Friday, November 21, 2014

Pasir Ris Park 2013 - 2014

2013 ~ 2014 - This entry is a compilation of nature photos taken in Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves during a period of roughly over a year, from 2013 to 2014. As the park is quite near where we stay, my guy & me visited it quite frequently. In fact, of all the nature parks & reserves, Pasir Ris Park & Mangroves is our favorite.

For more info about Pasir Ris Park:

For my earlier entries on Pasir Ris Park:

For entries on other nature parks & nature reserves of Singapore, please cruise through my blog:

When I first stepped, as a city girl, into the nature world, I was not prepared for it. In time, with my guy for a guide, I grew to love it & taken wildlife photography as one of my hobbies. Through our photos, we wanted to share with you the wild beauty of the nature world. It's a world so different, so far removed from the rat race we run everyday in our crowded stressful city. Yet, it's so near that within minutes, you could reach it. Immerse yourself in it. Sync with Mother Nature. She will wash away all your troubles & worries. After getting over your surprise that even in our tiny over-crowded city state, there are still wonderful places with their rich biodiversity, please understand that, if nothing is done, all will be gone in blink of an eye. The forest, the mangrove, the river, the reef, the marine environment & in fact, any eco-system near a city is very fragile, prone to many devastating factors introduced by human. Our industries, our transportation, our waste, our lifestyle & essentially, our needs or greed for more, contributed to factors that will kill off those natural habitats. When a wild animal enter your home territory, it is not invading. It has lost its home. You have taken over its natural habitat. Please be gentle with it. Human are encroaching into nature's realm everyday. Polluting, invading, destroying. There is only one Earth & almost every living things in this world are linked together. One cannot do without the other. By destroying one, you'll kill off the others. The very air that you breathe comes from plants which are help by animals to spread their growth. You can't breathe money, can you?

When you realise & understand the full implication of the importance in preserving nature, you will also realise that zoos, bird parks & marine theme parks are not the answer. Animals in captivity is no replacement for the wild. There's no spirit in captive animals. Zoos, bird parks & marine theme parks are sterile. There is no renewal. A cage, no matter how big, is nothing compared to the teeming forest. An aquarium tank is nothing compared to the bountiful sea. Wild animals are born free. Let them live free!

My hope is that our wildlife photos will inspire & convince you to take a step towards in helping to preserve the world of nature. As much as possible, leave nature alone, untouched & undisturbed. Live in harmony with it & not against it. You do not want to leave a sterilised & polluted world for your children or future generation, do you?

Due to the fact that I'm not exactly a great writer, I'll let our pictures do most of the talking…

Welcome To The World Of Nature.

Two small rivers run through Pasir Ris Park. Sungei Api Api flows at the more neat & tidy part of the park while the last stretch of Sungei Tampines runs pass the mangroves. The major stretch of Sungei Tampines is a man-made canal. The canal joins the natural river at the mangroves & continue to the sea.
Note: Sungei means river in the Malay language.

Green Spotted Pufferfish, Green Chromide & Giant Mudskippers.

Tree Climbing Crabs in the mangroves.

More of Tree Climbing Crabs.

Cool bubbles blowing Tree Climbing Crabs.

Paradise Tree Snake & a dead Horseshoe Crab.

Within the mangroves, there's a elevated wooden boardwalk & one can safely explore the area, without getting muddy or disturbing the wildlife too much.

Red Weaver Ants Drama.

Colorful Beetles.

All in order ~ Grasshopper, Cricket & Katydid.

Praying Mantis & Cicada.

Hover Fly & Green Long-legged Fly.

Black & Yellow Carpenter Bee (male), Neon Cuckoo Bee & Hornet.

Spiders are Arachnids, not insect & are fearsome to many people. Almost any girls will scream when encountering one. My guy told me that usually, they don't bite & in size, I outweight it by 10 million times. Now, if I see one, I would happily grab a camera & chase after it. They are one of my favorite subjects in macro photography. =P

A couple of Burmese Lynx Spiders & a Golden Orb Web Spider.

Green Crab Spider & a female Crab Spider (white) has caught an Asian Honey Bee while the smaller male Crab Spider (red) waited patiently nearby.

Of all the families of Spiders, the Jumpers look the cutest! xD

Common Housefly Catchers.

Cute Jumping Spiders.

Jumping Spiders again.

Two tiny baby Jumping Spiders & a juvenile.

Little Jumping Spider caught a huge Cicada.

Little Piano Player. =P

Note: I dunno the specific names of most of these Jumpers as I'm not an expert on them. I only know that they belong to a large family of Spiders known as Jumping Spider.

Butterflies are love for their beauty among macro photographers.

Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina).

Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides).

Black Veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus hegesippus).

A pair of mating Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus).

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) caterpillars & pupa.

Cycad Blue (Chilades pandava pandava).

Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei), Chocolate Pansy (Junonia hedonia ida) & Knight (Lebadea martha malayana).

Orange Emigrant (Catopsilia scylla cornelia) & Mottled Emigrant (Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe).

Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis lampa) & Pale Grass Blue (Zizeeria maha serica).

Short-banded Sailor (Phaedyma columella singa).

Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe contubemalis), Tawny Coster (Acraea violae) & female Common Mormon (Papilio polytes romulus).

Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus) & Slate Flash (Rapala manea chozeba).

Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra agina).

Small Branded Swift (Pelopidas mathias mathias).

Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius), Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans) & female Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis).

Malay Dartlet (Oriens paragola).

Pointed Ciliate Blue (Anthene lycaenina miya) & Tailless Line Blue (Prosotas dubiosa lumpura).

A pair of mating King Crows (Euploea phaenareta castelnaui).

Moths are related to Butterflies. Both belong to the order Lepidoptera in the animal kingdom. There are approximately 160,000 species of Moth in the world, many of which are yet to be described & compared to that, there are only about 17,500 species of Butterflies.

Moth Caterpillars (ID needed).

Bagworm Moth caterpillar & another Moth (ID needed).

Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas), the biggest Moth in the world.

In Pasir Ris Park, there's a very small pond at the Herbs Garden which attracts lots of Dragonflies & Damselflies. For years, my guy went there to shoot very often & mostly encountering common species. Surprisingly, in mid 2013, he discovered some rare & very rare Dragonflies there. Most probably they are forced to that tiny pond when a small forest nearby the park was cleared, making way for a housing development. Notably, a species photoed by my guy at that pond, is a critically endangered one in Singapore, the very rare Restless Demon (Indothemis limbata). According to local experts & documents, it's restricted only to one area in the center of Singapore. Pasir Ris Park is far away to the East & as far as we know, this is the first time the Restless Demon was recorded so far from its usual site. We can only but wonder what is lost when a forest is destroyed.

Dragonfly exuviae, the remains of an exoskeleton of a Dragonfly nymph which has moulted into an adult Dragonfly.

A male Common Scarlet (Crocothemis servilia) & a male Common Parasol (Neurothemis fluctuans).

Common Chaser (Potamarcha congener) - male, female & a female in obelisk posture.

Two male Blue Sprites (Pseudagrion microcephalum).

Blue Sprites (Pseudagrion microcephalum) - ovipositing.

Scarlet Grenadier (Lathrecista asiatica) - male & female.

Male & female Blue Percher (Diplacodes trivial is).

Yellow-barred Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis).

An uncommon Sapphire Flutterer (Rhyothemis triangularis).

Blue Dasher (Brachydiplax chalybea) - male.

Coastal Glider (Macrodiplax cora) - immature male.

Saddlebag Glider (Tramea transmarina) - male.

A male Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) & a giant male Sultan (Camacinia gigantea).

Scarlet Basker (Urothemis signata) - male.

A male Trumpet Tail (Acisoma panorpoides) & a critically endangered male Restless Demon (Indothemis limbata).

A rare male Blue Adjutant (Aethriamanta aethra) in obelisk posture & normal resting pose.

A rare male Scarlet Adjutant (Aethriamanta brevipennis) in obelisk posture & normal resting stance.

Birds are our favorite subject in wildlife photography. At Pasir Ris Park, one can always spot the plentiful usual residents & some of the migrants during the migration period from October to April. Now & then, vagrant & escapee birds has been spotted.

Birds of the Mangrove Forest.

The Olive-backed Sunbird is a very common resident which can be easily seen anywhere in Singapore..

A male Olive-backed Sunbird & another which was challenging its reflection on a metal toilet signage.

A female Olive-backed Sunbird building a nest

Common in the park is the Common Flameback Woodpecker.

Male & female Common Flameback Woodpecker.

Little Herons are very often spotted hunting at rivers.

Three adult Little Herons.

Two adult & a juvenile Little Heron.

Another common resident is the Grey Heron which you are bound to see or hear their loud calls. Pasir Ris Park Mangroves is one of the places  in Singapore where they build their nests.

Grey Herons.

More Grey Herons.

Grey Heron patiently on the hunt.

Grey Herons with a Little Egret (bottom pic).

One of the common winter migrants at Pasir Ris Park Mangroves is the Black-crowned Night Heron.

Two adult Black-crowned Night Herons.

Two juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons.

Another 2 juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons.

An adult, sub-adult Black-crowned Night Heron & a Little Egret.

Other interesting common resident birds at the park are...

Pink-necked Green Pigeon & Pacific Swallow.

Common Tailorbird & Ashy Tailorbird.

Ashy Tailorbirds.

Nest of Ashy Tailorbird.

Golden-bellied Gerygone.

All the Golden-bellied Gerygone nests we ever observed, were paradise by Little Bronze Cuckoo. We have yet to see a Golden-bellied Gerygone chick. Sometimes, it's sad to watch the stressed little parents struggling to feed the over-sized greedy cuckoo chick.

Nest of Golden-bellied Gerygone & one with a Little Bronze Cuckoo chick (bottom pic).

Golden-bellied Gerygone parents raising a paradise Little Bronze Cuckoo chick.

Pied Fantail nest.

Pied Fantail chicks.

Pied Fantail feeding its chicks.

Pied Fantail tried to shade its chicks from the hot sun.

A pair of Oriental Pied-Hornbill used the artificial nest build for them. Till date, we dunno if they have succeed in raising any chick.

A male Asian Koel & a migratory Oriental Honey Buzzard.

Little Egret & a migratory Cattle Egret in breeding plumage.

Blue-tailed Bee-eaters are common migrants at the park.

Some of the less common migrants are Ashy Minivet, Asian Brown Flycatcher & the rare Von Schrenck's Bittern.

The single Vinous-breasted Starling at the park is an escapee.

One of our favourite families of  bird is the Kingfisher & there are 5 species of Kingfisher at Pasir Ris Park Mangroves. The White-collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher & Stork-billed Kingfisher are residents while the Common Kingfisher & Black-capped Kingfisher are migratory. The most difficult to shoot is the Black-capped Kingfisher which is very very skittish.

White-collared Kingfisher & White-throated Kingfisher.

Stork-billed Kingfisher, a popular subject of local birders.

Catch of the Stork-billed Kingfisher.

A female Common Kingfisher.

Female Common Kingfisher caught a fish.

The super skittish Black-capped Kingfisher.

Among local birders, one of the popular birdy subjects at the park is the resident pair of Spotted Wood Owl which raise a single chick every year. Oh… the baby is so very cute! xD
There was once when the chick was found dead which caused a great sadness in us.

Spotted Wood Owl.

Cute baby Spotted Wood Owl.

In late 2013, the celebrity of birds at Pasir Ris Park is a migratory Blue-winged Pitta. For a numbers of days, there was a mad rush of local birders to the park. There were also a few who came down from Malaysia just for a chance to take photos of this star bird.

Pitta fans waiting for the Celebrity.

The 2013 Celebrity of Pasir Ris Park, a Blue-winged Pitta.

Note: Birder is a common term used for either bird watcher or photographer & birding is the term for their activity.

At the mangroves, live a family of Smooth-coated Otters. Over the years, their numbers have increased from 4 to about 10. Most times, they confine their hunting out in the sea, but once a while, a few would come upriver to hunt. Sometimes, they are quite bold, venturing out into open grass patches to sun themselves. It's always exciting to spot them. We never get tired of photographing them especially when there are pups around. They are so cute! XD

Smooth-coated Otters.

Smooth-coated Otter having a fishy feast.

Smooth-coated Otter feeding & sunning.

Tips & advices for beginners:
If you wanna venture into the wild, do some basic research on local wildlife & plants. Wear appropriate clothing & footwear. You might want to apply some mosquito repellent. Always carry enough water. Bring food if you intend to stay for long period.
Pick a tame nature park to try out first. Don't be too disappointed if you're unable to spot much during your first few trips. It just take practice. Be observant. Get off your smart phone! The more times you venture into the wild, the more your eyes & ears will adapt to spot things around you. Soon, you will be able to spot animals with ease. Do not touch anything that you're not familiar with. It might be poisonous or venomous & some have very painful bites.
For orientation, you might also consider joining certain nature conservation groups in Singapore which sometimes conduct free guided nature tours. Below are links to some of these groups.

Nature Society (Singapore):

Disclaimer: Personally, I do not know anyone in the organisations shown above as I did not join them before. My info is from the internet. Please join them or their activities at your own discretion.

Listed below are public gardens, nature parks, nature reserves & wild or semi-wild places we have been to in Singapore while chasing birds or other wildlife.
Bedok Quarry.
Bottle Tree Park.
Bukit Batok Nature Park.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Chinese Garden.
Dairy Farm Nature Park.
Fairways Drive.
Japanese Garden.
Kent Ridge Park.
Kranji Marsh.
Labrador Nature Reserve.
Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk.
Lower Seletar Reservoir.
Lorong Halus.
MacRitchie Reservoir.
Numerous trails around the Central Catchment area.
Pasir Ris Park.
Pulau Ubin.
Punggol Barat Island.
Rifle Range Road.
Satay By The Bay.
Seletar Dam area.
Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
Tampines Eco Green.
Telok Blangah Hill Park.
The Southern Ridges.
Upper Seletar Reservoir.
Venus Loop.
Wild areas around the outskirt of Bedok, Bukit Batok, Neo Tiew Lane, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Tampines & Yishun.

Important Note: When you visit nature parks or reserves, please be as quiet as possible. Do not leave your trash behind. Poaching or collecting is illegal. Leave nothing behind, except footsteps. Take nothing, but pictures & memories.

Go Eco Green!

See you on the wild side of life!



At Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nikita! I live in Pasir Ris and I've never seen any of these things before. I feel like I've been missing out on the beauty the world has to offer! Please tell me where these things, animals, life and furry friends are.

At Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:15:00 AM, Blogger Nikita Hengbok said...

Dear Anonymous of,

Thank you for your comment. Please be informed that Pasir Ris Park is NOT a zoo. There is NO cage and the animals are free to roam. They are everywhere and you just have to be observant and find them.

Thank you & best regards,

At Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:44:00 PM, Blogger EQ said...

Woh impressive nature photos.

At Saturday, May 02, 2015 6:06:00 PM, Blogger Nikita Hengbok said...

Responding to EQ, comment posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:44:00 PM -

Thank you. :)


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