Monday, May 30, 2011

Goodbye Bukit Brown Cemetery

The signs were already there, with the building of the Bukit Brown Downtown line station and Singapore's land scare policy of redeveloping cemetery land (e.g. recently the Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery and previously the Biddari Cemetery),  it was no surprise when today's Strait Times featured an article that "Bukit Brown to make way housing". According to the article, Bukit Brown Cemtery is about 86ha with rougly 80,000 tombs will be exhumed but no time-frame is still given for this.
Entrance of Bukit Brown

I personally regretted didn't spending enough time at the Biddari Cemeteries prior to its exhumation, but i will take whatever opportunity to pay a number of visits to Bukit Brown namely because of its abundant birdlife will have to make way. So it's not only heritage enthusiasts but i am sure nature lovers will love to keep it has it is as experts said there are about 85 recorded species of birds here.

Two famous "plots" mention in this article includes a plot the size of 10 3-room flats that is the resting place of the late 19th century tycoon Mr Ong Sam Loong and his wife. The second features what possibility is the oldest grave in Singapore, dating 1833 and occupied by a man named Fang Shan.

So what are you waiting for, go visit before it's too late and the place becomes "silent" forever.

Previous post of Bukit Brown.
Birding in Bukit Brown
Reflections in Bukit Brown
Bird watching in Bukit Brown(Oct)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Birds at Tampines Echo

Decided to make a trip during the evening to check out the bird life in Tampines Echo Green.Although today is very cloudy and humidity levels were high, i had a good 1 1/2 hours leisurely walk there.

Birds spotted
  1. Lesser flameback woodpecker (3 nos)
  2. Sooty headed Bulbul (3 nos)
  3. Pied Fantail
  4. Long-tailed Shrike
  5. Yellow bellied Prinia
  6. Common Iora
  7. Olive backed Sunbird
  8. Blue throated Bee-eater
  9. Asian Golden Weaver
  10. Baya Weaver
  11. Green Pigeon
  12. Peaceful Dove
  13. Red Breasted Parakeets
  14. Asian Glossy Starling
  15. Black-naped Oriole
Previous post:
Tampines Echo Green
Asian Golden Weaver in Tampines Echo

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ubin Temple festival

It's 17th May, Vesak Day and it coincides with the Tua Pek Kong (Da Bo Gong ) festival. The jetty is decorated with colorful flags and yes, there are lots of devotees present here today as well. The festive atmosphere is added on with a chinese opera (wayang) performance that happens at 7.30pm.

We arrived around 4.00 pm ,when activities are on-going with devotees going about their routine of joystick offerings and burning of paper money. We had enough time to also sneak in a nature walk to check out the birds before returning to observe the temple rituals as well as the Chinese opera.
Beautifully decorated jetty 

Temple festivities

Taoist Priest crossing the Ping Ann bridge

Best seats in town 

Chinese Opera performance

We left around 9 pm having fully enjoyed and soaked in the festive atmosphere. It is not often you see Ubin crowded way into the night.

Birds spotted
  • 4 Oriental Pied Hornbills near Temple grounds @ 5.30 pm
  • 4 Oriental Pied Hornbills at No 8 Ubin Rd, next to public toilets @ 6.30 pm
  • Scarlet-backed flowerpecker (female) 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Decorah Eagles

 I posted almost a month ago on the hatchlings from the live cam Ustream website featuring Decorah Eagles (American Bald Eagles) nesting at Decorah, Iowa, USA. This is one of the many projects undertaken by the Raptor Resource Project.

Let's take a look at how the grown up since almost a month ago. The chicks/ fledglings have dark color feathers on their heads (as opposed to white for the adults) and are 3 times the size since i last saw them !
May 11- Sound asleep in the morning 
May 11 - Good morning !
It's feeding time and breakfast are fishes from the nearby stream (i presume). The adults return with great joy but the chicks/ fledglings. The parents tore up the fish meat bit by bit and fed the young ones one at a time.
May 11- Both parents (one in front, the other background)
with the fishes at their feet
May 11- Tearing up the fish meat

Till the next post, take care.

Previous Post: Webcam of nesting eagles

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tampines Echo Green

Following up on my earlier post, i am continuing my blog about this new green lung in the east. Unlike other normal parks that has a children playground, park lights, concrete or tar pavement - this park doesn't ! Instead, there is a grass pathway, no park lighting at night to disturb the wildlife and uses as much as possible natural or recycled materials. How considerate !
Signages (using recycled wood)
The signages and places for resting are made from recycled wood. There are several ponds that could in future harbor more aquatic life, birds etc.

Bird hide

The above is a birding hide made of twigs and branches.Not only, does it blend in with the environment but i guess is practical given some modifications to the dimensions of the hide window, which i feel is on the smaller side. The whole walk can be completed leisurely within 45 minutes to 1 hour,

Tampines Echo Green as i mentioned in my earlier post is a former wasteland transformed. What a wonderful sight it will be once the transformation is complete ! 

Getting there:
From Tampines MRT, head towards Tampines Regional Library. Cross the road you should see Sun Plaza Park. Walk across the park, underneath the MRT lines and you should see eventually Tampines Echo Green or Tampines Park for short. It borders along Tampines Ave 9 and 12.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Asian Golden Weaver at Tampines Eco Green

Tampines Eco Park or Tampines Echo Green is a new introduction to residents living in the east. Bordering Tampines and Pasir Ris and visible from the MRT lines, it provides another "green lung" location for us to explore.

Walking distance from Tampines MRT (via Sun Plaza Park)
Alternatively, follow MRT line.
 It was formerly a wasteline, undeveloped for years and was given a new lease of live by NParks and landscaped to mimic a bio-diversity of a marshes, freshwater ponds and secondary forest -all within the 36.5ha park. It also boast an echo toilet where it does not use chemicals to treat human waste and facilities made from recycled materials e.g. signages, park benches, bird viewing hide, etc.

Upon reading in the papers that this place was finally opened, i made my maiden trip there on the 1st May (a public holiday here in Singapore). The overcast sky and light drizzle did not stop from taking a short stroll there.

The first thing that captivated my attention upon reaching there was a male baya  asian golden weaver (Thanks Accidental Birder for correcting me ! ) busily weaving and making its nest. Asian Golden weaver nest are made among the branches unlike a Baya Weaver which nest hangs from the branches. ( I learned something new here !)

Asian Golden Weaver checking out its nest
Asian Golden Weaver off to get more materials for its nest
I observed its activities for almost an hour before continuing my walk. During my observation, i also spotted 2 Pied Trillers on a tree above. I also hope to come back to this spot to see how the nest turns out and whether it can withstand forces of nature such as rain, etc.

More about the rest of the Tampines Eco Green trail in a later post !