Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

All good things must come to an end, and the year of 2010 is no exception. We have enjoyed a great 12 months of adventures and will be looking forward to more in 2011!
We ended the year with a short trip to Genting Highlands and experienced the “winter weather”.
Dawn over Genting Highlands
We did not get much time to explore the surroundings, but did manage an early morning up near the radar station, where it was cold and windy, with the mist rolling in, which did nothing for the visibility.
Social Spiders
We heard and saw some birds including observing a Bay Woodpecker, busily excavating  a nest hole.
Bay Woodpecker

A day before our trip, we heard the loud “keek keek” call and spotted a pair of Collared Kingfishers perched on our neighbour’s roof.  We had previously seen only the White-throated Kingfisher in the same spot so we were thrilled to see another species visiting our condo.
Collared Kingfisher
On that same day on our walk to Telok Blangah Hill, we got a good view of a Brahminy Kite.
Brahminy Kite
Happy New Year

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sunbird Nest building?

Each morning a pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds visits the flowers at our balcony and we have taken many photographs of the birds.  Recently we found they were biting off the Portulaca grandiflora petals.  We thought they were eating the petals (re July 2010 post) but we noticed the petals were still on their beaks when they flew off.  Perhaps they want the “white” to decorate their nest?   When all the flowers were taken away we put down small pieces of cotton wool on the plant to see if they needed more nesting material.  Sure enough the sunbirds took a piece and came back for more and very quickly took all the cotton wool away.
On the 9th we took a walk with Alyce to check out the new “Tree Trail” on Ubin, but we side-tracked behind the Malay Kampong that led to an abandoned prawn farm in the mangroves.  It was a nice quiet spot and we took a break to eat our snack. 
Coming back  from Ubin, we decided to check out the Sengkang River Park.   We spent a bit of time looking at the newly planted fruit trees, some of which had fruits hanging on the low branches.   Hopefully visitors will leave them alone for others to see.   We had a quick look at the artificial island but as it was getting late we will need to return to check out the marsh plants.  It is a very nice park to bring the kids and lots of families were out that evening.
As there is always much to see, we now bring our camera along during our walks and here we share some of the wild life we saw recently.    
HortPark                     Forest Walk                 Bidadari 15th                  Bidadari 17th

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feeding Time

Monday’s inter-tidal walk at Chek Jawa proceeded in light rain and the visitors were not disappointed.   As we were leaving the mudflats, this Great billed Heron took advantage of the low tide and helped itself to a rabbitfish, which proved more than a mouthful as it tried to avoid the fish’s sharp dorsal spines.   Successfully it landed on the mudflats to a nice meal.  On our way back to the mainland, we were greeted by a beautiful sunset at Ubin’s jetty, a warm close to our wet afternoon walk.While the heron worked hard for its meal, the bulbul and sunbird have a easier time feeding on plant seeds and nectar. It was also interesting to see the oriole’s skill manoeuvring the prying mantis that it had caught in order to eat it.
Link to photos               Link to photos                     Link to photos                   Link to photos