber Heights to Sunset Way.  There are some tracks that no longer exist (especially towards the Jurong area) which i did not cover and the wooded area from Sunset Way/Clementi woods to the Bukit Timah railway station track (which i hope to cover one day).

View Rediscovering Old Jurong Line in a larger map

What we saw and highlights from the old railway track walk 
The track itself is easy to follow with some portions missing but with some guess work, you should be able to follow thru. Some of the track area closer to Clementi side are used by the residents there as mini-farm of sorts growing edible plants such as tapioca, sweet potato leaves, banana, etc, while others, the secondary forest is slowly consuming what remains of a railway track.

View of the Park Connector from the old Railway Bridge

Rusty Railway bridge over Sungai Ulu Pandan

White throated Kingfisher

Black Baza

Track reappears again

Bridge over Sunset Way

The plan in the future for me is to cover the portion from Sunset Way via Clementi woodlands to Bukit Timah railway station and maybe portions of the track leading towards Jurong. I was told the Jurong industrial tracks are mostly gone already. 

Memories from a past

Birds spotted
  1. Black Baza
  2. Coppersmith Barbet
  3. Lineated Barbet
  4. Intermediate Egrets
  5. Koel (male)
  6. Red breasted Parakeet
  7. Yellow vented Bulbuls
  8. White breasted waterhen
  9. Lesser racquet-tailed Drongo
  10. Common Kingfisher
  11. White throated Kingfisher
  12. Dollarbird
Till the next time, have a great year ahead.

Previous Post
Bukit Timah Railway Station
Singapore-Malaysia KTM Tanjong Pagar land swap