Sunday, August 24, 2014

Trekking Deep Into Forest Trail @ USR

It was my second outing on 16 Aug since I came back from two overseas trip - this time I went on a solo trip to Upper Seletar Reservoir Park (USR).  I am not sure if this is the Long Brand Bush Brown (Mycalesis visala pharmis) which perched right in front of me.
It was a very quiet morning in terms of butterfly or insect activity. Wandering around the forest fringe, I finally spotted a Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana) sun-bathing near the round-about
 There are a few eye-spots on the undersides too but the ground colour is paler.
After taking some shots of this Peacock Pansy, I decided to venture deeper into the forest. Except for the occasional bird and the cicada songs; the rattling sounds of the dry leafs on the ground by my shoes, the forest was absolutely calm and filled with fresh and pure air. I kept walking until I came to a spot where a colony of Archdukes was dog-fighting and zipping around.

Being extremely sensitive to movement, these Archdukes would take off the moment I inched forward. This was a lucky shot when a female Archduke (Lexais pardalis dirteana) landed on the ground in front of me.
She changed her puddling spot and with the accompany of  another species of Lexias, the Yellow Archduke (Lexias canescens pardalina)- being the rarest of the three Lexias species we can find in Singapore.
Without any good chances of shooting these ultra-alert Archdukes, I moved on again until I could not see any clear trail. Being alone and mentally unprepared for a much more difficult and a long trek from where I was to Bukit Panjang side of the forest, I decided to turn back.

Though I stayed at the Archduke spot for a longer period of time, I was disappointed that none of the Yellow Archduke offered me a shooting opportunity. At last,  a Malayan Lascar (Lasippa tiga siaka) came by and posed for me. 
I have seen this large butterfly Saturn (Zeuxidia amethystus amethystus) a few times in the deep forest. At least this time, I managed to get a long distance shot of a female. But what a shy butterfly she was - when I moved one step closer, she scooted off out of my sight.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

49th National Day @ Mandai Track 15

A few of us, Khew, Simon, CJ and Loke  went on a butterfly-photography trip to Mandai Track 15 on our 49th National Day.

We saw two lycaenids fluttering close to the ground. They were very skittish and I was lucky to have an instinctive shot - it turned out to be the Silver Forget-Me-Not (Catochrysops panormus exiguus).
A rather tattered Arahopala was found along a tarred road before we cut through a forested trail joining Track 15. According to Dr Seow from the ButterflyCircle, it was likely a Arhopala antimuta antimuta.
A Plain Plushblue (Flos apidanus saturatus) was found along the forested trail. A quick shot was what I could get before it scooted off and disappeared from our sight.
Arhopala major major seemed to be a common species along this forested trail.
Finally we came to an open space. A Common Sailor (Neptis hylas papaja) perched on a blade of Lalang grass for quite a while that allowed  us to take some shots. .
When a Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana) was sunbathing on a blade of grass at my kneel level, I quickly snapped a shot. 
The Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atliets) seems to have set up their permanent home nearby. There were a few of them actively roaming around us. Thanks Simon for alerting me of this surprisingly cooperative Grey Pansy.
In the late morning, a female Common Mormon (Papilio demolion demolion) kept us busy for awhile. Fluttering her wings and changing her feeding position frequently, she tested our patience and gave us a hard time for getting a decent shot.      
A couple of orange skippers visited the Bidens flowers but they remained active and alert even during feeding times.
There were at least two dark brown skippers loitering around the area. Dr Seow believed that they were both female  Baoris oceia .