Sunday, March 9, 2014
It has been a long time since my last visit to the Prunas Trail at MacRitchie Reservoir. I decided to drop by Prunas Trail on a windy late morning on 15 Feb. After a long period of time strolling along the boardwalk, shooting nothing, a Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea) flitting past me and settled on a leaf of the Hairy Clidemia (Clidemia hirta).
The Great Helen (Papilio iswara iswara) seemed to be a permanent resident of the MacRitchie Nature Trail. I had a long distance shot of this female Great Helen when she made a short perch.
The all orange coloured Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius) is a very distinctive lycaenid. It was loitering around its larval host plant Smilax bracteata at a side trail leading to some private houses.
This small Pygmy Grass Blue (Zizula hylax pygmaea) was my last shot of the day before I packed my camera gears, heading towards a coffee shop.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Very well-camouflaged and blended impeccably with its habitat, this skittish Common Evening Brown (Melanitis leda leda) was photographed at a undergrowth of a forest trail on a windy and dry Saturday afternoon (9 Feb).
At the training shed where skippers were commonly sighted, I noticed this Potanthus feeding on Bidens flowers.
A colony of lycaenids was actively flitting along a section of the biking trail. This lucky shot was the result of my curiosity of knowing what species it was - surprisingly, it was the Silver-Forget-Me-Not (Catochrysops panomus exiguus).
Another super active small butterfly was teasing me for a long period of time. At last, this Blue Brownie (Miletus symethus petronius) presented me with a tilted perch underneath a leaf at my knee level - what a "torturing" perch for me to shoot.
Due to other commitment in the early evening, I didn't venture very deep into the forest. While looping back to the starting point using another trail, I bumped into a small colony of Arhopala species - this is Arhopala major major. I suspected there was another species flitting around.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
After an early lunch at the Casuarina Road Prata shop on a Saturday (25 Jan) morning, my plan of heading to Upper Seleter Reservoir Park was dashed by the bad service of bus 138 (two buses refused to stop for me). I decided to drop by Lower Peirce Reservoir Park for my weekly butterfly photography outing.
This damselfly showing an elegant perch on some leaves was spotted at a quiet corner of the reservoir edge. I have no idea what species this is.
Strolling leisurely on the boardwalk, I noticed a Burmese Lascar (Lasippa heliodore dorelia) sailing and gliding past me. When it settled down, I managed to snap a quick shot.
A skipper was zipping around with high speeds. But on a very quiet day, I decided to wait and observe carefully where it would stop at. I was lucky to be able to spot it again and take a few quick shots. This brown skipper turned out to be the Pugnacious Lancer (Pemara pugnans).
A rather pristine male Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) gave me an opportunity to increase my camera's shutter count - my last shot of the day.
Friday, February 14, 2014
It has been more than 2 years since my last visit to Mount Faber Park. On 18 Jan, after an early lunch at Seam Im Food Centre, it was only sensible for me to walk leisurely up to the Mount Faber Park via Marang Trail.
Only some hikers walked past me on a rather quiet morning along the trail. For a long period of time, I was alone hunting for critters. At last, a small orange skipper rested on a leaf of the Hairy Clidemia. It looks like a Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha).
I was loitering around the Merlion statue amongst many tourists, not shooting anything but enjoying the cold breeze, the panoramic view of the sea and the southern islands afar. Finally, this male Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina bolina) succumbed to the cooling effect of the breeze and hid beneath a leaf.
Along my way to a rather secluded high ground where some of us liked to station there during our many past outings, I bumped into this skittish female Malayan Plum Judy (Abisara saturata kausambiodes).
I spent more than 30 minutes resting and waiting for butterflies to appear at this particular spot. My first visitor was this Large Dart (Potanthus sarina) which landed on some ferns.
It seems that the Transparent Six-line Blue (Nacaduba kurava nemana) is a permanent resident of the Mount Faber Park.
Luck and being observant usually play a big part in spotting small butterflies especially skippers in the Coeliadinae subfamily as they have the habit of hiding under foliage. This cute and chubby-looking Orange Awlet (Burara harisa consobrina) was spotted taking a short nap along the Marang Trail while I came down from the hill top.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
It was a long trekking outing deep into the forest on 11 Jan 2014. I started at Old Upper Thomson Road and walked along a forest trail leading me to Upper Peirce Reservoir. My very first shot of the morning was this Ultra Snowflat (Tagiades Ultra) at the entrance to the trail.
The Flashwing damselfly is beautiful. There were quite a few of them sunbathing along a quiet forest trail. I am not sure if this is the Vestalis amethystina.
This is the Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea ) feeding on a kind of fruit - not sure what it was and I wasn't able to get closer to it.
A Tree Flitter (Hyarotis adrastus praba) just appeared from nowhere when I was at the spot where I could not proceed any further. It kept changing its perch even it was feeding on the Common Snakeweed flowers.
My first sighting of a Libellago species deep in the forest near a stream. It looks like the rare Libellago hyalina - am I correct ?
Another rare dragonfly was found nearby - again it was my sighting of the Paragomphus capricornis if I had identified it correctly.
I would like to sound an alarm here as there are clear symptoms that our forest has been "falling sick". I encountered more than five fallen trees along the forest trail; let me just post two shots here.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
This might be my last visit (on 4 Jan) to Bukit Brown as rows of green zinc hoardings have been erected. Very soon the greenery and some tombstones at this tranquil and quiet cemetery ground will be lost. While strolling alone without a definite location in mind, I noticed a a male Cruiser (Vindula dejone erotella) hovering around some horse dung on a tarred road not too far from the main gate.
I went to the spot where I found the Banded Lineblue (Prosotas lutea sivoca). Apparently, some maintenance work had been carried out and the host plants of the Banded Lineblue had been cleared also. I stayed there for quite sometime, hopping to find if the Banded Lineblue was still around - it is not difficult to deduce the answer.
Instead, two small orange skippers kept me busy for a while. This is a Yellow Grass Dart (Taractrocera archias quinta).
I guess this small skipper is the Pothanthus ganda - it was not as cooperative as the Yellow Grass Dart.
I explored one of the forested trails and was rewarded with some shots of a not-so-common skipper - The Common Redeye (Matapa aria).
Knowing that nobody will be able to repeat the 2 km route that I had walked in Bukit Brown, I hope this map which tracked my movement will remind me of how I roamed around and explored Bukit Brown.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
We went to Pulau Ubin again on 28 Dec - our last outing in 2013 on a breezy and cool Saturday morning. As usual, we headed straight to the Butterfly Hill. There were quite a number of butterflies fluttering around the area; amongst them was this Black Veined Tigers (anaus melanippus hegesippus).
A female Common Birdwing (Troides helena cerberus) was seen hovering around her larval host plants Instead of laying egg, she presented a nice high perch for me to snap a few shots.
This Telicota colon stinga (The Common Palm Dart) was the only orange skipper I came cross in this outing.
Brown skippers seemed to be more common as I saw at least three different species. The Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans) was rather common in Ubin - it had the tendency to open its wings shortly after it settled on a new perch.
So taking its underside shot required a bit of luck.
According to Dr Seow who identified this rather large brown skipper on the BC forum , this was likely to be a female Baoris oceia (The Paintbrush Swift).
Another large and dark brown skipper was zipping past me a few times before it landed on a Hibiscus flower. I could only snap two shots before it disappeared completely. It looks like the Conjoined Swift (Pelopidas conjunctus conjunctus).
A very tame Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) was enjoying its meal on a Bidens flower for a long period of time.
This Indigo Flash (Rapala varuna orseis) was a surprised visitor on the Butterfly Hill - but it wasn't cooperative, giving me no chance to take more shots.
This brown praying mantis tried to hide under a blade of lalang grass but obviously it was a wrong choice as its brown-coloured body and the green leaf are too contrasting to disguise its preys.