Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anything New @ TPTP ?

Inspired by Robin Ngiam's article in the 2009 issue of Singapore Nature, I dropped by Toa Payoh Town Park (TPTP) twice on two different evenings, hoping to get a glimpse of the rare damselfly Pseudagrion rubriceps. But, I didn't have the luck to see any. However, I was fortunate to shoot a few new fauna species that I did not feature in my previous post (here).

This very distinctive White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is rather common in marshy habitats. However, I was rather surprised to see a family of waterhens in this urban town park. The dark brown chick was about the size of an adult, wandering and foraging with its parents. I saw them probing with their bill in the shallow water and on the aquatic plants belonging to the genus Cyperus which are growing wild along some edges of the pond. A rather sluggish female damselfly, Iscnura senegalensis was preparing herself for the night fall. This is a common species that can be found in open drains or ponds.My first sighting of a lonely Rhyothemis phyllis in the park. A rather large dragonfly with very distinctive yellow and black basal patches on the hindwings, Rhyothemis phyllis is rather common in our wastelands. Though it was getting cooler in the evening, this guy was still quite active, gliding from perch to perch. Here is a side view when it landed above my head.This looks like a male Xylocopa species. It was seen "climbing" on the stem, a rather rare moment.
This looks like a changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) lurking amongst some ginger plants.
I saw a man using his handphone camera to take a picture of this frog which remained very still and semi-submerged in the water. Of course, when he left, it was my turn to take a few shots. This may be a non-native species American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus). I wonder how did it come to this pond ? I was trying to look for butterflies also, checking out the Ixora bushes and the rows of Peacock Flowers which are away from the pond, This small moth was found on Peacock Flowers swaying in the wind. Using a macro lens to shoot bird is always doing injustice to the beauty and the detail of the subject. Is it a species of sparrow or something else ? Does anyone know what this small but beautiful critter is ? The long segmented antennae and the red patterns on the body attracted my attention.
At last I shot a butterfly. Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis lampa , 毛眼灰蝶) is a rather inconspicuous Lycaenid. This species usually can be found in good numbers in town parks or roadsides. This was a rather pristine, tame and lethargic specimen. It rested on the red florets of the Ixora flowers, waiting for the dusk to set in. Lastly, I observed this paper wasp kept flying back to this nest and there was not any other wasp around. Was it building or guarding the nest ?


  1. Hi, Frederick - Your blog is HIGH quality! I have moved to Singapore from the USA in Jun09 and am beginning to learn something about the local nature. Your blog will help.

    The bird in your photo is definitely a Munia, and after looking at several online photos, I confirmed my suspicions that it is a Scaly-breasted Munia.

    Take a look if you like here:

    The issue was that your photo did not show the typical 'scaly breast'. The photo in the link shows a similar view and bird.



  2. Hi Mike.

    Welcome to Singapore.
    Glad to know that my blog is useful for you to learn more about nature here.
    Yes, it does look like a Munia.Hope I can get a clearer shot next time.