Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Long Trek Into the Nature Reserve

Another fine and windy Saturday morning (6 Feb) tempted me to trek into the nature reserve. I walked leisurely from Lornie Trail towards Golf Link Boardwalk, rested at the Jelutong Tower before trekking towards the Riffle Range Link. I decided to turn around to fill up my drinking bottle at the Ranger Station before heading towards the Venus Road carpark. It was a tiring long walk.  

This was the only shot  taken along the Lornie Trail - a kind of tiny froghopper resting on a leaf in the shade.
While strolling on the Golf Link trail, I saw a egret (?) foraging at the edge of the reservoir. I approached it slowly and snapped a record shot. 
It might have noticed my presence when I tried to get closer. I  managed to snap some instinctive shots when it was taking off. What a pity that the wings were overexposed.

From a distance, I noticed a pacific swallow perching on a red metal bar sticking out from the pond on the golf course side.
Finally, I got a chance to take a shot of a critter - an orange skipper, the Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha). 
It had the tendency to open its wings partially a few seconds after each new perch. 
Along the Riffle Range Link, a male Horsefeld's Baron (Tanaecia iapis puseda) changed perch a few times but it seemed to prefer looking down on me all the time. 
It was my first encounter of a large amount of rapid-flowing water passing through this rather wide drain with many vertical beams. The thundering sounds and the patterns created by the torrential stream of water were simply awesome. 
Never mind that there were no butterflies. Sitting under the shade on some rocks at the reservoir edge, I really enjoyed the solitude and the greenery surrounding the peaceful reservoir - an absolutely refreshing and therapeutic feeling.  

While moving towards the Ranger Station, I met a very cooperative Common Hedge Blue (Acytolepis puspa lambi) puddling on the ground - it was my third butterfly shot of the day.
My fourth shot came shortly after that. A small  lycaenid, restless at first, finally joined the Common Hedge Blue. It took me awhile to take a shot to confirm that it was a Tailless Line Blue (Prosotas dubiosa lumpura).
It started to drizzle when I left the Ranger Station. Luckily, it didn't last long. In fact, the weather wasn't that bad while I was on my way out walking along the Venus Trail but I didn't have a single chance to increase my camera shutter count. 

I hope you were not disappointed with only four butterfly shots in this post.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tampines Eco Green Park Again

With a home visit to a BC member on 31 Jan in mind in the afternoon, I decided to drop by the Tampines Eco Green Park again in the morning.

As usual it was a great enjoyment to watch many Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) butterflies dancing high and low in the wind, visiting and feeding on flowers in a sunny and windy morning. With the abundance of the Plain Tiger's larval host plant, the Calotropis gigantea growing very well at the south entrance, the Plain Tiger butterfly should be there all year round to welcome us.
I was more interested in shooting this Common Tit (Hypolycaena erylus teatus) when I spotted it resting on the tip of a leaf  just above my head.
Quite a number of the lycaenids that I encountered were rather tattered. A worn-out Peacock Royal (Tajuria cippus maxentius) was showing off its scintillating blue uppersides in flight but I wasn't keen on snapping more shots.
I haven't got the luck to photograph a pristine Club Silverline (Spindasis syama terana) for a long time. Sorry that I had to ignore you after taking a few shots.
With the presence of the black spot in space 7 of the hindwing, it is easy to identify this as the Pointed Ciliat Blue (Anthene lycaenina miya). A diligent fellow which kept foraging among the String Bush flowers. 
At last I shot a more pristine lycaenid - a Slate Flash (Rapala manea chozeba) which came down to rest after I "disrupted" from its excessive feeding on some some flowers above me.
Another better specimen - this may be a Copper Flash (Rapala pheretima sequeira) which looks rather similar to the the Slate Flash. 
I was curious to find out what this small lycaenid was when it fed on some String Bush flowers high above me. It turned out to be the Tailless Line Blue (Prosotas dubuiosa )
The Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides) was quite abundant too. When it presented a good shooting opportunity for me, I would oblign to shoot it.
A close resemblance to the Black Veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus hegesippus), this white form of the Common Tiger (Danaus genutia genutia) presented me with a good pose for some quick shots.
Here is another shot.

I didn't find many skippers in this outing session. This is the only one - a rather active Telicota species (likely to be the T. besta bina) that I managed to take a few shots. 
This jumper spider was playing hide-and-seek with me - it was about to hide under the leaf.  I was amazed by its ability to sense my movement. 
Today is the second day of a new year on the lunar calender - wishing everyone having a prosperous, fruitful and most importantly good health in the Year of the Goat. 

Especially, I would pray that my wish for Common Rose will come true -  wishing him a speedy and a full recovery from a stroke that he has suffered more than a year ago. 加油 CM,you have made tremendous progress - a slow rehabilitation process but surely you will get better and better.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

More Butterflies at Ubin

After two lousy weekend outings to our nature reserve (see last post), I decided to go to Pulau Ubin on a fine Saturday morning (24 Jan). It wasn't a crowded day compared to my last few outings to Ubin.

For a change, Butterfly Hill wasn't in my mind. Instead, I went to the Sensory Trail first. I made the right choice this time as at least two male Barons (Euthalia aconthea gurda) were there welcoming me. Though they were rather alert and active flying around,  the short perches between flights allowed me to snap a few shots  of  one of them while it was puddling on grasses.
According to Dr Seow from ButterflyCircle, this is a female White Tipped Skipper (Erionota hiraca apicalis). It was zipping back-and-fro in a very shady part of the trail.
At a sunlit spot, I noticed a sunbathing dark brown skipper. I approached it closer and snapped a quick shot  - it was a Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos varians). 
Another brown skipper was resting quietly on a leaf  - this is likely to be a Caltoris comasa. 
It was a surprise encounter when this Flycatcher (?) perched right in front of me while I was strolling slowly towards the Butterfly Hill. Instinctively, I snapped a few shots. 
It seemed to notice my presence and gave me a fierce stare.
I finally arrived at the Butterfly Hill in the late morning. Apart from the usual butterflies, I didn't encounter any special species. At least this slightly deformed Plain Plushblue (Flos apidanus saturatus) kept me busy for a while.
I saw this wasp trying to balance itself on a dry climbing stem. What an interesting behaviour.