Saturday, September 29, 2012

My First Visit to the Labrador Park

Two Saturdays ago (15 Sept), I accompanied my wife to the LG Service Centre to redeem a gift voucher. After which I dropped by at the Labrador Park - my first visit there. Since 2002, this coastal park has been  gazetted as a nature reserve. Today, the Labrador Park includes the original coastal cliff site used by the British colonial rulers as one of their artillery forts equipped with military installations to defend Singapore waters in the 19th century.  

A slow 15-minute walk along Labrador Villa Road led  me to the entrance of the park. The moment I entered the park, the loud and prominent cicada songs filled the whole ambiance. Indeed, I could easily find at least half a dozen cicada pupal cases like this on various foliage.
This female Malayan Plum Judy (Abisara saturata kausambioides) was flitting around her larva host plant - Ardisia elliptica near a children playground.
There were not many visitors in the park and fauna activities were rather low as well. However, two skittish lycaenids, a Common Tit (Hypolycaena erylus teatus) and a Common Imperial (Cheritra freja frigga) though not in their best conditions, got me busy for a while. 
A small spider stayed very still in its webs.
Apart from bunkers, underground tunnels and some very tall and old trees in the secondary forest, modern facilities and many plants and flowers are added to the park to make it attractive for the public.
More than an hour of strolling in the park, going up and down the slopes a few times seemed to make me hungry earlier. I headed towards the entrance.Two photographers caught my attention as they were so engrossed in shooting something that I could not see from far. I went closer and got a shot - a small robber fly.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Short Outing to Lornie Trail

I dropped by Lornie Trail on a cloudy Sunday morning (9 Sept). Walking slowly along this familiar forest trail which was filled with screeching cicada songs only, I could sense that I was too early for a photography outing. Without pressing  the shutter until  I reached the reservoir edge much faster than I usually did.  

Finally a small butterfly Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna elvira)  appeared, flitting around at the ground level. With lots of patience and of course some luck, I managed to snap a few shots.
More butterfly species woke up from their sleeps when  sum rays began to penetrate the clouds and warm the earth. This female Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsia) was the first butterfly visiting the flowers. Flapping her wings slowly while feeding on some Mile-a-Minute flowers, she presented an instantaneous moment to test my reaction and skill.  I didn't fail badly - getting an open-wing shot which seemed to suggest that she was cruising in the air.  
Don't you think that her undersides are very pretty ?   
I usually don't bother chasing a Mycalesis butterfly unless it is as cooperative as this Mycalesis perseoides perseoides.  
A Large Snow Flat (Tagiades gana gana) was very high up,  feeding on some flowers at first. When it came down for a short while, I grabbed the chance of getting a quick shot.
I didn't see many skippers - a bit strange though. I think this is a Potanthus species that needs further confirmation.
On my way back, I passed by another location at which I usually found  some skippers feeding on the Leea indica flowers. There were a few Yellow Vain Lancers ( Pyroneura latoia latoia) and this one gave me the best pose. 
 I believe this is a Crimson Sunbird. He was very active on the Heliconia flowers so I should be satisfied with this shot.  
Well, I must say that this short outing to Lornie Trail was rather good after all.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Few Butterflies at USR

I dropped by Upper Seleter Reservoir (USR) Park on a fine Saturday morning (1st September). It was a quiet morning. I didn't have any shots until I saw a female Autumn Leaf (Doleschallia bisaltide bisaltide) loitering around its larval host plant. I was presented with a short moment for snapping a few quick shots of her beautiful uppersides when she was flapping her wings. 
The Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon agamemnon) is strong on the wings and it is not common to find one resting on a leaf at low level. It was rather tame for a few seconds, allowing me to approach it closer.     
I saw a few Blues flitting along the forest trails. There were rather active and never stayed still for me to take a proper shot. This instinctive shot looks like a Jewel Fourline Blue (Nacaduba sanaya elioti)
Another individual was fluttering non-stop along another forest trail. A long-distance shot showed that it  looks like the Jewel Fourline Blue again.   Here is an Arhopala species taken from afar

This rather large Arhopala species was found along a row of shrubs in front of the shelters. Closely resembling a Vinous Oakblue (Arhopala athada athada), it was rather alert and refused to let me get  closer to it.  

This brown skipper is The Small Branded Swift (Pelopidas mathias mathias) - my only skipper shot  during this short outing.
I guess the underground sewage pipes were choked at one particular location. Smelly underground water was seen flowing out, "flooding" a portion of the grass patch. No wonder, some butterflies were attracted to puddle there. I hope Nparks or NEA would examine the situation closely. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Rare Awl at USR

Thanks Khew for giving me a lift to Upper Seletar Reservoir Park on a nice Sunday morning (20 Aug). My first sighting of a butterfly was this Yellow Banded Awl (Hasora schoenherr chuza), resting on a leaf surface initially.

It was zipping around behind the toilet - perching on the brick wall and on the ground occasionally. It really created a lot of excitement while we were chasing it relentlessly in search of a perfect shot of this rarity. 
Most of my previous few sightings of this rarity was when it was hiding underneath a leaf. We were very lucky to encounter this rather pristine individual being attracted to the cement pointing on the brick walld for quite a while. 
Further away from the toilet, a small spider was building its webs. 
It hurried to a leaf surface when it experienced a slight disturbance. 
I saw this Green Crested Lizard ( Bronchocela cristatella) coming down from a tree, stopping at the road side for a few seconds. But I wonder why its head portion is not green.
A rather uncooperative Aberrant Oakblue (Arhopala abseus abseus) was playing hide-and-seek with me along a shady trail.