Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lornie Trail/Sime Track

Backdated to last year ~ One of the places I went for my nature walk is the tracks/trails around MacRitchie Reservoir. I'd being there only a couple of times & the first time, we(my guy & me) started off from MacRitchie Reservoir Park, taking Lornie Trail that goes through secondary forest. Joining Sime Track, which in part, runs along the shoreline of MacRitchie Reservoir & after more jungle, ending our hike at Venus Drive. Quite a trek for a little Hamster me. =P

MacRitchie Reservoir

Me @MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

Map of tracks & trails around MacRitchie Reservoir.

The second time, due to time constrain, we started off from Lornie Road, near Sime Road, taking a side trail into Sime Track till Jelutong Tower & turn back. For most birders, this is the shortest way from the main road to Jelutong Tower which is a popular spot for birding(bird spotting or photography).

@Lornie Trail

Now, a little note on Do & Don't at such places & these rules/laws apply to all Singapore's nature reserves & nature parks.

Rules/Laws for visitors to nature reserves & nature parks.

And some advices:
Wear steady, comfortable footwear. Some parts of the track/trail are washed out, leaving a narrow trench in the center of the path & uneven footings on both sides.
If you intend to hike for long distance, bring food & most importantly, plenty of water. Expect for a ranger station a distance away, there's no facility in there for miles.
Due to the danger of falling branches or tress, do not go there in stormy weather or rainy/monsoon season.

If you like nature like I do, it's a lovely place to visit.

Go Green

Fishes in the water.

Crickets & Grasshoppers

A beetle & a water strider.


Nymph of a Fly & a molding Katydid.

As usual, lots of monkeys around & they are mostly Long-tailed Macaques.

Monkey Grooming Service


Enjoying Rambutans

Most of the monkeys are familiar with human presence & bold enough that you can get close to them, but please, do not feed them & be attentive of your belongings when they are nearby.

Rubbish Chute Raider

Peel Fresh

Crocodiles in the reservoir? I don't think there are crocs, but there are many pretenders… Malayan Water Monitors.

Wannabe Crocodile

It's always a delight to catch sight of a Green-crested Lizard because I'd being seeing too many invasive Changeable Lizards.

A Juvenile & an adult Green-crested Lizard

A Butterfly Haven? Definitely!

Love of the Lesser Grass Blue.

From left to right, top to bottom: Chocolate Pansy, Common Birdwing, Malayan Lascar & Cruiser.

From left to right, top to bottom: Horsfield's Baron-female, Chocolate Grass Yellow, Branded Imperial & Three Spot Grass Yellow.

Knight & Malay Viscount.


From left to right, top to bottom: Ypthima horsfieldii humei, Eurema simulatrix tecmessa, Tree Yellow & Paintbrush Swift

It's also a Dragonfly Paradise which a number of uncommon or rare species can only be found there.

Dragonfly Paradise

Blue Sprite, Violet Sprite & Common Flashwing.

Coastal Glider & female Crimson Dropwing.

From left to right, top to bottom:  Common Blue Skimmer(male), Sapphire Flutterer, male Trumpet Tail & Dark-tipped Forest-skimmer.

From left to right, top to bottom: Male & female Restless Demon, Green-eyed Percher & male Black-tipped Percher.

Common Scarlet & Common Flangetail.

Treehugger, Pond Adjutant & Variable Sentinel.

From left to right, top to bottom: Variegated Green Skimmer, Bronze Flutterer, female Scarlet Grenadier & Dancing Dropwing.

Jelutong Tower in the middle section of Sime Track is popular with many birders, but only during the fruiting season. That's when many uncommon or rare residential birds can be observed when they flocked to the fruiting trees. Sadly, I knew of this bit of info a little too late & was there at the wrong time.

Birding Season


Grey-headed Fish Eagle & Blue-throated Bee-eater.

Pacific Swallow feeding chicks & Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.


Juvenile Crimson Sunbird & Plain Sunbird? (ID unsure).

Striped Tit-Babbler, adult & juvenile.

Olive-winged Bulbul & Cream-vented Bulbul.

As I'm writing this, it's still the monsoon season. Once it's over, I will definitely go back again.

I Shall Return!

To be continued… in the near future.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back To Changi & Pasir Ris Park/Mangroves

For the past year, I'd being going for nature walks to various nature reserves or parks, mostly for the purpose of photography. Also, these walks are enriching experiences to me. My guy will always accompany me & both of us love taking wildlife photos. Since I stay in the Eastern part of Singapore, some of the places we frequent the most are Changi Beach & Pasir Ris Park Mangroves.
Older entries of our visits to Changi Beach & Pasir Ris Park Mangroves are featured here:
A Walk @Changi Point

Go Wild @Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves

A Return To Pasir Ris Park & Mangrove Forest

@Changi Beach
Went to Changi Beach late one afternoon & encountered this cute little Nerite Snail crawling along the shore.

Nerite Snail @Changi Beach.

Near the beach, on a stretch of sandy land, grow some sorta ground creepers which produced fruits looking very much like mini watermelons when unripe. The ripe ones turned a rich golden yellow or orange. Dunno what are these plants, but I found a Ladybug on them. First time I ever saw a real live Ladybug!

Cute Mini Watermelons

Tiny LadyBug

Among the plants, butterflies flirted. Some species are new to us & cooperative enough to let us get off a few snaps.

Blue Pansy, male(top pic) & female(bottom pic).

Black Veined Tiger & Tawny Coster

Some of the birds we saw that day is a juvenile Asian Glossy Starling with big red eyes & a juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia which came very close to me, hopping around my feet foraging for grass seeds.

Juvenile Asian Glossy Starling & juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia

One of my favorite bird is the Oriental Pied Hornbill & we saw them almost every time we visited Changi Beach. They had being roosting there for quite some time already. Another bird which is fun to watch is the Pied Fantail which loves to spread its tail feathers when hunting for insects on the ground.

Oriental Pied Hornbill & Pied Fantail

The sunset was gorgeous that day & I considered it time well spend.


@Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves Forest
One of my favorite place for my nature outing is Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves. It's a lovely place. Anyone not familiar with that place should give it a try. Keep your eyes peel, ears open & be quiet as possible. You will find many photo opportunities.

Flora & Fungi

Many species of butterflies can be found there, in the park, especially in the delightful little garden or in the mangroves.

From left to right, top to bottom: Pea Blue, Black Veined Tiger, Blue Pansy & Common Bluebottle.

From left to right, top to bottom: Common Rose, Tailed Jay, Common Palmfly & Peacock Pansy.

From left to right, top to bottom: Yellow-banded Wasp Moth, Great Swift & King Crow.

From left to right, top to bottom: Small Branded Swift, Common Mime, Mottled Emigrant & Short-banded Sailor.

Striped Albatross, Leopard & Common Grass Yellow.

Plenty of Bees, Hornets & Wasps too. Problem is, I dunno even the common names for almost all of them. =P

Very Busy

Small bee-like fly & giant Carpenter Bee.


And other insects...

Praying Mantis, Grasshoppers & Robber Fly.

Spiders are not insects. They are arachnids. This much I know. =P

St. Andrew Cross Spider, tiny green spider & a Giant Jumper.

Dragonflies, these living fossils are a joy to photo.

Common Chaser & Scarlet Grenadier

Male & female Blue Percher.

Reptiles ~ usually saw lizards, including the giant Malayan Water Monitors, but seldom see snake.

Gecko & Common Gliding Lizard.

Tree-hugging Malayan Water Monitor.

To me, it's a bonus if Otters are sighted @Pasir Ris Mangroves. I love to watch them playing & hunting for food. They are Smooth-coated Otters & recently, 10 of them were sighted.

Smooth-coated Otter having a fishy meal.

Birds are our favorite subjects in photography, but with my little baby camera, a Nikon CoolPix S6300, it's not easy getting good shots of them unless they are very near. Usually it's my guy with his super zoom camera, perviously a Canon SX30 & currently, a Canon SX50, that got the bird pics. However, I do get lucky. Perhaps animals love me & they will let me approach very close. =P
With its many species of birds & some uncommon or rare ones, not surprising that Pasir Ris Mangroves is a favorite haunt for many birders, notably during the migration period between October & March.

Male & female Asian Koel.

A cute Tanimbar Corella.

Scaly-breasted Munia, adult & juvenile, feeding on grass seeds.

MealTime ~ Common Goldenback Woodpecker(male), Common Iora(female) & Oriental Magpie Robin(male).

Dark-sided Flycatcher?

From left to right, top to bottom: Grey Heron, Intermediate Egret, juvenile Little Heron & a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron pretending to be Count Dracula. =P

Black-crowned Night Herons are migratory birds, staying for only a few months before going back up North.

Black-crowned Night Herons ~ sub-adult(top pic left) & adult(top pic right), adult(center pic) & juvenile(bottom).

Common Kingfishers & Black-capped Kingfishers are also migratory. The White-collared Kingfisher is a  common local resident around our rivers & coast.

Common Kingfisher

White-collared Kingfisher & Black-capped Kingfisher

It is always exciting when raptors are sighted.

Changeable Hawk-eagle

And the star of Pasir Ris Mangroves in 2012 is a Buffy Fish Owl…

Buffy Fish Owl

A very expressive star indeed! =P

Owl Expressions!

For more info/details on Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves:
National Parks

Wild Singapore

For free guided walks at Pasir Ris mangroves:
Conducted by - Mangrove Action Squad

Conducted by - Naked Hermit Crabs