Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Berlayer Creek - Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk

Saturday, 28th April, 2012 ~ Went for a look at Berlayer Creek, a small patch of mangroves in the newly opened Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk which entrance is conveniently located just next to Labrador Park MRT Station.

@Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk

When we arrived at the entrance, my guy took one look & commented that this place gonna need a lot of luck & maintenance to be truly successful. Bordering this pitiful narrow & tiny stretch of mangroves is, on the left, the Keppel Club golf course & on the right, an empty patch of grassland which will be a future residential area with showroom already erected just behind the MRT station.

Berlayer Creek

At the opposite bank, near the coast, a part of Reflections at Keppel Bay, another residential area is near completion.

Reflections at Keppel Bay

Most probably, the current major problem is golf balls. With a golf tee-off point very near to the creek & the direction the ball needs to travel to the hole is parallel to the stretch of mangroves. Quite a few times, we heard the frustrated scream of a golfer followed by the sound of golf ball crashing into the mangroves. If those hellish screams did not frighten the living daylight out of the animals in the creek, the meteorites of golf balls will. It must be pretty exciting, living in a roulette at Berlayer Creek. Perhaps those swamp creatures will learn to cry 'Foul'... eh, I mean 'Fore'. LOL! =P
I remembered reading a write-up about cleaning up Berlayer Creek & the volunteer crew found lots of golf balls. After bringing up the issue with Keppel Club, the crew still found lots of balls in another round of clean up. Frankly speaking, I don't see any effective method can be done to prevent golf balls from entering the creek. I believe Keppel Club did tried their best coz we saw workers, presumingly from the club, crashing into the mangroves looking for lost golf balls.
It can be foreseen that when more nearby areas are in construction or completed, more problems will arise for this little patch of mangroves. It would be a daunting task to preserve this nature enclave. Nevertheless, we can hope for the best or better still, a miracle.

Rant: The recent influx of foreigners is not doing any good to our wildlife. For decades, when a local Singaporean wanna catch something, at most, it would be only fishing in the canal, river, pond or lake. The urban Singaporean doesn't go hunting any more. But those foreigners are different. Many of them were from poor rural area in their country. Their lifestyle is to live off the land & that means eat anything that can be taken or caught, from harvesting plants to trapping animals. My guy had heard stories about foreign workers hunting wild boars in Bukit Timah & trapping for Civet Cats at Kranji. Our government said that we need those foreigners to boost our economy, but I ask, at what price? More people means more housings, schools, hospitals, facilities, etc. More people also means more encroachment into our shrinking nature enclaves. When can we stop before Singapore becomes a wasteland? The greed of human, knows no end...

The start of the coastal walk is at the mouth of Berlayer Creek. It stretches all the way to Keppel Marina. Nothing much to see at high tide. More will be exposed at low tide.

Labrador Coastal Walk

For a small area like Berlayer Creek, I wasn't expecting much, on land I mean. Even if I had the chance of going down to the creek, the thought of those wildly flying golf balls make me cringe. =P
Anyway, at the very least, you will see insects. These creepy crawlies had been on Earth for about 400 millions years & despite human best effort to eliminate some of the species, they are still here, trying their best at annoying us puny human. LOL! =P

A 'X' factor beetle, a Wasp & 2 Flies making out.

Dragonflies ~ Male & female Common Scarlet

Butterflies ~ Dingy Bush Brown & Common Tit

Of bigger animals, we spotted several Plantain Squirrels & a big Malayan Water Monitor Lizard up on a tree.

Tree-climbing Malayan Water Monitor

As of the birds, which we are more interested in, we sighted a White-bellied Sea Eagle nest high above on a tall tree & an unknown bird nest hanging from a bush. We didn't see many species on that very hot, baking afternoon.

Eagle Nest & Unknown Nest

White-collared Kingfisher, a male Common Iora singing its little heart out & an inquisitive little Pacific Swallow landed near to us.

A vain male Pink-necked Green Pigeon showing off on a tree next to us, a Black-naped Oriole had caught a caterpillar for dinner & a Chinese Pond Heron in winter plumage foraging for worms at the grassland next to the creek.

A Brahminy Kite flying high above, a male Olive-backed Sunbird & a skittish Striped Tit-babbler.

Another male Olive-backed Sunbird showing off its iridescent throat patch.

For such a tiny stretch of mangroves, it's amazing that one can still finds so much biodiversity. It's a gem worth preserving. My respect to those people who have the dedication & devotion in trying to preserves our nature spots. And also, tirelessly trying to educate the public, spreading awareness to the perils of nature around us.

Natural Awareness

One cannot be too aloft that there is no more to learn. You cannot sit in your ivory tower & ignore the facts of life. You can't fly so high that one day, you won't fall.

Aloft & Alone

For those just starting out to appreciate nature, Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk is the place to go. It's conveniently reachable by public transport & tame. C'mon, what's a little mosquito bites or suntan? If I can do it, so can you! Even if you do not see much animals, it's still a nice place for a stroll.

Tame Walk

Note: Usually, I won't be in such colorful outfit or in whites when I venture into nature parks or reserves. =P

FAQ: What camera was used for taking those pics in my blog & who shot them?
Answer: Most of the wildlife pics were taken by my guy using a Canon SX30(a 35x superzoom compact camera). The rest were by me using an iPhone, with & without a 10x telephoto lens attached.
FAQ: What camera lens do I need for wildlife photography?
Answer: For small animals or birds, a telephoto or zoom lens with a focus length of 300mm or more. For insects, a macro lens of about 100mm to 180mm will do. We usually don't use flash for it tend to frighten away most animals.



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