Monday, February 6, 2012

Dancing in the Wind @ Pasir Ris Park Part 1

Despite a rather windy and overcast Saturday morning (29 Jan ), I took a train down to Pasir Ris Park (PRP). After an early and quick "Mee Siam" lunch at the bus interchange, I followed the train's track heading towards the park to look for flowering trees. Yes, the Syzygium trees growing near Carpark C had begun to flower slightly early this year (see last year).

At least three King Crows (Euploea phaenareta castelnaui) were busy feeding on one of the trees which bloomed profusely.
I like the creamy background created by clusters of flowers but the spots on the wings of this shot puzzle me - I guess this is another specimen of a King Crow.
A permanent resident at the park, the King Crow butterfly is the largest Euploea species that can be found in Singapore. It can be regularly sighted near our mangroves areas where the larval host plant - the Pong Pong Tree (Cerbera odollam), a fast growing evergreen tree is abundant. Whenever King Crows perch on a new landing for feeding, they tend to flap their winds initially - this was how I managed to get a few open-winged shots. The King Crow butterfly behaves like many other species in the Euploea genus. They are not a very fast flyer because birds and other predators know that they are unpalatable. It was a magnificent scene to see when these Crows and other buuterflies dancing and feeding in the wind, displaying all sorts of stunts and movement.
I could only spot one Spotted Black Crow (Euploea crameri bremeri ) feeding from flower to flower - but getting a good open wing shot was extremely difficult.
This is its underside shot when it was high up.
Striped Black Crow (Euploea eyndhovii gardineri) appeared for a short while or was it hiding high on the tree ?
A Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber mulciber) showed up around 2 pm. Rather skittish bugger, it never remained in a good pose for me to get a good shot. These and other butterflies put up an amazing show. The sky (pity that it was not blue) provided the backdrop for the stage which was the flowering tree. The dancing butterflies choreographed their movement that we could never predict thus creating a very dynamic and exciting scene which attracted some passersby to stop for a moment to take a closer look. Some stood there for a long time while others had a glimpse. A couple with their two young kids who were quite amazed by the scene decided to use a handphone camera to snap a few shots. After a short conversation with them, the man asked me "why are they called Crows, they are more beautiful than the actual crows ? " A very good question that I have not got the answers !

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